Features To Look For In A Wine Cabinet

Wine storage is something that you should take seriously, whether you’re a wine collector, a wine investor, or simply a wine lover.

There’s plenty to consider when storing your wine, whether it be temperature, sunlight, humidity, and movement. Thankfully, wine cabinets can take care of this and ensure your wine is stored in the best way.

Wine cabinets are great for ageing wine, but what features should you look out for when purchasing a wine cabinet? Keep reading to learn all about wine cabinets and what features you should look out for.

 

What Is A Wine Cabinet?

A wine cabinet is an appliance designed specifically to store your wine in the optimal conditions for ageing, taking into account temperature, humidity, UV light, and even vibrations.

In the long term, wine is best stored within the temperature range of 11°C and 14°C - but this temperature can be difficult to maintain without the help of a specialised unit.

If you store your wine in temperatures that are too warm, it could start to develop an unpleasant bitter taste and the flavour profiles may deteriorate. However, if you store your wine in temperatures that are too cool, then your wine may be at risk of freezing.

If your wine freezes, then the flavours may weaken and your wine may start to taste bland. The bottle could also smash if frozen, or the cork could slip out of place. Either way, you don’t want your wine to freeze!

Wine cabinets are designed to store your wine at the perfect temperature, so you don’t have to worry about your wine freezing or developing unwanted flavours. Wine cabinets are also designed to protect your wine from sunlight.

Wine cabinets will either have a solid door or a glass door - solid doors keep out all sunlight, whereas glass doors are UV-protected so keep out harmful UV rays. UV rays can cause chemical reactions within the wine that can quickly ruin it - so UV protection is a must when it comes to wine storage.

Humidity is also something that you need to consider when storing your wine. Your wine bottles need a little humidity for the cork to remain moist and in place. However, too much humidity can cause the labels to peel off and moisture to accumulate on the bottle. Too little humidity can cause the cork to dry out and slip out of place, exposing your wine to oxygen.

Wine cabinets work to regulate humidity levels, typically between 50% and 70%. Some wine cabinets feature a vibration-free system, which ensures that sediment can settle in the bottle and the body of the wine remains still and undisturbed.

Wine cabinets can come in three designs - freestanding, built-in, and fully integrated. Each design has its own installation requirements, so always be sure to check the manufacturer instructions when installing to avoid voiding the warranty.

Freestanding wine cabinets stand freely and aren’t designed to be installed into kitchen spaces. They need a few inches of space around the rear and sides for ventilation, as well as around 12 inches of space above the unit. Built-in and fully integrated units are designed to fit into small spaces, specifically under counters.

 

What Features Should I Look For In A Wine Cabinet?

Wine cabinets can come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of different features. We’re here to help you gain a better understanding of the different features to look for in a wine cabinet.

 

Shelving

When you’re shopping for a quality wine cabinet, be sure to check out the shelving. Most wine cabinets feature fitted wooden shelves that allow you to store your wine horizontally, but others may have display shelves that allow you to store your bottles vertically - which is great for serving.

You can also find wine cabinets that have sliding shelves or adjustable shelves, which is ideal if you have bigger bottles than standard Bordeaux bottles. You may be able to rearrange the shelves so you can organise your wine in an ideal way.

Some wine cabinets will have special shelves for displaying wine accessories, such as glass holders, wine glasses, stemware, and decanters.

 

Temperature Zones

Just like wine coolers, wine cabinets can come with a single temperature zone, dual temperature zones, or multiple temperature zones.

If you plan on storing your wine in the long term only, then a wine cabinet with a single temperature zone should be fine. However, you may benefit from a dual-zone or multi-zone wine cabinet if you plan on storing some wine for ageing and having some stored in the short term for serving. This means that you can store wine for ageing at one temperature while preparing wine for serving at another temperature - all within the same unit.

If you opt for a wine cooler with multiple temperature zones, you can store your reds, whites, and sparkling wines separately. White wine is best stored at slightly cooler temperatures than red wine, making dual-zone and multi-zone cabinets best for varied wine collections.

 

Locks

If you have children in your household, troublesome teenagers, or you simply want to keep others out of your wine collection, then you’ll be glad to know that you can find wine cabinets with locks.

Typically, wine cabinets will unlock with a key - so be sure to not lose the key and put it somewhere safe. However, you should be able to order a replacement key from the manufacturer.

 

LED Lighting

If you’re opting for a wine cabinet with a glass door, then you may want to consider choosing a wine cabinet that features LED lighting to allow you to display your wine in the best way.

LED lights usually come in three main colours - white, blue, and orange. Some wine cabinets will allow you to adjust the lighting to match the mood.

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