When purchasing a wine cooler, there is a lot to consider when shopping for the wine cooler that meets your requirements. We have put together a few important bits which should be thought about before purchasing a wine fridge.
How much space do you have available?
Wine fridges come in a lot of varying sizes, starting from as slim as a 15cm wide wine cooler and for the wine connoisseur their are long term storage wine coolers as wide as 70cm.
If you currently have bottles of wine dotted around the house in lots of small wine racks then a wine fridge will give you a much more organised spot to keep your collection in, as well as the added benefit of storing the wine correctly.
Wine coolers come in lots of variations meaning you need to decide whether the space available will accommodate a free-standing wine cooler, built in wine cooler or a fully integrated unit.
Freestanding wine fridges can not be installed under a counter or in a cabinet space, these units require at least 5-10cm around each side as the compressor is mounted in the side walls of the appliance. This generally means that they can be much shallower as there are fewer parts to the rear of the unit.
Built in wine fridges are designed to be incorporated into spaces under counter tops or in between cupboards, but can also look great as a freestanding unit.
The difference between these two types is primarily the location of the fan, freestanding units will have the fan to rear; built in wine coolers will have the fan mounted underneath the unit with a vent on the front so the cooler air can be drawn in from in front of the wine fridge. It is very important that in no circumstances this is blocked as it will lead to the wine fridge over heating.
A fully integrated wine fridge is designed to fit seamlessly into an available space within the kitchen units. This does mean that a vent is needed in the plinth to allow cooler air to be brought up to the rear of the unit, another vent is needed to the top of the cupboards so the warm air can escape.
Once you have decided on the type of wine cabinet you would like to install, please ensure you measure the space available. For freestanding units, please allow 5-10cm around the units. For built in units, please allow 0.5cm around the unit and Fully integrated units, just ensure it fits in the gap!
Please also consider access to your desired location as some of the units are extremely heavy and very big so can be tricky to manoeuvre.
There is a broad range of wine coolers currently on the market, as you would expect there are brands catering for each price bracket. As with most appliances, if you want a premium, specialist product then be prepared to pay for it.
Wine coolers can start at as low as £200 for small units and can go as high as £5000 or more for large premium off the shelf units. If you want a custom made unit, then these can set you back well over £10,000.
With wine coolers, we always advise to safe guard for the future and spend a little more now on a unit that will last. We know this isn't always an option, so please feel free to contact us to discuss your options.
Most premium wine coolers all come with an A energy rating meaning, you will hardly even notice the electricity bill each year! Low end units are not of the same quality and more prone to breaking down and using more electricity because of the poor quality parts used to assemble the units.
Wine Coolers nowadays are relatively silent, the better quality units with a compressor you wont even notice are their as the compressor/fan systems are so efficient they hardly need to come on.
If you are worried about noise though, there is the option of a thermo-electric unit. These cool via electrolysis and have no refrigerant gas or compressor so are silent in operation. The down sides to these are that they can only be used as a freestanding unit, they only come as smaller units and they do not have the same operating temperatures as compressor wine coolers.
This does limit you to storing reds with a thermoelectric unit, so this should be considered.
As previously mentioned, the newer versions of the compressor wine coolers, especially premium models have energy saving features such as thicker insulation and bespoke triple glazed doors to ensure the regulation of the temperature and humidity is as good as possible. This then coincides with the fact the compressor/fan system does not need to work as much because of these features.
If you’ll be using your wine cooler primarily for long term ageing or preservation, then you’ll want to keep your temperature at right around 12-14°C, this can be achieved with ageing wine cabinets.
Most wine coolers will have an operating temperature of between 5 - 22°C to enable the full range of wines to be catered for.
Dual temperature zone and triple temperature zone units are available to store multiple types of wine simultaneously, each compartment can not be set to more than 8°C difference.
Thermo-electric units usually have an operating temperature of between 8 -15°C but this completely depends on ambient conditions as they are very susceptible to temperature changes outside of the appliance.