Wine Fridge 101

Wine Fridge 101

bill_wilson_wine_fridge_400Wine Fridge 101 Learn which is right for you before dishing out the ducats. The three main concerns of summer:

• Will we beat the traffic?
• Did I put on enough sunscreen?
• Do I need a wine fridge?

Summer heat can do to wine what a frying pan does to an egg--but in a bad way. Before you splurge on the Ferrari of wine fridges, though, consider the following three things.

1. How quickly do you drink your wine?
If you only want to protect your everyday drinking wine, get an inexpensive 18- to 24-bottle fridge. If you want to store several cases for drinking over the next decade, the next two questions are for you.

2. Are looks important?
Plenty of wine fridges look just like regular refrigerators--which is fine if you plan to put one in your garage or basement. But let's be honest: Wine fridges carry a little cachet. Show off your stuff by getting a unit with a glass door--especially if the fridge is in your living room or kitchen--so you can display your burgeoning "collection."

3. Do you collect whites and reds?
If you enjoy both, spend a little extra on a wine fridge that has two temperature zones so reds and whites are always at the right storage and serving temperatures. Keep the whites at 55 degrees and the reds in the 57-59 range.

Now, which fridge to buy? Read on for our picks. If you're storing wine as an investment, here are our top three recommended brands:

It controls cooling, heating (if it gets too cold), vibration, humidity and UV light. It works anywhere in the house and it looks great. It even works well in a garage if the external temperature doesn't stray either side of 32-95 degrees--but if it does, you can opt for a performance unit that can handle the extremes. If you plan on keeping your wines for years and years, then you want all the protection that this wine fridge offers.

The NFinity Line
It cools, it stores and protects from UV light--but doesn't protect against vibration. It's a great unit for any room of the house, even the garage--but not if you live in a cold climate. Then definitely keep this fridge in a warmer part of the house. The real advantage is that it's about half the price of EuroCave (yet offers similar door and temperature-zone features), leaving that much more to spend on wine. This line is particularly appropriate if you only buy wines that you keep for a year or two. There are also smaller units that hold 12 to 48 bottles if you're crunched for space.

It's definitely not the cheapest, but without question it's one of the most elegant solutions for full-size wine refrigerators. It's even replete with wooden racks that pull out like dresser drawers for super-easy access. If you already have a regular Sub-Zero refrigerator in your kitchen, you know the virtues that the brand offers. That said, you don't have to be a super-serious collector to love and appreciate one of these beautiful units.

As for prices, many of the best deals come from the Wine Enthusiast, especially when it's offering free shipping. Or you can get free shipping by using Amazon Prime. Have another wine fridge recommendation? Share it below.

Photo Credit: Bill Wilson

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