Why Is It Better To Store Good Wine In A Wine Cabinet, And Not In A Household Refrigerator
Modern wine cabinets, or refrigerators, allowing you to store different wines in separate temperature zones, filter out odors and protect the wine from light with a UV filter.
The history of winemaking goes back approximately 7000-8000 years. Wine is one of the oldest drinks known to man. In ancient times, it was kept in specially equipped cellars and cellars. White, red, and black varieties of grapes are also consumed fresh or serve as raw materials for juice, raisins, vinegar, compote, and jam. Connoisseurs of a noble drink know why an ordinary refrigerator is not suitable for storing wine.
A practical person who approaches the preservation of wine as the art will, of course, prefer a serious model of a reputable company.
Also, it is obvious that there are wines that cost much more than any wine refrigerators.
If we talk about private wine lovers, a small wine cooler can be built into the kitchen unit, but if space allows, I would allocate a separate room for wine storage – it can become an accent design element of the living-kitchen area and will impress the guests.
Disadvantages of a household refrigerator for storing wine
The optimum temperature for storing food in the refrigerator is 39-42 °F. Such conditions are not suitable for the ripening and long-term storage of wine, the taste and aroma of the drink can quickly deteriorate. Depending on the type of wine, a temperature of 50-59 °F is required to open its bouquet.
Vibrations from the refrigerator compressor also adversely affect the quality of the grape drink. This also includes regular opening/closing of the door. Even though refrigerators are equipped with shelves for bottles, you can keep the wine in them only for a very short time, for example, 2-3 days before drinking.
Basic rules for storing wine
The drink is usually bottled in 0.75-liter glass bottles. To reveal the taste characteristics of wine, a stable temperature regime is very important, as well as a humidity level (about 70-75%). Bottles in the process of ripening and storage are placed in a horizontal position. This is necessary so that the cork is constantly wetted and does not dry out.
Otherwise, air will enter the container and the drink will spoil. Direct sunlight is contraindicated for wine (strongly accelerates the aging process, as a result of which the taste deteriorates and the color changes), so wine cabinets with a transparent door have a protective coating against ultraviolet radiation.
The wine is wonderfully varied: some wines are worth drinking young within a few months of bottling. They say that 9 out of 10 bottles purchased in the world should be drunk young. Others should be brought to condition from two to five years.
But some wines deserve to be opened decades later on a significant occasion and with a full understanding of what a magnificent drink is in front of you. The following components help the wine to be preserved, at a minimum, and develop, at a maximum: sugar content, acidity, alcohol, and tannin levels. The right balance of these indicators, coupled with terroir, variety or blend, year, and hands of the winemaker makes the wine great.
Over the years, tannins soften, aromatics and taste develop, acquire new nuances, and a high level of acidity gives the wine a core, maintains its structure and freshness. Let it not bother you, but the wine also changes color over the years: from bright and shiny it turns into a matte terracotta brick shade, almost losing color around the glass.
Elite wine cabinets
SMEG produces specialized equipment for the long-term storage of wine. Our website presents built-in and freestanding wine cabinets with useful volumes from 56 to 368 liters. Electronically controlled appliances can reproduce the atmosphere of a wine cellar, many models have several temperature storage zones.
Devices from the design collections Linea, Classica, and Dolce Stil Novo will decorate any kitchen or office. It is possible to outweigh the door for the rational use of the space of the room.
How long can wine be stored? until you open it.
If you are lucky enough to get a bottle of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsatian, Loire, German, Piedmontese, Tuscan, Riojan, and so on, from a good year and a glorious winemaker, you should think about how to save it until better times.
At a minimum, you should have a cool dark room without sources of heat and bright light, without high humidity, and, conversely, with no overdried air. Ideally, the temperature in such a place will be kept at 55 °F and it will be a cellar where the wine lies horizontally, wetting the cork.
If you do not have a cellar, but you have a bottle of excellent, worth storing wine, a wine case or wine cooler will be a replacement for a separate wine room.
The offer on the market is huge: from simple household ones with a common temperature regime to professional ones with division into chambers for red and white wines, with a given humidity level and control from a smartphone.
They can be built into the kitchen or make a wine cooler a separate art object. There are compact under-counter and even desktop refrigerators for just a few bottles. By the way, this is a great gift for a novice wine lover.
But even for everyday wines, there are several storage secrets. Let there always be a box or two of your favorite wine in your house, so as not to run to the store when the desire, cheese, or guests suddenly appeared. You don’t have to make room in the fridge for the whole box.
It is enough to put it in the darkest and coolest place in the house. If suddenly you still have a bottle of open wine, a special vacuum cork was invented for it. It keeps the wine for a couple of days by pumping out air and protecting the fragile drink from the aggressive smells of the refrigerator. Even sparkling wine will retain bubbles the next morning under such a cork.
Hellen Smith senior product manager Miele
If you consider yourself a wine connoisseur, you probably know that proper storage is the key to great taste. Wine is a rather capricious drink, when storing it, temperature, lack of light, and the correct position are important – creating ideal conditions in a home “bar” or an ordinary refrigerator is not easy, and sometimes impossible.
In the first case, it is unlikely that you will be able to maintain the required temperature and humidity conditions, and in the second case, you can place your collection horizontally (which is important so that the cork does not dry out, otherwise excess air will enter the bottle, which is detrimental to the taste of the drink) and eliminate all sources of extraneous odors.
The ideal storage place is a wine cellar. But, of course, this method is somewhat outdated; cellars in the homes of collectors and wine lovers have been replaced by wine refrigerators. Their advantages over other storage methods are undeniable. You can set the required temperature, and for each zone – your own, and store red and white wine at different levels, those wines that you want to age or prepare for serving.
Ideal humidity, lack of sunlight, air filtration from foreign odors, vibration suppression, comfortable arrangement of bottles in a horizontal position – wine cabinets will help create the right conditions for storing the most exquisite collection of wine.
When choosing a wine cooler, pay attention to its capacity. Miele, for example, has three models: a compact one built under the worktop and a large freestanding one. The latest model can hold 178 bottles on 13 levels, the medium models can hold up to 34 bottles, and the smallest up to 18.
How to choose a wine cabinet
Some buyers prefer to focus on the brand. IP, Dunavox, EuroCave, Cold Vine, Electrolux, Miele, Liebherr, Smeg, Bosch, and many others are producing wine cabinets for the home, as well as professional models for the HoReCa sector. Specialty brands are best suited for professionals as well as collectors who want to create the perfect storage environment for their enoteca. Such models are distinguished by high cost, very high reliability, and the use of the most advanced wine storage technologies.
As a rule, good manufacturers of household appliances have at least a couple of varieties of wine refrigerators that can be installed in the kitchen, in the office, or a separate room at home. Household models create quite acceptable conditions for preserving a bouquet of drinks, and their volume ranges from modest (6-18 bottles) to impressive (up to 560 pieces).
When choosing a wine cooler, you will need to take into account several important parameters:
- type (without a compressor or with compressor);
- useful volume;
- number of temperature zones;
- maintenance of humidity level;
- UV protection;
- noise level;
- material of shelves and body;
- signaling of the door opening and temperature increase;
- battery life when the light is turned off.
Child protection, lighting, and the ability to keep warm when the room temperature drops can also be useful. As far as power consumption is concerned, it is very low for most models, since there is no need to lower the temperature to zero or below.
With or without compressor
Many wine cabinets do not fundamentally differ from conventional compressor refrigerators. The compressor drives the refrigerant through the capillary system, and the working chamber is cooled. True, manufacturers especially attach the compressor, using special gaskets to dampen vibration. The fact is that vibration is very harmful to wine.
It does not allow him to mature normally, worsens almost all characteristics. Compressor wine coolers are the largest and most popular group. They are considered quite reliable, easily repaired in the event of a breakdown.
Peltier elements serve as an alternative to compressors. Wine cabinets in which they are installed are called thermoelectrics. Models of this type are inexpensive, they do not cause vibration. But they are considered not very reliable, cannot be built in and are very noisy.
Some manufacturers have a quite rare absorption wine cabinets. The chamber is cooled by chemical processes, there are no moving parts. These cabinets don’t make any noise at all but can keep the temperature and humidity stable. Usually found in professional series.
Choose volume and size
By size, wine cabinets can be divided into three large groups: small, medium, and large. The list of characteristics may indicate the total volume, but more often manufacturers indicate how many standard 0.75 l bottles can fit in a wine cooler.
The category of small (compact) includes models that can hold up to one hundred bottles. Most often they are desktop or built-in. The dimensions of wine cabinets mounted under the countertop are usually the same as those of refrigerators or freezers. Their height is from 45 to 90 cm, width – about 60 cm, depth – 50-55 cm. The space is usually divided by wooden shelves – for convenient placement of wine.
Medium-sized models hold from 100 to 300 bottles. Their dimensions usually coincide with the dimensions of standard single-chamber refrigerators. There are exceptions: narrow and tall models that fit perfectly into the corner of the room. Suitable for home or small cafe.
Large wine cabinets hold up to 500 or more bottles arranged in several tiers. They are very often divided into several temperature zones – from two to six. Bottles are usually placed in a horizontal position, and so that they do not roll out, cells of standard size are made on the shelves of the wine cabinet. Sometimes part of the space is allocated for already open wines, which are placed vertically.
Why Is It Better To Store Good Wine In A Wine Cabinet, And Not In A Household Refrigerator
Having understood how wine refrigerators are arranged and how they work, it will be much easier for you to choose the right model. The devices have a simple and clear control, they are distinguished by a diverse design and color palette. Everyone will find the perfect option for themselves.