Learning about wine can be exciting, especially when you start to get the hang of the basics. After a while, keeping just one bottle at home is no longer enough! There will come the point when you want to start buying and saving a few bottles at a time. When your friends learn that you enjoy wine, they may even start giving you bottles as gifts! So, this would be a great time to learn how a wine refrigerator works.
After all, you’ll need a way to store all that wine properly. Whether you plan on entertaining guests or just keeping a few bottles for yourself, a wine refrigerator will help you do just that. With a wine fridge, you’ll be able to store your wines at the perfect temperature so that they last longer. On top of that, a wine refrigerator will add a touch of class to your home!
Before you decide which one to buy, here’s what you need to know about wine refrigerators.
Compressor-Based vs Thermoelectric Wine Fridges
First, let’s look at the cooling technology available for wine fridges. The best wine fridge manufacturers use either compressor or thermoelectric cooling in the units they make. Each type has its pros and cons.
Compressor-based wine fridges are similar to your kitchen fridge. This type of fridge uses a compressor and coolant to bring the temperature down. The compressor circulates the refrigerant around to absorb any heat inside the refrigerator. Then, that heat is released into the surrounding air through coils located outside of the fridge.
On the plus side, compressor-based wine fridges are a lot stronger when it comes to cooling. They’ll bring the temperature inside the refrigerator down very quickly. You can also place the refrigerator in enclosed spaces with less ventilation, and they’ll still work well!
Unfortunately, compressors use more energy, and they also produce vibrations. Firstly, that means you’ll end up paying slightly higher running costs. Also, those vibrations might cause minimal disturbance to the sediments inside the wine bottle. Lastly, just like your kitchen fridge, a compressor-based wine fridge will make a bit of noise while it’s cooling.
If these factors are too unpleasant for you, a thermoelectric wine fridge might be a better option.
How Does A Thermoelectric Wine Fridge Work?
You might be asking yourself, “What is thermoelectric cooling?”. That’s a great question! This method of cooling doesn’t use a compressor and coolant like a regular fridge.
Instead, there’s a component inside of it that uses a ceramic tile and electricity. When that tile is supplied with power, one side becomes hot, while the other one becomes very cold.
The heat from inside the fridge is absorbed by that cooling component. Then, that heat is released into the fridge’s surroundings.
Thermoelectric wine fridges use less power and make less noise. However, you’ll need to place them in a place with good airflow for it to cool down properly.
This means that they’ll work better as a freestanding unit instead of being built into the kitchen counter or a cupboard.
Built-in vs Freestanding Wine Fridges
Whether they’re compressor or thermoelectric-based, wine fridges are available as built-in or freestanding units. Built-in units are designed to fit in with your existing cabinets or kitchen counters.
Some people prefer this type because it blends in seamlessly with the rest of their kitchen.
You could also go for a freestanding unit. This type gives you the flexibility to place the fridge wherever you’d like.
Better yet, you can move it around if you think it’ll look better elsewhere!
Which Type Of Wine Fridge Is Better?
You see, all types of refrigerators will provide you with the wine temperature control you need. But which type is best for you: a thermoelectric wine fridge or a compressor-based one?
Should it be a freestanding or built-in unit?
Well, the answer to those questions depends on where you’ll want to place it.
For example, if the fridge is freestanding in a usually cold room, then either type of fridge will do.
A thermoelectric refrigerator will work well standing on its own in a cool place with good airflow. Still, you’ll need a compressor-based fridge if you want to build it in with your existing cabinets or under the kitchen counter.
Wine Fridge Capacity and Shelving
Now, let’s take a look at the inside of the wine fridge. Here, you have different options when it comes to capacity and shelving.
If you imagine yourself keeping lots of wine, you might want a fridge that can hold more bottles at one time. If not, perhaps a smaller unit will be just fine for you.
Usually, basic wine fridges are equipped with shelves made of chrome wire. Higher-quality wine fridges may use more wood, either as racks or as frames for the wire shelves inside. Refrigerators with wooden shelves will cost more, but the shelves are sturdier. Also, they won’t scratch the labels on the bottles.
Don’t forget to consider the shelves as well! Some fridges have shelves that slide out. This will make it easier for you to read the labels clearly before taking a bottle out.
Wine Fridge Doors
Another thing for you to consider is the type of door your wine fridge will have. Usually, wine fridges have solid doors just like your kitchen fridge. Still, you can get wine fridges with glass doors instead.
Glass doors are useful to have because they let you see inside the wine fridge. This enables you to keep track of what’s inside without having to open the door.
But let’s be honest: a wine fridge with a see-through door will make the room more luxurious. It’s much more pleasing to the eye each time you walk into the kitchen and see the wine bottles in your fridge.
Any guests that come over will surely be impressed, too!
Single or Dual-Zone Wine Refrigerators
As you shop for wine fridges, you’ll see that some even offer you dual-zones! But what on earth is a dual-zone fridge?
A single-zone wine fridge is pretty straightforward. It means that whatever temperature you set for the refrigerator will apply to the whole unit.
With a dual-zone fridge, it’s almost like having two refrigerators in one. You can set a different temperature for each zone. That lets you store different types of wines together easily!
Why does this matter? Simple. It’s because the best temperature to store wine is different for red, white, and sparkling wines. Red wine is best stored between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, white wine at 50-60 degrees, and sparkling wine is best kept at 40-50 degrees. With a dual-zone wine fridge, you’ll be able to keep two different types of wines at their ideal temperatures.
Better yet, you could use it as a beer and wine fridge simultaneously! Your wine could sit comfortably in one zone set at its perfect temperature, while your beer could stay chilled in the second zone.
Whichever model you decide to buy, just knowing how a wine refrigerator works will allow you to make the most of it!