– “Hey ChefMaster, quick question for you!”
– “Oh, what’s up? What can I help you with?”
– “Is it a possible way to keep my wines at the perfect temperature for optimum aging without being cramped up my refrigerator?”
That’s a great question. I actually get asked that question all the time. Guess what folks? My secret is getting a good wine cooler.
So, why is it and which is the most suitable for you? Well, let’s find it out in this article.
Why should I have a built-in wine cooler?
As mentioned above, a wine cooler is a tool to help you preserve your wine bottles in the best temperature for optimum aging. It’s particularly important if you have more than 4 expensive wines.
But besides, I understand that it’s quite challenging for many homes who are finding for a good place to put a whole giant extra fridge (even as a small-sized wine cooler).
If you are building a whole new house, or remodeling your kitchen, it’s not a good idea at all to take up valuable undercounter real estate into it, so, why don’t fall into another easier option – which is as well as the best answer for you – a built-in wine cooler.
It’s not exaggerating when there’re more and more people love using this convenient appliance to store their wines because it can be installed under a desk or a countertop without fear overheating.
The benefits of wine coolers don’t just stop at keeping your wines cool, but also maintain the humidity regulated as well as get rid of the harmful light.
Now, might you wonder that why not take advantage of the available refrigerator, but spending a bunch of money on a cooler? Great question!
In comparison, a normal refrigerator is much colder than the standard temperature of wine storage, not saying that it’s way too much humidity to remain its genuine taste and flavor.
Besides, what if you have a lot of wines to store? I bet that just a fridge can’t handle all of them to leave some free space for other storage job.
Basically, there’re two types of built-in wine cooler: freestanding models and undercounter wine refrigerator (which I’m going to dive more deeply in the next part).
Compared to each other, the undercounter is considered as the more complicating and expensive to install. HOWEVER, it’s much more convenient and helpful to save much of your kitchen space while ensuring the refrigerator to stay tucked away to avoid somebody bumping into or tripping over it.
Besides, don’t be afraid of a serious buyer for a good wine appliance to make sense because even a wine die-hard fan hardly can be that point of connoisseurship.
Things to consider buying the best built-in wine coolers
Technically, there are two types of technology either of which helps built-in wine refrigerators operate: compressor cooling and thermoelectric cooling.
To keep track better on both of them, about their advantage and disadvantage, take a look at this table:
|Thermoelectric Wine Coolers||Compressor Wine Coolers|
-Use less energy
-Not be affected by outside fluctuations in temperature
-Use more energy
-Vibrate a bit
|Best for||-When your fridge is in a spot where it’s exposed to heat|
-Handle cooling a huge capacity of wine bottles
|-Accommodate more wines|
-Handle tougher cooling jobs
|Who should avoid||-The space doesn’t have any air conditioner|
-When you need a high-capacity wine cooler
|Mind a lot of noise.|
Capacity is arguably the most vital element to bear in mind when choosing the best undercounter wine cooler because based on a cramped kitchen, chances are that you opt for a mini-sized model. However, meanwhile, think about how many wine bottles that are needed storing.
Consistently, manufacturers will list out the exact number of wine bottles their product can handle. BUT, be aware that they usually accord to Bordeaux-style bottles. This is important because there are a lot of bottle sizes out there on the market, take that measurement as a standard and calculate yours to ensure how many exactly the wine cooler can handle.
Another tip is to go for the model that claims a higher number wine bottles than the number you have so that there’s going to have some wiggle space to fit them the best.
If proper storage is only what you’re after, then it’s not important at all to consider the style. However, on the contrary, if you prefer something looks good and might be a little aesthetic and fit the décor furniture, there’s a lot of stuff to consider next.
In fact, the number of great-looking wine coolers to deserve your bucks is countless. Some of them come in attached LED light to upend their outer performance while some models provide us a bunch of colors to choose from. It’s just you that pinpoint which is the best for your vibe, style and taste.
Speaking of looks, it’s quite subjective, which I can’t give you a hand. But there’s a small tip I think you should try: capture your kitchen area and when choosing a wine cooler, take a look at the picture and the appliance, examine whether it’s suitable or not.
Besides, you need to make clear the purpose you’re going to pick that style of wine cooler for: either to make it outstanding from other furniture, something like bold or spotlight, or to blend in with the rest?
But at the same time, don’t forget to consider its durability. Though a wine cooler is a permanent appliance, make clear that it’s going to stick with you and your kitchen quite a long time.
And of course, nobody likes to spending a bunch of money on a tool that only values on its outer look while its inner content – like a trash. No!
My tip to know which is durable is mostly based on the brand reputation as well as consult other customers’ feedback and reviews.
It’s a time taking task but after all, you will see that it’s worthy. You can spend some extra money on a higher end machine for better guarantee in quality or invest time diving for a wine cooler that comes in a perfect compromise of good price and good quality.
Another way to save you a lot of free time on hands is reading rounded-up collection of many kitchen appliance website, especially on bar and wine. Or you can take a peek right at my articles here for the best convenience.
Next up is energy use.
Based on the above table, you can clarify which type uses less energy than the other. But make clear that it costs as much energy as any type of refrigerator, which is synonymous to an uptick in your energy bill.
Besides, the smaller wine cooler, the less electric is going to be used.
Number of Zones
The term “zones” here means the number of space that your built-in wine cooler provides with different temperature. For example, if one comes up with just one zone. It’s synonymous to your wine bottles are going to be kept in same temperature (of course, when heat rises, the temperature between top and bottom might be fluctuated a little bit).
On the other hand, some wine coolers come with dual zones to deliver two different temperature spaces for your wines. If you are a collection that only loves one kind of wine, either reds or whites, the one-zone model is the best bet.
On the contrary, if you love collecting both reds and whites, a wine cooler must come in two different temperature preservations because due to the fact that your red wines are at different temperature than the whites.
This option is best for storing both kinds of wine without request to buy an extra refrigerator.
Can’t deny that our life is full of noisy and vibrant appliances. And now, your home is on risk of welcoming another loud machine. So, before picking it home, consider these questions:
- Are you sensitive to noise?
- Can you and your family handle one noisier appliance?
Again, based on the previous table, you can see that a thermoelectric is much quieter than the rest. However, it goes along with the biggest disadvantage: less powerful.
So, it’s just you determine which element is more overweighing to pick the most suitable one. Noise and power – these two things should be traded off. It’s hard to find the best harmony.
But, if your home is in a hot climate or weather, it’s a force to choose more powerful model, which means it’s loud to keep your wine bottles in the best environment without being affected by the outside heat.
Prior to going any further, you should make clear a particular space in your home (or your kitchen) to put the built-in wine cooler. It’s more flexible with a freestanding model in finding out which place to put it. On the contrary, a undercounter will take you more time considering because it becomes a stable in your house (but it’s going to be more convenient and less space-taking).
From that point, there are usually three common cases when people want to pick a built-in wine cooler: remodel the kitchen area, build a new house and buy a home with a trash compactor that’s hardly used.
If you are in either of first two cases, it’s much easier as your choices are widened more in both dimensions and sizes because the product can be installed more flexibly. But if you fall into the third category, it’s a little bit harder because you need to choose the exact size and dimensions to fit the space of the trash compactor.
Just remember to measure carefully to have your next built-in wine cooler fitted the best.
Of course, an appliance that helps to take care of your precious, expensive wines should end up with a bit costly price range. On average, a built-in wine cooler varies in price from $300 to a couple of thousand dollars based on the brand, quality, size, performance, extra features and so on.
Besides, bear on mind that the installation cost might level up the amount of money you should pay for.
As a basic rule of thumb, the better, the more expensive. A wine cooler comes in higher capacity tends to cost more than those with less storage. The same with power and quality.
In terms of extra features, it might be the touchscreen or a security lock, which is synonymous to a higher price.
Usually, it’s based on the kind of wines you’re going to store. I mean, if it a sensitive costly bottle that you have spent a big financial money in then, obviously, invest enough money on a good wine cooler to protect your investment.
On the contrary, if they are just ordinary bottles and you just need some extra storage for more wine, go for a more affordable model end of spectrum – assuming that wine cooler delivers the features and look you want.
Here are some common extra features that might match your needs:
It’s suitable for storing and securing expensive, precious wines and you want to keep those thefts at bay. Or, might that be a confused visitor to access them.
As mentioned above, LED lights are equipped to make it easier to see your wines as well as soup up the style of the model itself.
Touchscreen temperature display:
This feature is super convenient when you can’t reach, check and adjust your wine cooler when in need. This touchscreen temperature display and let you control or monitor from distance. No need to open the door so many times anymore.
This feature allows you to access the wines in the back of your undercounter cooler as well as let you see clearly their labels to decide which bottle to uncork.
Now, that’s the end of this article. It’s time for you to consider which model is the best your demand and your area. Take a look at these articles which I believe they will help you a lot to find out some good options before making your decisions:
- Best dual zone wine cooler 2018
- Best built in wine cooler 2018
Thanks for reading!