Storing wine properly can be a tricky business, but a specialized wine fridge makes it much easier. Understanding the basics of wine storage and what makes these units different will help you choose the best wine fridge and get the most out of your supply of wine.
There are several key things to know when storing your reserves of fine wine. A separate wine fridge will help you properly store your wine to account for all these important factors.
1. Store bottles on their sides
2. Keep wine at proper, steady temperatures
3. Ensure proper humidity
4. Limit exposure to light
5. Avoid vibration and movement
For more tips on how to store wine properly and to find out what temperature ranges are best for each type of wine you will serve, check out our full article on wine storage tips.
A separate cooler for your wines may seem like an unnecessary investment, but the truth is that standard refrigerators can harm your wines during storage. A wine cooler fridge on the other hand protects your wine collection and lets it mature at the proper rate.
Standard refrigerators bring food and beverages down to below 41 degrees Fahrenheit quickly, but wine refrigerators cool bottles more gently. To store wine properly, wine refrigerators also hold slightly higher temperatures as low as 40 and as high as 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wine refrigerators are designed to maintain proper humidity so that corks do not dry out and bottle labels do not become damaged. While standard refrigerators use dry air, wine refrigerators keep the air between 50 and 80 percent humidity.
Too much movement can harm your wine. Standard refrigerators tend to use refrigeration systems that cause a lot of vibrations as the compressors cycle on and off. Wine refrigerators are available with thermoelectric cooling systems or special anti-vibration systems to eliminate this problem.
Looking to add a new wine fridge to your restaurant, bar, tasting room, or event venue? Finding the right one isn't hard. There are just a few questions to ask yourself as you shop.
The amount of wine you are storing is obviously going to affect your choice. Different refrigerators have different capacities and types of shelving that affect how much wine they can hold. Something else that will affect the type of cooler you need is the length of time you will be storing the wine. If you will be storing a lot of wine or keeping bottles for long periods of time, you may want to consider building a complete wine cellar rather than relying on a series of smaller wine fridges.
Different types of wine have different ideal storage temperatures. Because of this, you'll want to make sure the unit you buy will accommodate the types of wine you serve.
Wine not a huge part of your business? If you only serve a small selection of wines or your business keeps just a few bottles on hand, 55 degrees Fahrenheit will work for most types of wine if the temperature stays consistent.
Like any other cooling unit, your wine fridge should always be placed on a stable hard surface away from direct sunlight and other large equipment that may cause vibrations or heat. Beyond that, your decisions about whether your wine fridge will be installed in a front of the house area vs. in a storage area will affect the type of unit you need.
If you are looking to store more than one type of wine, a dual-zone unit might be just what you're looking for!
The interior of a dual-zone wine cooler is separated into two compartments that can be controlled independently. This means you can control the temperature and humidity in each compartment separately. Store reds in one compartment and whites in the other. If your wine list covers a variety of vintages and types of wines, or higher quality wines, then you may need the versatility of dual-zone units.
Should you only need to store a small number of bottles or primarily serve a single type of wine you may not need multiple zones. A single-zone wine fridge can often work for different types of wine if it maintains a consistent 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A single-zone unit can be less expensive, too.
Draft wine dispensers or wine on tap dispensers look and work like beer dispensers but are modified for use with wine. They utilize refrigeration systems that can hold temperatures more appropriate to wine, and all line and tap components are designed to handle the acidity of wine.
If you are serving large amounts of wine and need to maintain a high quality product while pouring quickly, wine dispensers might be a good choice for you. They are ideal for large event venues or stadiums, and can even be great for wine festivals or wineries.
After a bottle of wine has been opened, it can typically last between 2 to 5 days depending on the type of wine and how you store it. Using a good stopper can make a big difference.
Remember that the purpose of using a wine fridge in the first place is to protect the profile of the wine by preventing oxidation, exposure to light, and rapid changes in temperature. After you have gone to the trouble of storing your wine properly prior to opening the bottle, use these wine service accessories to keep it fresher longer after the cork has been pulled.
Wine Preservation Systems
Vacuum Stopper Systems
Reusable Wine Stoppers
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