In case you are looking to buy a wine chiller or wine cooler for your home to get your favorite collection of wines at just the right temperature, it is likely that you have come across different types of wine coolers. For example, there are thermoelectric and compressor types.
Although a number of these wine coolers may appear very similar in their build and appearance, usually there are plenty of differences in the way these appliances function.
As a result, if you are planning to pour a couple of hundred dollars or even more for the purchase of a cooling appliance for your house, it is a brilliant idea to precisely figure out the type of technology you will be paying for in the future.
Wine coolers are electric appliances that operate in the same manner as the refrigerators in your home or kitchen. They make use of liquid refrigerants that circulate via compressor systems that generate chilled air in the wine cooler or chiller and expel hot air externally.
The advantage that you can get from this type of cooling is it can reach freezing temperatures in a short space of time. This feature makes wine coolers an ideal choice not just for chilling your favorite wines such as red wines, but it can also keep plenty of other food items and beverages at ideal storage temperatures.
However, as a wine cooler has plenty of moving components in its system, at times, it tends to get a little noisy, as is the case with a traditional refrigerator.
Nowadays, a majority of wine coolers are thermoelectric coolers because thermoelectric coolers are safe for the environment, as they do not use any hazardous material to fuel their cooling process. Thermoelectric cooling is different from traditional cooling as it depends on a process called Peltier effect.
When electric current flows via two joined metal pieces, it tends to create a heat flux. The resulting heat is transmitted from one end to the other end of the device. As a result, one end of the device gets cold while the other end gets hot.
A heat pump is the chief cooling device and has a small size, not greater than one inch of a square. It has a few semiconductor wires fixed between the ceramic plates.
Thermoelectric heat pumps are small in size and do not have any moving parts. This reason is why they operate silently. Compared to most traditional refrigerators that make use of vapor compression to provide cooling, wine coolers have a huge advantage. In a majority of wine coolers, heat pumps merge effectively with heat sinks.
A heat sink is a passive and large part, made of aluminum fin stacks that enable the heat in the system to dissipate efficiently. The colder side of a combined unit, which features a heat sink and heat pump, is carefully placed inside the central part of a wine chiller, while the hotter side usually extends through the compartment’s back.
Temperature, vibration, and humidity are some of the most distinguishing characteristics between a wine cooler and a traditional refrigerator. Without complicating things too much by diving into the details of sensors and evaporator coils, you can easily say that conventional fridges are specifically designed to reduce temperature quickly while driving out humidity.
On the other hand, wine coolers or chillers are designed to reduce the temperature at a gradual rate, while maintaining an appropriate humidity level which is conducive to the storage of wine.
A standard refrigerator is made to maintain a variety of different perishable items dry and cold. As a result, your salad, baloney, beer, and bread are all kept at a suitable temperature, which is about 40°F. However, this temperature is excessively cold as most wines have a fragile makeup. Also, it is too dry and will not keep the corks moist.
Apart from the extremely dry and cold conditions, many prevailing odors may compromise the wine stored in standard refrigerators. You may be able to get a whiff of Kung Pao Shrimp in one of your favorite Pinot Noir if you leave them too long on the same shelf.
The cork on the bottle starts to shrink and, as a result, becomes porous, because of insufficient humidity, letting nearby odors to seep into the wine slowly because standard refrigerators are designed to repress humidity instead of sustaining it.
On the other hand, most wine coolers or chillers are designed to maintain a suitable level of humidity which allows corks to remain impermeable and moist, preventing the air from seeping into the bottle.
Another issue with most normal refrigerators is the presence of vibration. Unlike wine coolers, an all-purpose refrigerator runs on compressors. These compressors often generate considerable vibration that can interrupt the maturation process of wines; besides it can lead to a mechanized racket.
A few models of wine refrigerators and wine coolers also work on compressors; however, they usually feature specially designed vibration absorption systems to minimize the adverse impacts of noise and tremors, which allows your wines to mature naturally.
Nowadays, a wine cooler has become a must-have appliance in many homes; they are particularly valuable for people who tend to live in smaller spaces. Wine coolers are famous for chilling different types of wine, red and white, to an appropriate temperature.
These appliances also have just the ideal size which allows you to place them anywhere with ease. As a result, your favorite wine is at your fingertips whenever you need it.
Owing to many different benefits a wine cooler has over refrigerators and wine cellars; it is often called a wine refrigerator, which is a combination of these two terms. A wine cooler has a variety of benefits, along with a few alternative uses, which puts it ahead of its competition. We will cover these benefits in the following sections.
A wine cooler creates the best or most conducive conditions for wine storage, much better compared to conventional refrigerators. Most refrigerators often produce a storage environment, which is excessively cold for adequate maintenance of wine bottles.
On the other hand, wine cellars only create an ideal condition for specific types of wine that require storage for three, five or even ten years.
In contrast, a wine cooler has an advantage over both these appliances as it creates a cooling environment that is perfect for the storage of any wine. The various factors such as temperature, stability, humidity control and exclusiveness make wine coolers better than both refrigerators and wine cellars.
A majority of wine coolers are less expensive than both refrigerators and wine cellars. Because these appliances are only for cooling wine bottles, they require less adaptability, and as a result, most wine coolers have a low cost of production.
In contrast, wine cellars and refrigerators are much larger compared to a wine cooler; therefore, the customer is paying more for greater capacity, size, and adaptability. On the whole, wine coolers are a better option as they have a few other uses apart from storing wine.
A wine cooler is not just more economical to purchase; it also has a relatively low-cost maintenance plan. As most coolers have, basically, much simpler functioning mechanisms, they do not need various components that may cost you loads of money.
The price of various individual parts that make up a wine cooler is meager, making it very affordable compared to a wine cellar or a refrigerator. Also, similar to the reasons that make it more economical to purchase, the size of wine coolers plays an important part in keeping the expenses of maintaining parts quite low.
When you combine the two variables (low maintenance cost and more economical), it is evident that wine coolers are a more cost-effective option compared to a regular refrigerator and wine cellar. When you think regarding the actual upfront cost, along with the regular upkeep charges, wine coolers are more cost-effective.
A lot of people tend to believe that refrigerators are more economical as they carry out separate tasks of holding both bottles of wine and food or other drinks. However, what they do not realize is that refrigerators can end up spoiling your expensive wine, which is likely to cost you much more over the long run.
In this regard, wine coolers are a kind of middle way to get desirable results, while keeping the various risks at bay.
You can also keep up with the trend to keep the mother Earth green by using a wine cooler because most of them are eco-friendly. They make use of thermoelectric cooling as a cooling mechanism, which is an alternative to compressor-based cooling systems.
Due to thermoelectric cooling, the users of wine coolers can save valuable energy, whiin turnch preserves the environment.
Also, wine coolers do not emit dangerous or harmful substances or use dangerous or toxic chemicals during the cooling process. Rather, they follow a simple and efficient process that uses a metallic rod to swap heat between the outside environment and the internal chamber.
As a result of this process, wine coolers are often considered more eco-friendly compared to most alternatives out in the market.
A wine cooler boasts a feature that most typical refrigerators and wine cellars cannot dream up: which is portability. This trait of wine coolers is not just a huge benefit for people who prefer to carry their favorite wines with them on business trips, but also great for individuals who might have to bring a bottle of wine to various social gatherings.
On the whole, wine coolers come in much smaller or compact sizes than wine cellars and refrigerators. This factor usually means that you can easily install the cooler in almost any cramped or tricky place you could consider.
Many spaces like bookshelves, cupboards, and office tables have been converted to wine cooler spaces already. This feature makes wine coolers truly portable.
Compactness and portability often go hand-in-hand. More effective storage options make wine coolers much superior when compared with most wine cellars or refrigerators.
As we have discussed above, wine coolers are smaller than the other two options. Inside most wine coolers, the trays are shaped and positioned in a way that allows you to store the maximum number of wine bottles, or other items you would like to keep in the cooler.
On the other hand, typical refrigerators do not use space efficiently because their purpose is not merely to store wine. Therefore, if you will try to cram too many wine bottles, it may not work out well.
A wine cellar is not great in this respect either as its key focus is on looking visually appealing and decorative rather than offering more utility. As a result, wine coolers are usually a more feasible and convenient option.
Unlike a wine cellar, which is only for storing wine, and a typical refrigerator, which is usually too dry and cold for most favorable wine storage, you can use a wine cooler for several other purposes.
Wine coolers can safely store several types of beverages at an ideal temperature; these beverages include:
Moreover, these coolers can also store a variety of food items such as fruits (pears, grapes, apples, plums, bananas, and peaches), cheese, chocolates, olive oil and chilled glasses. You can easily modify a wine cooler for several purposes. All of the above benefits make a wine cooler a must-have appliance for your home.
Different types of wine coolers are available on the market. The most common ones are:
These wine coolers are great for individuals who do not prefer to take up precious floor space. However, in most cases, these coolers are the priciest ones that you will buy. The main reason for their steep price tag is that they do not require ventilation.
You must avoid the mistake of buying a wine chiller that you would like to install in your cabinet space unless the manufacturer of the product specifies that you can do this. Otherwise, you are likely to end up with different kinds of problems. Also, consider the cost implications of creating a dedicated space for this type of wine cooler.
Standalone coolers are quite popular, and most are somewhere in the middle regarding the price range. Also, this usually depends on your precise needs. These wine coolers also come with plenty of different sizes. However, it is important to consider how much floor space you are likely to lose if you install this wine cooler.
With that in mind, there are a variety of standalone coolers that you can find on the market that is often more compact than you think. Another great benefit of standalone wine coolers is that you can place them almost anywhere you want in your house.
These coolers are an ideal choice for people who cannot afford to spare plenty of floor space. They are also great for those who tend to drink their wine rather than collecting it.
For clear reasons, a majority of counter-top coolers are very compact, and most will let you store from four to twenty-four bottles of wine at a time.
Obviously, they are available in different sizes based on your various needs; however, it is usually a smart idea to ensure that you settle on space, in advance, for the wine cooler and carefully measure it, before deciding on a specific model.
To adequately highlight your wine varietal's unique character, bouquet, and flavor, it is important to properly serve different types of wine at their ideal serving temperature. For white wine: the ideal serving temperature ranges from 45°F to 50°F, based on your varietal.
If you serve white wines too cold, their aromas and flavors will be masked, which will make the wine taste bland or simple. In contrast, if you serve white wines too warm, they will lose structure and taste flat.
For red wines: the ideal serving temperature ranges from 50°F to 65°F, based on your varietal. If red wines are served too cold, their flavors and aromas will be muted, which is likely to make them taste very acidic and tannic. If you serve red wines too warm, they will taste too alcoholic, lifeless and flat.
A majority of people tend to overlook the wine’s serving temperature. However, bear in mind, that the serving temperature of wine is very crucial and important to unlock the full aroma and flavor of any wine.
It is vital to keep in mind that different types of wine have different suitable serving temperatures and, as a result, a single serving temperature is not appropriate for all wines.
A wine cellar is usually superior compared to a wine fridge concerning aging wines because it sets an ideal and constant level of humidity, something most wine fridges cannot achieve.
Maintaining suitable humidity is very critical to most wine cellars as it keeps bottle corks from easily drying out. Once a cork starts to dry, it will finally shrivel and let oxygen in the wine bottle and spoil your wine.
On the other hand, if you intend to drink your wine within five years or fewer, you may safely keep your wine bottles in your wine fridge instead of a wine cellar. A wine fridge keeps your wine bottles at a stable 55 degrees, preventing your wine from getting cooked in the hot summer months.
Here are some manufacturers who produce wine coolers.
Avanti is one of the leading producers of wine coolers. The company offers a variety of options for both small and large wine collections of high quality. Avanti has a wide range of product options from wine coolers with a capacity of fewer than twenty wine bottles to larger fridges. The company’s wine coolers also have single zone and dual zone option.
This brand is another reputable maker of wine cooling appliances. Its products come in different sizes with the ability to tailor the temperature depending on the nature of wine. Most of the company products come with a no-vibration feature, allowing your wines to age naturally. Their products also offer great insulation which helps maintain consistent humidity.
We have discussed what a wine cooler is along with the differences between a refrigerator and a wine cooler. We have highlighted the different benefits of a wine cooler and looked at the different types of wine coolers. We have discussed the optimal temperatures for different types of wines and the importance of right temperature for wine.
We have also highlighted the difference between a wine cellar and a wine fridge. We also offered an overview of the top manufacturers of wine coolers. Our buying guide will discuss the different features that you should consider when buying a wine cooler along with some recommendations.