Wine chillers are a critical piece of equipment for any wine enthusiast that plans to keep a good stock of wine on hand. Made for small or large wine cellars, these chillers help keep wine at the perfect temperature for storage. In fact, I would argue that a good wine chiller is essential if you want good wine! When shopping for a chiller, you will want to make sure you get one that can handle the amount of wine you plan to store and also one that is robust enough to cool the area for your wine. You can buy refrigerator-sized chillers for a collection of bottles or chillers that will keep one or two bottles at that perfect temperature on the table while you linger over dinner.
Why buy a wine bottle chiller? Keeping your wine chilled is the best thing you can do for your wine and other alcoholic beverages for that matter. Having it too cold, or too warm will ruin the enjoyment of the drink. And another thing to consider as well, whoever told you to serve certain wines at room temperature is a little misguided. When it comes to wine, room temperature always means the temperature of the wine cellar in which it is stored.
For starters, you do not want to store your wine in your closet, or even in your basement. Any and all wines require a controlled environment to be stored properly. There can be no fluctuations of temperature more than a few degrees, and the humidity in the area must be a certain level to better preserve the wine in it’s the best state.
Just for your information, a fluctuation in most storage parameters will greatly reduce the shelf like of any given wine.
When storing your wine, there are 2 ways you can do it:
You can buy a proper wine fridge:
These will have a temperature control on them that is meant for wine. It doesn’t really matter which kind of wine you store here, and you can mix and match them together if you like, as they range in temperatures you will store them at is only a few degrees different. However, if you want to keep them in their premium conditions, then it is best to separate your reds from your whites. Think of it as doing laundry, each color requires a certain temperature to come out just right.
These fridges also come with a proper rack to store the wine, which is on its side. The reason why you store wine like this is that you want moisture to be touching the cork at all times. If it is not, it will dry up, shrink, crack, and let air inside the bottle, which will drastically change the wine, usually to a state of ruin.
However, not just the storage, but the humidity plays a major part in the condition of your wine as well. This again is linked to the cork in the bottle. while the wine is up against the bottom of the cork, the high humidity of 50 – 80% keeps the outer part of the cork moist as well.
Since these fridges are sealed up tight, they let no outside air in, this is important because any smells in the air that comes in contact with the cork, have a great chance of being transferred to the wine, which in turn, will ruin it, and make it totally undrinkable.
Building a wine cellar:
This is an impractical approach to wine storage, as most people cannot, and will not convert part of their basement to being a wine cellar. It is very costly and takes a lot of time and effort to put these things together. However, once it is done, it will be just like a wine fridge, except walk in, so a walk-in wine fridge if you will.
As you have noticed, your food fridge was not listed as a proper place to store your wine. This is because you will be opening that door many times throughout the day, you will fluctuate the temperatures way too much for its liking, and most likely ruin the wine in a matter of days or weeks. Plus, with all the smells in your fridge, you will most likely transfer that to your wine, and basically be drinking your fridge, which can be pretty disgusting.
Now that you have found a proper way of storing your wine, now you need a good way to serve your wine. From the time it took you to get from your wine fridge or cellar, and it sitting on your counter or table, the temperature would have increased to above the temperature you would want to serve it at.
Here are the temperatures to serve AND store wine at:
- White: 7 – 10 Degrees C ( 45 – 50 F)
- Red: 10 – 15 Degrees C ( 50 – 60 F)
These are the best temperatures to both store and serve your wine.
There are quite a few options when it comes to buying a wine bottle chiller, and how you will keep your wine cold once you are serving it, and storing it at your table.
Portable Wine Bottle Chiller:
For starters, this is a very cool little device, usually meant just for one bottle of wine, which can be set to serve or certain preset temperatures depending on the exact type of wine. Most will come with 30 – 40 different presets, that varies usually by only a few degrees. But the cool thing about these types of wine chillers is the fact that they don’t need to be plugged into the wall. So you can take them with you for picnics, or camping, or even keep it on the table, and not have to worry about any kind of cords getting in the way.
Electric Wine Bottle Chiller:
These are a lot like the portable wine chillers, except for the fact that they are usually plugged in. They have the same presets and are mostly used for single bottles. These are meant for longer engagements.
There are also double wine bottle chillers. The double bottled design is great if you want to have your hand at more than one type of wine, or more than one bottle for that matter.
Bucket Wine Bottle Chiller:
These are your old school type wine chillers, no fancy presets, no digital readouts. Just itself and usually a freezer full of ice.
The 2 main kinds are the marble wine chiller and the silver wine chiller. The marble one is most seen in homes and is great for putting it in the freezer, before placing the wine inside of it. This forgoes the ice.
With the silver bucket wine chiller, you would put the ice in, and set the wine inside, making sure it was surrounded by the ice to keep it nice and cool. Sure, these ones sweat a lot, but they sure do look nice.
Basically, what all of this says is that wine needs to be kept, and served at the best possible temperature possible. So you need proper storage, such as a wine fridge, which honestly, should have at least double the capacity of the wine you currently have, as you will most likely add more in the future.
And when serving your wine, you have some pretty cool choices like the portable wine chiller, and the electric wine chiller, both of which are the majorities favorite. Plus, we don’t want to forget about the classics, such as the silver bucket wine chiller, and the marble bucket wine chiller. Both look great, and can really set the scene for a nice cozy dinner.
Remember that the choice is yours when it comes to your wine storage, and wine chilling. Just remember, that you need to pick the right set up just for you, to make your wine drinking the most enjoyable that it can be. Because wine chilled to perfection is the best wine you can have.