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Choose your fridge to keep your wine

At Christmas time, the gift ideas for wine lovers abound, and one of the popular ideas is a wine fridge. There is a very varied range of options to choose from with differing functionalities. The price can vary from between 500 and 15 000 euros depending on the model, so how do you choose between them?

A reminder on how to best conserve wines

To best store and age your wines in the optimum conditions, it's best to have as stable a temperature as possible, between 10 and 14°C. You also need to adapt the humidity depending on the length you wish to keep the wines. The wine should also be shielded from light and protected from vibrations because these can speed up the ageing process. For more information on storing wines, please refer to our article « Storing and serving wine for the festive season ».


Wine fridges for different purposes

Given the range of price and the different capabilities of the wine fridges, your choice will be made according to your budget and the person for whom the gift will be made. An adept wine connoisseur with precious wines to store will likely have more precise requirements than someone who wants a machine to simply bring the wines to the desired temperature before serving.

Generally speaking there are three types of wine fridge. Those designed for keeping wines for a long period where the temperature is kept constant at about 12°C throughout the fridge. The capacity can vary between 170 and 230 bottles for the largest ones, depending on the type of bottles to be stored.

Serving fridges are designed for the opposite purpose, not for storing wines, but for stocking them anywhere between a few hours or days before opening. The idea is to bring the wine to the ideal temperature for serving. They generally have a smaller capacity, between 10 and 40 bottles. The most advanced models have several zones to set different temperatures, enabling red wines to be warmed slightly, and white wines to be chilled at the same time.

And then there are general purpose wine fridges that enable all of the above, to either store or prepare wines for serving, with zones in the fridge ranging from 7 to 20°C. Some even allow open bottles to be stored in a vacuum to keep them a few days longer. But be careful, because general purpose doesn't always mean quality and efficiency! What are the criteria to take into account when buying a wine fridge?


The questions to ask

The first point to check is how the fridge is to be used. Storing wines for a long time, bringing wines to the correct temperature, or for storing a small number of bottles for example. Depending on the use, you'll choose between the three different types mentioned above. Another factor to take into account is whether the humidity level needs to be controlled. This is less important if the wines are to be stored for a relatively short period of time, compared to laying bottles down for many years.

Where the fridge will be located is the next question to ask. The available space will determine the dimensions. The design will also be more or less important depending on how visible the fridge will be. For the very design conscious, be aware however of glass doors, which aren't recommended for long term storage. It's better to go for solid or anti-UV treated doors.

It's also good to check the energy rating of the fridge, which has to be legally mentioned. The rating from A to C is specific to wine fridges and is useful to consider, because they can consume lots of energy.

The last advice is to go and physically see the fridges because you can also evaluate other factors such as the amount of noise it generates if you live in a relatively confined space, or the style if it is to feature in the middle of your living room.


So even though, there may be a large choice available, hopefully these few pointers will help you find the type of wine fridge best suited to your budget and use. All that's left to do is get out there and do some shopping



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