Since the introduction of under counter wine coolers, a wine cellar is no longer deemed necessary for collecting fine wines, or in fact, wines bought for immediate drinking. These days, anyone can turn their kitchen into a properly controlled wine cellar.
Storing wine, regardless of its cost, should be done properly. Wine is a living organism which is constantly changing in response to the conditions of its environment. There are many factors which influence wine storage including temperature, humidity, darkness, calm, ventilation and the angle at which the wine is stored. A good under counter wine cooler will take all these things into account.
The ideal scenario for wine storage is that it be horizontal, at a stable temperature of 55F (or 13C) and 70% humidity, free from vibration and away from storage of items with a strong odor. An under counter wine cooler is ideal for this task.
Wine coolers tend to run a little warmer than normal refrigerators so as to maintain the optimum temperature for wine. They are electronic meaning their temperature never varies and you can lay the bottles down so that the wine to always in contact with the cork. By being built in, these wine coolers also provide extra protection from the natural light in your kitchen.
Shopping for Under Counter Wine Coolers
There are some considerations you should be aware of when you shopping for any wine cooler, and especially an under counter wine cooler:
1. It is preferable for the door of the cooler to be dark or tinted so as to cut down the lights of your kitchen seeping in to the bottles and ruining your wine. This effect is minimized by the wine cooler being under counter but it is still something to note.
2. Give thought to where you plan to install your wine cooler. Avoid placing it near a stove or oven which could affect its temperature.
3. Keep the wine cooler away from the refrigerator, dishwasher and sink because vibrations in these areas could have a detrimental effect on your wine over time. The best location might be an island that has no appliances on it.
The great thing about under counter wine coolers is that you can confidently serve wine to yourself and guests in perfect “cellar condition” without having to incur the expense and suffer the inconvenience of accessing a darkened basement cellar.