Why you should expect more than chilled wine from your wine chiller.
Let’s start by debunking one of the biggest myths about wine chillers: they’re not just for keeping your wine chilled. Of course, it’s one of their jobs, but far from the only one. So much so, in fact, that we don’t call them chillers or coolers or even fridges, because none of those names tells the full story. We like ‘wine conditioner’ instead. Fair enough, it sounds a little high-brow, but it perfectly describes what the appliance does and elevates it above mere fridges. As complex and nuanced as that sector is, none come close to the cleverness and temperature stability of their wine-conditioning cousins. If you need convincing, check out our top five features everyone should consider when they are considering looking after their wine, because as you’d expect, not all wine conditioners are created equal.
- Do you want to lay your wine down for a period, or simply keep it at the optimum temperature to enjoy it at will? If it’s the former, you’ll need to consider a unit that has vibration absorbing shelves. The tiniest movement caused by the unit’s mechanicals can play havoc with wine stored for extended periods.
- If you enjoy whites, reds and rosés, choose a wine conditioner that can run at least two different temperature zones. 6-8 degrees for the lighter colours and sparkling wines, 14-16 degrees for reds.
- If your wine conditioning unit has a glass door, make sure it filters out ultraviolet light, as this too can have a detrimental effect on the lifespan of your favourite tipple.
- Wine conditioners can be freestanding, built-in or integrated, but one thing they all have in common is the need for ventilation. The more enclosed the appliance, the more energy it will use to maintain a stable temperature, so always opt for the location with greatest air circulation, when you have that option.
- If much of your wine is bottled using natural cork, it’s wise to choose an appliance that maintains the correct humidity, as it stops the cork drying, shrinking and letting air in that spoils the contents of the bottle. And if you’re partial to an after-dinner cigar, the humidifiers found in wine conditioners can also incorporate a compartment for your favourite Havana.
- Hopefully, some food for thought when you’re choosing a home for your wine and we haven’t even touched on slide-out shelves, bottle capacity or brands. We’re more than happy to discuss all of that and much more, maybe even over a glass of something cold.
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