When considering the purchase of a wine refrigerator, here are some easy to understand descriptions of the differences.
First, there is long-term storage (1+ years), then short-term storage (1-6 months) and service (drinking now).
Drinking wine is a daily or weekly event; that is why it’s moved to the kitchen instead of the cave or cellar. Location for the refrigerator can be the kitchen, family or dining room, the garage or cellar, or even outside.
Storage needs would be based on how much wine is consumed in a month. Size Consideration The unit can house thousands of bottles or it can be a small counter unit holding 6 bottles.
Sound and Resolve of the different cooling methods - some units are louder (compressor) vs quieter (thermoelectric). If you are in a hot area, you may need a compressor unit that has a higher cooling capacity, but tends to be louder, in which case, the ideal location for this type of unit would be in the garage or basement. If you need to manage the noise, and do not require cooling beyond the range of 50°-55°F, then thermoelectrics are great, and can be placed in the kitchen or living room. Besides being quieter, thermoelectrics are also vibration free.
Installation. There are a few questions to keep in mind when deciding if the unit will be built-in or be freestanding. Will it be in a kitchen where it requires a special exhaust in the front so that it can be built in and be flush with your other cabinets, or will it sit by itself at the end of some cabinets where the air circulation is adequate for proper ventilation. Or is the unit small enough to fit on the counter?
Racking styles Racks hold mostly standard Bordeaux bottles. The more generic the rack, (flat) the more versatile it is for holding different wine bottle sizes. For bottles that are oddly sized or shaped, have them fit them together in a bulk storage setting, meaning the bottles will stack on top of each other, this is also the best method for achieving maximum storage capacity.
Always buy bigger than you think, that baby will be stocked in no time!
Think ahead of time about what varietal will you be storing. Red, White or Champagne? That will tell you whether you want a single-zone or a dual-zone wine cooler.
Humidity and Temperature Fluctuation. Do not place the unit by a window or close to heat. Make sure to keep the door closed and sealed, otherwise condensation will occur. Good ventilation needed, so the unit is not breathing in warm or hot air.
Outdoor or More Resilient Units. When putting a unit in a garage, make sure that the unit is intended to be outside or in a garage. Door Lock is available on some wine cooler units to secure your collection (but less often on a beverage cooler). Light Led lights come in yellow, amber or blue, and do not emit heat so they are safer for your wine. Many of our units have Vinotemp BioBlu™ lighting which helps fight bacteria.
Thermostat Options. There are several options such as manual, electronic, and touch screen systems that give you different levels of control over your wine cooler's temperature. Manual thermostats are more broad and trouble free as there are no digital features that can fail.
Electronic and Touch Screen systems have a smaller range of temperature settings and are usually pre-set at the factory. Hinge Location A right hinge is standard--a left hinge tends to be less popular. Vinotemp provides a variety of hinge options, so you can place a matching left-hinge beverage cooler and a right-hinge wine cooler next to each other, so that the handles meet at the center. In many cases, the door is reversible, and can be modified to suit your home or commercial location.