The # 1 mistake people make when storing wine – and the easy way to fix it

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Whether you love to sip a fine vintage or grab a glass of your favorite find under $ 20, it might be time to switch from putting your wine in a cabinet to buying a wine fridge. Indeed, experts say, home wine refrigerators can both help you serve wine at its ideal temperature and keep it fresher for longer, if you know what to buy. (Better yet: some, like this $ 399 50-bottle wine fridge from Home Depot, are not even very expensive.)

There are a few things to consider when investing in the right wine refrigerator, including bottle size and capacity, temperature zones, and cooling. Temperature is most important, as heat will age a wine faster than it should, altering the flavor and ultimately your wine drinking experience. The ideal temperature range should be between 45 ° F and 65 ° F. It is also important to keep the temperature constant and to avoid extreme changes or fluctuations in humidity in the place where the wine is stored, because it can spoil the product, say the sommeliers.

“Storage options that advertise multiple temperature zones are great for achieving the proper serving temperature, but storage conditions don’t necessarily have to vary for different styles of wine,” Kate Duffy, Sommelier and Beverage Manager at Modern American Restaurant French-influenced Laurel in Philadelphia, adding, “So as long as a wine refrigerator can keep bottles horizontally at around 55 ° F and around 60% humidity in the dark, long-term storage is possible.” . ”

How you store reds and whites also depends on how you prefer to drink them. Sweet and sparkling wines should be served between 43 ° F and approximately 50 ° F; light white wines between 45 ° F and 50 ° F; full-bodied whites between 50 ° F and 55 ° F; light reds between 55 ° F and 64 ° F; and full-bodied reds can be served between 59 ° F and 64 ° F, suggests Duffy. “This can be achieved either during storage, or the wines can be chilled briefly on ice or in the refrigerator, or left out to warm up before serving,” she says.

The # 1 mistake people make is exposing wine bottles to light, experts say, whether natural or artificial, and a wine refrigerator can help regulate this misstep. Storing cork sealed wines vertically also risks the cork drying out the wine and allowing oxygen to enter the bottle, another reason why storing a wine refrigerator horizontally is useful in the preservation process. , explains Duffy. Another thing to consider is single zone wine refrigerators versus dual zone ones as some will have more than one temperature zone. Here are our top picks of wine coolers worth raising a glass and storing your next bottle.

Best value

Magic Chef 50 Bottle Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

$ 399 at Home Depot

  • Holds up to 50 bottles
  • Digital thermostat to keep contents between 41 ° F and 61 ° F
  • Stainless steel frame and smoked glass door to see the wine
  • Reversible door design for more flexible installation options

This spacious Magic Chef is both elegant in stainless steel and efficient at keeping wines at the ideal temperature. It comes with five removable chrome shelves and a rack to keep your bottles organized and accessible. It is also suitable for small apartments or spaces. With a width of 23.4 inches, the wine refrigerator can be integrated into a countertop or kitchen island or left as a free-standing unit.

“The gold standard for wine refrigerators.”

Liebherr 24 inch dual zone undercounter wine cooler

$ 3,099

  • “Liebherr is the gold standard for wine refrigerators,” says Kylike Monagan, wine director and partner at Civetta Hospitality
  • Two temperature zones with electronic touchscreen system to adjust temperatures from 41 ° F to 68 ° F
  • Activated carbon filter that constantly circulates fresh air
  • Reversible glass door to keep unwanted heat out, protecting wine from harsh light and UV rays

“Liebherr is the benchmark for wine cabinets, both for home and professional use. That’s right, German technology mimics a wine cellar and maintains a constant temperature for many years – call them the BMW of wine refrigerators, ”says Kylike Monagan, wine director and partner of the New York restaurant group Civetta Hospitality, including restaurants including Amali, Bar Marseille, Calissa and Juniper.

If you have a large collection of wines

Lanbo 149 Bottle Stainless Steel Single Zone Wine Refrigerator

$ 1,475

  • Ability to store up to 149 standard wine bottles
  • Stand-alone and integrated installation
  • Digital thermostat with indicator lights for red, white and sparkling wines
  • Digital temperature display range from 41 ° F to 64 ° F with single range compressor chiller
  • Energy-efficient white LED lights for easy reading of wine labels
  • Stainless steel frame and handle

The Lanbo stands almost 6 feet tall and can hold 149 bottles suitable for just about any varietal, whether it’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Champagne – and there’s plenty of room to store it. storage, with the lower shelf more equipped for larger bottles. Don’t be fooled by the size of this wine refrigerator – it has a quality compressor and is under 45 decibels, so you won’t hear it running after the cooling process is complete. It’s also sleek, with tempered glass trimmed with stainless steel and a white LED light that will stay on for 10 minutes before automatically turning off.

The wine cellar alternative

EuroCave Premiere S Wine Cellar

$ 1,995 to $ 2,295

  • Store bottles between 32 ° F and 95 ° F
  • LED lighting, electronic touch system and beech wood shelves
  • Customizable door and glass options
  • Activated carbon filter for continuously circulating fresh air

The EuroCave Premiere is designed to mimic the climate of a natural French wine cellar, with the added bonus of a locking system and UV protection. There is also illuminating display lighting that will illuminate your collection so that users can read the labels. This refrigerator is customizable, so wine lovers can choose between a glass door with a black trim or a solid door. There are also left and right hinged door options.

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