As pubs and bars are closed, supermarket alcohol sales are soaring. After all, it’s now a ‘thing’ to enjoy a Zoom chat with friends at home on an evening, armed with a glass of wine. In fact, a little bit of what you fancy can be a wonderful way in which to relax and unwind after a busy day home schooling. There’s no doubt it’s good to have something to look forward to during lockdown. However, before you reach for that bottle, did you know if you don’t store your wine properly, it will lose all its flavour? So, that’s why investing in a wine cooler makes perfect sense. We’ve got together with our product manager Luke Shipway who reveals some of the most important things to consider to ensure you buy only the best models on the market:
Our Classic WF1551 freestanding wine cabinet is ideal if you’re looking for an appliance which you can take with you if you move home.
A thermoelectric wine cooler uses a heat pump, which pulls warm air out of the cabinet. However, these models are renowned for poor performance in a warm room. In fact, they are unable to lower the temperature in the cabinet more than 15°C below the room’s ambient temperature. So the cooling system can get overwhelmed, which results in increased heat, which can damage the wine.
Thermoelectric vs compressor wine coolers
At Caple, all of our wine coolers feature no-frost compressors. The reason for this is because they have such powerful cooling systems. So, if you compare this method to what you would find with a thermoelectric version, they are more effective and they are not affected by the environment and ambient temperature.
I think this is even more important when you consider how much warmer our summers (even spring!) have become in recent years. The results speak for themselves as you’ll find our compressor cooling systems maintain precisely the right temperature.
Our Sense WC1796 in-column triple zone wine cabinet makes the perfect statement piece for a luxury kitchen
What to look for from your wine cooler
I think there are a number of features every high-performance wine cooler must have. As mentioned, they need to remain at the perfect temperature, which I’ll explain further in due course. In addition, humidity levels should be a key consideration. These appliances need to offer a suitable stacking method for the bottles and low vibration technology will be important, as will lighting.
When I mentioned that wine coolers should simulate cellar conditions, it’s because this is the only way you can achieve a dark, still, humid and constant temperature. This is vital because wine is sensitive and will react badly to a fluctuating climate. As a result, this could impair the flavour or even expand and contract the alcohol in the bottle, which could push the cork out. In fact, all wine should be stored between 12 and 14°C – red or white. However, when it comes to serving your wine, certain types are at their best when served at different temperatures.
So, for sparkling beverages, such as Prosecco, you should serve this between 6-10°C. With roses and whites, the temperature recommendation is 8-14°C. However, it should be 16-18°C for full or 13-16°C for lighter reds. If your budget allows opt for a dual zone wine cabinet, each zone’s temperature is independently controlled so you can use one zone for storing wine and the other for serving. If space is at a premium, our Classic Wi157 or Sense Wi156 undercounter wine cabinets can accommodate eight Bordeaux-style wine bottles.
Humidity & stacking
You must ensure the constant humidity levels in your wine cooler remain above 65%. This way, you’ll find the cork quality will be preserved. Storing a wine bottle on its side will keep the inside of the cork safe from deterioration, too. This is because it stays in contact with the wine, which creates a good air seal and keeps it moist. But you’ll also need optimum humidity levels to prevent the outer face of the cork from drying out. If not, and it becomes dry, this can enable oxygen to penetrate the bottle, which will cause the wine to oxidise or spoil.
Low vibration technology
Always look for a wine cooler with anti-vibration gaskets and low-vibration compressors. After all, the slightest vibration will affect a wine’s flavour so this way, it will be left undisturbed. Our integrated undercounter dual zone Wi6160 is the only furniture-clad wine cabinet of it’s kind in the UK. You simply ask your designer to make a frame for your wine cooler to match your kitchen furniture
Consider whether the wine cooler you choose has UV-protected (and toughened) glass on the cabinet door front/s. This is because ultra-violet (UV) rays cause light-strike which can result in your alcohol ageing prematurely. Inside, LED lighting emits very minimal heat, unlike fluorescent light, so the former shouldn’t affect your wine’s temperature.
Choosing your type of wine cooler
These days, the wine cooler has become a staple part of kitchen design. And you can choose from three different types and a whole host of sizes and finishes. You may require a freestanding model, which you can move at your leisure, a built-in or in-column or an under-counter cabinet. The good news is, if you’re planning a wine cooler in a new kitchen redesign, you could add any of these to your plans for more versatility.
Our Sense WC6410 In-Column single zone wine cabinet maintains a consistent temperature with its no-frost compressor cooling technology and you can choose to store red, white or sparkling wine.
What size should you pick?
Why not use this extra time during lockdown to consider how much alcohol you tend to drink, how often you usually entertain and which types of wine you prefer to serve? After all, the chance to have friends round for dinner and enjoy a bottle of wine with them face-to-face will come one day soon. From single to dual and triple temperature zones, there really is an appliance for everyone, whether you enjoy food and wine matching, entertaining or the occasional glass with dinner.
Whichever wine cooler you choose, at Caple we’ve got all of the above covered. So, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your cabinet will always provide you with the very best storage and serving conditions. Why not spend some time during lockdown to shop our comprehensive collection now?
Read our exclusive interview with Made in Chelsea star Tiffany Watson who chose Caple appliances and more for her kitchen makeover
Treat your kitchen to quality, convenience & freshness with the a CAFF41 French door fridge freezer