Kitchen Essentials – Wine Coolers
Most of us don’t have the space to install a temperature-controlled full-size wine cellar to keep our collection of wine and beer. Mini fridges and coolers are the perfect solution. No need to keep a bottle perpetually in your fridge in anticipation of company. Or, more accurately in my household, I won’t need to throw a bottle into the freezer for a frantically quick chill down.
For those of you who are strictly red wine lovers, a wine fridge would be useful for you, too. Yes, I know that red wine should be served at room temperature. The caveat is that the modern insulated, draft-free home is significantly warmer than a cave, cellar or medieval European castle. The ideal room temperature for storing red wine is 16°C to 18°C. The cooler temp brings out the wine’s abundant flavours and aromas.
Since you’ll probably own both red and white wine, there are a few points to consider when buying a wine fridge.
1. Find a dual zone refrigerator. These allow you to set two different temperatures — one ideal for reds and one ideal for whites.
2. Depending on where you plan to house your fridge, you should consider a unit that comes with vibration control. Some people store their wine under the stairs because it seems like a good use of empty space. But, you don’t even have to live with a herd of elephants to notice the effect on your wine collection. Even slight vibrations may affect flavour and bouquet.
3. Better quality wine fridges are able to control humidity and evenly circulate air.
Wine fridges and coolers come in all shapes and sizes, from a credenza style that can fit neatly into your dining room’s decor to a small, countertop and portable device that can hold one or two bottles. Kalorik’s Dual Chamber Wine Chiller with Wireless Temperature Probes holds two bottles and allows independent cooling between 9ºC – 20ºC. It sports two wireless temperature probes that read the temperature of the liquid, rather than the outside of the bottle. When the bottle is left out of the chamber (up to 10 feet away), the wireless probe will transmit the temperature to the base unit and advise when the liquid is too warm and needs to be put back into the chamber for proper cooling.
Before you head out to buy a wine fridge or cooler, consider your budget first and take note of exactly how much space you can spare in your home and how large your collection is. Once you’ve decided which style is best for you, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the best your wine can offer any time you feel like it.