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Temperature-Controlled Wine Storage Cabinet

Tips for Buying Temperature-Controlled Wine Storage Cabinet

Wine is perishable and should be stored in a cool, dark place to avoid ruining its flavors, colors, and aromas. Temperature-controlled wine storage cabinets are designed to maintain the ideal environment for storing fine wines over extended periods. Here, you'll find all the information and tips to buy the perfect temperature-controlled wine storage cabinet.

1.   Know your wine storage and capacity requirements.

Before purchasing a temperature-controlled wine cabinet, consider your specific wine storage needs and how many bottles you plan to keep. Different wines have different storage requirements depending on their varietals, age, and type. Here’s some general storage of wine requirements to keep in mind:

  • Temperature requirement

    Know what type of wine you’re keeping in your storage cabinet and at what temperature you’re storing them to maintain their quality. The optimal temperature for storing wine is between 45°F and 65°F. The temperature should be consistent and not fluctuate more than a few degrees. Wines should not be exposed to temperatures above 70°F or below 40°F, as this can cause damage to the wine.

  • Humidity requirement

    Wine needs a specific humidity level to keep the cork from drying and letting air into the bottle. The ideal humidity level is between 50% and 80% for long-term storage. A low humidity level can cause the cork to shrink, allowing air into the bottle and causing oxidation, while high humidity can cause mold and mildew growth.

  • Storage capacity requirement

    Determine the number of wine bottles you want to store in the wine cabinet. Buy a larger capacity cabinet than you need because you might want to keep more wine in the future. 

2.   Consider the environmental factors.

wine bottles stored on their side in a temperature-controlled wine cabinet

The environment is a significant factor when shopping for a wine storage cabinet. Is your home kept at a consistent ambient temperature throughout the year? If not, you must ensure your cabinet has sufficient insulation to keep your wine in ideal conditions. Some environmental factors to consider when choosing a temperature-controlled wine storage solution:

  • Humidity control

    Wine needs a specific humidity level to keep the cork from drying and letting air into the bottle. Look for a cabinet with humidity control to keep the environment at the right level. Additionally, some cabinets are better equipped than others to regulate things like humidity levels, so be sure to look for models with this feature if you live in an area with humid summers and dry winters.

  • Temperature range

    Make sure the temperature range and climate control of the cabinet is suitable for the types of wine you have. For example, red wines are generally stored at around 55°F, while white wines are stored at a low temperature around 45°F.

  • UV protection

    Wines should be stored in a dark place away from direct sunlight and fluorescent light, which can cause premature aging and cause chemical reactions that damage the wine. In addition, UV light can harm wine by breaking down the organic compounds that give it flavor and aroma, so it is important to store wine in a location that does not have direct sunlight or artificial light. Look for a cabinet or wine coolers with UV-protected glass or a solid door to block harmful rays.

  • Movement and vibration

    Wine should be stored in a wine room where it will not be subject to unnecessary and excessive movement or vibration, as this can disturb the bottle's sediment and affect the wine's flavor.

  • Position

    Bottles of wine should be stored on its side so the cork stays moist and prevents it from drying, especially for long-term wine storage. This also helps to prevent oxidation and allows for a slow and consistent aging process.

Sommelier B. Pierre Asti shares the 6 key elements of successful wine storage in this video from Asti Wine Consultants, Ltd.

3.   Look for quality and integrity design.

When shopping for a temperature-controlled wine storage cabinet, look for features that guarantee the highest quality and integrity. These may include accessories like glass doors to prevent too much light infiltration and UV rays, door locks to secure bottles, charcoal filters in ventilation fans to absorb odors, display shelves that tilt a bit downwards so any spills won't tip over other bottles, slide-out drawers offering easy access, soft interior lighting options, temperature control thermostats allowing you to set it between approx. 54-64˚F (ideal) and hygrometers (relative humidity) readers for proper climate conditions. Brand reputation and warranty are of the utmost importance. Research the brand and read reviews from other customers to ensure quality and reliability. Look for a warranty to protect your investment.

4.   Take cooling performance into account.

temperature-controlled wine storage cabinet with LED lights

Look for a cabinet with efficient cooling performance to safeguard your wine collection. You should pay particular attention to temperature control and uniformity, how quickly the cabinet cools down after opening the door, and how much vibration it produces during operation. A quiet fan helps keep your wines safe by gently circulating air throughout the entire storage space, which keeps humidity lower, prevents mold growth, and minimizes the breakdown of corks. Also, you can check its effectiveness by placing a thermometer inside and comparing readings with those outside.

5.   Don’t skip on special features and accessories.

An ideal wine storage cabinet must have a comprehensive set of insulated panels to maintain the right temperature and reduce energy consumption. It should also be equipped with high-quality wine racks and accessories such as LED lighting, an adjustable thermostat, humidity control, and more. In addition, look for features like digital displays and burglar alarms to ensure you're getting your money's worth. These features make it easier to find the right setting for your wines. Some other features to look for a proper storage cabinet:

  • Dual-temperature zones

    If you have red and white wines, consider getting a dual-zone wine cabinet or wine fridges, which can maintain different temperatures in two separate compartments.

  • Air filtration

    Fine wine can be affected by solid odors and pollutants. Get a cabinet with an air filtration system to ensure the air inside is clean and odor-free.

  • Noise level

    Wine cabinets can produce noise from the compressor or fan. Consider the noise level of the cabinet if you plan to keep it in a living space, like in your dining room.

  • Adjustable shelves

    Transtherm Prestige Loft Vintage Wine Cabinet
    If you're a wine collector, choosing a wine cabinet with adjustable shelves is best to easily accommodate your wine collection. For example, the Transtherm Prestige Loft Vintage Wine Cabinet has five adjustable rolling shelves, providing maximum flexibility for different sizes and shapes of wine bottles.

  • Built-in capable

    For your convenience, look for a proper wine storage cabinet that can be placed under the counter or anywhere in your living room, kitchen, or custom wine cellars.

  • Alarm

    Summit Built-In Wine Beverage Center
    Should there be a sudden fluctuation in the temperature, your wine cabinet should be able to alert you. It should also notify you if, your some reason, the door has been left ajar. These alarms are two of the features of Summit Built-In Wine Beverage Center.

  • Energy conservation mode

    Energy efficiency is essential, especially for the eco-conscious wine lover. Find a temperature-controlled units with systems that allow you to turn off some electrical features when not in use.

  • CFC Free

    Choose the highest quality wine storage cooling cabinet free from ozone-damaging chemicals to enjoy your glass of vino without harming the environment.

Temperature-Controlled Wine Storage Cabinet Installation Types

Whether you have a designated room for your wine collection or store them in your kitchen, under the stairs, or basement, there are different installation types for temperature-controlled wine storage cabinets. Here are some of them:

1.   Freestanding

Freestanding wine storage cabinets are designed to stand alone and do not require any installation or mounting. They are ideal for those who want to keep their wine collection in a particular area of their home and want to avoid making any modifications to their walls or cabinetry.

Summit Dual Zone 118 Bottle Wine Cellar

Summit Dual Zone 118 Bottle Wine Cellar

The Summit Dual Zone 118 Bottle Wine Cellar is perfect for wine lovers and enthusiasts. With two distinct temperature zones, you can chill white and sparkling wine while preserving red. The recessed LED lighting offers an elegant view of your collection, and the digital controls ensure your wine is stored at its proper temperature. The flexible design allows built-in or freestanding use, and the slim 24" footprint is ideal for any setting. 

Summit Side-By-Side Built-In Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

Summit Side-By-Side Built-In Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

Regarding wine refrigeration, the Summit Built-In Wine Cooler is in its own class. Seamless stainless steel trimmed glass doors bring true luxury under the counter.

At the same time, the dual-zone design lets you store red and white wine in separate compartments under the appropriate temperature conditions. The flexible design allows built-in or freestanding use in 30" wide spaces, and the versatile interior can store both slim Bordeaux bottles and wider Burgundy-style wine bottles.

Digital controls offer easy, intuitive temperature management, and factory-installed locks offer added security to both sections.

2.   Built-in

Built-in wine storage cabinets are designed to be installed into existing furniture, cabinetry, or wall space. They are a good option for those who want to integrate their wine storage into their home design and have a designated area for their wine collection.

Summit 30” Wide Built-In Undercounter Dual Zone Wine and Beverage Cooler

Summit 30” Wide Built-In Undercounter Dual Zone Wine and Beverage Cooler

Summit has the perfect solution for you with their 30" wide built-in under-counter dual zone wine and beverage cooler. This unique dual-zone design lets you store wine and colder beverages under different temperatures, so you can always have the perfect drink for any occasion.

The flexible design allows for built-in or freestanding use in 30" wide spaces, and the stainless-steel trimmed glass doors with modern French door swing add elegance to any home.

The digital controls offer easy and intuitive temperature management, and the cooler has Sabbath mode and audible alarms for high temperature and open-door alerts.

3.   Undercounter

Undercounter wine storage cabinets are designed to fit under a countertop or bar area. They are an exceptional option for those who want to save space and keep their wine collection easily accessible.

Summit Built-In Wine Beverage Center

Summit 24" Wine Beverage Center

A must-have for any wine lover, the Summit 24" Wine Beverage Center offers plenty of storage for red and white wines and craft beer. The sleek, stainless-steel design is perfect for built-in or freestanding use, and the glass doors with white LED lighting offer a dramatic presentation.

In addition, the two zones are equipped with door ajar and temperature alarms, and the flexible design allows you to arrange your wine and beer in any configuration.

4.   Wall-mounted

Wine walls can turn a plain wall into an elegant and practical wine display area. There are wine storage cabinets designed to be mounted on the wall and are a good option for those who want to save floor space and have a modern look at their wine storage.

Expo Teca B TE-B10 Horizontal Shelving Built-In Wine Wall

Expo Teca B TE-B10 Horizontal Shelving Built-In Wine Wall

The Expo Teca B TE-B10 is a horizontal shelving, built-in wine wall perfect for home and business owners who want to display and store their wines and wine glasses elegantly. It comes with a digital temperature controller, rechargeable carbon filter, easy installation Snap-On system, and an automatic defrost and evaporation system. The Expo Teca B TE-B10 also has a ventilated and static cooling system and a lock with a key.

In summary

When choosing an installation type for a temperature-controlled wine storage cabinet, consider your home's available space, wine storage needs, and design preferences. Some wine storage cabinets may have specific requirements, so it's essential to consult the manufacturer's instructions before purchasing and installing one. Which of these wine storage cabinets do you have your eyes on? If you need any help deciding, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Randy Green

Randy is a true wine storage aficionado and expert in wine cellar design. He gained construction experience as a partner in a general contracting business before niching into and passionately focusing on creating wine storage solutions for clients in 2016. He takes great pride in bringing these designs to life, and is dedicated to ensuring that every wine cellar he creates is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to any home or business. The Wine Cellar HQ team also includes refrigeration sizing experts and licensed HVAC technicians to ensure optimal climate control for your wine cellar, so that your wines can age to perfection.
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