A beverage center is specifically designed to store your drinks and keep them cool, ready to drink whenever you want.
They can be adjusted to specific temperatures, which is great if you have a specific wine or beer that you need at a cooler or warmer temperature than a traditional fridge.
They also make room in your main fridge, particularly useful if you’re having a lot of people round for a party.
Using the adjustable shelves can help optimize your storage, and a dual zone center will help you store both beer and wine at different temperatures within the same fridge.
They utilize modern designs to help them remain attractive in a modern home, which is better than the more traditional wine cabinets.
You can get UV resistant glass doors, which helps them look sleek without risking the sun damaging your wine collection.
Using LED lighting can also help illuminate your drinks and adds a modern appeal.
How To Choose
Size and capacity
Countertop models are great for compact spaces, particularly if you don’t have any under-cabinet space for a built-in model.
Freestanding units are perfect for bigger collections and can be placed in a wide range of locations, but they may get in the way in a smaller space.
Built-in units are designed to seamlessly fit within your cabinetry and create a sleek appearance in bars and kitchens, and are usually the same width as a traditional kitchen appliance.
Almost all beverage centers will be able to handle enough of a temperature range for all cold beverages.
This range can be adjusted by either a physical or digital control panel.
Solid doors will protect your beverages from damaging UV rays, whilst glass doors can be UV-resistant and enable you to show off your collection.
Wire racks give you greater air circulation and deliver even cooling. Glass or solid shelves can have more aesthetic appeal, whilst adjustable shelves can give you more flexibility in terms of what you can store.
Energy Star-rated models will consume less power. They can help you cut your energy bill and carbon footprint. Thermal insulated doors help you ensure consistent temperatures and conserve energy.
If you’re placing your unit in a quiet area, seek out one that has a low decibel rating.
A lock and key can protect rare and expensive wines, whilst an alarm system ensures you’re notified if a door is left open.
Aesthetics and design
Stainless steel is popular due to its sleek, modern appearance. It is also easy to clean. Black and colored finishes can either stand out in their surroundings or blend in with your other appliances.
A digital display can offer precise temperature control as well as monitoring, whilst interior lighting shows off your collection and enables you to select specific wines in low-light conditions. A reversible door will give you more flexibility when opening it.
Warranty and brand reputation
Make sure the manufacturer has a good reputation and offers a generous warranty period for your peace of mind.
If you’re able to remove or adjust shelves, this can be very convenient. This can be particularly useful if you have bottles of different sizes to store.
Many of today’s units have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities which allow you to monitor temperature, adjust settings, or receive alerts on your phone if a door is left open.
Check whether the unit has ventilation at the back, front, or sides. This can affect where you will be able to place it.
This feature enables you to maintain different temperatures in different parts of your fridge and is great if you’re storing more than one kind of drink.
Door swing radius
By finding out what the door swing radius of a unit is, you can determine whether it’s a suitable match for your space. If a door swings too wide, it could hit a wall or another appliance.
Some units have been designed to reduce vibrations. Vibrations can disrupt the sediment of wine and negatively affect its flavor and quality.
These locks can be ideal if you have rare, expensive wines or if there are children around.
If your collection mainly consists of wine, you may be better served by a wine cooler. These are created specifically to help you maintain wines at the right temperatures and can have red and white wine sections.
These units can fit seamlessly under your kitchen counter or home bar. They commonly come with front venting systems that ensure correct airflow in tight spaces. They can help you create a swish, integrated look in your bar area or kitchen.
These units are designed to stand alone, and you can place them in any part of a room. However, you need to leave space around them to ensure available ventilation. They come with UV-resistant doors that protect your drinks from sunlight.
Can and bottle coolers
These bottles have special shelving systems that enable you to boost storage capacity. They’re ideal for people who regularly entertain guests and want to offer them a diverse selection of drinks. Some have rapid cooling features. This means they can chill drinks in just half an hour.
Outdoor beverage centers
These units are designed to withstand the elements. They are made from weather-resistant materials and come with enhanced insulation. They’re great for poolside bars, patios, and outdoor kitchens. They can also work efficiently in fluctuating temperatures.
Commercial beverage centers
These units are designed with heavy-duty use in mind. They tend to have bigger capacities, reinforced shelving, and superior cooling mechanisms. They’re ideal for restaurants, bars, and cafes. They commonly come with lockable doors to keep drinks secure after hours.
Wine coolers: If your collection mainly consists of wine, you may be better served by a wine cooler. These are created specifically to help you maintain wines at the right temperatures and can have red and white wine sections.
Beer fridges: Perhaps you mainly drink beer and have unique beverages that require specific temperature settings. You may need special shelves for bottles of different sizes. If so, a beer fridge could be ideal for your needs.
Compact refrigerators: If your main requirement is to store soft drinks, mixers, and water, a compact refrigerator could be ideal for your needs.
Portable coolers and wine chests: A portable cooler may suit your requirements if you often entertain guests outdoors and attend picnics and barbecues. It won’t require electricity and allows for mobility.
Undercounter refrigerators: If space is at a premium, and you need a unit for a commercial environment like a café or a bar, an under-counter refrigerator could be a great option. It will give you quick access to beverages without taking up counter space.
Post Purchase Considerations
If you’re unsure where to put your beverage center, consider which areas you most regularly entertain in. You need to keep your unit away from direct sunlight so you can maintain consistent temperatures and avoid compromising the quality of your drinks. Take measurements so you can ensure the unit fits your space.
Different drinks need different temperature settings. Wines normally need warmer temperatures than beers and soft drinks. Find out what the right settings for your drinks are. Some units allow you to maintain different temperatures in different parts of your beverage center.
Maintaining the right temperature is essential, especially if you’re storing wine. If conditions are too dry, corks can shrink and cause spoilage. If your unit does not have built-in humidity control, you could add a small humidity tray filled with water. Make sure you regularly check humidity levels.
Organization and storage
The more your collection grows, the more cluttered it can become. However, you can overcome this problem by using labels or shelf dividers. Arrange your wines by vintage, type, or how frequently you drink them.
Noise and vibration
Some units can produce noise and vibration. This can cause worries about sediment settling as well as ambience. Look for a vibration center that has a vibration-dampening system and put it on a sturdy and level surface. Keep it away from high-traffic areas if you’re concerned about noise.
If you have concerns about operating costs, seek out an energy-efficient model. Check your doors and seals for leaks every so often.
Make sure you clean the interior of your unit periodically. You’ll also need to check the ventilation occasionally and replace the filters. Consult the manual for specific care instructions.
If you have children, you may be worried about them accessing alcoholic drinks. Look for a model that has a lockable door. Alternatively, you can purchase an external lock mechanism.
What are beverage centers?
Beverage centers are appliances that are designed to store and chill beverages at their optimal temperatures so they’re always ready to serve.
What is the difference between a beverage center and a normal refrigerator?
Beverage centers are specifically designed to offer the right temperatures for drinks. They can also have special shelves to house cans and bottles of different sizes.
How much space do I need?
This depends on your specific requirements. You may only need a small unit if you only entertain occasionally, but a bigger model could be best if you have a large collection and entertain frequently.
Can these units store alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks?
Yes. Just make sure you change the temperature settings to meet the requirements of specific drinks.
Are built-in and freestanding units available?
Yes. You can purchase in-built models to have integrated into your cabinetry as well as freestanding units that you can place anywhere.
Are these units energy efficient?
Many modern beverage centers are designed to give you optimal energy efficiency. However, the exact amount of power consumption can vary. Look at the product specifications or the Energy Star rating to determine how energy-efficient a model is.
What temperature range do these units offer?
Ranges can vary from model to model, but the units generally offer a temperature range ideal for beers, wines, soft drinks, and other beverages.
Can I place my unit underneath a countertop or in a confined space?
Yes, our built-in models are designed to be placed in these locations.