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Wine Cooler Buying Guide

< All Buying Guides.

Wine is a precious commodity for any business. Customers will always be quick to let you know whether it’s too warm or just tastes ‘funny’. To guarantee that you never receive complaints it is essential to invest in a quality wine cooler that protects wine and achieves optimum storage conditions.

Before choosing your perfect wine chiller it is vital to understand how wine should be stored and the basic principles of wine refrigeration as opposed to alternative standard forms of refrigeration.

This buying guide aims to highlight important aspects that should be considered before making a purchase and provide information on why a commercial wine bottle cooler is the only way to store your prized wine collections.

Wine coolers

Wine Refrigeration Vs Standard Refrigeration

  • Designed to gradually lower temperatures and maintain optimum humidity levels conducive to the storage of wine.
  • Maintains consistent temperature.
  • Solely for wine storage eliminating the risk of other odours permeating into the taste.
  • Typically feature absorption systems to reduce and supress vibration and noise.

Standard refrigeration

  • Designed to rapidly drop temperatures and expel humidity.
  • Generally work at temperatures around 4˚C, far too cold for ideal wine storage.
  • Reduced humidity can risk drying out corks and damaging wine.
  • Compressors can cause vibration which interrupts the maturing process.

Specialised wine coolers should be at the top of the shopping list for all businesses that take their wine seriously. Understanding what to look for can guarantee that you make a wise investment and always receive exactly what you need.

Areas to consider;

  • Size. The space you have available will dictate the type of wine chiller cabinet you can house. With upright and under counter units available there will be a product for every premises.
  • Capacity. The amount of wine bottles you need to store will dictate the capacity you require. Smaller businesses will obviously have less storage demands while larger bars will need considerably more. With a full range of capacities able to hold from 11 x 750ml bottles through to 191 x 750ml bottles there are products able to cope with all demands. Always remember that Champagne and Burgundy bottles will generally be bigger and take up more room.
  • Insulation. Adequate insulation will not only ensure that temperatures remain consistent and performance is enhanced but also that warmer ambient air does not affect the storage conditions. Insulation will aid efficiency and should help to keep running costs as low as possible.
  • Number of doors. The number of doors will relate to the size of the equipment. With single and double options available you can choose which ever wine chiller is more suitable for your business needs and individual layout.
  • Dual temperature. A dual temperature cooler provides premium storage for both white and red wines achieving perfect serving temperatures for each within one unit. Rather than purchase two separate pieces of equipment, one for red and one for white, it is sometimes more beneficial to combine both and save space. Each of the two sections can be set to different temperatures creating a combined display that doesn’t compromise the integrity of the wine regardless of colour.
  • Temperature range. The temperatures you require will depend on the wine that will be stored. White wines should be served between 7˚C-11˚C depending on variety while red wines should be served between 14.5˚C-18˚C. As a general rule, the lighter the wine the colder the serving temperature. Look for an easy to use control panel and a precise thermostat to allow easy monitoring and full control over conditions.
  • Number of shelves. The larger the unit the more shelves there will be. Shelving will generally be adjustable to provide full flexibility when personalising and organising your storage facilities. All shelves should be manufactured from strong and durable materials to offer additional safety for valuable bottles.
  • Price. While this is a major factor you should try not to make it the primary consideration. There is a wide range of prices suitable for all budgets however if you want to keep wines in premium condition and are serious about quality, with wine being a main attraction for your business, it is wise to purchase flagship products without scrimping on cost.

Additional areas;

  • It is recommended to purchase equipment that features UV filters on the glass. Strong sunlight on wine bottles can damage the product and reduce quality.
  • A clear temperature display will ensure easy reference, allowing users to closely monitor conditions to guarantee optimum storage conditions.
  • Many wine cabinets are designed with internal illumination, showcasing bottles in the most attractive way.
  • Decide whether your wine cooler would benefit from a secure lock. This feature can provide safety for valuable bottles and act as a deterrent against potential theft.
  • With a choice of exterior colours available you can style the overall unit according to your existing design and décor. With chrome, brown, black, grey and stainless steel to choose from, there is a unit to complement all businesses.
  • The shelf finish can be selected to fit with external materials providing a complete uniformed appearance that is aesthetically pleasing. If you prefer a contrasting effect this can also be arranged with a choice of cream, wood, white, chrome and stainless steel.
  • You may have a preferred manufacturer and wish to stick to what you already know. If this is the first wine chiller you have purchased always be sure to discover what each brand can offer. You may find that by paying slightly more initially will save you money in the long run.
  • Warranties will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. While some will offer a full parts and labour warranty other products will be supplied with parts only cover. The period that the warranty covers will also vary. Generally, a full warranty for the longest period is best providing the support and service you need in case of future problems.

Ask advice

If you have already purchased wine coolers in the past, you may already be aware of the prime areas to consider. If this is your first time shopping in this area and you are unsure on any aspects it is always best to seek advice. This could be from a friend in the same industry however it is important to remember that what suits their business may not be right for yours. Alternatively speak to an impartial supplier who can listen to your requirements and suggest the products that best fit your criteria.