A well made wine bottle refrigerator will help the collector overcome the four enemies of wine: temperature, light, humidity, and vibration. Most home environments are not suitable for the storage of fine wines. Let’s review each of these factors in more detail.
The optimal temperature for storage depends on the type of wine:
Red – Store between 55 to 60 degrees F
White – Store between 49 to 56 degrees F
Rose – Store between 49 to 51 degrees F
Champagne – Store between 53 to 59 degrees F
Bottles kept at higher temperatures will age too fast, causing a lack of freshness and subtlety. Lower temperatures paralyze wine, retarding its natural development.
A quality wine bottle refrigerator will not only keep your bottles at the proper temperature, they will also maintain a constant temperature within the unit.
Darkness is ideal for a cellar. Exposure to ultraviolet light will prematurely age and damage wine. This is a primary reason why wine is traditionally bottled in colored glass. Thus it is prudent to store your collection away from the potentially damaging effects of such light sources.
Quality cellars will have U.V. protected glass doors to help create an ideal environment in which to store wine.
Maintaining proper humidity is essential in preventing the corks from drying out. This is also achieved by laying the bottles on their sides, so that the wine is in constant contact with the cork. A cork that is kept moist does not lose its shape, thus maintaining a good seal. Prolonged exposure to oxygen will spoil a good wine.
A well functioning wine bottle refrigerator will have natural ventilation that allows for condensation to form on the walls of the unit, which helps produce the correct humidity for preservation of the collection. Proper air circulation and filtering is needed to create the right environment free from mold and odor.
Moving bottles too often is harmful to good wine preservation. Wine needs to sleep, and frequent disturbance will agitate it. Vibration interferes with the biochemical process of maturation and is often fatal to the best wines. Therefore, the best wine cabinets are designed to house the greatest possible number of bottles of all sizes, and built to keep harmful vibrations to a minimum. Unlike conventional refrigerators, wine bottle cellars have no or few moving parts.
By reading this you are obviously care about your wine! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to store your wine in your own cellar? Where you know your valuable collection will be protected from the four enemies of wine. Remember, a wine cellar doesn’t have to be an expensive separate room; it could be a refrigerated wine cabinet that is sized to your needs and budget.