Buying Guide to Wine Refrigerators

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9 Things to Know Before You Buy

Serious oenophiles know that a wine collection isn't complete without the right accoutrements. We're not talking bottle openers or wine racks -- those are child's play. A truly invested wine lover needs a wine refrigerator to keep their finest vintages at the right temperature. We give you our top must knows before you invest.

Fact #1: Pick a Location

Where you are going to place your wine fridge will be a big determining factor in what kind of fridge you end up purchasing. For oenophiles with limited space there are wall-mounted units or counter top Refrigerators. Those with space to spare can invest in a larger free-standing unit, although know that some stand-alone fridges need an open area to vent, so they can't be placed flush with the wall.

Fact #2: Know Your Number...

...Of bottles, that is. Wine Refrigerators come with space for six, eight, 12, and even 18 standard size (750 mL) wine bottles.

Fact #3: Be Earth-Friendly

Choose a wine refrigerator that has a silent thermoelectric cooling system. Unlike other cooling systems it provides refrigeration without releasing nasty CFC's into the air. And as a bonus, it does so without making noise.

Fact #4: Get a Good Door

Pick a wine refrigerator with a thermopane door. This style of glass boasts multiple panes to keep the cold air from seeping out and your wine always at the right temperature.

Fact #5: Choose Your Zones

Enthusiasts who love a fine chardonnay as much as a malbec should look for Refrigerators that have separate cooling zones. This allows you to cool red and white wines at different temperatures within the same unit.

Also know that wine fridges offer a variety of temperature ranges. There are those that can only be adjusted 10-15 degrees, while other units have a range that spans 20, or even 30 degrees.

Fact #6: Go Digital

A digital touch screen means you can easily adjust the temperature without opening up the refrigerator door and potentially disturbing the wine.

Fact #7: Be Adjustable

If you plan on stocking up on bottles that are larger than standard size, choose a wine refrigerator that has removable shelves.

Fact #8: Look for LED

Interior LED lighting is the perfect storm of fashion meets energy efficient function -- it gives a soft glow while consuming less energy than other bulbs.

Fact #9: Show-Off the Goods (or Don't)

There are wine collectors who like to display their bottles and those who like to keep their vino under wraps. If you're the former, pick a refrigerator with a glass door that gives you a clear look at what's inside. If you're the latter, choose a fridge with a smoked glass door to add a little bit of mystery.