Wine coolers are designed to store wine at the right temperature, but most modern wine coolers can do much more than that. The majority of high-quality wine coolers on the market today not only give you control over the temperature and keep your wine cool, but protect your wine from sunshine (specifically the UV rays found in sunlight), regulate humidity levels, and minimise vibrations.
Wine coolers typically maintain a temperature of 11°C to 15°C, but you usually have control over which temperature you’d prefer, as different wines are best stored at different temperatures. Wine is best stored at humidity levels between 50% and 70% - this is to ensure the cork remains slightly damp and stays in place, and protects your bottle from condensation. Wine coolers may come with glass doors, which are UV treated for ultimate protection.
The vast majority of wine fridges are designed to store standard Bordeaux bottles, but you can find coolers with display shelves or adjustable shelves that allow you to store larger bottles such as Champagne bottles. Most wine cooler shelves allow you to store your wine horizontally, but display shelves allow you to store them vertically.
You can find wine coolers that come in all colours, shapes, and sizes, but they typically follow three main designs - freestanding, built-in, and integrated. Freestanding wine fridges can vary in size, with some accommodating just a few bottles and others being able to accommodate over one hundred bottles. This type of wine cooler gives you freedom in terms of placement - you can place them pretty much anywhere in your home, whether it be standing next to your fridge in your kitchen, your utility room, basement, dining room, or even your balcony.
They’re designed to stand freely and not be restricted in cabinet space, under kitchen counters, or integrated into kitchen cupboards. This is because they have specific installation requirements that mean you need to leave space for ventilation. Typically, you’ll need to leave a few inches around the rear and sides, as the vents are located at the back of the unit. You’ll also need to leave around 12 inches above the unit to allow the air to flow out of the back, to prevent overheating.
If you’re looking for a wine fridge that you can integrate into your kitchen or install under kitchen counters, then you should opt for a built-in or integrated model. Built-in wine fridges are designed to be installed in kitchen spaces - however, they aren’t supposed to be completely enclosed. The door of built-in units is always visible. Integrated wine coolers are similar to built-in units, but can be completely enclosed in cabinet space, and don’t need much space at all for ventilation.
A commercial wine cooler is a wine cooler that’s specifically designed to be used in businesses, whether it be a bar, restaurant, or hotel. They’re the best option for storing wine for customers as they maintain a steady temperature for serving. Most commercial wine fridges will have dual or multiple temperature zones, which is ideal for commercial environments as reds, whites, and sparkling wines are best served at different temperatures. This makes it easier to store multiple types of wine within the same unit, saving space and energy.
Commercial wine coolers are also great at displaying wine, giving customers (and potential customers) a perfect view of the wine and the labels. The majority of commercial wine coolers will have display shelves, making it easier than ever to display your wine collection to customers. Pretty much all wine coolers for commercial settings will feature glass doors with UV protection - this not only protects the wine from UV light but gives yourself and customers a constant view of the wine available.
Often, the shelves are customisable with commercial wine coolers, allowing you to set up the display of the cooler however you’d like. This allows you to store the wine in an organised way - for example, expensive reds on one shelf, whites on another, and sparkling on another. Display shelves allow you to display wine equipment such as glasses and decanters too, adding extra levels of style to the cooler. The majority of commercial wine fridges will have a stainless steel exterior, which helps to prevent spillages from damaging the wine cooler. Spillages are pretty much unavoidable in bars, hotels, and restaurants - but unfortunately, spillages can damage some wine coolers. Commercial wine coolers are usually designed to withstand slight water damage in case such incidents occur.
Although you can place commercial wine coolers in your home, they are designed to be placed in commercial environments and businesses such as bars, restaurants, and hotels. Commercial wine coolers are often larger than regular wine coolers as they can store more bottles and need more space for displaying the wine in the most appealing way.
Often, commercial wine coolers should be placed against a wall. However, some designs can stand alone, giving customers a head-on view of the wine collection. Installation should almost always be completed by a professional, to reduce the risk of damage, to ensure that there’s space for ventilation, and to avoid voiding the warranty. Like with regular wine coolers, you can find freestanding, built-in, and integrated commercial wine coolers - and all should be installed following the manufacturer’s instructions.