Wine: When Old Meets New
Learn some of the latest technology for wine enthusiasts.
Are you a wine refrigerator or a wine cellar type? Your wine storage needs naturally differ with the kind of wine drinker you are. The good news for those who simply keep a couple of everyday bottles on hand, and those who need to protect an 1865 Chateau Lafite, is that there’s personal wine storage for everyone.
A few factors to consider: Will your collection grow? As you shop for wine storage, consider whether your storage will allow for an increase in your collection. How precious are your bottles? Most smaller wine refrigerators feature a glass door because it looks slick, but exposing bottles to light can damage them over time. Experts recommend you look for models with double-paned glass and UV protection (and don’t leave the interior light on full-time). If you have frequent houseguests—or teens—consider coolers with a lock. Finally, if your cooler vibrates it can cause the sediment in the bottle to interfere with the wine’s aging. Look for coolers that have thermoelectric technology—in which the only moving part is the fan—and padded racks.
Here are a few of the latest and greatest models in personal wine storage:
Vinotemp creates custom cellars that range from a few racks to high-tech commercial cellars with their own cellar management software (and check out its gallery of luxury yacht cellars). But for personal storage for smaller collectors, the company’s 48-bottle, dual temperature-controlled cooler is hard to beat. Racks in the stainless steel cooler are made of solid wood and look elegant, and the attractive double door design looks sleek in any kitchen or bar. $659
Even wine lovers who live in small spaces can keep a dozen bottles without packing them into the fridge. The Sunpentown WC-1271 is built to be slim (only 11 inches wide), so you can easily slip it into tight kitchen spaces. Double-paned glass keeps it insulated, and thermoelectric cooling technology makes it quiet—another benefit when you’re living in a tight squeeze. $189
Electrolux 24” Under-Counter Wine Cooler
The new model from Electrolux has all the bells and whistles—literally. An alarm system notifies you if there’s been a power failure or if the interior temperature rises 10 degrees. Glass doors are UV-filtered and you can reverse them to open from the left or right, and a special air filter circulates clean air throughout. $1,599
Marvel 15-Bottle Champagne Cellar
Most coolers won’t get quite cold enough for bubbly and can’t accommodate its wider-circumference bottle size, but Marvel’s new Champagne-only personal cellar is specially designed for it. This sleek model from the company’s new “Chateau Collection” houses an efficient compressor that quickly cools your bottles, has a door that’s constructed of argon-filled, dual-paned, tinted UV-resistant glass and features Marvel’s own “Sentry System” refrigeration monitor, which alerts you to rises or drops in temperature, power failure or a door ajar. $2,099
EuroCave Performance 500 Hybrid Complete Package
The EuroCave company of Lyon, France, was the first to develop a cooler that could replicate the natural conditions of a chateau cellar. This massive 446-bottle capacity personal cellar is a side-by-side door unit with some interesting features. Lava rocks help add moisture to the cabinet to maintain the ideal humidity; a hygrometer with an LCD display shows the humidity range; and not two but three compartments maintain the correct conditions for various bottles. A room temperature compartment on the top keeps red wines between 62-66 degrees Fahrenheit, an aging compartment stores wines and a serving compartment chills whites and Champagnes down to 40-44 F for serving to your guests. $8,559
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