Buyers Guide

Welcome to our guide to your purchase. This will explain what should be considered prior to a purchase. By using five different wine coolers as examples, we will guide you through the five golden rules relating to storage, serving temperature etc. Please contact customer service if you have any questions as we would be happy to help!

5 golden rules for wine storage

5 goldes rules

1. Constant temperature

For aging and storage of wine there should be a constant temperature of 12 degrees, as that is when the wine thrives. Any variation between 10 and 14 degrees is acceptable. On serving the wine, however, different temperatures apply, which is when having different temperature zones can be helpful.

2. Non-vibration

Any vibration may damage the wine and therefore it is essential to minimize these. Wooden shelves naturally absorb vibrations more effectively than metal ones, and is thus preferable. The far most important factor is ensuring the compressor is fitted with a silencer which makes it free of any vibrations. In the case of service coolers, this isn't essential.

3. No light

Light unfavourably speeds up the aging process of wine. This is why an authentic wine cabinet always has a plain, solid door. Should someone insist on having a glass door, for aesthetic reasons, ensure it always has inbuilt UV-protection. The real wine connoisseur, however, would always use a solid door. Avoid on the inside of the cabinet, such as is the case in fridges, should be avoided, though Led-lights would always be ok.

4. No smell

The cork itself often deteriorates over time och will allow odours to enter the bottle. It's therefore very important to keep the air in the wine cooler clean and free of any odour. This is most effectively done using a coal filter but good circulation of air may also be sufficient.

5. Appropriate humidity

The wine's bouquet matures in the reduction process, which needs to be air free. It's important to keep the wine at a 50% + humidity level in order for the cork not to dry out and allow air to leak into the bottle. A real wine cellar always keeps a humidity between 50-75%, since a higher humidity would potentially damage the label on the bottles. Very few wine coolers can manage this humidity in an appropriate way. The best solution for this would be a wine cabinet.

Serving temperature and storage temperature

It's very common to mix up the two concepts of serving temperature and storage temperature. The storage temperature is the temperature at which the wine likes it best over a longer period of time. It will be the same for all wines, at 12 degrees, but any variation between 10-14 degrees is fine. The serving temperature is the temperature at which the wine tastes best. This will vary a lot from wine to wine and is also very individual. For help, refer to the illustration below:

5 different types of wine coolers

Serving wine cooler

If you are looking for a wine cooler which makes it possible to serve the wine at the right temperature, a serving cabinet is the best choice. Storage for a longer period of time in a wine cooler like this is however not to be recommended. In this instance, there is neither the need to take into full account the five golden rules. The most important thing is to keep a constant temperature and a low level of vibrations.

Wine cabinet

Wine coolers are great but if you are looking for a real storage cabinet that can manage long term storage and more or less provides the same function as a wine cellar, then you should invest in a wine cabinet. A real wine cabinet takes full consideration of the 5 golden rules; constant temperature (12 degrees), no smell (coal filter), no vibration (non-vibration compressor), no light (solid door), appropriate humidity (lava rocks, water tank and the option to do readings).

Multifunctional wine cabinet

For those wishing to have both a storage- and serving option, we highly recommend a multi-function cabinet. These cabinets offer the opportunity to have more than one temperature zone. They often make use of the fact that it is usually colder at the bottom of the fridge than at the top. The multi-function cabinets usually have a glass door with UV protected glass, which makes long-term storage a little bit less effective but still sufficient.

Free-standing wine cooler

The most common and simple type of wine cooler is the free-standing one. A free-standing wine cooler should be placed in a space which allows the heat from it circulate in an appropriate way, i.e. not integrated into an exisiting unit. The more specific recommendation is that when it comes to free-standing wine coolers, there should be placed with completely free space on one side and at least 10 cm of space around it. It's essential that the air that evaporates from the wine cooler can make its way into the room.

Built in wine cooler

There are two types of built in wine coolers. Those that are adapted to be placed underneath the kitchen work top, with the outlet below, and those that are completely integrable. The simpler type is the one to be place underneath the work top. They are adapted to suit different widths and they usually simply slot in under the work top, after which they can be switched on. We highly recommend going for reputable brands for these wine coolers, as there are many who do not quite meet the required standards. The integrable ones are usually built in into a new kitchen, which makes it necessary to leave a bit of space at the back and at the bottom. The most stylish solution would be the type that is completely integrable.

Installing a built in wine cooler

If you are opting for a built in wine cooler, we highly recommend one that is fully suited to this purpose. Make sure it says ”built in” or ”integrable” somewhere in the product name or the product description. Even more importantly, pick a reputable brand! By doing so, you will avoid a wine cooler which may break down after only two months. If you decide to install the wine cooler, with its outlet underneath the base, it is usually just a case of slotting it in place and switching it on.

How much space is required?

The completely integrable wine coolers do not require any space at all on each side (some space at the back is recommended). In order for the warrantee to apply for the free-standing wine coolers, the supplier recommends that there is a 10 cm space around the unit. This in order for the circulation not to be overstrained. The more specific recommendation is that when it comes to free-standing wine coolers, there should be placed with completely free space on one side and at least 10 cm of space around it.

How important is the brand?

There are many products where the brand is of less importance. When it comes to wine coolers, however, it is important to invest in reputable brands only. Many brands offer wine coolers as a side product, which means there is no real expertise in this field. Because of this, it often happens that customers end up buying a fridge which looks like a wine cooler. Many manufacturers of today offer fridges first and foremost, and then adapt their original products to something that resembles a wine cooler. We can highly recommend Climadiff of France, a manufacturer solely dealing in wine coolers and wine cabinets. Only if you really want to invest in something of good quality! Read more about our brands here

What size wine cooler do I need?

If your objective is to store wine, you will acqurie bottles more quickly than you think. Look at it as a long-term project and if you decide to stock 6 bottles of each kind, the number will increase rapidly. Our advice is to always buy a size bigger than orignally imagined, if you have enough space.

How is bottle capacity measured?

The capacity indicators assigned to different types of wine cabinets/wine coolers are solely for information purposes. They will help you making an informed decision according to your requirements and available space. The capacity is based on a standard bottle of type ”Bordeaux 75 cl tradition”. In reality, however, you are more likely to collect bottles of varying forms and sizes. For practical reasons, it is probable that you will stock your wine cellar with a number of different bottles just below its maximum capacity. E.g. if a wine cellar ist stocked only with Bourgogne-bottles, it means 30% fewer bottles will fill the entire space, compared to having calculated the original capacity on Bordeaux-bottles. Another important factor is the number of shelves in the wine cellar; each shelf takes away space equivalent to between one to two layers of bottles. Don't be surprised should you discover that wine cabinet of multi-function cabinet turns out to have higher capacity than required, as there is no need for it to be stocked to the max immediately! The recommendation is to go for a cabinet with approximately twice the capacity originally requried. That way you may easily grow your interest in wines over time as well as ensuring there is a margin.

How quiet should a wine cooler be?

If you are thinking of placing your wine cooler in a space or room where you spend a lot of time, the noise level should be taken into account. This is measured in decibel and is specified for each respective wine cooler. A value around 40 dB is normal for wine coolers. Always keep in mind that a little bit of noise is necessary in order for the compressor to operate properly.

What properties do I want my wine cooler to have?

The most important thing to consider is that the wine cooler keeps an even temperature, and all ours do. Furthermore, the wine cooler should be odour free, which can be achieved by managing the air circulation of the unit, or alternatively by using a coal filter. It is also of the utmost importance that wines are not subjected to vibrations. Serious wine cooler manufacturers would never develop products that vibrate but if you want to make sure this is the case, ensure the unit has wooden shelving. Wood will subdue any small vibrations. A door which opens in an outward direction is nice but keep in mind that a door like that will always also let in light. There are varous ways of fixing this problem, the most common being using tinted or UV-treated glass. A solid door is always the recommended option.

Where can I place my wine cooler?

The wine cooler must be placed in a room indoors, i.e. warmer than 15 degrees, as it will not work efficiently otherwise. An even temperature is preferred. There are wine cabinets with an incorporeated winter system, which enables them to be placed in a colder space, down to 0+ degrees. This type of wine cabinet makes it possible to be place either in the garage or the cellar. If placed in a wet room or next to a washing machine, it may be that the cooler absorbs the surrounding moisture from time to time. This may cause condensation inside the fridge. A winter-adapted storage system is always reassuring as it will operate effectively regardless.

What sounds are normal for wine cabinets and wine coolers?

Sound is very subjective and to some people a specific sound may be bothersome whereas perfectly normal to others. New sounds also tend to be a lot more obvious at first, until you get used to them. It is good to know what sounds are regarded as normal so that there is no need to worry about anything being wrong. In a wine cabinet, there are two distinct sounds. One comes from the compressor which operates every now and then. Usually a muffled humming sound. The other sound comes from the evaporator and is similar to that of a submarine. The strength of the sound can vary. In terms of built in wine coolers, there are also two different types of sound present, usually a combiantion of the compressor and the fan ensuring the wine cooler is breathing as it should. The fan, which ensures the wines are stored in an odourless environment,operates quite frequently. This is perfectly normal. When it comes to free-standing wine coolers, the only sound is from the compressor.

Symbols - find the right product quickly! has developed symbols that explains wine coolers and wine cabinets different properties. This ensures that you as a consumer quickly and easily find the right product. If you are looking for a product that must have Energy Class A or two temperature zones, the symbols will be able to guide you to the right products.

Each product page contains a symbol explanation (a picture) that maps all the symbols as a wine cooler or a wine cabinet may have. The symbol explanation (the picture) does not show the specific characteristics of a given product, these appear instead in the product description.

Explanation of symbols to wine coolers >
Explanation of symbols to wine cabinets >

Symbol: Energy class A Symbol: Energy class A+ Symbol: Built-in wine cooler Symbol: Free-standing wine cooler Symbol: Integrated wine cooler Symbol: Lockable Symbol: Low noise Symbol: Made in Europe Symbol: Monotemperature Symbol: Multi-temperature Symbol: 2 temperature zones Symbol: Winestorage technology


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