The Best Wine Cooler for Wine Lovers
In this article, we take a look at the best small wine coolers for about 50 bottles of wine. This type of cooler might appeal to any of the following wine lovers:
1. Those looking for an upgrade or a temporary solution from a low-end wine cooler before jumping into a larger wine cellar.
2. Those who are doing a kitchen remodel are looking for a stylish under-counter wine cooler to accommodate new appliances.
3. Those who have collected a few bottles from their wedding year or childbirth year and are looking for a storage solution for those special bottles.
4. Singles or couples downsizing and wishing to age only a few special bottles.
Do you need a small wine cooler?
Before continuing with our recommendations, let's take a deeper look at the benefits of a small wine cooler. It is important to consider the environmental factors that affect wine and why wine can be stored in the cellar. Ideal conditions for wine storage include cool, stable temperatures, relatively high humidity, and no light or vibration. If you drink wine within a few weeks of buying it, you can skip the cooler as changes from improper storage take time to develop.
If you've tried some well-aged wines—maybe Moselle Rieslings from the 1980s or Napa Cabernets from the 1990s—and don't like old wines, your preference isn't worth the investment in the wine cooler. There's nothing wrong with enjoying lots of wines worth aging while you're young.
However, if you do enjoy storing wine to age, you probably already have some stocked on your kitchen island, cloakroom, basement, or bar. It's not uncommon for wine lovers to have wine stashed in multiple places in their homes. However, over time, these wines can spoil if not stored properly.
What temperature should wine be stored in?
Temperature variation is one of the biggest enemies of wine aging. Wine should be stored around 55 F (a typical cave temperature), however, a range of 50 to 58 F is generally considered acceptable.
You might be thinking, "Hey, why can't I store wine in the fridge for long periods of time, or in the beer freezer in the garage?" Well, when the wine is stored in too cold temperatures for long periods of time, something unfortunate can happen. Cool temperatures can slow down the aging process, the cork can dry out, allowing cooler smells to seep into the wine, or when squeezed around food or beer in the cooler, the wine can be agitated and damage the cap or label. Also, if the wine is pushed to the back of the cooler, it can freeze, causing the cork to be pushed out.
Storing in a dark closet also seems ideal, but produces different results over the years. If the air conditioner in a house or apartment fails, the temperature may rise. Too much time can cause the wine to taste simmered or cooked. Some wines may also start to develop a vinegary note as the aging process accelerates.
How does light affect wine?
Like temperature, too much light can spoil the wine. This phenomenon is not unique to wine, as some beers are also thought to be affected by light strikes. Simply put, light is a form of radiation. The ultraviolet and blue parts of the spectrum carry more energy than the red parts.
Wine (and beer) contain naturally occurring sulfur compounds. When light hits wine, undesired chemical reactions can occur, resulting in "skunk" aromas and flavors. Different colors of glass do offer more protection than others (such as dark brown or amber glass), but green and clear bottles are more common.
Since wine cooler door choices these days are more about the aesthetics of the room, those of us who want to age wine want to minimize light damage as much as possible. Wine coolers with dark glass or solid doors can significantly reduce the likelihood of light entering the bottle.
What is the optimal humidity for storing wine?
When storing wine, most bottles are placed on their side. This keeps the cork moist and prevents it from drying out, reducing the chance of too much oxygen entering the bottle.
A typical food cooler is a low-humidity environment. There, the cork will dry out. Cork can also dry out in arid environments, such as the deserts of the American Southwest. The ideal humidity level is around 70%.
Once oxygen enters the bottle due to improper storage, the wine will rapidly oxidize. Oxidation can lead to changes in aroma and flavor. This negative impact is irreversible.
Can vibration destroy wine?
Like photodamage, damage from vibration is a direct result of energy transfer to the contents of the bottle. This time it's kinetic energy rather than radiation. Storing wine on top of the cooler or near other vibrating equipment such as treadmills, washing machines, or dryers can cause vibration damage. Wine stored under stairs can also be damaged by vibration.
The exact biochemical cause is unknown, but food chemistry studies have shown that wine exposure to vibration can cause a reduction in esters, which can lead to a dull taste. In addition, wines exposed to vibration tasted sweeter as tartaric, succinic, and esters decreased, and propanol and isoamyl alcohol increased.
Advantages of small wine coolers
Now that you understand the environmental risks to wine in suboptimal storage conditions, let's move on to discussing these coolers!
When choosing a small wine cooler, a common regret is that the wine cooler is too small. As your enthusiasm increases, some smaller 18-24-bottle wine coolers may be overtaken by your collecting habits.
Many small wine coolers are also aimed at more entry-level customers and are more likely to feature thermoelectric coolers rather than compressors. A wine cooler that is too small also struggles to maintain humidity.
Or, some people buy a wine cooler that is too big. The best large wine coolers cost thousands of dollars and are designed for wines that are 20 years old or more. If you move frequently, large wine coolers are difficult to move! Your new or downsized home may not be able to accommodate a very large wine cooler.
Like the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" story, here we review the "just right" wine cooler that can sit under the counter or stand alone in a den or strikeout basement.
The above briefly introduces the benefits and necessity of built-in wine coolers. If you want to buy built-in wine coolers or independent wine coolers, please contact us.
Josoo is a professional custom wine cooler manufacturer. Specializing in the production of kitchen appliances such as wine cooler / beverage cooler / beer cooler / cigar cooler / ice maker / dry cooler. Products have passed GS/CE/ETL/ERP/ROHS/REACH/DOE/CB certification and reports. We have a strong technical team with more than 15 years of experience in the wine cooler industry, our products are carefully designed with innovative P to meet different customized OEM needs.