Is it possible that some wine coolers will suit the maturation of Pinot Noir better than others? Actually yes, there are some wine fridges that are better suited to Pinot Noir and Burgundy shaped bottles than others, but how so, and which are they?
Pinot Noir comes in, almost exclusively, Burgundy shaped bottles. This makes sense, the finest wines in the world are from this region with Echezeaux, Richebourg, Clos de la Roche, Clos de Vougeot, Chambertin, La Tache, Bonnes-Mares and many more famous names emulated (or attempted to do so) across the New and Old World. These producers, from Sonoma to Willamette, from Central Otago to Martinborough all bottle their Pinot Noir in Burgundy shaped bottles.
If you want a wine cooler for Pinot Noir then, you want a wine cooler for Burgundy shaped bottles. All wine fridge capacities are measured in standard 75cl Bordeaux shaped bottles, all can 'take' Burgundy shaped bottles, it simply reduces the internal capacity, but what should you look for if your wine collection is almost exclusively Pinot Noir?
The five most important factors to consider when buying a wine cooler for Pinot Noir bottles are;
A single zone wine cooler
If you're mostly storing or maturing Pinot Noir over the longer term then you don't really need a dual zone wine cooler. If however you want to have a section for service of your Pinot Noir at the ideal temperature and space for storage then a dual zone wine cooler may benefit you.
Single zone wine coolers are usually i) cheaper and ii) have larger internal capacities meaning you can store more bottles iii) are more energy efficient as they only need to keep the internal temperature at one set temperature.
Even if you want to serve your Pinot Noir from your wine cooler we would still recommend the single zone, and simply pulling your wine out 30 minutes before serving if you enjoy Pinot Noir at room temperature. Depending on the type of Pinot Noir, 12°C could also be a good service temperature especially for wines from Alsace or Germany.
Burgundy optimised shelving
Some freestanding wine fridge producers, like Swisscave, come stocked already with MIX shelving where every other row of shelving is optimised for either Bordeaux or Burgundy shaped bottles. However, the option exists to swap out your Bordeaux shelving for Burgundy shelving thus creating an entirely optimised wine cabinet especially for Pinot Noir.
Space for cases
Those wine lovers who collect mostly one grape also tend to collect cases of wine from one vintage to enjoy their evolution over the decades. If you have many wooden boxes in which your wine is kept these can also be placed into certain wine cabinets. Wine cabinets traditionally have less shelves, so more internal space and depth for wine cases than wine coolers.
If you need to mature wine over the longer term than it would make sense to opt for a wine cabinet with a carbon filter. Charcoal filters keep the air clean, prevent bad odours and keep the wine from taint.
Almost all premium wine cabinets come with carbon/charcoal filters as they are essential for wine maturation.
Charcoal filters need to be changed annually.
Good height distance between rows of shelving
Pinot Noir/Burgundy bottles are thicker at the base than standard Bordeaux bottles and due to this you must ensure that the height between shelves can take these bottles without scraping the labels or butting the shelving up, causing the wines on the shelf above to not lay flat, which could also harm the wines long term prospects, drying out the cork.
Small wine coolers of less than 30 bottles can often have very limited shelf heights so be careful to check if Burgundy shaped bottles will fit neatly.
Which are the best wine coolers for Pinot Noir bottles?
Our top three recommendations are;
1) The Swisscave WL455F is a single zone wine cabinet, has enough height between shelves, with a charcoal filter, MIX shelving (which can be changed to 100% Burgundy shelving) and allows shelving to be removed to store wooden wine cases. This wine cabinet ticks all the boxes for the ideal Pinot Noir wine cooler.
2) If the WL455F is not premium enough, then upgrade from the classic edition to the premium edition Swisscave WLB-460F. This unit has all the benefits of the WL455F plus multi-coloured LED lighting, more shelves and a different, more modern aesthetic.
3) If you're a serious collector with many cases who needs a large capacity then how about the Climadiff Reserve 300XL which has a huge internal capacity capable of holding almost 300 bottles as well as all the features required to keep wine over the longer term.
Other good options would be the Artevino by Eurocave range, whose sole purpose is the long term maturation of wine at the most cost effective, energy efficient price.
If you need any help or recommendations cellaring your Burgundy/Pinot Noir then please use our chat facility where a member of the team will be happy to help.