Protecting your wine in Summer
With the UK about to experience its highest ever recorded temperatures on Monday it’s probably time to think about protecting your finest bottles from the very worst of the hot weather over what looks to be a scorching summer.
Today we’ll discuss some of the very best wine coolers that will protect your wine and keep it cool during the summer (and all) months. However, there are some questions you need to ask yourself about your wine, where you want to keep your wine fridge around your home (or elsewhere) and your budget before you can really know which is the best wine storage solution for you.
Why does hot weather harm wine?
Going back centuries, even to Roman times, they knew that leaving your amphorae out and exposed to direct sunlight or warm temperatures was going to spoil the wine. Wine is a natural, organic product and even though the natural properties of tannin and acidity will protect your wine in bottle to some degree, sunlight and heat are going to excite the molecules in bottle and cause premature ageing if exposed for a length of time. Extreme heat may even slowly cook your wine, or cause the cork to fail.
All wine producers and chateau have either underground cellars to protect their wine from the elements or temperature controlled wineries (or both!) and so to protect your wine you need to emulate those conditions of coolness (12c is the ideal temperature for wine maturation), darkness, a select humidity and low/no vibration. Many people keep their wine in a rack in a kitchen and whilst that is fine for wine you're aiming to drink within the next few months, for fine wine, this is far from the optimum method of storing wine over the longer term.
How do wine fridges protect my wine?
All our wine fridges and cabinets guard against the four key elements that can prematurely age or spoil wine; heat, light, vibration and humidity.
All wine cabinets guard against heat with internal temperatures that you can set from an electronic control panel. Some have a single temperature zone, usually programmable between 5-18c, whilst others are dual or even triple zones. Wine coolers will hold your wine at this temperature.
All wine coolers also guard against UV light whether they have a solid door, that blocks out 100% of UV light or a double/triple glazed UV protected glass door which will filter out 99% of the suns rays.
All our wine fridges also benefits from automatically set and monitored humidity, with the internal humidity levels between 55-85% typically, ideal for wine to avoid drying out of corks or labels.
Lastly, they're all low vibration thanks to the shelving and the compressors that run the units being designed specifically to avoid vibration.
Compare this to a wine rack in the kitchen and it's easy to see why a wine fridge may be of some benefit in maturing fine wine!
Which wine cooler is right for me?
Depending on the space you have allocated for your wine and the type of wine you want to drink/cellar, not every wine cooler is right for every situation, ask yourself a few simple questions to narrow down your options;
Where do you want to put your wine cooler?
Modern homes in the UK aren’t always spacious. Many of us live in flats or smaller homes in cities and having a room dedicated to wine storage, like a cellar, is not always an option. In these cases you may be forced to keep your wine collection in an unheated room like a garage or conservatory and if that’s the case you are going to need a wine cooler with a wide ranging ambient temperature rating and potentially a winter system (meaning your wine fridge can also heat the storage space as well as cool it in winter).
A great option for wine storage that can cope with extremes of temperature in outbuildings are the Climadiff or Artevino wine cabinet ranges. These wine cabinets have wide ranging ambient operating temperatures and are also economical to run and contain winter systems for colder weather as well as coping well in hot weather. These are our recommendations for a wine cabinet kept out of home.
If you're looking to build a wine cooler into your kitchen be aware that not all kitchen wine coolers are designed for long term storage of fine wine with many simply designed for wine service and lacking the functionality needed for long term wine storage like a charcoal filter for example. Brands like Swisscave are ideal for building into kitchens for those who also want to cellar all or some of their wine over the longer term in the kitchen.
If you've neither space in the kitchen or an outbuilding then you'll be looking for a wine fridge that looks great in a living space, the Dunavox range are designed specifically to blend nicely into a home setting and are super stylish.
What type of wine do I have?
Do you want to store a lot of wine over the longer term, in which case a wine cabinet is the best choice, or do you want to just drink wine at service temperature, or do you want? your wine fridge to allow for both of these options?
Those who drink red and white wines would benefit from a dual zone wine fridge if they're looking for wine service but if they're looking for long term storage then a wine cabinet with one zone is fine as both red/white and Champagne can all be cellared over the longer term at the same temperature.
Those who want partial service and partial storage should also go for a dual zone or a multi zone that will allow you to use part of the wine cabinet for service and part for storage.
Think about your wine collection, your wine drinking habits and how they are likely to evolve over time when thinking about which wine cooler to choose.
Which is the best wine cabinet for an outbuilding/garage when temperatures soar?
We recommend the Climadiff Reserve range, these come in 185, 225, 275 and 300 bottle capacities and offer superb value for money.
Which is the best wine fridge for the home in hot weather?
Assuming your home offers some protection from extreme temperatures with central heating for the winter time all our wine coolers will be able to power through a British heatwave or deep freeze as long as they're not kept in direct sunlight. Use the chat function to speak to an expert about your specific needs.