Tip 1: Count Your Bottles
Before you even make your wine fridge purchase, you’ll need a stocktake of your current wine haul to work out the required capacity. Will your new wine fridge be used to store all of your wines or will it act as more of a middle ground between storing and drinking? For most of Australia (at least, anywhere temperatures regularly exceed 20 degrees), wines should be stored in a climate-controlled setting, so your location may be a contributing factor to how big your fridge needs to be. The type of wine you’re storing may also come into play. “Most wine fridge manufacturers base their capacity on a standard style bottle,” says Peter Simic, National Category Manager – Refrigeration at The Good Guys. This means that not all bottles will fit neatly beside each other, so the capacity may vary. “The size of residential wine fridges varies from as small as 30 bottles all the way up to 170 bottles,” says Peter Simic.
Tip 2: Know Where To Put It
Location is vital – and we’re not just talking about the Champagne region. First things first, when your brand new wine fridge arrives, avoid turning it on for 24 hours so the refrigerant gases have a chance to settle post-transportation. You’ll need to find a place with a flat, even and stable surface out of direct sunlight. If your wine fridge is a new addition to your outdoor alfresco area, be sure it’s somewhere very well sheltered and not within reach of moisture, rain or wind – they’re not made to be exposed to the elements. Steer clear of heat sources (such as ovens and barbecues) and confined spaces, as they need plenty of room to breathe. “Once you’ve found the perfect place, you’ll want to fill the fridge with wine before you turn it on,” says Peter Simic. For best results, space the bottles out evenly.
Tip 3: Consider Your Drink Of Choice
You’ll want to do your research, as the optimum temperature settings are different for each variety of wine. For most whites, the serving temperature can vary between six to eight degrees for varieties such as sauvignon blanc and Pinot Gris, up to 13 degrees for Chardonnay; cellaring wine settings for any variety should sit at around 12 to 14 degrees, and most red wines should be served at around 16 to 18 degrees. Don’t want to choose just one? Invest in a fridge that either has dual zones, such as the Vintec 50 Bottle Dual Zone Cabinet or a wine cellar with a gradient of temperature throughout the cabinet to ensure all wine styles are kept at their optimal drinking temperature, like the Vintec 170 Bottle Wine Cabinet.