Wine has been made by humans since 6,000 BC. The first winemakers discovered that heat is the number one enemy of wine, causing it to lose flavor and aroma. To keep their wine in the best condition, they aged it in deep, cool, underground cellars. Today, having a temperature and humidity controlled wine cellar or wine cooling cabinet continues to be the best way to age and serve fine wines.
Since wine is a natural, perishable food, it can spoil when exposed to heat, light, vibration or frequent temperature changes. Ideally, red wines should be stored and served between 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit, and white wines should be stored and served between 49-55 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity level must be high enough to keep the wine corks from drying out and allowing air to oxidize the wine.
When stored at optimal temperatures, wines can maintain their quality and sometimes even improve their aroma, flavor and complexity as they age. In order to control the temperature and humidity where you store your wine, you will need a cooling system. Here are a few different temperature control systems and units for you to consider.
Wine Cellar Cooling System
A wine cellar cooler is a standalone unit that controls the temperature and humidity of the air in a wine cellar to keep wine for long-term aging. The wine cellar room itself must be darkened to keep light out and wine cellar shelves must be stabilized to eliminate vibration. There are several different forms that these coolers take:
- Self-Contained System: cools and humidifies the air within the cellar and exhausts it into the same cellar space. This system is ideal for a walk-in wine closet or a small wine cellar.
- Wall-Mounted System: cools and humidifies the air in the wine cellar and exhausts it into an attached room. This system is installed in the wall between the two rooms to facilitate the air exchange.
- Duct System: sends cooled and humidified supply air into the wine cellar from another room and returns the warmer and drier air to the same room to begin the process again. This system looks like a central air conditioning system and is usually ceiling mounted.
Wine Cooling Cabinet
A wine cooling cabinet is a standalone refrigeration unit that controls the temperature and humidity of the air to keep wine perfect for immediate drinking. These cabinets have darkened glass doors to keep light to a minimum and are stabilized to get rid of vibrations. The larger wine cooling cabinets are dual zone cabinets that have two separate compartments to keep your red wines and white wines at different temperatures. There are two different styles available for these cabinets:
- Free-standing cabinets can be place in any room because they are entirely self-contained.
- Built-in wine cabinets can be installed in a kitchen or bar under a work counter.
Whatever cooling system or cooling unit you decide to purchase, make sure that it is built with aluminum and not plastic components. Also, make sure that motor in the cooling system is quiet.
The above considerations can help you decide how to keep your wine perfect until you are ready to drink it. You can find wonderful wine refrigeration systems from a supplier like Wineaccessory.com.