Let me start by asking you a simple question; how much do you spend on wine each year? For most people, the passion for wine starts with a bottle here and a bottle there. The next thing you know, you have a wine rack on the kitchen counter with 8 bottles. It might be time to start considering protecting the investment. Wine purchased off your favorite 90 point scale for under $25 can still benefit and remain fresh under the proper conditions.
Ideal wine storage conditions are a constant 55 degrees with a relative humidity about 70%, away for direct sunlight, heat and vibration. When you consider a wine storage cabinet, my first recommendation: stay within your budget. My second: consider the space or location available. Wine cabinets come in all shapes and sizes, from 6 bottles to 600 so my last recommendation: don’t undersize.
When I began collecting, I made that error. I filled a 56 bottle Avanti cabinet within 6 months. After gaining some experience in the matter, a 220 bottle cabinet was the perfect size to fit my wine collecting habit. Wine tasting and collecting can quickly become an addiction. Allow yourself room to grow.
Location and available space are very important factors. Wine cabinets and wine refrigerators come in all physical sizes but they have something in common: cooling. There are front, side and rear venting cabinets designed to fit just about any space. Make sure you consultant with a wine cabinet specialist to make sure the cooling system in the cabinet will work in your environment. Not all cabinets can operate in a garage setting due to extreme summer temperatures. Many wine cabinets can only operate with exterior temperatures less then 80 degrees. A top venting wine cabinet will need about 17 inches of head room for air exchange. Side and rear venting cabinets also need space to exchange air. Consult an expert.
Keeping budget in mind (like all “appliances” or “furniture”) you can go affordable to top of the line. There is a simple formula to consider: take the number of bottles the cabinet stores and multiply it by the average price per bottle you would store. The more expensive your bottles, the more you want to protect that investment with the highest quality product available.
You may be at the beginning, middle or maxed out your collection. Either way, make sure you consider budget, location and size when purchasing a wine cabinet.