Shopping for a wine cooler, wine refrigerator, or wine cabinet can be a bewildering task. With so many styles available, it's difficult to decide what might be right for you and your growing wine collection. Here are a few important factors to consider when comparing wine coolers:
What is your budget? Wine preservation systems are available at a variety of price points. Compact, inexpensive systems from brands like Transtherm are the most affordable options, and might be perfect for someone who collects on a small scale. Serious collectors who are looking for a reliable system that can store a large number of bottles might me more interested in the bigger wine cabinets from a company such as Le Cache, which produces some of the must luxurious wine cabinets available.
Where will you put the wine cooler? Location is key, for logistical as well as aesthetic reasons. If you're planning on storing your wine in the garage, you need a traditional vapor compression refrigeration system and a unit with a solid door that can keep your collection at the ideal, consistent temperature of 55 to 65 degrees. If you're storing your wine in your kitchen, you might be able to use the more cost-efficient thermoelectric wine cooling system like those available in Transtherm refrigerators. You'll also want a unit that provides an ideal environment for your wine but also fits with the dè cor of your house. Le Cache and Vintage Series are companies that make wine cabinets perfect for in-home display.
How large do you expect your collection to get? Many new wine collectors buy a wine cabinet based on the size of their current collections. However, the vast majority of wine collectors find that their wine cabinets fill up very quickly, and then they have no place to store newly acquired bottles. Anticipate that your wine collection will expand significantly over the years, and size your wine storage system accordingly.