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How Do I Choose the Best Wine Refrigerator?

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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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Choosing the best wine refrigerator is largely a facet of two things: knowing the market and knowing your priorities. There are many different types of wine refrigerators available, ranging from economical to extreme. Taking the time to honestly evaluate your needs and desires will help you find a product that will be useful, and understanding all of the options available will ensure that you do not leave anything out.

The first thing to do when planning to buy a wine refrigerator is to take a hard look at your space. Some models are designed to sit on a counter top, while others are intended to be free-standing, floor-based appliances. Many of the higher-end models are made to be built directly into a kitchen space, much as a dishwasher would be. Knowing how you want to use the refrigerator is a good way to narrow down the field.

Thinking about how many bottles you want to store is important, as well. Small collections are usually best suited for a wine cooler with a low capacity. Most of the time, a wine refrigerator needs to be at least half full at all times in order to remain efficient. A wine refrigerator with a 28 bottle capacity may look sharp, but it is not usually the best option for someone who has only a handful of bottles on hand at a given time.

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For some purchasers, wine type is also a consideration. Most wine refrigerators come with the ability to precisely control the internal temperature. Usually, white wine should be kept cooler than reds. Wine connoisseurs sometimes also keep different varietals and vintages at slightly different temperatures. Some high-end manufacturers cater to this sort of clientele with dual chamber refrigerators, capable of storing wine at varying degrees of cold within the same appliance.

One you have a better sense of your ideal wine refrigerator's basic parameters, it is time to do some market research. Many different manufacturers make wine refrigerators, and most make more than one. Setting a budget is a good place to start. From there, making the best choice is usually a matter of reading the fine print, evaluating the appliance’s appearance and feel in person, and reading reviews, both professional and consumer-written.

Things like electricity output and ambient noise may not be immediately discernible just by looking at a wine refrigerator. Reviewers will often make these and other observations, however, which can be very helpful for new purchasers. Wine critics and lifestyle magazines often write reviews of refrigerators, and consumers may also weigh in with their thoughts on websites where the appliances are sold. Spending time in due-diligence research at the front end can save you from a host of surprises later on down the line.

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