So, you’re an enjoyer of the good stuff. You can rattle off the crus of Burgundy and know your favorite Barolo vintages. Or maybe you’re just getting into wine collecting, with a few bottles of vintage Champagne or a few bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from your last trip to Napa stashed away.
Either way, you need a safe space to store those wines. After all, the liquor store box turned on its side can only hold so many bottles, and you are putting your collection at risk from swings in temperature. You need a wine fridge. And, not just any wine fridge. You need a reliable, sturdy wine fridge that will keep your precious bottles safe until it’s finally time to crack them open.
When you start wine collecting, you’re purchasing for your current self and your future self. Both selves deserve wine at its peak.
For the bottles that need a bit of time to mature, a wine fridge keeps them at the optimal temperature and humidity. Harshness mellows, tertiary flavors develop. Infant wines progress through adolescence into adulthood. This requires patience and a stable climate. Wine fridges are designed to keep your bottles at peak until they’re ready, rather than leaving them in the fluctuating temperature and humidity of your home.
“But can’t I just stash these in the fridge?” you may be wondering. You cannot. Temperatures can fluctuate. Other flavors can taint the wines (unless you like garlic-chicken-flavored Premier Cru Burgundy), plus home refrigerators are designed to keep out humidity whereas wine fridges maintain humidity. This is crucial for keeping the cork moist, which allows the aging process to progress unimpeded.
There are many wine fridges out there on the market, but a lot of them are really just boxes with glorified fans. Many of them don’t actually use refrigerant, meaning they have to work extra hard to maintain temperature, and because of the extra stress, don’t last as long. Trust us, we’ve had to toss many a fridge out to the curb, and it’s not a fun experience to see all of that wasted time and effort sitting in a pile of junk.
After being fooled for the last time, we decided it was time to invest in a real fridge, and we’ve found this fridge to be the best option for those ready to get serious about their wine habit but are not quite ready to build out a Pinterest-worthy cellar. The Grand Reserve Dual-Zone Wine Fridge, holding 46 bottles, is extra special, as it can maintain two temperatures between the optimal aging zone of 41 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
It comes in two options; a sleek stainless steel frame that can stand alone in your home or a frameless version that can be placed into a kitchen counter. Both options ventilate from the bottom of the front panel, making installation extremely easy and efficient. Most importantly, it comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor and 5 years on the compressor, meaning it’s ready for the long-haul. There is also a 30-bottle and a 90-bottle option. However, we’ve found that the 46-bottle size is optimal for most novice to intermediate collectors.
Whichever option you go with, your hard-earned wines will be safe for as long as they’re being stored. When you have this wine fridge, you can stop worrying about whether your bottles are aging alright and instead can worry about filling it with more treasures for your future self to enjoy. Cheers to the future!