Oct 27 2021

For a lot of people, wine is not simply just a drink, instead, it is a staple of their everyday lives. From cooking with it to drinking it, knowing how to store it is essential.  The two main types of wine storage are wine racks and wine coolers, but it can be difficult to know which is best suited to you. 

Wine storage racks are most often believed to be better than a cooler, but what is the reasoning behind this?

What is a wine rack cooler?

A wine cooler is a specialised refrigerator that incorporates a wine rack and a fridge into one. In a lot of cases, you can change the temperature of the cooler; this allows you to cater it to the wine that you are storing. They are usually found in kitchens and are increasingly being built-in to blend into the surrounding cabinets seamlessly. 

What is a wine rack?

Not only is a wine rack a form of wine storage, but it is also a beautiful piece of furniture. A wine rack is essentially a shelving unit that is constructed to hold bottles of wine. Wine racks are very versatile pieces that vary in appearance and application; they come in multiple shapes and sizes and can range from freestanding to wall-mounted. Due to their adaptable nature, they can be placed in any room of the house to display your wine collection. 

What makes a wine rack better than a wine cooler?

Most noticeably, a wine rack is considerably less expensive to buy and maintain than a wine cooler. A wine rack will not only store your wine, but it will present it in an extravagant fashion, rather than hide it away like a wine cooler. Furthermore, a rack is much more adaptable as it can be placed on display, whereas you will have to navigate space for a wine cooler. Additionally, if not properly monitored, a cooler may bring your wine to too low a temperature and ultimately spoil it. 

Where should you put a wine rack?

The most common mistake people make is placing a wine rack in the kitchen which is one of the rooms that is most prone to varying temperatures. Instead, you should place your wine rack in the room of your house with the coolest, most consistent temperature. This will minimise the risk of your wine spoiling. 

What material should your wine rack be?

Usually, wine racks are made from wood, but there are also some models that are made from metal. Metal is the easiest option as there are fewer requirements that it needs to meet in order to be an effective storage solution.

However, if you are after a wooden wine rack, you must invest in a hardwood product to ensure that it is strong enough to hold multiple bottles. Softwoods will not be durable and will deteriorate over time. Similarly, you should not buy wine racks finished with wood stain as the odour can taint your wines. Finally, diamond-shaped racks may look appealing, but they do not provide a sturdy foundation for your round bottles. 

Ultimately if you are opting for a wooden wine rack you must examine it to see that it meets all your criteria ahead of purchase. 

What is the optimal temperature for wine?

Typically, wine should be stored between 7.5 and 18.5 degrees Celsius, but the exact temperature will depend on the individual wine. If wine gets too hot, it will spoil and ultimately “cook”, whereas storing wine in too cool a climate may dry out the cork. This will allow air into the bottle and eventually damage the wine. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, frequent changes in temperature can cause the wine to seep out and consequently dull the flavours.

Like temperature, there is an optimal humidity for wine storage; this is 70%. If the air is too dry, it will have the same effect as if the wine is stored in too cool an environment. If the air is too humid, the moisture can result in mould; this should not present too much of an issue for the wine itself if the bottle is properly sealed, but it could damage the label. 

Should wine bottles be stored horizontally or vertically?

Wine bottles with corks should always be stored horizontally in order to prevent the cork from drying out. However, wine bottles with lids or plastic corks are also best stored on their side in order to best optimise the space that you have available to you. 

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