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Back Issues
2012 - Summer Issue
Casas Bonitas
The Final Touch
Article: Jasmine Evaristo
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A good wine is something to savor and celebrate, but it doesn't come without careful thought and consideration. Wine refrigerators are precisely tailored to preserve and age wine, creating an environment simulating a wine cellar. Storing and aging wine properly, brings out its pure characteristics and full flavor potential. While not all homes or budgets meet the paradigm for a proper wine cellar – with evolving technologies, wine refrigerators are ideal alternatives. From the casual wine enthusiast to the vino connoisseur, wine cooler refrigerators offer one of the most affordable and efficient means of wine storing and aging on the market, with a controlled environment perfectly suited to meet the needs of both young and aged wines.

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1.) Miele

2.) Wolfe Sub Zero

3.) Wolf Sub Zero

4.) Miele

5.) Miele

Builders Source

Ferguson Supply

Mebel RUST
Wine refrigerators are designed to create a stable temperature zone that can be set between 50°-59° Fahrenheit. Within this temperature range, wine can be sustained excellently for short-term storage, whilst aging optimally for long-term storage. Temperature stability is the primary reason why storage in a normal refrigerator can mistreat wine, as your typical household refrigerator is kept at temperatures well below 50° Fahrenheit. Such cool temperatures may keep wine from perishing, but the caveat is that it can keep wine from developing to its full flavor potential. If you have a large collection of both reds and whites, look for a dual zone version which has two temperature compartments.

Humidity is another important concern for optimal wine storage. Humidity levels that are too low may cause the corks to dry out, but with levels too high, you run the risk of mold growth. The ideal humidity level for storing wine is 50 to 70 percent. Unfortunately, not all wine refrigerators have built-in humidity control, particularly the smaller, less expensive versions. Most bottles will probably be fine in the short term, but for very expensive bottles or those that will be stored for more than six months, a refrigerator with humidity protection is optimal. For those into more serious aging, wine cellars may be the best long-term option due to their proper humidity control.

Wine refrigerators also provide storage conditions free of vibrations. Vibrations, such as those occurring in regular refrigerators, disrupts the naturally occurring sediment in wine, which in turn disrupts the wine's natural aging process. Vibrations cause movement that can prematurely age wine as surely as excessive heat. By design, wine refrigerators limit vibrations as much as possible so that wine can rest without disturbance.

Natural light is the natural enemy of wine. Dark and thickly composed wine bottles offer some protection; however, prolonged exposure to natural or fluorescent light will break down and destroy a wine's flavor over time. Wine that has suffered exposure tastes flat and uninteresting. Wine refrigerators can be tailored and outfitted with solid doors, or glass doors with built-in light protection to ensure wine evades such damaging effects.

Wine refrigerators both store and age wine. In the short term (under six months), wine is kept in ideal storage conditions as to ensure preservation of the flavor intended to enjoy either tonight, or six months from now. Wine refrigerators also keep wine to proper serving temperature, making the drinking experience optimal to varietal taste. In addition to short-term storage, wine refrigerators can produce excellent environments to age wine anywhere from one year onwards. Considering more than 80 percent of wines are meant to be consumed upon bottling, wine refrigerators will meet the majority of wine lovers' storing and aging needs. For those into more serious aging, wine cellars may be the best long-term option due to their proper humidity control.

Wine refrigerators offer a convenience catered to lifestyle and function, allowing for wine storage in one dedicated location that can fit anywhere from a kitchen counter to a built-in unit within the cabinetry. Rather than storing wine in a basement, closet or add-on, wine can be cached in the kitchen, near or in the desired serving area. Of course, the portable serviceability of wine refrigerators provides the flexibility to relocate and reposition as necessary.

And mindful to price, consider the value of purchasing a slightly larger wine refrigerator as a collection has the potential to expand over the years. If selected wisely, a single, new wine refrigerator purchased with much thought and consideration can accommodate any developing wine palate. ///
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