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Choosing Your Wine Cellar: Bottle Count, Built-In or Under-Counter

Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 9:13:28 AM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

The world of wine storage has seen significant advances over the past few years. One of those advances has been a dramatic increase in the number of smaller Wine Coolers. While variety is the spice of life, it can be tough to navigate through the maze of wine refrigerators and wine cellars, especially for the novice collector.


Selecting a Bottle Count

The most popular question  I come across from people just starting their wine collection is “How much capacity do I need?” Deciding what size unit, or what bottle count, is dependent on many factors, including:

  • the amount of space you have
  • where in your house you plan to keep it i.e. under-counter or on top of a counter
  • how large your collection is and how much you anticipate it growing

If you are planning on keeping it on a counter top, then one of the 12 Bottle Silent Units is the way to go. There are 1 temp and 2 temp options (the 2 temp allows you to serve white wines from the unit), and like all Silent Wine Refrigerators they need around 2-3” clearance in the back, top and sides. You can use a 16 Bottle as a Countertop Unit as well, but standard cabinet height usually makes that a little difficult when taking the clearance into consideration.

If you are going to put your wine cooler under the counter, the silent units can work as well as long as it is set up in a “recessed” fashion and given the same clearance as mentioned above, but a true built-in unit may function a little better. Typically you want to get a unit with at least 25-50% more capacity than the amount of bottles you already have. If I have learned anything over the years helping customers with their wine storage needs it’s that it’s always better to have more capacity available and not need it, than to need more capacity and not have it! Plus if you entertain often or have certain family members that dig into your wine collection at will, it’s advantageous to keep a few extra bottles on hand to oblige.

Long or Short-Term Storage

Another thing to keep in mind is that all of these thermoelectric Silent units are meant for shorter term storage, and to a degree the same goes for the N’Finity units.  So if your goal from the start is to age your wine for the long-term, than you probably want to look at an actual wine cellar, such as a Vinotheque or EuroCave. Because they are created to provide the optimal storage climate for proper long term aging, going with even an entry level, smaller wine cellar unit will be a much smarter investment for your future wine collection.

The bottom line is this; you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a unit that will store your wine properly. But you should be considering how much you are spending on wine to help decide what quality level of unit you should use to store it. If you tend to just keep a couple of cases of $20-50 wine and none of it lasts more than a year or so, then one of the Silent Refrigerators or N’Finity Wine Cellars are perfect. However, if you have even a few top quality wines that you are expecting to last for the long haul, you may want to consider going with a wine cellar worthy of your collection.

As always, if you need any guidance or advice I urge you to contact one of our experienced Wine Storage Consultants at 800-377-3330 for a full consultation.

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3 Responses to “Choosing Your Wine Cellar: Bottle Count, Built-In or Under-Counter”

  1. [...] Choosing Your Wine Cellar: Bottle Count, Built-In or Under-Counter by Marshall T. [...]

  2. [...] Choosing Your Wine Cellar: Bottle Count, Built-In or Under-Counter by Marshall T. [...]

  3. [...] Choosing Your Wine Cellar: Bottle Count, Built-In or Under-Counter by Marshall T. [...]

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