With the Okanagan Valley wine region in our backyard, BC wine lovers have access to some of the finest whites, reds and roses around - delicious enough to want to store and preserve them effectively
Credit: iStock / YinYang

With the Okanagan Valley wine region in our backyard, BC wine lovers have access to some of the finest whites, reds and roses around - delicious enough to want to store and preserve them effectively

Collecting fine wine requires proper storage to keep each bottle in its prime. No ordinary fridge will do for aging robust reds or keeping crisp whites fresh. Aging wine is best housed in a wine cooler that can fit a growing collection. When choosing a wine cooler for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Size: How many bottles are you looking to store? Do you plan to grow your collection? If so, think long term about how much space you’ll need.

Consider bottle size as well. Champagne and Burgundy bottles are larger than the average wine bottle and require more space.

Wine Type: What type of wine do you plan on storing? If you want to house your whites, reds, and sparkling bottles in the same unit you’ll need a two-zone chiller to cater to each variety’s needs.

Cooler Construction: Aluminium is best for the interior of the cooler, as it conducts heat and cold better than plastic. A textured lining ensures optimal humidity, which is needed to preserve corked bottles. Shelves that roll out allow easier access to bottles, and while shelves can come in a variety of materials, wood racks are the sturdiest – not to mention the stateliest.

Vibration: While slight vibration caused by the cooling compressor is normal, shaking can be detrimental to the quality of the wine over time. So look for units that are mounted on rubber blocks to absorb the movement and leave the wine undisturbed.

Here are five companies whose coolers make the grade.

Cavavin
Credit: Cavavin

Cavavin

Montreal-based Cavavin has been the leading Canadian company in the wine cooling business since the 1980s, and its products are considered cutting edge due to their unique combination of technology, style, quality and value.

Each wine cellar is designed and manufactured to meet five essential conditions for preserving wine. They maintain temperature, stabilize humidity and sufficiently ventilate and sanitize the air to prevent mould or mildew growth. They also come equipped with Energy Star rated glass doors that filter 100% of the sun's damaging UV rays, and their cooling compressor operates at 28 decibels so as to leave the wine’s natural sediments undisturbed.

Cavavin’s Majestika collection offers highly customizable units in wood, steel or laminate, to suit any space, whether you're adding one to your kitchen or installing a wall-to-wall cellar.

Cavavin products are available at Sears, Midland appliances, and Colony Warehouse.

Chigo
Credit: Chigo

Chigo

Available at Costco, Chigo wine coolers blend functionality and affordability to produce high quality coolers at Costco prices. House all of your reds, white or bubblies in one of its dual zone temperature control units.

These elegant cabinet-style coolers will blend seamlessly into your surrounding décor and can accommodate up to 96 bottles of your favourite vintages. Chigo also offers energy efficient thermoelectric coolers, which effectively eliminate the vibration common to compressor systems.

Marvel
Credit: Marvel

Marvel

Marvel’s stainless steel undercounter wine coolers complement kitchen design while discreetly and conveniently housing your wine collection at arm's reach. Due to their compact design, Marvel units do not offer the capacity of other coolers, but make up for it with stackable styles that let you turn your undercounter unit into a standing fridge. Available in single or dual zone models at Pacific Specialty Brands.

Whynter
Credit: Whynter

Whynter

Whynter produces a wide variety of wine coolers from free standing to built-in models in capacities that range from 16 to 46 bottles. These compact units fit small spaces without compromising on style. Sturdy shelving, adequate ventilation, and easy LED controlling for either single or dual zone temperature models make Whynter wine coolers an especially great choice for first time collectors looking to learn the benefits of professional wine cooling. Available at Sears.

Danby
Credit: Danby

Danby

Danby offers a range of wine coolers from six-bottle to 75-bottle models that are free standing, allowing them to go from store to floor without hassle. Simple but sleek in design, they are unfussy options for elegant wine storage. Various models offer sturdy wooden racks, inner lighting to display your collection and LED screens to control temperature. Available at Home Depot.

If you're looking for built-in units with the style and functionality of Danby coolers, try its sister company Silhouette for options.

Wine Coolers: 5 Top-notch Storage Options