How much do you really need a Wine Fridge?

Taylors Wines’ new temperature sensitive label displays when your wine is perfectly chilled. So who needs a wine fridge?

Owning a wine fridge
Quick Guide

Owning a wine fridge

Do you really need a Wine Fridge?
Yes – if you’re a wine connoisseur or intend to keep your wines for a reasonable period before drinking.

 

No – if you buy your wine to drink and only want a fridge to keep it cool in.
 
Where else could you use? 

A cool cellar or basement, under the house or even the bottom of a cupboard.

Anything else you should know?

Taylors Wines have just introduced a temperature sensitive label panel telling you the perfect temperature to drink your wine. So if you were considering a wine fridge just to manage the correct temperature at which to serve your beverage, now the wine tells you itself!

Tip

Most wine drinkers will know that red wine needs to be served warmer than white. But not everyone understands that there are even different serving temperatures between whites. Chardonnay for example, should be served at around 12°C whereas a Classic Dry White can easily cope with being served at 4°C.

How much do you really need a Wine Fridge?

Wine fridge, wine cabinet, wine cooler – but never a bar fridge – whatever you call them wine fridges are still enormously popular, these days being incorporated as a standard built-in in eight out of ten luxury kitchen installations¹. But a wine fridge by any other name is still a receptacle designed solely for wine storage, and that’s a reasonable outlay for an appliance with just one purpose.

What is a Wine Fridge Good For?

With around 15,000 wine fridges being sold in Australia every year, someone clearly thinks they’re a pretty necessary investment. So why can’t a bottle of plonk just go in the everyday garden variety food fridge with the milk, butter and lettuce?

It’s all to do with maintaining constant temperature and humidity levels. Low light and vibration are other important considerations, none of which are likely to be achievable in the kitchen fridge particularly if there are children in the family.
 
A dedicated wine fridge is useful in two ways. Firstly, it ensures your wine is kept at the best storage temperature to keep the wine fresh, the cork (if there is one) moist and the contents stable. This in turn protects the integrity of the flavour of the wine, preserving it as the wine maker originally intended. Wine can easily spoil if it becomes too hot. 
 
Secondly, it keeps the wine at optimal drinking temperature, particularly if you invest in one with different temperature zones for the different wines contained (red versus sparkling for example). But one wine fridge that performs both of these functions is an expensive investment and, combined with the need for dedicated housing space and additional running costs, needs to be thoughtfully assessed as a useful investment – or not.

Do You Really Need One?

Have a think about your wine consumption habits. Do you buy wine to keep for years to come? Or do you consume the wine you buy within a fairly short time frame (months rather than years)? Do you just want to keep your wine at the optimal serving temperature? Then think about your house environment. Do you have space for a dedicated fridge? Is there somewhere else you could keep your wine – a cool, dry basement or a spare cupboard for example – that would work just as well?

If your primary objective in storing wine is to maintain a suitable serving temperature, then unless you buy a wine fridge with multiple temperature zones or invest in several wine fridges for each wine variety, you’re not really going to be achieving much more than an ongoing appliance expense as new technology could be making the wine fridge redundant.
 
Taylors Wines have just introduced new labelling to their Taylors Estate Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris wines. Whilst a pretty new packaging design featuring silver twists and ‘...refreshing white wine cues...’ sounds all very appealing, it’s the inclusion of innovative new temperature sensitive ink that really sets these wines apart. The back label on these wines incorporates a temperature sensitive indicator panel which changes colour depending on the temperature of the bottle’s contents. In a nutshell, the wine itself tells you when it’s the right temperature to be served.
 
And why is it so important to serve wine at the ‘correct’ temperature? Wine’s flavour and aromas really do change with heat – or lack of. Serving wine too cold, as will often be the case when serving straight from the fridge or freezer, will mask a wine’s aromas and flavours. Alternatively, served too warm, the wine is less refreshing and the alcohol can be emphasised leaving it flat and flabby. Hear Neil Hadley, Taylors Wines’ Master of Wine explain why serving wine correctly chilled is so important here.

Other Storage Options 

If you decide that investing in a wine fridge really isn’t an option, there are a number of other ways to store wine. See our other article How to Store Wine for some useful advice.

Deciding on whether or not to invest in a wine fridge is a very personal decision and needs to be considered as a significant investment much like a new car. Weigh up all the pros and cons, starting with an understanding of exactly what you want your wine fridge to do. If it’s to cellar wine for long term maturation and stability, then the answer is likely to be yes. If it’s simply to store wine at the correct temperature, it may be that technology such as that being introduced by Taylors Wines will remove the need for such an investment as the wine itself will tell you when it should be drunk.

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