If enjoying a nice vintage is high on your entertaining agenda, a wine cabinet could be just the addition
For those who regularly serve wine at parties or buy beaujolais in bulk, it’s time to get serious about wine storage. Fridge temperatures are generally around 3°C, which is fine for a temporary fizz-cooling solution, but too cold for storing wine for any length of time. “There is no white wine designed to be drunk at 3°C,” says Gary Brown, Harvey Norman’s senior brand manager, home appliances. “If you take a bottle of white wine out of the fridge and put it on your table, it’s probably going to take till the third glass before it tastes as it should.” For those who enjoy wine, a dedicated cabinet is the answer.
“If you buy a lot of wine, you should protect the integrity of it, not just leave it in a case or a box in your pantry or under the stairs,” says Gary. “If you get a fluctuation of more than 8–10°C, particularly multiple times, generally it’s going to affect the quality of the wine.” As well as temperature, also coming into play are light, humidity and vibration, and a proper wine cabinet will tick all these boxes to keep your bottles in just the right environment, ready for pouring or
long-term cellaring. Experts at Liebherr say whites should usually be poured at 8–12°C; sparkling likes it quite chilly, at around 7–9°C; and reds prefer a bit closer to room temperature, between 14–20°C. Long-term storage temperatures are likely to be 10–12°C for all wines. If you’re pushed for space, or if you regularly drink both whites and reds, a cabinet with functionality for more than one temperature zone could be the best option.
If you’d like your guests to be able to help themselves, it makes sense to have your wine cabinet within easy reach of your entertaining zone, such as built-in within the wall cabinetry at the dining end of the kitchen, or at the end of the island bench nearest to your table. “The capacity determines how you’re going to install it,” explains Gary. “With a 40-bottle cabinet, a lot of people build them under their island benches.” Bigger models can look amazing when built into the kitchen alongside large fridges, as seen on this season’s
The Block. “That’s a big trend,” says Gary.
1. Fisher & Paykel wine cabinet (50 bottles, also available in 32, 83, 127 and 144), $2449, Fisher & Paykel, fisherpaykel.com/au.Features: Stainless steel with dual temperature zones; low vibration compressor; slide- out oak shelves; UV-tempered glass door. 2. Smeg Dolce Stil Novo built-in wine cellar (18 bottles), $3490, Smeg, smeg.com.au.Features: Electronic temperature control; carbon-filtered air vibration protection; black glass door that allows transparency when light is on; solid oak shelves; sommelier drawer. 3. Vintec multi-zone wine cabinet (170 bottles), $3799, Harvey Norman, as before.Features: Seven adjustable wooden shelves; gradient temperature facility for storing different varieties of wine; anti-UV glass; LED lighting; vibration protection; wooden shelves; optimum humidity control. 4. Miele freestanding wine conditioning unit (178 bottles), $8999, Miele, as before.Features: Three temperature zones; air quality filter; lock function; door alarm; UV-filtered glass; pull- out racks. 5. Liebherr Vinidor Dual Zone built-in wine cellar (80 bottles), $6999, Liebherr, liebherr.com.au.Features: Triple- glazed tinted glass door; two independent temperature zones; beechwood shelves; charcoal filtered air supply.