Wine is not just a liquid beverage, a SKU or a status symbol. It’s a living thing. It is constantly changing since the days of the fruit hanging on the vine dealing with the earthly elements, through the winemaking experience as well as the barrel aging process. Now you hold it in your hands while in bottle and yes, it is still changing, living and developing. As wine sits in a bottle, a chemical change is occurring with the compounds in the wine. This change is natural and over time alters the aromas and flavors in a wine. Whether you plan to drink it next month or in the next decade, it is important that your wine be handled and stored with care. Otherwise, you increase the risk of losing the value of your purchase in the form of undrinkable juice and nobody wants that. So, play it cool, boy.
Last month we talked about how to make the wine experience last dealing with one of wine’s nemeses: Oxygen. While still in bottle, there are several other elements to deal with to ensure it will be ready for the day you give it the nod and provide you will the fullest experience possible. Those elements are light, temperature and humidity as defined also in an earlier post here. It may sound complicated at times, but its cool to know that there are cooling options available for just about everyone from recreational drinkers with a cupboard under the stairs to long-term investors with a basement that can hold thousands of bottles. For help in determining what type of storage is right for you, check this breakdown of the types of cooling units available. “Breeze it, buzz it, easy does it.”
For those of you who are into wine like Homer Simpson is into Donuts, the WhisperKool Platinum Split 8000ti may be a good option to consider. Built for 1750 cubic feet of space (about a 15′ x 15′ room with 8′ ceiling, for example), this system separates the loud evaporator system from the main part of the cellar so that the wine cellar remains quiet. If you read the FAQs to wine storage in the second link above, you will notice that vibration and noise is not good for wine either. This system also uses a liquid bottle temperature probe to keep the room at 55°F more closely based on the bottle itself as opposed to just air temperature in order to maintain that perfect cellar environment.
IWA also offers CellarPro systems, which are more of an in-wall or in-cabinet installation. CellarPro systems allow wine collectors to truly monitor and fully control the temperature and humidity inside their wine cellars and includes a “Quick Chill” mode. They are versatile and can cool anywhere from 200 to 1500 cubic feet.
The VinoChiller provides a ducted option for applications off all sizes which helps reduce vibration and noise as well. The unit is self-contained and can be used in commercial as well as residential settings. Additional options include an integrated humidifier as well as an option to implement a water cooled system.
As always, you don’t have to make this decision on your own. IWA can help you every step of the way. Give their cellar consultants a call at 800-527-4072 and they can help you find the perfect cooling unit for your cellar, plus helpful advice for your installation.
“Keep cooly cool boy
Don’t get hot
‘Cause man you got
Some high times ahead
Take it slow
You can live it up” – Cool, West Side Story