KEEP IT COOL!!!
One of the many Wine Problems that we have had (and continue to have- LOL), has been wine storage. While we would LOVE to have our own large.... no, make that very large, wine cellar, we just don't have the room. In fact, we really don't even have the room for a really large-sized wine fridge. We like wine so much (and if you're reading this, you probably do too) that we ended up having to utilize the services of a wine storage company (shout out to The Wine Box)! But of course it is not practical having all of one's wine away from home, so what is one to do?
Well, we've had great luck with these relatively compact, free standing, wine cellars from Haier, and that's why we decided to make them our second spotlight item for July. They come in various sizes/capacities, and don't take up very much space. They work well; run quietly and efficiently; look stylish; and are reasonably priced. Now these units may not be for everybody, as they have their limitations and are probably more geared for shorter term storage. They are not like a traditional (wine) fridge, which has a compressor and uses Freon, but rather use a technology called, "thermoelectric cooling." We'll spare you the technical details, but in a nutshell, what these do is remove any heat inside the unit by expelling it out, and then it circulates the cool air inside evenly and effectively.
Because of the technology used, they are not meant to be placed in a confined or enclosed area and need a little space around them (they recommend 2" on each side and the rear, as well as 4" on top) to expel the heat. Understand though, that if the temperature inside of your residence is excessively hot, these units will probably not be your best option. They can maintain the temperature inside of them up to about 25 degrees cooler than the exterior temperature, so as long as it's not more than 80°F in the room, maintaining the universally suggested storage temperature for all types of wine of 55°F will not be an issue.
and the temp is set to 48°F, which is optimal for Chards. The area below the stairs was essentially wasted space, so we placed three other units there, and they house some of our reds. Those are kept at between 59°F and 63°F, depending on the varietal.
All of the units feature a slightly curved, black/smoked glass door; removable chrome racks; blue LED temp display; and interior lighting (which is more suited for aesthetics than it is functionality).
All in all, these units are very practical and highly recommended if you are short on room, live in an apartment, and/or aren't looking to store something for a number of years.
Some of these units are dual-zoned, so you can store both your whites and reds in them at different temperatures. They will cool to as low as 46°F, but if you plan on keeping whites in them, and want to keep them that cold, again remember the 25 degree rule (ie. the temp of the surrounding area will need to be in the 70°-72°F range).
Ideally we like to keep our wine in these, stored at their suggested serving temps. That way we can just remove the bottle and it's ready to serve. Our eight capacity unit fits perfectly on top of our kitchen counter; we keep our Chardonnays in it,
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