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Wine Cabinet: Best Styles, How to Choose One (2021)

By
Hunter Robillard
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Looking for the perfect wine cabinet to store your growing wine collection?

Wine cabinets are one of the best solutions for storing and showcasing your wines. Besides being striking pieces of furniture, the climate-controlled ones also help in maintaining the perfect conditions for storing your wine bottles.

So, what do you need to consider when choosing a wine cabinet? What are the different wine cabinet types? 

And, is it your best option for long-term wine storage?

In this article, we’ll explore the best wine cabinet types and how you can preserve your wine collection in them. 

We’ll also show you a hassle-free way of buying and storing wines. (You can store as many bottles as you want without having to continuously expand your bottle storage space!)

Further reading

Want to invest in fine wine? Ultimate Guide on Wine Investing.
And if you have a celebration coming up - check out these and They’re also perfect as a long-term wine investment.

This Article Contains:

(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)

What is a Wine Cabinet?

A wine cabinet is a piece of furniture (usually made of wood or metal) that serves as a short- and long-term wine storage solution. 

Your wine bottles should be stored under the optimum storage conditions of light, humidity, temperature, and vibration to mature well and develop their qualities. 

And, most wine cabinets are equipped with a climate control system and maintain a temperature range of 5-18 °C. This will help wine collectors like you to store your wine in optimal conditions

It would have dedicated racks for wine bottles. In addition, a wine cabinet also might include storage space for stemware, glass holders, and other wine accessories. Some wine cabinets can even be designed to serve as a bar, making the countertop a functional serving area.

You’ll find a range of wine cabinets in the market - from compact ones that can fit around 15 bottles to medium-sized ones that can store up to 150 bottles, and huge ones that house 250-280 bottles. 

Now:

What is the Difference Between a Wine Cabinet and a Wine Cooler? 

What is the Difference Between a Wine Cabinet and a Wine Cooler

After all, both wine coolers and cabinets keep your wine chilled, right? 

The main difference is that wine coolers are compact gadgets (usually fitting up to 50 bottles) and are typically meant for short-term storage. 

A wine cabinet is a more sophisticated gadget meant for a bigger wine collection. It can be used as a short-term wine fridge and a long-term wine storage solution for maturing your wines in the right conditions. 

(Now, if you want to know how a wine cabinet is different from a wine rack, jump to this section, else read on.)

So, what are the different wine cabinet types you can choose from?

4 Key Types of Wine Cabinets

Here are the main wine cabinet types so that you can assess which one will best fit your needs:

1. Maturing Wine Cabinet

Maturing Wine Cabinet

This is a refrigerated wine cabinet that maintains a single temperature range (9-15°C.) It is perfect for storage until your wine bottles reach their prime in a few years. Such wine cabinets are perfect for your home, bar, or restaurant. 
Maturing wine cabinets also come in different styles and sizes. You can easily place a compact cabinet under your kitchen tabletop or a more spacious one in your dining room (depending on your wine collection size, room space, and design preferences.)

2. Serving Wine Cabinet

Serving Wine Cabinet

These wine cabinets usually have two temperature zones, making them ideal for storing wines for aging and for serving. 

This way, you can store your favorite reds in one temperature zone while you can chill your Rose and Pinot Blanc in another, before serving them. 

3. Multifunctional Wine Cabinet

Multifunctional Wine Cabinet

Multifunctional wine cabinets offer multiple temperature zones, which come in handy for bigger and more varied wine collections. 

They’re set cooler at the bottom (around 22 degree Celsius) and warmer at the top (around 5 degree Celsius.)

With them, you can have some of your bottles in the maturing temperature zone, some of them in a temperature range meant for chilling before serving, and some others like a Barbera d’Asti in the zone to be brought to room temperature.

This is a convenient solution if you don’t have enough space for a wine cellar.

4. Non-refrigerated Wine Cabinet

Non-refrigerated Wine Cabinet

Non-refrigerated wine cabinets serve more as statement pieces of solid wood furniture and as an insulated storage space for your wines. They may have built-in lighting and glass doors but will not come with a climate control system.

Go for this option if you're a wine lover with a dedicated wine cellar and simply need decorative storage or a beautiful custom bar cabinet made of solid wood or veneers.

Now, you’ve got to choose your wine storage cabinet carefully. 

Here are some tips to help you out.

7 Important Factors to Consider while Choosing a Wine Cabinet

When choosing your cabinet wine rack or liquor cabinet, keep the following criteria in mind:

1. Size of Your Wine Collection

Size of Your Wine Collection

When considering a wine rack cabinet for your home, consider how big your wine collection is. 

Most cabinet rack installations have a capacity of 25-30 bottles - perfect for your home bar. You will also find bigger wine cabinets (up to 300 bottle capacity) meant for commercial establishments.

2. Wine Cabinet Shelving Layout and Material

Wine Cabinet Shelving Layout and Material

Your shelving can be structured in the following ways:

  • Sliding shelves: Each adjustable shelf slides in and out like a drawer letting you arrange your bottles horizontally. It can also serve as a stemware rack.
  • Fixed storage shelves: A stackable shelf space that allows you to store the bottles horizontally. 
  • Display shelves: These cabinet shelves allow you to place your bottles, wine glass collection, and other stemware upright to easily see the labels.
  • Serving shelves: Another option to store open or unopened bottles in an upright position. You can place these in the serving temperature zone of a serving or multifunctional cabinet.

When it comes to the rack materials, they can be made of:

  • Wood: Wood is the most elegant option for wine cabinet shelves. If you choose a wooden wine rack of solid hardwood, make sure the wood is not waxed (since wax finish can release different odors in the wooden wine rack.)
  • Metal: This is an inexpensive option - but a metal wine rack will transmit more vibrations to the bottles. Opt for metal racks only if you’re placing your wine cabinet in a vibration-proof area.
  • Glass: A glass rack would also transfer vibrations to the bottles. As with metal racks, choose a wine glass rack if your wine cabinet is located in a wine cellar or any other vibration-proof area.

3.  Wine Cabinet Lighting 

Wine Cabinet Lighting

Store your wines away from direct light exposure. The safest option is automatic LED lighting that comes in different styles:

  • Detachable 
  • Underneath each wine rack
  • Overhead 

4. Designs that Suit Your Taste and Decor

A wine rack cabinet is meant to bring extra flair to your home or bar. Just make sure you pick an elegant one that fits into the rest of your decor scheme. 

If you choose wood, the standard options include solid wood, with dark walnut or cappuccino color, and mahogany. 

There are also winsome designs which you can choose from: 

  • Lattice work: If you go for a big wood wine cabinet with a glass door, opt for lattice-shaped wine rack installations for an aesthetic appeal.
  • Armoire: The beautiful armoire design wine storage is usually a freestanding, antique-looking, natural wood wine cabinet with wood wine racks. This will blend perfectly with your ornate-style furniture and interiors. 
  • Credenza: A wine cabinet designed as a sideboard can be placed in a kitchen or a bar area. You can even use its countertop to serve your meals in the dining room.
  • Hutch: This is a more simplistic rack cabinet placed on top of other furniture like a countertop or a drawer - perfect for your living room, kitchen, or bar.

You can also go for a unique custom wine cabinet design with additional compartments for your glassware. Just make sure you avoid any bulky knobs or visible door hinges.

5. Wine Cabinet Door Types and Material

Wine Cabinet Door Types and Material

Depending on the size and location of the wine cabinet, you can also choose from these cabinet door styles:

  • Sliding door
  • Double door
  • Glass door

6. Where to Place the Wine Cabinet 

Where to Place the Wine Cabinet 

If you want small wine storage, you can easily fit it in the kitchen, the living room, or the pantry. 

Needless to say, a 100 bottle storage cabinet will be much larger than a small 10 bottle wine rack, and it won’t fit in the corner of your living space. You can place these bigger pieces of furniture in your wine cellar (if you have one), the basement, or under the staircase.

Whichever space you choose, don’t forget to place your wine cabinet away from vibration and UV light sources. 

For example, avoid places with a lot of movement (such as garages or near house appliances) or by the window (especially if your cabinet has a glass or metal door.) 

Also, consider looking for a wine storage cabinet with shock absorbers that have anti-vibration effects.

7. How to Place the Cabinet

How to Place the Cabinet

You can place your wine cabinet in the following ways:

  • Stand-alone: A wine cabinet furniture that is free-standing in the room
  • Flush-fitting: A good option for a smaller wine cabinet that will fit under a kitchen counter space or a bar (similarly to a liquor cabinet)
  • Built-in: Your wine cabinet can also be built-in into a custom unit.

8. Additional Features in Wine Cabinets

Additional Features in Wine Cabinets

You could also look for a cabinet with additional features like: 

  • Safety locks
  • Glass mirror backs
  • Power strips for operating small appliances
  • Lift-up drawers for additional work surface area
  • And, more! 

Now, what’s the difference between a wine cabinet and a wine rack, and are wine racks suitable for long-term wine storage? 

Wine Cabinet vs. Wine Rack

Wine Cabinet vs. Wine Rack

A wine rack is an open structure (without a door or side panels) with several shelves designated for placing wine bottles. The wine rack can be made from solid hardwood or stainless steel. 

The rack storage is more compact than a wine cabinet and can easily be placed in any free corner of your bar or living space. 

However, a wine rack will not have climate control and is mostly used for aesthetic appeal. This makes the wine rack unfit for long-term wine storage.

Wine racks also come in different styles:

  • Wall mounted wine rack: A wall mount wine rack can be attached to the wall. A wall mount wine rack is suitable for a small wine collection (12-18 bottle capacity.)
  • Countertop wine rack: If you have free countertop space, you can place a wine storage rack there. This type of wine rack can hold up to 20-30 bottles.
  • Hanging wine rack: This is a wine storage rack placed above a wine bar area and can hold a small number of bottles. It also has a stemware rack for your wine glass collection and barware (like shakers and bottle holders.)
  • Floor wine rack: Placed on the floor, this type of wine rack or wine tower can take on more weight and hold up to 100 bottles.
  • Wine rack inside a cellar: If you have a wine cellar and a big wine collection, it is best to install a wine rack set in there to ensure the perfect storage conditions.  

Pros and Cons of Wine Cabinets

Pros and Cons of Wine Cabinets

So, how easy is it to buy and maintain a wine cabinet storage space? 

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros: A refrigerated wine cabinet or bar cabinet will most certainly preserve all your wine bottles in the perfect conditions. It will also look beautiful in your living room, by the barstools in your home bar, or inside a kitchen cabinet. 

Cons: The drawback is that wine cabinets are usually costly. You can look at $500-$4,000 for a wine cabinet with a capacity of up to 100 bottles. But if you’re one of the wine collectors who own over a 100 bottle collection, this price can go up to $22,000 for a 500 bottle wine cabinet capacity.

Also, what if you want to expand your wine collection from time to time? Then you’ll have to invest more into upgrading to a larger cabinet.

But what if you can get unlimited bottle storage in the perfect conditions without bothering with the technicalities of getting a wine cooler, wine rack or a wine cabinet?

We’ll tell you how!

Vinovest - the Ultimate Solution for Buying, Storing and Selling Fine Wines

Vinovest

Vinovest is an online wine investment platform that can buy, authenticate, store, and sell your wines for you.

Even better - Vinovest will deliver your wines to you if you feel like having a glass of Chateau Lafite or Pomerol wine with your dinner!

How it Works

To get started with Vinovest, you just have to:

  1. Sign up on the Vinovest platform.
  2. Fill in a quick questionnaire so that Vinovest can determine your investment style (conservative, balanced, or aggressive.)
  3. Fund your account (you’ll need a minimum of $1,000.)
  4. Customize your wine portfolio.
  5. Sit back with a glass of delicious Kir Royale or some other Champagne cocktail and watch your portfolio grow.

Benefits

Vinovest also comes with benefits like:

1. Easy Buying and Selling of Wine

You can buy and sell investment-grade wines like Pouilly-Fuissé easily, in just a few clicks. 

2. Curated Wine Portfolio

Vinovest’s Master Sommeliers and data scientists team will help you build your wine portfolio based on your investment style.

3. Optimal Storage

Each wine bottle is stored in bonded warehouses near the world’s best wine regions. (One of the wine cellars is the same as the one used by the British Royal family.) 

All facilities offer the perfect storage conditions for your wines. The optimal light, temperature, humidity, and vibration levels are maintained at all times, and in case of a power outage, there are backup generators.

Moreover, you can store as many bottles of wine as you want without worrying about expanding your storage space.

4. Insurance and Security

All bonded warehouses are equipped with 24/7 surveillance cameras that ensure the security of every single wine bottle at all times. You also get a full insurance policy at a market value in case of theft, breakage, or loss. 

5. Provenance and Authenticity

Don’t worry about getting a counterfeit bottle because Vinovest’s wine expert team traces the provenance of each bottle and guarantees its authenticity.

6. Low Overall Costs

Vinovest charges a low annual fee of 2.85% (or 2.5% for portfolios of over $50,000.) The fee covers wine buying and selling as well as storage, fraud detection, and portfolio management.

7. Easy Delivery

Do you want to gift a bottle of fine wine to your wine lover friend, deliver it to a buyer,  or simply enjoy it yourself? Just let Vinovest know where, and you’ll get your bottle delivered safely to its destination.

7. Ownership

The best part is you own every single bottle you buy through Vinovest without having to worry about its storage.

Buy and Store Your Wines, Hassle-Free!

Buy and Store Your Wines

Even though a wine cabinet is a beautiful and effective solution, it can turn out to be a pricey option, especially if you plan on expanding your collection in the future.
Luckily Vinovest enables you to buy collectible wines and store them in world-class facilities under optimal conditions. You also won’t have to bother about the nitty-gritty of building, maintaining, and expanding storage solutions by yourself.

So, what are you waiting for? Simply sign up and start building your wine collection today!

Further reading

Step into the world of fabulous Red Wines in This Incredibly Useful Red Wine Guide!

Written by

Hunter Robillard

Portfolio Advisor at Vinovest with experience in both the fine wine & high end spirits industry. Previously helped wineries, distilleries, and breweries around the world with their production equipment needs. Avid kayaker, skier and a self proclaimed BBQ expert.
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