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Tips to Make the Most of Your Wine Cooler

You look around your kitchen at all of your cooking tools and appliances-and you have pretty much everything you could think of. You even have a bamboo sushi roller and a mandolin for cutting onions into thin slices, and you own the best appliances available on the market. So why does your kitchen still feel unfinished?

You may need a wine cooler. It'll make you the favourite at neighbourhood gatherings, and it'll give you easy access for a relaxing drink in the evenings. But how do you know which wine cooler to buy? And how do you make the most of one after buying it?

What to Consider Before Purchasing

You need a wine cooler that matches your kitchen's unique style, fits comfortably into your kitchen, and has enough storage to accommodate drinks for family and guests.

Style:

Wine coolers come in a variety of styles, which means you can put them in any kind of kitchen without making them clash with your décor. Whether you prefer old-fashioned themes or modern lines, you won't have trouble finding a wine cooler to match your kitchen.

  • Built-in: These coolers tend to have a smaller size, but they blend seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen because they go under the countertop like other appliances, such as your dishwasher. These coolers contribute to an overall modern look.
  • Freestanding: Need a little more space in your cooler? Don't have room under your countertops? You can have a freestanding cooler too. You'll have to treat it like a smaller, but classier version of your refrigerator. Freestanding coolers also tend to look modern.
  • Countertop: If you don't have room under your countertops but don't require a large cooler, you can opt for one that sits on your countertop.
  • Furniture style: If you want a more traditional, old-fashioned kitchen, find a furniture-style cooler to complement it. They normally look like display cabinets or entertainment centres, but furniture-style coolers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to suit your needs.

Type:

Once you know what you want your wine cooler to look like, you have to decide what type you want.

Single zone wine coolers only have one temperature control, so if you have wines with different temperature requirements, you shouldn't choose this kind of wine cooler. You should only choose this type if you prefer red to white or if you only ever intend to buy one kind of wine.

Dual zone wine coolers allow you to have two sections with two different temperatures. You'll keep all your wines at the ideal temperature for instant refreshment. You may have to pay a little more for the extra zones, but at least you'll have two perfectly chilled sets of wine.

Size:

When you host a gathering or invite family over for dinner, how much wine does each person drink? How many people do you plan to invite when you entertain? Calculate the number of bottles you'll need, then find a cooler that'll accommodate that many bottles and then some, just in case.

If you collect wines, you'll need a much bigger cooler that holds 50 or more bottles at a time. Make sure you get a dual zone cooler to accommodate several types of wine.

What to Put in Your Wine Cooler

After you've bought your wine cooler, you need to know how to make the most of it. First, make sure you store your wines as the proper temperature. Keep your reds at 10-12 degrees Celsius, and keep your whites at 7 degrees.

However, unless you know what wines to keep on hand, it won't matter what temperature you set your cooler to. For a full range of flavours (and to have a full stock of wines to properly pair with your menu), make sure you have some of the following:

  • Red wines for richer foods like steak, duck, sausage, Italian dishes, burgers, and other heavy foods. You can also buy richer and lighter red wines to pair with different kinds of flavourful foods.
  • White wines for Asian dishes, vegetable dishes, fish, poultry, and some spicy foods. White wines also come in richer and lighter flavours to give you some variation.
  • Rosé for vegetable dishes, some spicy foods, and hors d'oeuvres.
  • Low-alcohol wines for healthy foods and really spicy foods (alcohol enhances the spiciness).
  • Lighter, less sweet wines for dessert.
  • Sparkling wines for parties.

As long as you have a few different wine options in your cooler, you'll always have the perfect wine to pair with whatever you cook. And you don't have to limit your wine cooler to just wine either. You can fill it with bottles of your other favourite drinks, like vodka or even Coca-Cola-just make sure you adjust the temperature to accommodate for these different beverages.

If you make the most of and your wine cooler, you'll always have the perfect wines on hand for cooking, dining, and entertaining. You'll never feel like your kitchen lacks anything either. Use these tips to enhance your cooking experience and truly make your kitchen complete.