Photo of Mark Storer

Mark Storer

Professional Wine Expert

Best Wine Cellar & Best Wine Rack

It’s happened to all of us one time or another. You’ve arrived home from work after a long and brutal day. You’re tired, even to the point where you may consider forgoing dinner altogether. But, there on the counter, a bottle catches your eye. You know its charms because you opened one just like it two nights ago and poured a glass for yourself and your spouse, finishing the bottle the next day. The fridge door opens and you spy a little cheese, Gruyere to be exact. On the other counter is half a loaf of bread. Dinner is served!

Except it’s not. The cork pulled out, the bottle poured into your glass and you’re left wanting to spit it out on your clean white carpet. The flavors, if they can be called that, are nearly gone. There’s sourness, bitterness to the wine. It might even taste like vinegar. Maybe there’s a tepid texture. The wine is warm and it is almost watery. There is no fruit, no earthy charm-just a kind of swill.

It can happen to you and there’s only one way to prepare yourself. Wine is an organic product. As lettuce goes bad, or any other produce you buy, so does wine. True, alcohol can help preservation for a couple of days, but even before the bottle is opened it needs to be stored properly. Too much heat, too much light, too much vibration, a dried out cork from a bottle that is stored upright too long, all of these can kill your wine. Proper storage of wine is a much-overlooked necessity for those who have more than just a couple of bottles lying around. If you consume more than two bottles of wine in a week, it’s time to think about proper storage and that begins with refrigeration.

The very best temperature to keep wine is between 55 and 60 degrees. Contrary to popular belief, this goes for whites and reds. You don’t want to keep white wine chilled the entire time before you drink it. It’s best to keep it at “cellar temperature” and before consumption, put it into the regular refrigerator for about an hour. Red or white, it doesn’t really matter; a wine storage receptacle is in your future.

“So,” you say, “Why not just put the bottles in the regular fridge? Pull them out when you need them?” No, this won’t do. A regular refrigerator is far too cold to keep wine at its best. Red wine especially doesn’t do well in the cold and really neither does white wine for long periods of time. Plus, the vibration from a regular refrigerator’s motor could do some damage to your wine as well by constantly keeping the wine moving, never allowing it to “rest” and the sediments to stay put. Environmental control is the key. If you have a basement in your house, you’re one step ahead. A basement can really behave very well, as long as you don’t heat it for the family. If the cellar is left, well… like a cellar, then you’ll have a great beginning. If you have no cellar, fear not. There are still many options.

The best wine cellar helps keep your favorites ready for you anytime. Or choose the best wine rack or storage cabinets for your favorite stash of red and white wines.

Best Wine Storage by Mark Storer

The Best You Can Get

  • Apex Custom Wine Storage

    Mark says: Call them and they’ll come to you. It’s no secret that the ultimate in wine storage is its flexibility for its owner. Apex will come to your house, work with your budget and build you everything from a cellar to a walk-in to a cabinet and everything in between. They’ll use specific parameters designed especially for wine storage and they’ll include a choice of exteriors and interiors allowing you to design your own wine storage experience. Apex does business all over the U.S.

    • Design your own wine storage experience
  • EuroCave Performance 500 Hybrid

    Mark says: EuroCave is quite possibly the next best thing to building a cellar. Holding up to 446 bottles of wine, the unit is equipped with multiple temperature zones. One side is a constant 55-57 degrees to emulate a natural wine cellar. The other side has three different zones to keep wines at cellar, cool, or chilled temperature and you can run all three simultaneously. The unit comes with easily replaceable charcoal filters so that the air inside is constantly as pure as it can be. Pullout shelves with wood facades that can be changed out for your personal tastes, smoked or clear glass — the EuroCave is quite simply a luxurious piece of furniture for serious wine collectors.

  • Sub-Zero 427 132 Bottle Wine Refrigerator

    Mark says: This is the Ferrari of wine fridges, but at least it’s not a cellar. However, it may as well be. You can choose what kind of glass you want to put on the doors. You can choose what kind of wood and wood finish you want on the pullout shelves. You can set the temperature and it makes virtually no motor noise at all. It’s an extraordinary piece of equipment, beautiful, practical, stylish, and it holds an awful lot of wine.

  • Le Cache Model 3800 Wine Refrigerator

    Mark says: Le Cache boasts absolutely beautiful exteriors and maximum capacity with a great deal of customer service behind the product. You still get to choose exteriors and interiors and you also get to store up to 458 bottles of wine in this model. The Le Cache also has the charcoal filters in its air intake system that clean the refrigerated air within. Make no mistake, this is for serious collectors with a great deal of wine to store. Quiet, no vibrations, a fine piece of furniture and truly competitive pricing even for this level of quality and service.

  • WhisperKool 3000 Wine Cooling Unit

    Mark says: This is a particularly useful implement if what you want to do is dedicate an unused closet or even an insulated shed to your wine. Acting a bit like a wall air conditioner, the WhisperKool keeps humidity and temperature in check in rooms from 300 to 2000 cubic feet. You can build a simple woodshed on the side of the house, insulate it with R-30 fiberglass insulation and put in a WhisperKool. Voila - instant wine cellar.

You will be happy with any of these

  • Vinotemp Portofino line Hamilton series 2 Door Credenza

    Mark says: Vinotemp is a fine company and dominates the Best of the Rest section. The Credenza is awfully close to the top five here, but it's held back by its rather small capacity (40 bottles) and limited choices in colors. Still, a quiet motor, nifty and efficient design and quality assurance of the Vinotemp name make it a true contender.

  • Vinotemp 58 bottle Front Exhaust Unit

    Mark says: This is a true value in wine fridges. Featuring dual zones (colder temps at the bottom, warmer at the top), the front exhaust unit comes in black or stainless steel. It fits under the countertop or just in a corner of the kitchen or dining area. It features digital temperature display and push-button operation as well. Note, however, that the temperature can and will fluctuate in this unit. That’s a normal part of its ability to avoid cycling so much, but if you’re storing truly vintage and delicate wines, it may have an impact on them. If, however, you’re buying wines to consume within a year or two, this is a great choice.

  • Avanti WC5100BG 56-Bottle Built-in or Freestanding Wine Refrigerator

    Mark says: The Avanti appliances are known for simple and basic quality. This little guy can hold up to 50 bottles and can be put into a cabinet or left freestanding. It’s got wooden shelves, which makes it a standout against many of its competitors who went to wire or metal shelves to save money. Digital thermostat, push-button controls, and reversible door for left or right opening make it an easy choice for wine lovers.

  • Sanyo Sr4705 Wine Cellar

    Mark says: I bought a Sanyo and have been very happy with it. Its 47-bottle capacity is useful whether in a house or an apartment. Smart black or stainless steel design make it easy to either feature or hide in your kitchen or dining area.

    Quiet and efficient operation with no vibration and smoked glass panel door allow for keeping wine consistently “cellared” at a constant temperature of between 55 and 60 degrees.

  • Vinotemp 34 Bottle Wine Cooler

    Mark says: The last fridge is by no means the last word. Wine fridges can be obtained for even lower prices, but you’ll begin to sacrifice a few features such as constant temperature control, ease of cleaning, style, etc. The Vinotemp 34 is also a real value because while its capacity is a bit smaller, it maintains a consistent temperature, quiet and efficientoperation, and stainless steel construction. This baby has Vinotemp quality, albeit a little less capacity, at an affordable price. That makes it the best in its class.

Related Articles

The best wine cellar will help you keep wine at the perfect temperature for the best results. We recommend these and other wine rack selections to keep your wine collection organized. These best wine storage cabinets are the most overlooked necessity of fine wine drinking even if you only consume three bottles a week.