Cellaring your collection with a wine cabinet

By Halliday Wine Companion

13 May, 2019

Thinking about a new home for your wine collection? Store your wines in your very own cabinet, and simply enjoy the journey ahead.

Presented by Harvey Norman
Ageing wine is a slow and delicate process, and the right cellar conditions are pivotal to how a wine's complexities develop over time. Wine cabinets ensure consistency and maintain a wine's integrity to avoid disappointment. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers, to help you choose the right wine cabinet for your needs.


What kind of wine cabinet do I need?

It’s important to consider not only the size of your collection, but also the rate at which it will continue to grow in order to determine your ideal cabinet’s capacity. Models range from 32 bottles up to 600, and, in some cases, as many as 42,000, so it’s essential to take the time to assess your collection, as well as your buying habits to calculate your future needs. You may believe the 40-bottle fridge, at around $1700, is all you need for your most important wines, but chances are there will be more treasured bottles soon to follow that won’t be able to fit in that full cabinet. Therefore, outlaying around $4000 on a 170-bottle fridge in the first instance can prove to be a much more savvy investment.

Do I need a single zone or dual zone cabinet?

If you’re a keen collector, a cabinet that provides dual temperature zones can be ideal. The ultimate temperature for storing wines is around 12 to 14 degrees Celsius, according to the Harvey Norman team, so a dual zone cabinet can cellar red wines in one section at their ideal temperature for a long stint, while whites may be kept cooler so they are closer to their optimum drinking temperature – around five to 11 degrees, depending on the wine style. These 170-bottle wine cabinets from Vintec become a visual feature of this dining space.

Why can’t I just keep my wines in the spare fridge?

Household fridges run at about two degrees, which is way too cold for wine. Even if you could adjust a regular fridge’s setting to an ideal wine storage temperature, other issues would emerge because the appliance is not designed for wine storage. Wine cabinets ensure a consistent temperature and humidity too, which is vital for any cork-sealed bottles, plus they protect against vibration and incorporate quality insulation, while also allowing for the careful storage of wine bottles on custom-made shelves. Another thing to know is that wine cabinets are often more energy efficient than a standard household fridge because they don’t need to be as cold and therefore don’t have to work as hard to maintain a low temperature.

I don’t have a big home. Where can I put a wine cabinet?

Under-bench wine cabinets are particularly popular in kitchens, especially for wines that are ready to drink. Existing cupboard spaces under island benches often provide great places for wine cabinets to be installed, but kitchen renovations are increasingly factoring in these inclusions in the design stage. If your kitchen doesn’t allow for a cabinet, it can easily be placed elsewhere in the house. In many cases, a wine cabinet becomes a visual feature of a lounge area or dining room, but it can effectively be integrated into the home because so many options are available. Having said that, the more temperature- controlled the area in which a cabinet sits, ensuring the room is cooler than outside, the less work the cabinet will have to do.

Why do I even need a wine cabinet?

Temperature fluctuations can quickly erode a wine’s quality, so a box of bottles placed in a cupboard or under a bed will be exposed to some serious weather shifts. Vibration can also upset a wine’s development, as will exposure to light, with a wine cabinet ensuring protection against all of these elements. This all prevents the need for committing to offsite wine storage or creating a dedicated cellar space within your home. A collection of wine – regardless of whether it’s for enjoying in the near future or long-term cellaring – can hold a lot of monetary and sentimental value, so a wine cabinet is ultimately the best way to maintain its integrity and avoid disappointment.

For a wide range of cabinets, visit your nearest Harvey Norman store, where you can learn more about the brands and options, and find the best model for your needs. Visit the Harvey Norman website to browse the collection online.

This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with Harvey Norman.