Below is a brief explanation of the wine cellar attributes and features that we compare. If there are any questions, please contact us.
A quick way to narrow the number of total bottles that the wine cellar may hold. They are divided into
- 1 to 9
- 10 to 19
- 20 to 29
- 30 to 39
- 40 to 49
- 50 to 99
- 100 to 149
- 150 to 199
- 200 to 299
- 300 to 399
- 400 to 499
Actual capacity depends on the shelf configuration chosen, which is often an option in the higher-capacity cellars, and on bottle size. Standard bottle size is a Bordeaux bottle. If other bottle sizes are used, capacity might be reduced.
Maximum capacity is shown. In order to reach maximum capacity, some bottles may have to be stored upright; a different shelving configuration may need to be purchased; and/or some shelves may have to be removed.
Bottles in 1st Temperature Zone, 2nd Temperature Zone , and Remaining Temperature Zones
In a single zone wine cellar, the number of bottles will equal the total number of bottles held by the wine cellar. In a dual zone wine cellar, there is often a difference in size between the two zones, which then result in different bottle capacity for each zone. If there are more than two zones, then the difference between the total bottle capacity and the sum of the bottles in zones 1 and 2 will be the bottles in the remaining zone or zones.
Bottle count in each temperature zone may be an estimate based on manufacturers’ display.
A zone is an area whose temperature can be controlled separately from another. The most common is a single zone and the next most common is a dual zone. However, many wine cellars have even more zones.
Single or Dual Zones
Most wine cellars come with a single zone, which means all of the wine is stored at the same temperature. Typically, for a dual zone unit, there will be separate coolant mechanisms for each zone. However, when a wine cellar has more than 2 zones, the number of zones may not directly correlate with the number of coolant mechanisms.
A tri-zone cellar may have three separate cooling mechanisms or less. If it is less, usually there is a drawer at the bottom that will be extra cold (e.g., for chilling champagne). This occurs because the drawer traps the the cold sinking air from the bottom zone.
Quad-Zones or Higher
Most quad-zone cabinets, or those with even more zones, are typically composed of two dual zone units placed side-by-side or within a larger framework. Hence, doubling the number of zones.
Some wine cellars take advantage of the fact that cold air sinks. This property can be used to have several “zones” in one cabinet that are not physically separated from each other. The wine cellar cascades the cold air from the top of the cabinet to the bottom, or from one “zone” to the next. The result is that each lower “zone” in the wine cellar is at a slightly lower temperature.
Temperature Zone Range
The manufacturers’ range of temperature for a zone. The actual temperature may be influenced by the outside temperature. In addition, the range may vary slightly for the same manufacturer and same line of wine cellars as the motors original manufactured design is in Celsius and the manufacturers inconsistently convert to Fahrenheit.
In smaller units, the refrigeration is often done with a thermoelectric unit and not a compressor. Thermoelectric cooling is a solid-state heat pump that transfers heat from one side of a barrier to another by electric energy. Therefore, there are very few moving parts (no vibration) and no circulating liquid (which is also good for the environment).
In larger units, the refrigeration is usually done with a compressor system, which circulates a cooling liquid to remove heat from the wine cellar. Due to the size and bulk of the larger wine cellars, vibration is usually not an issue; however, many manufacturers take other precautions (such as locating the cooling units at the top or bottom, insulation, and wood racks) to minimize any vibrations.
Some will be listed with specific manufacturers’ names of their coolant mechanism.
Shelves come as either metal (stainless steel or chrome wire), wood, or a combo. For those that are a combo, it is usually a metal shelf with a wood front for display. For metal shelves, they may be coated with vinyl or plastic. Often the bottom “shelf” is the floor of the cellar and is made of the interior material.
In many wine cellars, shelf type is an option and the ones shown here is the standard, but you may choose another.
Doors may be available in a glass or solid front. A very small minority will have a plastic door.
Whether there is a physical handle attached. For those without a handle the door may have a designed indent to grab or at least the indent created by the seal.
Some doors are reversible, which means they can be attached to open to the right or left. The buyer may have the ability to change it and/or many can be ordered for the preferred side.
Some wine cellars have more than one door. Those that have at least 2 doors that open like a cabinet are listed as “French Doors”. A wine cellar, especially a credenza style, may have 3 or more doors, but if two of them open as “French Doors”, then they will be listed this way.
Some doors have a door lock to protect from unwanted entry.
This gives an idea of where the wine cellar may be used. Generally, a wine cellar is either designed to be freestanding (to be used anywhere) or built-in (into the lower cabinets in the kitchen). Some can be both. The difference is usually how it is vented. Do not use a wine cellar designed only to be freestanding as a built-in as it will overheat and ruin the motor.
A wine cellar may be marked as a “countertop” if it is designed as freestanding and under 18″ tall (to fit under the cabinets above the countertop). However, the height of cabinets may vary, so this needs to be checked.
Some wine cellars are designed to be wall mounted.
Any color that may be displayed, some of which may only a slight trim color. Some wine cellars can be ordered in various colors and some can be custom ordered.
The dimensions provided by the manufacturers may vary depending on a variety of factors: the depth dimension may or may not include the handle; the width dimension may or may not factor the needed room for the door to open; and the dimensions given may be the shipping dimensions instead of the cabinet dimensions. Also, the dimensions may be rounded, so be extremely cautious if the dimensions would just “barely” fit into a designated place.
The weight provided by the manufacturer may vary depending on a variety of factors: whether the unit has the option of a glass or solid door; and whether the manufacturer includes the weight of the shelving units. Some manufacturers may have listed the shipping weight rather than the actual weight of the wine cellar.
Any other important information provided by the manufacturer
Retailers may slightly change manufacturer names or model numbers. This is a list of common alternative that the model may be found under.