No matter what your wine preferences are, you must always store your wine bottles in a climate-controlled environment so they don’t spoil in an exposed atmosphere.

Wine needs to be protected from fluctuating temperatures, insufficient humidity and excessive light, especially in Australia’s hot climate. So if you’re building your new home or renovating your kitchen, it’s important to consider including a wine storage solution in order to get the best from your wines.

Considered the most suitable for long-term wine storage, underground cellars are excessively expensive to excavate, insulate and build; therefore, wine cabinets present an optimum solution for protecting your collection without imposing on your living space. If you choose the right style, they can even become a feature or highlight of your home.

This is why built-in wine storage cabinets, primarily installed in the kitchen area, are among the fastest growing trends today. There is a large range of wine cabinets on the market, some of them sleek and attractive pieces of furniture, and available in many styles and capacities. But not all wine cabinets are designed or built the same, which is why it’s important that you choose wisely.

Step one

Choose a wine cabinet, not a ‘wine cooler’ or ‘wine fridge’. Wine fridges and ordinary refrigerators generate intense cold and remove ambient humidity, which will affect your wine over time. Wine cabinets are climate-controlled wine cellars designed to replicate the conditions found in the best natural underground cellars.

How do you tell a wine cabinet from a wine fridge? A good wine cabinet will always have a humidity management system (to preserve corks), dark interiors, soft LED lights, tinted glass (to protect your wine from damaging light), and finally, wooden shelves (to absorb imperceptible vibrations).

Step two

When choosing a cabinet, there are some important considerations to take into account:

How many bottles will you need to store?

As a collector, you will want to add to your collection so make sure you have enough space to grow.

Where in the house will you place your wine cabinet?

Choose between freestanding or built-in models, and avoid placing your wine cabinet in direct sunlight.

Are you looking to cellar or serve with your wine cabinet?

Single-temp cabinets are ideal for cellaring (all wines cellar at 12°C-14°C), whereas multi-temp models are designed to serve your reds and whites at the proper drinking temperatures.

Step three

An informed decision based on research and exploratory visits to wine cabinet retailers and showrooms will ensure you get the wine cabinet you need – always compare prices to be sure you’re getting the best deal. Never be tempted by low prices – you could end up with a cabinet that doesn’t do its job and spoils your treasured wines.

The cost of the wine cabinet will depend on size, finishes and climate-control features. The right choice of wine cabinet for you will be largely determined by the capacity, function and design you seek as well as your budget.