When discussing bottle capacity in wine cabinets, the discussion generally focuses on two important factors:
- Maximum unit size;
- Whether the design maximizes the interior space of the unit.
Wine coolers come in all shapes and sizes, from units that only hold a few bottles to those that will not fit through a regular sized door with a capacity for hundreds of bottles. During this discussion, it has come to light that people who like wine, and have an interest in storing wine, generally see their wine collection grow over the years. There is a vast array of wines available; you may start collecting several different vintages of the same wine; and, most of all, one starts to store wine. That means that, over time, it is easy to amass a significant number of bottles to ensure that there is enough to cover both current consumption and multi-year storage. Bottom line: bigger is better.
Ok, but how big? At SWISSCAVE, we concentrate on a size that is “still manoeuvrable”. If this size is not enough, it is better to order multiple units. Our units conform to standard kitchen cabinet sizes (60cm deep), which still allows two extra tall bottles (70cm) to be arranged in a double row. With a height of 180cm, our units still fit through doors and can be easily transported up and down stairs, while providing a storage capacity of 450 litres, meaning there is room for more than 200 bottles.
There are two distinct groups of interiors:
a) Wine storage cabinet: generally fitted out with only a few shelves and a solid door)
b) Wine refrigerator/cooler: equipped with several extendable racks so that each bottle can be accessed without having to move the other ones. It is also available with display shelves (bottles are slightly tilted), multiple temperature zones, glass door, and interior lighting.
Both the wine storage cabinet and the wine refrigerator/cooler are equipped with cooling technology that allows the unit to be used for wine storage or wine temperature control. The primary difference lies in the above-referenced interior design.
Our experience shows that most people prefer units with several racks. Wine lovers get tired of having to move 20 to 30 bottles get to that one bottle that may or may not still be at the bottom left.
A greater number of racks results in slightly reduced capacity, but makes it much easier and more convenient to access every bottle. Intelligently designed racks allow bottles to be arranged in double rows, not just in theory, but also in practice (double capacity). Additionally, racks should accommodate bottles of different sizes of diameter. Racks need to be well-secured on both sides to be able to handle significant loads over long periods of time. They need to be easy to remove to make room for a larger number of magnum and other bottles, such as champagne bottles that are wide in diameter.