Dual Wine Zones for Wine Cabinets: Fact or Fiction?

Wine collectors are a particular bunch. As the years go by suddenly it's not uncommon to have several hundred or even more than a thousand wine bottles in your collection. It's also true that many of these wines, both red and white, are priced higher than an average bottle of wine. Because of that, you should be concerned about how to protect the wine in the bottle.

One thing you may have heard around the tasting table concerns the importance of storing whites separately from reds. You may have read an article somewhere insisting that wines need to be stored at different temperatures. You may even have seen a dual-zone wine cabinet that you really like and are considering buying.

Don't be fooled.

While it's true that white, red and sparkling wines are served at different temperatures, it does not mean that they need to be stored at different temperatures.
Let me repeat that. You can serve wine at different temperatures but you can safely store them at the same temperature.

The ideal storage temperature for all wines is roughly 56 Degrees F (or 14 Degrees C).

The thing that most people don't talk about is that humidity is equally important, and ideal levels are between 60%-80%. If your cellar, or wine cabinet, is set to maintain these levels then both your reds and your whites will age and develop properly (provided all other optimal storage conditions are also met).

A dual zone wine cabinet is a wine cabinet that essentially has two different compartments and allows you to set temperatures independently in both of these compartments. On the surface this sounds like a great idea, and you may have your heart set on a dual zone wine cabinet to store and protect your red and white wine collection.

How to use a dual zone wine cabinet properly.

Since there are a few good dual zone wine cabinets out there, here is how to use them properly.

Store and age your wines in a proper cellar or wine cabinet set to maintain ideal wine storage conditions. Every so often, transfer the bottles you know you'll be drinking within the next few weeks into your dual wine zone cabinet.

You can set your zones to match ideal conditions for serving red or white wine.

Then, whether you're in the mood for red or white, your wines will be ready to serve at the right temperature, yet will have benefited from being stored properly.

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About The Author, Gary Bombay
Gary Bombay is the President of Blue Grouse Wine Cellars of Vancouver, BC. His depth of knowledge in wine cellar and wine cabinet selection can be found at http://www.bluegrousewinecellars.com