Most people enjoy more than one type of beverage. I am no different. There is an appropriate time to enjoy that glass of wine, cool can of beer or favorite soft drink. The problem is how can you store and cool all these different types of beverages and still have them handy for serving. What can you do when the proper storage temperatures of your choice beverages are different? How can you keep your wine stabilized and still maintain ready access to the other cooling beverages? What control options do you need to keep alcoholic beverages from the youngsters?
Historically, my home solution to this multiple beverage storage dilemma was the standard, full-sized refrigerator in the garage. Our fridge was a classic “Harvest Gold” in color. Harvest Gold appliances were popular years ago along with those that were that awful green cooler. The cans were easily added to the main shelves and the narrow door shelves. My bottles of wine were lain on there sides on one of the main shelves. I was careful to keep my white wines near the cooler bottom and my reds near the top. Of course, the youngsters when retrieving a soda just pushed the wine around to access their favorite beverage. Not to good for the wine.
In general, red wines should be stored close to 70 degrees F. and white wines between 50 and 60 degrees F. Canned beverages are best when they are stored ice cold, closer to 40 degrees F. To solve this problem, you should look for combination beverage coolers that have two distinct cooling zones with separate temperature controls. Keep your wine in one zone and your canned favorites in the other. Commonly, these types of beverage coolers use the nomenclature of “dual-zone wine and can beverage centers”.
The best way to store wine is on a shelf that is specially designed to conform to the shape of a typical wine bottle. Shelving can range from the simple chrome rack system to an exotic wine storage cradle that is trimmed in fancy wood and glides out on roller guides. Your wine will safely cool without unnecessary disturbance that could affect its taste and aging process.
My kids have grown up and now have families of their own. The issue of youngsters accessing the refrigerator for other than nonalcoholic drinks pretty much disappeared until the grandchildren starting to arrive. My concerns for securing the beverage refrigerator could not be solved with chains and padlocks around my aging “Harvest Gold” monument to the past. If you have these concerns, there now is a simple solution, a locking beverage center. Many of the new ones on the market have separate locks for each zone so you can structure your beverage storage to solve your security issues.
One other issue you need to consider, but is often over looked, is which way the door opens. The door on your beverage-storage-cooler must open correctly given the place you intend to install it. Look for a beverage storage cooler that has reversible door hinges so you can make it open the way you want it to. Additionally, while all of these products can be utilized in a freestanding application, under counter appliances must be front-vented, zero clearance coolers; otherwise, your rear-vented wine and can cooler will over heat and eventually give up the “ghost”.
I have since replaced “Harvest Gold” with a new French door design, dual-zone, locking, front-vented combination wine and can beverage cooler with a smoke glass door trimmed in stainless steel with recessed handles. Boy that was a mouth full! As I always say, buy the beverages you like, store them properly in a combination wine/can cooler, serve them at the proper temperature and enjoy them immensely.