Many wine lovers choose to chill their whites, but leave their reds at room temperature. LG tell us that there are optimum temperatures to store each wine at? Why is this?
There are indeed optimum temperatures to store wine at, based on their chemical compounds. Most reds are suited to a temperature of around 12-19°, whites find a good resting temp at 8-12°, and sparkling wines slightly less at 5-8°. If you store a wine at a warmer or cooler temperature than what it should be at, their chemicals start to become imbalanced, and how they taste actually begins to change. Some people think it’s strange to store a red at a cool temperature, but doing so will extend its life - especially if you’re looking to lay it down for a number of years, which many big ‘tannin-heavy’ wines benefit from.
LG say that excess vibrations and temperature fluctuations can adjust a wine’s fragrance and ruin its flavour. They say that the LG SIGNATURE Wine Cellar reduces tremors, maintains a stable environment and locks in humidity, letting your most cherished wines reach their aromatic potential (just as they would in a specialist wine cave). Now, most of us can’t have their own wine cave at home, but do you think a dedicated wine cabinet is a good second best?
Absolutely – this is as close to a cave as you’re going to get, especially if you live in an apartment or a smaller house. If you’re interested in wine and you care about how you store it, a wine fridge is a necessity. When we’ve got the heating on in the winter, our homes get too hot, and it’s the same in the summer - so we need to look after them. The other thing I love about this particular fridge is that it doesn’t just qualify as a wine cave, it can be your very own meat and cheese cave too.
How does this model compare to ones you’ve used before?
Being in the wine industry (and having a lot of wine), this is my 4th cooler. Never before have I seen automatic opening capabilities and I really value this function. One of the major problems I have with my other wine units, is that smudges and greasy fingerprints tend to stick to the metallic casing. We naturally secrete oil through our fingers, and so constantly having to wipe the sides of the doors can become a bit of a task. When you have guests over, they want to see the wine fridge, so it always needs to be in great condition. The auto-open function allows you to get around that by using your foot to step into the sensor, meaning you don’t even have to touch it.
I also love that it comes with a fridge freezer unit. People will of course use this for multiple reasons, but I like how you can store your more gourmet foods inside - like smoked salmon, cured meats, cheeses or even frozen truffles. It becomes the ‘epicurean lovers fridge’ where you can store all of your hidden treasures.
LG SIGNATURE Wine Cellars have three optimal temperature zones to suit different red, white and sparkling wines. Why should wines be kept at different temperatures?
It’s quite simple really – store a wine at a temperature that is too hot or too cold, and you ruin it. The chemical make-up of the wine will change, the compounds will alter, and it won’t taste how it’s meant to. If a wine gets too hot, it’ll become ‘cooked’ and taste like stewed fruits that went off 2 weeks ago. If a wine gets too cold, the ageing process will slow down, and in extreme cases it can force the cork out of the bottle and/or crack the glass so it leaks everywhere.
It’s also important that the door offers UV protection. Can you tell us a little bit about why UV exposure isn’t good for preserving wine, and how you can combat that at home if you don’t have a wine cooler to hand?
Time to get my inner-geek on! Direct sunlight is bad for wine for many reasons. Ultimately, UV light ends up damaging and degrading the wine. The shorter wavelengths within UV lights cause a chemical reaction, which in turn alters the appearance, smell and taste. It also causes it to age a lot quicker than it should (in a bad way). Bottles that have been affected by too much sunlight are referred to as ‘light-struck’, and can usually be identified by a foul sulphur cabbage-like smell. Essentially, no wine should ever be stored in direct sunlight – whether you’re keeping it for one day or many years to come. It only takes a couple of hours in harsh heat or sunlight to completely destroy your vino and sadly, there is no going back.
Let’s talk a little bit about design. You don’t fork out for one of these if you don’t want to show it off a little bit. Do you think a wine cooler is a bit of a status symbol, and what do you think of the InstaView™ door?
It absolutely is. Wine is a form of art, much like the paintings on your walls, visitors always want to check out your collection. The great thing about this, is the mentality of ‘you can look but you can’t touch’. The InstaView™ door is the display case for your masterpieces, and the last thing you want is people picking up your vintage bottles and disturbing their peace.
What do you think about the convertible drawer? What do you have in yours?
I think it’s a fantastic idea! I currently have a selection of meats, smoked salmon and cheese stored in mine, but as someone who is a total cocktail-fanatic, I’m tempted to store ice too. As someone who lives in an apartment and doesn’t have an abundance of freezer space, this is the perfect opportunity. Another thing that not many people think about, is that vodka and gin SHOULD be stored in the freezer or in a cold fridge (so it doesn’t warm up too quickly in the glass). This isn’t just a ‘wine’ fridge, it’s a unit for all beverages and it can become your very own drinks cabinet - whilst also being great for cooling canapes and smoked meats that you’d like to serve at Aperitivo hour.
Any final thoughts on the product itself?
Emphasising what I said at the beginning… this is the ultimate gourmet lover’s fridge. It’s not just a wine cooler, it’s a treasure trove for your most precious food and drink. 60 bottles is a decent storage amount, and it may be that this becomes your main wine fridge, and you buy another unit later to store ‘mass wine’. Perhaps this becomes your in-between unit for the bottles you’re planning on drinking soon, or one for your really high-end wines that you want to keep safe. Serious wine collectors have a mixture of both wine fridges, as well as underground storage, and this is one of the most top-spec units on the market. It’ll truly protect your wines, it looks beautiful, has brilliant functionality, and has been created by a trustworthy brand with a great reputation.
It gets my vote.