Décor & Gardening
For the love of wine…
07 August 2017, Johannesburg: Imagine: It’s a gorgeous summer evening, and you are enjoying the balmy night out on your patio. Some delicious salmon is sizzling gently on the braai, and a crunchy baby leaf salad, and some freshly prepared mango and red onion salsa are waiting on the side-lines. The only thing missing is a glass of honeyed, toasty chardonnay with a rich oak flavour – not too chilled, not too tepid, but as Goldilocks said, just right.
Plucking a bottle directly from your fridge will chill the wine to the point when its more subtle flavours are unrecognisable. However, if you have had the foresight to invest in a wine cooler, the chardonnay will be cooled to the point of perfection, so that you can taste and thoroughly enjoy its delicate hints of mango and pineapple on the palette. Now all you have to do is to sit back and enjoy the perfect pairing in the perfect setting.
Says Liam Gawne from leading kitchen appliance manufacturer: “Wine storage units are different from standard fridges – their job is to control the humidity and maintain a perfect and stable temperature for the wine being stored. The length of time that you can enjoy a wine’s rich flavour depends largely on the conditions of its storage. Miele’s range of wine storage units for example, mimics the function of a cellar to provide optimum conditions for the long-term storage of fine wines.”
He says that for any wine aficionado, a wine storage unit is a must, and offers the following pointers for those looking to invest in one:
Location: It is important to give some consideration to where you will be placing your wine storage unit – if it is in your kitchen or near to your living space, you will want to invest in a unit that not only functions well, but one that also looks good and operates silently. Miele’s wine coolers for example, not only stand proud as a feature piece aesthetically, but they also operate entirely silently, making them a great option for open-plan spaces.
Built-in or freestanding: Freestanding units, such as Miele’s KWT6834 for example, are great for those with lots of extra space. However, if space is at a premium, then you should consider under-counter (Miele’s KWT6322UG) or built-in eye-level models (Miele’s KWT6112iG) that can be integrated into your cabinetry for better space-saving design.
Look at the cooling technology: Look at the cooling technology, and since the unit will be located in your home, ensure that it offers noiseless and vibration-free operation. In addition to temperature, air humidity is also an important factor for perfect storage conditions of wine. With Miele’s Dynamic Cooling, an integrated fan that uniformly circulates the air, you can be sure of optimum distribution and control of both temperature and air humidity.
Temperature zones: Red, white, rosè and sparkling – there are endless varieties of different wines, each with their own specific storage requirements. To cater for these different requirements, it is advisable to invest in a wine cooler that offers different temperature zones that allows you to store a variety of different types of wines. Miele’s wine units for example, are fitted with up to three temperature zones that can be controlled separately from one another. Each zone can store a particular type of wine, for example, red, white or sparkling. The various zones allow temperature regulation from 5°C to 20°C.
Air filters: Wines need to be stored in an environment that is not only cold, but that is also odourless, which is why an effective air filter is an important feature in any wine storage unit. Miele’s Active AirClean Filter comprises an innovative combination of active charcoal and chitosan that eliminates virtually all odours.
Size matters: As a general rule of thumb, space permitting, it is advisable to invest in a wine unit that can hold at least twice as many bottles as you currently have. You will find that the storage space fills up quickly, especially if you are on the constant lookout for buying good wines. In the long run, it pays to invest in a large wine storage unit from the onset, so that you don’t end up having to invest in 2 or 3 smaller wine storage units down the line. Miele offers an integrated under-counter wine storage unit that holds a Bordeaux bottle capacity of 34, while its larger units can hold up to 178 Bordeaux bottles.
Reliable racks: Inspect the racks inside the storage unit – look for functionality, quality and durability. Miele’s wine units for example, boast adjustable bottle racks, on telescopic runners, that are made from premium-grade Beech wood, and designed to hold your wine bottle securely in place. The individual wooden racks are easy to adjust to suit the size of the bottle, the slats can be easily moved to suit various bottle shapes – all ensuring that your wine is stored in the optimum position. Furthermore, each bottle rack has a label that you can annotate with chalk for a quick overview of your wines. For example, you can note the country of origin, grape variety or vintage. The NoteBoards are magnetic and can be removed from the shelves for writing on.
Interior lighting: With any good quality wine storage unit, you will need to see what wines you have stored inside. However, it is important that this lighting does not interfere with accurate temperature and humidity control. All Miele’s wine units boast indirect LED lighting that are maintenance-free and provide optimum illumination of the interior compartment. Compared with conventional lighting, LEDs are particularly energy saving, cool to the touch and have considerably longer service life. Some models even allow you to dim the lights if need be.
Door functionality: SoftClose doors are the best choice, as they negate any chance of the door slamming shut and disturbing the wine. Miele’s innovative SoftClose doors ensures that when the door is ajar by around 30 degrees, it closes automatically – no more clinking bottles on door shelves, and no way of accidently leaving the door open and ruining your wine. Miele’s under-counter wine units boast Push2open doors – allowing the doors to open as if by themselves. The opening system is activated by light pressure on the glass door – it opens gently and allows you to reach inside and open it completely. Miele wine units with Push2open do not need handles and can be optimally flush-fitted and integrated into every kitchen and living environment.
UV protection: UV rays can cause chemical reactions in wines, so choose a model that offers UV filters on its glass doors. For exmaple, the glass doors on Miele’s range of wine coolers are made of tinted safety glass with integrated UV filter. This allows your wine to be stored with optimum protection from any harmful UV rays.
Added extras: Always take note of the various extra features on a wine storage unit. For example, Miele’s units come standard with Miele Touch Controls for easy control at our fingertips. The KWT6834 unit even comes with a SommelierSet – allowing you to decant your wines like a true professional. Miele’s SommelierSet comprises a purpose-built section that can accommodate decanters, glasses and open bottles of wine – allowing you to enjoy chilled wine in chilled glasses, and perfectly conditioned wine bottles, even after they have been opened.
Quality and longevity: Check the lifespan and guarantee before you make your purchase decision. At the end of the day – more often than not, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” is true. So it is wise to invest in the best wine storage unit that you can afford – after all, you will be intrusting it with your valuable wine collection. Like all Miele appliances, its range of wine storage units have been designed, manufactured and tested to last for up to 20 years.
Miele’s wine storage units comprise:
- The integrated MasterCool KWT1612Vi, which retails for R180 000.
- The freestanding KWT6834, which retails for R90 000.
- The built-under KWT6322UG, which retails for R45 000.
- The eye-level KWT6112iG, which retails for R40 000.
Visit www.miele.co.za to find out more or to find a retailer closest to you.
Note: Prices as at August 2017. E&EO.
The word “wine” is “win” with an “e” on the end of it… You can make it even more of a winning combination by investing in a wine cooler and ensuring that your wine collection is stored in the correct conditions. Liam Gawne from leading appliance manufacturer, Miele, offers a guide on what to consider when investing in a wine cooler.
Durban Get It Magazine – August 2017Women of substance