Wine Cellar Blog

What Is a Wine Cabinet and What Are its Features and Benefits?

As opposed to a wine cellar or walk-in storage space, wine cabinets are self-contained units that can be integrated into almost any existing space, even after construction. They can be built to fit a wall, nook, corner, or as a stand-alone piece that blends with the home’s decor.

A cabinet is not the same as a wine fridge

While there are some nice refrigerator units out there, most are consumer-level offerings with a one-size-fits-all design. And they remain detached from their environment, both physically and aesthetically.

Wine cabinets are made to order and seamlessly blend into their surroundings. Each feature, from the glass to the interior lighting, to the racking, can be customized. The cooling unit is also installed separately and calibrated specifically for each cabinet.

If you would like to learn more about the differences between wine cellars and wine refrigerators, check out our article here.

Five Reasons Why You Should Consider a Wine Cabinet for Your Home

  • They’re perfect for smaller collections and owners who don’t want or need a full cellar.
  • Cabinets can make use of small, often unused spaces in a house (even under the stairs).
  • They can be zoned for storing white and red wines separately, so each is ready to serve right out of the unit (also great for commercial settings).
  • Cabinets are great as a satellite display to showcase a part of your larger collection. You can rotate wines up from your cellar as they’re ready to drink.
  • They can be portable – so you can take them with you when you move!

Wine Cabinets Are a Great Alternative to a Traditional Wine Cellar

With a few exceptions, wine cabinets are typically less expensive to build than a traditional wine cellar. And because they’re compact, well-sealed, and well-insulated, they’re roughly 60% more energy efficient.

A wine cabinet can be customized to blend seamlessly with your existing décor, rather than having to make major interior design changes around a full wine cellar. And the best part: Most units ship preassembled, which eliminates the hassle and mess associated with construction.

Wine Cabinet
While not technically under the stairs, this cabinet resides off to the side of the steps and makes use of a small space not otherwise used in the home. It’s faced with a beautiful, book-matched hardwood that has been stained to bring out the natural grain. (From Focus Wine Cellars)

Wine Cabinets Are Great for Commercial Applications, Too

Wine cabinets are especially suited to bars, restaurants, hotels, and clubs because they serve a dual purpose: They can add aesthetic flair to a room or public space and, business-wise, double as a sales showcase for your luxury wine list. Stand-alone units can be moved around as your business grows – even to a different location – should you ever change addresses.

Two wine cabinets in an upscale restaurant
These two wine cabinets were built for an upscale restaurant in San Francisco and are faced with beautiful ebony wood. The cabinet behind the bar is double-sided so the wines can be seen from the adjacent dining room, too. (From Vigilant)

Wine Cabinets Offer Fun Upgrades and Add-Ons

Much like a cellar, a wine cabinet is fully customizable, limited only by your imagination and budget. The biggest opportunity for customization is with the exterior facing, which essentially informs the entire design. Wood is the most popular material, and for good reason: The texture, grain, and color of bare wood can be stunning, even more so when enhanced with the perfect stain or finish.

Door panels come in all sizes and shapes, even frameless designs. You can choose from colorful display lighting that can be controlled via remote or tied into your house’s smart system. And the options for racking are just as fun to explore. From individual bottle racks, to slotted shelves, metal or wood, your choices are virtually endless.

Wine Cabinet for luxury condo
This one-of-a-kind wine cabinet was created for a luxury condo. It’s made of mahogany and stands 13.5 feet tall! The cooling unit resides in the compartment at the top. (From Vigilant)

Wine Cabinets Are Made to the Highest Quality Standards

Wine cabinetmakers are skilled artisans (watch our partners at Vigilant work), no different than a traditional cabinetmaker or woodworker. When you order a cabinet from a master builder, here are some of the quality standards you can expect:

  • The best solid hardwoods and cuts
  • Insulated panels and weatherstripping for energy efficiency
  • Fully insulated, argon-filled, low-emissive, tempered glass panels
  • Heavy-duty and corrosion-resistant hardware
  • High-quality stains and finishes that increase the cabinet’s durability and look
  • Preassembled units that are tested before being shipped

… and of course, the best cooling system options available (we can vouch for this one).

The Heart of any Wine Cabinet Is the Cooling System

The Wine Guardian cabinet cooling system is specifically designed to be integrated into your custom wine cabinet. The system is a professional-grade, self-contained climate control system for regulating the temperature of a wine cabinet, wine display, or wine showcase at either aging temperatures or any serving temperature (41-64°F/5-18°C). The cabinet cooling system is completely self-contained and includes an integral air-cooled condenser. No ductwork or drain line is required.

Ready to start planning or building? Contact our experts for help.