A dual-zone fridge works exactly how you might expect. Each area has its own thermostat, so you can store different wine styles at their ideal (and annoyingly unique) drinking temps. But these coolers aren’t cheap and may be unnecessary for your collection. Here’s our guide to determining if one of these ever-popular workhorses is overkill, or if you’re overdue.
Most whites should be sipped at significantly cooler temps than reds. So if your weekly wines are a wave of both reds and whites, you’re overdue.
If the only white wines in your world come in the form of chicken francaise, then you’re really missing out on a lot of incredible pours. Your narrow winededness, however, does have a bonus: The often less costly single-zone fridges are designed for reds (and short-term aging) and keep your cache between 54 and 65˚F.
If you’re cellaring most of your bottles beyond a year, you really only need to know one number—55˚F—the ideal aging temperature for almost every wine style. Overkill.
Champagne and sparkling wines are not created equal. The grapes, the price and even the pouring temps are different. Champagne tastes best at 45–50˚F; other sparkling should be sipped at about 43˚F. So if you’re popping both styles on the regular, consider yourself long overdue, Mr. Music Mogul.
If you have a strict sparkling-only policy, a multi or dual would be overkill. But, you need to blow a bit of your bubble savings on a pricier compressor-run single-temp fridge, which packs enough power to push the mercury south of 45˚F.
If you’re a wine lover whose kitchen fridge is forever packed with makings of your family’s eye-popping weekly food bill, leaving zero room for your beer and cider stash, then you’re overdue. If you simply need more real estate for all those packs of juice boxes, it’s overkill.