What Features Should a Wine Cabinet Have?

Vinotemp Custom Commercial Wine Storage Project for Fig & Olive Restaurant

While most wine on the market today should be uncorked within 1-5 years, it still requires the right storage conditions to ensure it tastes as the winemaker intended.

Keeping your wine collection inside a wine cabinet will protect it from its enemies: harsh light, temperature fluctuations, dry conditions, and unwanted vibrations. A wine cabinet is a stylish, space-saving, and cost-effective alternative to a traditional wine cellar. With proper maintenance and care, a good wine cabinet can last many years. Here's what to look for if you are shopping for a wine cabinet.

wine cabinet installed into wall
Custom Aluminum Wine Cabinet by Vinotemp

Cellar Cooling System

First, you will need to decide if you want your wine cabinet to have temperature control. The ideal temperature for aging wine is 53-57◦F. Any warmer, and wine will age faster. A cellar cooling system will maintain a cool temperature (55◦F) inside the cabinet. Humidity is also vital as dry conditions can cause the cork to dry out and allow for oxidization. A cellar cooling system will also maintain humidity inside the cabinet; however, it is important to note that it will not create humidity. Another feature affected by the cellar cooling system is the exhaust. With a cellar cooling system, the cabinet will have a grill at the back, top, or sides to allow the cooling system to expel warm air. The location of the exhaust can affect installation as you will need to provide proper clearance. Cellar cooling systems are similar to air conditioning units in that they make noise when they operate. If noise is an influencing factor, ask about the cooling system's decibel levels. Whether you are installing your wine cabinet in a living room, dining room, or basement, it is a good idea to add a cellar cooling system to your cabinet.

Wine Racking

The wine racking inside the cabinet will help you organize your collection. Suitable wine racking will hold the bottle horizontally so that the liquid inside the bottle touches the cork, keeping it moist. It should maximize the space inside the cabinet. Many racks will store bottles 2 or 3 deep. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, such as California, consider adding straps that will hold each bottle in place and prevent accidents. You will need to consider your bottle capacity requirements, considering your current collection and your buying habits. Be sure to leave space for future purchases.

Temperature Zones

Some cabinets have multiple independent temperature zones that allow you to separate your wine by varietal. You can also designate one zone for other fine goods such as cigars, furs, chocolate, and more. Having more than one zone can affect the size of the cabinet and the number of doors.


When buying a wine cabinet, take a look at the style of the door that appeals to you. Do you want a glass or solid door? Solid doors are necessary if you intend to install the cabinet inside a garage or basement. A glass door is perfect for spaces such as the living room, dining room, or commercial businesses such as restaurants or bars. If your cabinet has a cellar cooling system, check to ensure the door has a proper seal to maintain temperature and humidity.


Last but not least, pick a cabinet that matches the style of your space. Traditional, rustic, contemporary, or modern, a wine cabinet will fit your design needs. Since most wine cabinets are made to order, there is an opportunity to customize and have a cabinet created to your exact specifications.

There are many features to consider when choosing a wine cabinet. The cellar cooling system, wine racking, temperature zones, door, and style, are important features to look for while you shop. If you have any questions about wine cabinets, feel free to contact our team with our Contact Form.