For the genuine wine connoisseur, putting your favourite Grand Cru or Chateau d’Yquem in the fridge is as woeful an act of philistinism as using the wrong-shaped glass (too cold for wine, too dry for the cork, in case you wondered). For the seriously hardcore wine connoisseur, meanwhile, using any old wine cooler is too tepid an act of diligence: you need one that takes the business of wine storage very seriously indeed.
One like Gaggenau: the ultra high-end German company that has been pushing the home appliances envelope for over three centuries. Part of the brand’s new Vario cooling 400 series – a fully integrated, modular range that also includes built-in refrigerators and freezers, all designed to be functionally and ergonomically worthy of a professional kitchen – the brand’s latest wine climate cabinet (and the distinction between that and a “wine fridge” is important) takes oenological preservation to heady new heights.
For the cabinet’s interior, the usual blond beech was eschewed in favour of oak, a nod to the barrels in which wine is traditionally aged. Its concealed telescopic rails encourage gentle handling of bottles which have become accustomed to kid-glove treatment thanks to low vibration technology. It also boasts advanced humidity regulation and an activated charcoal air filter which protects the wine from odour contamination.
Controlled climate zones, adjusted via a Thin Film Transistor display, ensure that part of your collection can thrive in cellar-like conditions, while bottles that are there for the taking, so to speak, can be plucked out on demand, primed for serving. Meanwhile, five preset lighting scenarios point to the fact that what lies within exists to be appreciated visually, as well as by the gustatory and olfactory senses.
Perhaps most impressive of all to the ardent aesthete, though, will be the way it fits into the broader Vario cooling 400 series: unsurprising, given the design philosopy of Gaggenau’s head of design Sven Baacke: “I regard our appliances the same way a couturier regards a suit – the final result must fit seamlessly and with a perfect fit.”
“Furthermore, I place special emphasis on generosity in the usage of space to ensure that whoever chooses a Gaggenau appliance will know instinctively that these appliances have been created with their desire for a limitless creative process in mind.”
Given the range’s functional as well as visual credentials, as typified by this unit, it’s no wonder the brand has just announced an official partnership with IMG’s The World Restaurant Awards.