It is always a good idea to cool wines you are storing for future use. Wines that are subject to temperatures that are either too high or vary significantly over time will end up with an off taste or, worst of all, be completely destroyed. Single zone wine coolers are those that will maintain a steady, preset cool temperature to preserve your wines and allow them to age properly. These are the simplest coolers, often (but not always) with a smaller capacity, and often somewhat less expensive–often sitting on a countertop or built-in under the counter top. Many single zone wine coolers use thermoelectric cooling, which is quiet and vibration free. Wine enthusiasts with larger and more varied collections may desire to have dual zone wine coolers or even multi-zone wine refrigerators. The ideal temperature for long terms storage of both red and white wines is similar (often cited as 55°F but generally considered to be any constant temperature between 45°F and 65°F); the use of two or more zones is really more about storing wines within that temperature range while keeping reds and whites near their ideal respective serving temperatures (cooler for whites, less cool for reds). So, if your goal is long term wine storage, a large single zone wine cooler may be your ideal choice.
Temperature is key to store your wine properly. Wine connoisseurs generally agree that red wines and white wines do best when stored and aged at different temperatures. So if you collect both white wines and red wines, your collection will benefit from a dual zone wine cooler. As the name implies, dual zone wine chillers have two separate areas that are maintained at different temperatures. Each of the zones will have separate controls to set and display the temperatures at which the bottles are stored, allowing more sophisticated wine collections and proper storage and aging of both white wines and red wines.
While most wine aficionados will choose dual zone wine coolers for their collections, it is also true that sophisticated collectors and wine collections will benefit from multiple zones for storing their wines. There are some three zone wine coolers available, but probably the most common method for achieving multiple zones is to buy two or more dual zone freestanding or built-in large capacity wine coolers, to mount the doors with hinges on the opposite sides to achieve a French door effect, and thereby to have a four zone wine cooler. Wine connoisseurs taking this approach can easily end up with four temperature zones capable of storing several hundred diverse bottles of wine for a truly impressive collection. And, as with our friend in Geneva, such a collection can easily see you past most natural and man-made disasters when your basement shelter doubles as your wine cellar.