I have been recommending the beautiful wooden wine coolers made by Rob Thomson for some time now, but I thought I really should provide some evidence to back this up. Yes, they are beautiful and an asset to any wine lover, but do they really keep your wine cool? I decided it to put it to the test for this wine cooler review.
I decided to compare the temperature of wine bottles, all chilled in the fridge overnight, in three different categories – a control bottle, left on the table at room temperature, one in the wooden cooler, and one in a terracotta cooler I bought a few years ago at a Jamie at Home event. I measured the ambient temperature at the time of each reading, and measured the temperature of each bottle at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 minutes.
I didn’t wish to open three bottles at the same time so used an external wraparound thermometer (“Connoisseur” from Barcraft). I am unable to verify its accuracy. The scale goes up in two degree intervals so some readings, for example, fell between two readings and are given as the number in between e.g. 12-14 was recorded as 13.
The results can be seen in the table and graph below:
It is quite obvious that in the first hour especially after removing a wine bottle from a fridge that Rob’s handcrafted wooden wine cooler keeps the wine markedly cooler than either no cooler or the terracotta cooler, in fact 4° cooler than the control after 30 minutes. Throughout the whole three hours, the wooden cooler was consistently more effective than the terracotta cooler or no cooler at keeping the wine bottle cool.
After 150 minutes, the wooden wine cooler still maintained the bottle’s temperature 3°C cooler than the control and 2º cooler than the bottle in the terracotta cooler, and after three hours there was still a 4º difference compared to the control bottle.
Unsurprisingly, since wood is a heat insulator, Rob’s wooden wine cooler is effective at keeping chilled wine 3-4°C cooler than either a terracotta “cooler” or no cooler. The difference is greatest in the first hour after removing bottles from the fridge. Therefore, I will happily continue to recommend Rob’s coolers.
I’m always amazed by the reaction when I talk to people about the abundance of vineyards we have in the beautiful South West of England. People, in general, seem unaware of this bounty on our doorstep, and nothing gives me more pleasure than introducing my bespoke groups to our fine wineries on my day tours and short breaks in the region. It was therefore a great opportunity for me to meet some more of our local producers at the Southwest Vineyard’s annual tasting event held at the Phoenix in Exeter at the end of June.
As a guest of indefatigable Hilary of Eastcott Vineyard in Okehampton, I was pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of local producers exhibiting. In addition to the fine offerings from Hilary & Richard at Eastcott and a number of other Devon wineries, Dorset, Cornwall and Herefordshire were all well represented, giving me lots of ideas for future wine tours in the South West. It was nice to meet Emma Coulson from Polgoon, a great ambassador for their family-run estate near Penzance. I enjoyed a long conversation with Geoff Bowen from Pebblebed near Exeter and Frank Myers from Wythall Estate in Herefordshire on the EU Referendum- as well as the wine, of course!
Dorset was well-represented too with Rebecca Edwards from award-winning Furleigh Estate. I adore Furleigh’s sparkling Rosé! My recent visit to beautiful Furleigh will be the subject of another post soon.
It’s always lovely to catch up with Duncan Schwab from Sharpham and his sidekick Tommy, who is always smiling and obviously adores his work. We fixed a date for me to drop by, and this visit will be covered in a future post. At this event I tasted their award-winning red wine, a tribute to their winemaking skills in this cool English climate.
It was also fantastic for me to finally meet Wine Educator Rebecca Mitchell in person after knowing each other for quite some time via Twitter.
It was so much fun to explore our beautiful region’s wines at this excellent event, but it’s even more fun to explore them at the vineyards. If you’d like to explore the wineries of the South West get in touch with me by Email or call me on 01752 662801 or 07866 472724. I can organise both daytours and shortbreaks here in this beautiful part of the world for private or corporate groups.
For more information on the South West Vineyards association check out their website here.