Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Skybar Wine System Works


Mechanics of the Skybar Wine System
The skybar's refrigeration system chills bottles to the appropriate temperature.
The skybar's refrigeration system chills bottles to the appropriate temperature.
Photo courtesy Jarden Consumer Solutions

­

­Most w­ine drinkers know that the general rule of thumb for wine temperatures is that you serve white cold and reds at room temperature. However, the meaning of "room temperature" has warmed up a bit since that dictum was first established. Therefore, many experts now advise slightly chilling a red before serving. A merlot shouldn't be as frosty as a chardonnay, for instance, but its flavor tastes best between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 15 degrees Celsius).

Temperature affects the taste of wine because heat alters the balance between the sugar, acid, tannins, carbon dioxide and alcohol that combine to make wine. Hotter temperatures enhance sweetness, for example. For that reason, we chill sugary whites and dessert wines, or else they wouldn't be palatable. On the other hand, the tannin compounds found most abundantly in red wines react favorably when warmer.

The skybar Wine System eliminates much of the guesswork involved in chilling wines. Since its three chambers operate independently, you can prepare a mix of reds or whites at the same time. After opening the bottle of wine and placing it into the skybar, you can set the desired serving temperature on the control panel. The system is manufactured with nine preset temperatures tailored for the nine most popular wine varietals, and you can adjust the settings manually from 45 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 20 degrees Celsius). A white light next to the wine chamber illuminates when the bottle reaches the target temperature.

­

Skybar's cooling function operates off of advanced solid state thermoelectric technology. In other words, it refrigerates via electricity rather than coolant chemicals or ice. Thermoelectric refrigeration is based on the Peltier effect, which states that when an electrical current is applied across metals with different properties, such as copper and iron, heat from one metal transfers to the other. Whichever metal the heat flows out of becomes much cooler. In thermoelectric refrigerators, metal panels are arranged on the inside and outside of the refrigerator compartment to pass heat from the outside and keep it cool. The electrical current that produces the thermoelectric effect comes from the refrigerator's plug; some fridges also contain internal fans to accelerate the cooling process.

Now, it's time to pour.

­