About Wine Coolers
What is a wine cooler?
A wine cooler is a refrigerator specifically designed to keep your wine cooled to a certain temperature. They can be small in size, or they can be the size of a normal refrigerator, but the main goal is to keep your wine chilled at the proper temperature. The term "wine cooler" and wine refrigerator are used interchangeability.
Wine coolers come equipped with shelving designed to hold your wine at the correct angle, while also implementing design techniques to ensure your wine remains in pristine condition.
Wine coolers are designed to stay at a certain temperature, usually around 50-59-degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep the wine from going bad and helping to preserve the flavor. They are also designed to limit the amount of vibration from the condenser motor so that the wine is not jostled around or stirred up in any way, which could disturb the wine’s natural aging process. Some wine coolers are also designed to minimize the amount of natural light that makes it to the bottles stored inside. Light can damage the flavor of the wine, so ensuring that minimal natural light makes its way into the cooler is essential in keeping the wine preserved.
A wine cooler, or wine fridge, is a great way to store and preserve your wine while keeping it safe and fresh. If you have a large number of wine bottles, then a wine cooler is a great alternative to a normal refrigerator that can keep the bottles too cold and inhibit the aging process.
Generally, a wine fridge would hold the wines you plan to drink during a short time frame. Depending on its size, though, you can sometimes hold as much as a year's supply in a wine fridge. According to Into Wine, a wine fridge, like regular fridges for food, keep the humidity low - usually below 50%.
“This lower humidity can dry out corks over time and shrink them, allowing oxygen to enter the bottle and reduce the quality of the wine,” says Into Wine. “You can monitor temperature and humidity in a wine fridge by using a special gauge inside the fridge. You can set the temperature between 45 degrees and 65 degrees, depending on what wines you are chilling.”
A wine fridge is helpful because it can maintain the proper temperature for your wine. Your regular fridge likely gets opened and closed quite often, which can cause its temperature to fluctuate. Constant temperature fluctuations are harmful to bottles of wine. Additionally, wine fridges and regular kitchen refrigerators essentially have two different functions. An everyday fridge is meant to keep perishables cold and dry. This temperature is too harsh for the fragile composition of wine.
Benefits of using a wine cooler
1. They’re less expensive than a wine cellar.
According to industry estimates, a complete wine cooling unit needed to keep the cellar temperature and humidity at ideal levels for your wine can cost between $1,000 - $10,000, and in some cases, even more.
On the other hand, a wine cooler or wine fridge that holds about 20 to 120 bottles of wine might cost between $200 to $2,000.
2. Your wine stays fresher, longer.
“Temperature, humidity, and vibration are the key distinguishing factors between conventional refrigerators and wine refrigerators,” says WineEnthusiast.com. Wines can be sensitive to temperature changes, so if you live in a house that gets very cold or super-hot, your wine is even more at risk of losing its flavor than usual.
Regular fridges are designed to drop temperature rapidly and drive out humidity. Wine cellars (and wine fridges) treat their contents differently. A wine fridge lowers the temperature of its contents at a slower rate, and maintains a level of humidity that is ideal for wine.
3. Humidity in your regular fridge can damage your wine.
Humidity, like temperature, can be detrimental to your wines. Regular kitchen refrigerators are designed to remove the humidity from the air in your refrigerator. The other issue is storage (home fridge has no wine racks) whereas a wine fridge will have shelves specifically built to hold wine bottles.
4. They’re environmentally friendly.
If you’re concerned with having an eco-friendly home, a wine fridge or wine cooler may be a good investment for you. Wine coolers use a thermoelectric medium of cooling, which is a common alternative to compressor-based wine coolers. This means, the owner of a wine cooler can save energy around the home and preserve the environment.
5. They keep bad or unwanted smells out.
Odors in your everyday fridge can adversely affect wine. The lack of humidity in a regular refrigerator can cause your wine to take on surrounding odors. This happens when the cork in your wine bottle shrinks and becomes porous.