When you buy a bottle of wine, do you put it in the regular fridge so it can stay chilled before you open it with guests?
If so, you might wonder if you even need to purchase a wine fridge.
What, exactly, is a wine fridge?
A wine fridge is basically a fridge designed to store wine. It’s like a modern version of a wine cellar because it keeps your wine bottles cool while putting them on display.
Do you need to purchase a wine fridge for your home?
The answer may surprise you!
Here’s what you need to know.
Differences Between Regular Fridge Vs Wine Fridge
There are some important differences between regular fridges and wine fridges that you should know about, especially if you’re a wine aficionado who wants to have a collection of wines at home.
Here are the main differences between the two fridges.
- A regular fridge will drop temperature quickly and eliminate humidity. By comparison, a wine fridge lowers the internal temperature much slower and ensures that humidity can be maintained at a level that’s appropriate for the storage of wine.
- A regular fridge keeps various foods and liquids cold and dry. Many different foods will be able to remain safe and edible in a fridge that’s kept at the same temperature, such as around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius). This is not suitable for keeping wine because it’s too dry for the bottle corks and it’s too cold for the delicate nature of wine.
- A regular fridge can cause odours to spread over different items stored inside it. Ever grabbed a chocolate mousse from the fridge only to find it smells a bit like peppers from last night’s pizza? Fridges tend to have odours and they can seep into your wine, such as if the cork of the bottle becomes smaller and porous as a result of the lack of humidity in the fridge.
- A regular fridge produces vibrations, as a result of its compressors. These can get in the way of the delicate process of wine’s maturation. You’ll find that many wine cellars and wine fridges will have systems in place to effectively absorb vibrations so that these don’t get in the way of the process.
Important Things To Know About Wine Fridges
If you like the idea of having a wine fridge at home, there are some important things to know about it.
- If you want to store both white and red wines, they’ll require different temperatures. White wines need temperatures of between 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.7 degrees Celsius) to 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13.3 degrees Celsius), while red wines will need between 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14.4 degrees Celsius) to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). If you want to keep both in the same wine fridge, you should have what’s known as a dual zone cooler that has different temperature areas within the same fridge.
- You can’t use your wine fridge for other beverages. This is because wine fridges don’t usually provide temperatures lower than 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.7 degrees Celsius). You will have to keep other beverages, such as soda, in a regular fridge or a beverage cooler.
What Types Of Wine Fridges Are There?
There are three main types of wine fridges: freestanding, fully-integrated, and built-in wine fridges.
Let’s explore them all in greater detail.
- Freestanding wine fridges, as their name suggests, are stand-alone units. They are built to be similar to wine cellars as they’re ideal for the long-term storage of wine. They are not meant to be used as built-in wine fridges as a result of the heat from the back of the unit which can overheat the wines. You should always ensure that your freestanding wine cooler has a few inches of space all around it for efficient ventilation.
- Fully integrated wine fridges can fit into cabinet spaces. However, when installing them into your kitchen’s design, you have to ensure that there’s a channel for the warm air to escape.
- Built-in wine fridges are similar in design to freestanding ones. They rest on the floor of your kitchen. Built-in wine fridges have fans and vents to pull in cool air and release warm air from the unit. These are popular for use as under-counter wine fridges and they come in a variety of sizes. If you’re a wine aficionado who owns many bottles of wine, you’ll be able to find built-in wine fridges that can accommodate hundreds of bottles.
Thermoelectric Vs Compressor Wine Fridges
There are thermoelectric wine fridges and compressor wine fridges.
How are they different?
Thermoelectric Wine Fridges
Thermoelectric wine fridges are free of vibrations because they don’t contain compressors. This also makes them silent, which is beneficial. Thermoelectric wine fridges are energy efficient because they don’t have any moving parts that require lots of electricity.
How these wine fridges work is with the use of a heat pump that moves heat from one side of the unit to another.
One of the problems with thermoelectric wine fridges is that they are influenced by ambient temperatures.
They also don’t come in built-in models and they are only available as freestanding units, as a result of how the surrounding temperature affects them. So, you can only find them in smaller sizes.
Compressor Wine Fridges
Compressor wine fridges contain a compressor, evaporator, and fan system in their design. The refrigerant liquid pulls in heat from the evaporator coils and transforms it into vapour. This vapour moves back to the compressor so the process can resume.
As the heat gets absorbed, cool air is produced and it moves through the appliance so that the temperature can be constant for the wine bottles. These types of fridges have better operating temperatures for many more types of wines.
You can find compressor wine fridges that come in all three types of fridges, which makes them more versatile for the amount of wine storage that you need.
Some potential drawbacks linked to the compressor wine fridge include how it can cause vibrations and be noisy.
Should You Invest In A Wine Fridge?
There’s no doubt about the fact that a wine fridge can be a much more effective way to store your wine bottles.
Here are some things to consider that should motivate you to purchase a wine fridge.
- A wine fridge is important to have if you live in a very hot region or have poor insulation in your home. This is because your wine bottles will spoil very quickly without one.
- A wine fridge can be beneficial for you even if you have a wine cellar in the home. This is because it makes it easier for you to retrieve wine bottles when you need them. It’s also convenient to have your wine bottles on display.
- A wine fridge can be useful if you have more than 15 bottles of wine. If you have fewer than that, or you don’t intend on buying wine on a regular basis, then you might find that your wine fridge remains empty.
- A wine fridge can help you to be better organised in your home. Instead of having wine bottles forming clutter in your cupboards or cabinets, a wine fridge can help to keep all your wine bottles in the same place. You’ll be assured that your collection is kept in the best condition.
How To Clean Your Wine Fridge
Just like with your other kitchen appliances, your wine fridge needs to be cleaned regularly.
You should clean it in the following ways:
- Start by unplugging your fridge. Remove all the wine bottles, as well as any shelves, that are inside it.
- With warm water mixed with two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda, gently clean all the surfaces inside the fridge. You can also use a mild soap-water solution to clean any trays or wire shelves if these are present.
- If there are wooden shelves inside the fridge, you should use a soft cloth as well as a wood cleaner to clean them properly.
- A gentle soap solution can be used for the exterior of the fridge.
- When you’re done, dry all the parts with a soft, clean cloth.
Are there any things to consider when positioning your wine fridge in the home?
You should put your wine fridge in a place where there are no vibrations and no direct sunlight.
You need to ensure that there’s enough space to keep the unit well ventilated.
Why is your wine fridge beeping?
There are various reasons for your wine fridge to beep, such as if the door seals are dirty or damaged, the processor is faulty, the fridge is too full, or the fridge is overheating.
If you love drinking wine regularly, you should consider purchasing a wine fridge.
In this article, we’ve explored what you need to know about wine fridges and if you really need one in the home.