It takes the proper temperature, humidity, and light to store your wines. While this procedure of storing wine is very basic, many people still fail to keep their wines in conditions that will optimally benefit the flavor and aroma of the wine.
Defined: What Is a Wine Cooler?
If you like drinking wines and love collecting wine for later occasions, then you should consider buying a wine cooler or what some people call wine refrigerator. But what is a wine cooler and how is it different from your kitchen refrigerator?
As the name implies, wine coolers are made for storing and keeping wines within a specific temperature. You can find them as free-standing units, coming in different sizes, dimensions, and bottle capacities.
The smaller units are often called wine coolers while the bigger units are called wine refrigerators. For a wine enthusiast who does not own a cellar or does not know how to maintain a cellar, a wine cooler is the best and easiest option.
Wine coolers vs. home refrigerators
Using a standard refrigerator is still a good choice for storing wines, but not for too long. Since wines are sensitive to temperature and humidity, keeping them inside a refrigerator that is constantly opened every time you need to get food is not ideal.
While you are also going to open your wine cooler, you don’t do it as frequently. You will only open your cooler when you need a bottle, which is for a special occasion; therefore, the temperature is not subject to frequent fluctuations in a wine cooler.
Aside from this, other food and beverage inside a standard fridge may contaminate the wines. Aside from this, your fridge is also not designed to maintain humidity. Instead, it suppresses it, which can potentially spoil the wine.
Advantages of using a wine coolers
Aside from knowing what a wine cooler is, it is also important for you to know the benefits of owning or using it. One of the advantages of a wine cooler is its ability to maintain a constant temperature. The temperature inside is low enough, but not too low as to spoil certain wines.
Apart from temperature, wine coolers also maintain humidity, which is important for proper wine aging. Keeping the humidity at certain levels also keep the corks moist, preserving the wine’s quality and taste.
The design of wine coolers is also a big advantage. Compared to a standard refrigerator, the interior only allows sideward storing of bottles.
This position is also important for proper wine aging because when the bottles are laid on its sides, the liquid can keep the cork moist, which prevents air exposure to the wine, which can affect the maturation process. Another thing about the design is that it provides quiet and still environment. It does not make a loud noise or vibration, especially units with a thermoelectric cooling system.
If you store your wine in your kitchen refrigerator, the noise and vibrations can send sound waves and affect the maturation of the wine. Lastly, wine coolers are also designed to provide minimal light exposure for overall wine stability.
Disadvantages of using wine coolers
Wine coolers are a great way for properly storage of wine. It is more economical than building your own wine cellar. However, it is not ideal for long-term storing of wine. If you want to age wines for 10 years or more, then a wine cooler won’t be the best place.
While it does maintain the humidity levels inside, it cannot reach the specific cellaring conditions for wine aging which is around 60% to 70%. Wine coolers can only keep a 30% level of humidity.
Aside from this, wine coolers may not ideal for storing different types of wines because certain types can only keep one temperature for the entire unit. In other words, you cannot put both red wines and white wines in the same cooler or one of them will not be stored at proper temperature.
However, there are wine coolers that have dual controls for different areas inside the cooler. Meanwhile, large units tend to be noisy because of their compressors.
For short-term aging, wine coolers are a good option, but for long-term, it would be less than ideal. In case you want to store your wines for the longest time possible, like many wine collectors, invest in wine storage cabinets.
They can hold a large number of wine bottles, keeping them at the right temperature and humidity. Therefore, they ensure quality and successful wine maturation. You should also find a wine cooler with a dual-zone option so that you can store red wines in one zone and white wines in another.