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Differences between a Refrigerator and a Wine Cooler

Well now, here’s subject for you! When I first started to take an interest in keeping wine, not just for drinking but also as an investment, it soon became clear to me that my home refrigerator wasn’t going to help.

There are a number of reasons for this but first of all I want to clear up a few of the terms you may come across in your quest for the perfect storage facility for your wines. Below are some of them:

  • Wine Cooler – An appliance that’s designed specifically to keep wines (both reds and whites) at their optimum temperature.
  • Wine Refrigerator – Much the same as the above but with subtle differences.
  • Wine Cellar – Again, much the same as the other two items mentioned.

The point I’m trying to get across here is that although you WILL come across all of these terms when you’re looking for something to store your wine in, they all pretty much do the same thing, unlike your home refrigerator! The key is to look out for the word “wine” in the title.

Home Refrigerators
Think about what you keep in your fridge (apart from all those bottles of wine). Refrigerators are a marvelous invention and, since their appearance on the market they have changed the way we store food and keep beverages cool.

Food in FridgeThe trouble with a fridge when you’re storing wine is that aside from the fact the temperature inside isn’t kept constant, is that there are a number of other items kept inside that can contaminate your wine. Temperature isn’t constant because it’s being opened all the time and if you have children think about how many times this happens during the day!

Most bottles of wine need to be stored on their sides. There are two main reasons for this: One, it helps the sediment settle and preserve the wine. Second, it keeps corks moist. If corks dry out, they can shrink which will allow air into the bottle, thus spoiling the wine inside.

Now, you may be thinking you do store your wines in a refrigerator on their side but, to be honest, most of us will pop them in a side door vertically to save space and this really won’t help the flavor.

Wine Coolers
I think by now you may have figured out the main differences between a refrigerator and a wine cooler. However, there are other benefits to wine coolers.

Neat Wine CoolerFor a start, they’re far more portable (depending on the size of your collection).
Secondly, you can control the temperature you need for your wines as well as the level of humidity.
Last of all, vibration is something to think about. I’ve already mentioned sediment and one of the basic things I’ve learned about keeping wine is this is there for a reason! If it’s disturbed all the time (which will undoubtedly happen with a fridge), your wine will eventually spoil and even if it doesn’t, it won’t taste as good as it’s supposed to. So, if you really want to get the best out of your wines, a wine cooler is the best way forward.

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