Wine lovers often like to convert their love for wine into collections. The collection is always a replica of one’s passion and taste for wines. For every wine connoisseur, there is always a collection awaiting the special occasion. This calls for proper wine storage up to when the time is ideal.
But it doesn’t need to be a collection to warrant proper storage; even a single bottle is worth keeping safe. This is where wine coolers and mini fridges come in. But of the two which one is more ideal for use in wine storage? What are some of the similarities between these two? And what of their differences?
Well, these are some of the questions you could be asking yourself. And as always we’ve got all the answers to these questions plus others relating to the wine cooler vs mini fridge topic. Take a look.
Fridge vs wine cooler
Refrigerators have for a long time helped in the preservation of lots of foodstuffs at home. In fact, the invention of refrigerators revolutionized the kitchen experience. Apart from wines, there are a lot of other items that you could store in refrigerators to keep them cool.
The home refrigerators can also maintain a constant temperature, when well monitored, which is so ideal when it comes to wine preservation. However, refrigerators are not preferred for wine storage as maintaining the constant temperature can at times be so difficult.
Are home refrigerators ideal for wine storage?
The refrigerator will in most cases be opened so many times a day when getting some other items stored therein. Can you imagine how many times it will be opened when you have kids who would always want to grab chocolates and ice?
The frequent opening and closing will definitely cause temperature variances and hence compromising the quality of your wine. Additionally, mixing wine with other items in the fridge will in most cases lead to wine contamination or lost flavor.
You see, various items stored in the fridge from vegetables, beverages et cetera have their individual tastes, colors and flavors. Having a combination of all these plus wine in one collection may interfere with the quality of your favorite drink.
Wines are so sensitive to these features and thus avoiding keeping them together will be so perfect for your long-term storage.
On the other hand, storage space for wine in home refrigerators isn’t always enough. Why? Wines are best stored on their sides. This way, there is sufficient room for settlement of sediment which goes a long way in preserving your wine.
Side storage also helps in keeping corks moist to prevent them from shrinking and allowing in air as a result of drying out. Entry of air into your wine will make them get spoilt in no minutes. But do you think you can store your wines sideways in a fridge without consuming the entire storage space with other items left with nowhere to be stored?
In most cases we pop the bottles vertically against the side door to save on space. This storage system isn’t preferred for wines. It is therefore important to note that storage of wines in home refrigerators can be quite hectic and isn’t recommended.
Wine Coolers. What is wine cooler?
Wine coolers are specially designed to provide optimum cooling temperatures for your wine, both red and white wines. As the name suggests, these are meant for use only in the storage of wines.
One good thing about wine coolers is their portability and can be used in any kind of environment. Besides, they are temperature controlled thereby providing the right humidity levels for your wines.
Again, with wine coolers there are no vibrations which might affect the wines’ flavor due to sediment disturbance. Frequent sediment disturbance will interfere with the taste in worse cases spoil the wine in entirety.
Can a wine cooler be used as a refrigerator?
Wine coolers are meant for use in wine storage. From the design to the rack arrangement, everything is all about wines. This means that you can’t turn it into a proper home refrigerator. However, it does cooling in a similar way as a refrigerator.
Wine cooler vs mini fridge: similarities and differences
Mini fridges run on compressors which in most cases vibrate. This in turn affects the taste of your wine by disturbing the sediments. On the other hand, wine coolers operate quietly by using advanced compressor-based cooling techniques that are quiet with effective vibration absorption.
The shelving and layout in refrigerators and wine coolers are also different. For wine coolers, there are adjustable wire racks for shelves. The racks are well-contoured to take the shape of wine bottles for proper and secure storage. For refrigerators, the shelves are pre-installed and can never be adjusted. Refrigerators have numerous compartments unlike wine coolers.
Unlike refrigerators, wine coolers have double-pained glass doors that are airtight to eliminate chances of air getting in and interfering with the taste of your stored wine after some time.
One thing these two items share in common, though, is the fact that they operate towards the same goal of preserving foodstuffs and beverages by providing cool environments. Most of them work on compressors to achieve this.
Reviews of the best wine cooler brands
1. Antarctic Star 1.6-Cu. Ft. Wine Cooler
For long-term wine aging, Antarctic Star is a good one to look for. This cooler operates at temperatures of between 40 and 61oF. This gives you enough room to customize the temperature setting to values that best suit your wine.
Its glass door is reinforced which makes the whole unit watertight thus helping in maintaining the humidity conditions to ideal levels. Its compact design makes it quite ideal for small living rooms. The blue LED lighting on the inside acts as a beauty while at the same time not affecting the condition of your wine.
This free-standing cooler is built with a state-of-the-art cooling mechanism that results in no vibrations and noise. Its glass door, adjustable levelling legs and shelves are all movable. The horizontal racking systems gives room for storage of lots of bottles of wine.
The other good thing about this wine cooler is the one-year warranty that it comes with.
2. NutriChef PKTEWC120 12-bottle Wine Cooler
Another great way to store your 12 bottles of either red or white wine is through this NutriChef PKTEWC120. The thermoelectric cooling technology that it comes with allows for precise temperature regulation. This is aided by the ventilation grill and circulation fan.
Without producing any noise, this wine cooler performs its role so perfectly with minimal energy consumption. Its wine storage can either be horizontal for space-saving or vertical which is ideal for open wine bottles. The freestanding design is meant for floor or countertop placements but not for built-in configurations.
The LED light is well-integrated into this system for decorative purposes. Its reinforced glass door keeps air away making air-tight. Backed with a 1-year warranty, this is another great cooler to consider.
3. Ivation 12-bottle Compressor Wine Cooler
Ivation cooler is designed in a way that doesn’t allow external factors to interfere with its temperature settings. Capable of cooling at temperatures of between 41 and 64oF. Its built-in cooling fan does all the work of maintaining the preset temperature condition for all your white wines.
The glass door is double-paned and air-tight. Besides, the thermos-pane door ensures UV rays are kept off your wine for long storage. This way, your wine’s flavor is retained regardless of the storage duration. The double pane is also some sort of insulation which by extension helps in the cooling process.
The controls are easy to operate as they are inscribed on a digital display. The display is bright enough for easy usage even during the darkest of nights. The racks are removable and can be customized for that matter for the cooler to accommodate bottles of different sizes.
The LED light in the cooler is energy-efficient and helps in the proper viewing of your wine collection.
4. Kalamera 45-bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler
With a capacity to hold 45 wine bottles, this cooler is big enough for use in a variety of areas including kitchens and home bars. Its compressor uses the latest technology which makes it cool the wine while at the same time consuming the lowest power.
It operates a dual cooling system that operates at temperatures of between 40 and 66oF. Each zone can be adjusted independently for the best ever results. Running without vibrations and noise, the cooler doesn’t in any way affect the flavor of your drink.
It doesn’t take up much of your floor’s space. The stainless steel used in its casing makes it food safe.
5. NewAir NWC016SS00 Wine Cooler
To maintain the temperature at a level that keeps your wine safe and ready for use, NewAir NWC016SS00 comes with a built-in circulation fan. It also has an LED light that illuminates the inner section for proper viewing of your collection. The light doesn’t produce heat that can end up affecting the quality of your wine.
The glass door is double-paned, insulated and UV-protected to keep off sun’s rays. The beautifully-designed racks can be moved to accommodate different-sized wines. It’s easy to install and operate as it’s just a plug-in and use model.
It is a freestanding model that doesn’t require much space to perform its role. This cooler has a capacity of 16 bottles.
As you have seen, wine coolers are the best when it comes to storing these beverages for the special occasions. They are designed with lots of features to keep them at the best suited position to preserve wines from all walks of life for long.
Coolers will ensure that there are no vibrations, unwanted odors, frequently changing temperatures all of which the home refrigerant doesn’t address. This doesn’t mean either that wine cannot be stored in a mini fridge. It can be done only that the taste of the wine will be adversely affected.
Of the 5 products reviewed above, which one stands out among the rest as the best wine cooler? Which of its features are outstanding? Would you recommend it to your friends? Well, help us know your thoughts on this topic.