The last post discussed the advantage of thermoelectric wine coolers over compressor wine coolers, namely that they don’t produce vibrations that could upset the internal chemistry of your wine. This post will focus on advantage compressor wine coolers have over thermoelectric coolers: temperature.
How a Compressor Wine Cooler Works
A compressor cooler operates like a refrigerator and is made up of three parts: the compressor, the condenser, and the evaporator, plus a refrigerant, normally Freon. The wine cooler compressor constricts Freon, heating it up and turning it into a gas. The gas then moves out of the compressor to the condenser, a series of coils that exposes the gas to the outside air, which causes it to condense and transform into a liquid. This liquid then moves to the evaporator, a valve with a small hole at the end. Pressure imbalances on either side of the valve cause the Freon to boil and transform back into a gas. As it does, its cools down, causing it to absorb the heat inside the cooler and lower its temperature. Then the gas is sucked back down into the compressor and the cycle starts over again.
Compressor Coolers vs. Thermoelectric
Because they rely on refrigerants rather than heat pumps, compressor wine coolers are able to regulate temperature with a much greater efficiency than thermoelectric coolers. Because they use passive elements, thermoelectric coolers have difficulty maintaining a consistent internal temperature when the external temperature dips too low or climbs too high, above 80 degrees. Compressor units, on the other hand, are much more impervious to external temperature swings. They’ll maintain a consistent internal temperature even in hot or cold environments.
Importance of Temperature to Wine
Consistent temperatures are important in wine storage. Wine is a complex solution of chemicals, amino acids, phenols, and carbohydrates interacting in a small environment. Their interactions are affected by a number of factors, but the biggest of which is temperature. When heat is applied to wine, its chemical reactions accelerate, but not at the same speed. Tannins, sugars, and acids all require different levels of heat in order to react, which is heating up your wine is the fastest way to ruin it. The delicate balance between its components is irreversibly damaged.
Compressor wine coolers let you avoid this risk. They’re powerful enough to provide a stable temperature for your wine, so it ages perfectly from the day you buy it until the day you drink it.
What do you think: Thermoelectric coolers or compressors? Which do you think protects wine better? Leave a comment and let us know!