Wine coolers are becoming the “it” appliance to have, especially among those who live in small spaces.
They are known for chilling wine to the preferred temperature and being the perfect size to place anywhere, so wine is always at its owners’ fingertips.
Because they have numerous benefits over both wine cellars and refrigerators, they can also be called “wine refrigerators,” basically combining the two terms.
These coolers have numerous benefits, and also some alternative uses, that put it head-and-shoulders above its competition, and give you plenty of reason to buy a wine refrigerator.
Better for Everyday Use
For starters, wine coolers create the most ideal conditions for the storage of wine when compared to a refrigerator. Refrigerators can create an environment that is too cold for a bottle of wine to be stored appropriately.
And when it comes to a wine cellar, they really only have ideal conditions for wines that should be stored for five, ten, or twenty years.
Wine coolers have the upper hand, especially dual temperature wine coolers, because the cooling conditions are perfect for any kind of wine. The temperature, humidity control, stability, exclusiveness, etc. are what put it above both the refrigerator and a wine cellar.
Less Expensive than Cellars and Refrigerators
Moving along, the wine cooler is very inexpensive compared to either a refrigerator or a wine cellar.
- Because the equipment is solely built for the purpose of cooling the bottles of wine, there is lesser adaptability and therefore, the cost to produce these wine coolers is lower.
- Refrigerators and wine cellars are a great amount larger than a cooler, so the consumer is paying for their size, capacity and adaptability functions.
- Basically, the wine cooler is the better buy because, as it will be said later, there are other uses besides storing wine that it can perform.
Not only are wine coolers inexpensive to buy, they also boast a low-cost maintenance plan.
- Since it is, essentially, a simpler mechanism to function, it does not require parts that cost a ton of money.
- The cost of individual components fixed inside the cooler is lower which makes it more affordable than the cellar as well as the refrigerator.
- Also, just like what makes it less expensive to buy, its size plays into the cost of maintenance parts. Unlike the wine cellar and regular refrigerator, like said above, are quite a bit larger than the wine cooler, they both will cost more than the cooler to take care of.
A Happy Medium
Combining the two factors just mentioned, it is clear to see that the wine cooler is more cost-effective than the wine cellar and regular refrigerator’s costs mixed together.
When it comes to the actual cost, and the cost of constant upkeep, the wine cooler is the most cost-effective choice, beating out both the cellar and refrigerator.
Many seem to think that the refrigerator would be more cost-effective because it performs the double duty of holding food and bottles of wine.
However, they can actually spoil your wine, which will wind up costing more in the long run. The wine cooler is the middle way to achieve desirable ends and also keep the risks at bay.
Going along with the constant trends of keeping the Earth green, wine coolers are eco-friendly.
- By using a thermoelectric medium of cooling, which is a common alternative to compressor-based wine coolers, the owner of a wine cooler saves valuable energy, which in turn helps to preserve the environment.
- There are no dangerous emissions or the use of dangerous chemicals in the cooling process. Instead, a simple process of using a metal rod to exchange heat between the internal chamber and outside environment occurs. Because of this, the wine cooler can be considered the more eco-friendly option than any other alternative out on the market currently.
Freestanding wine coolers boast a trait that wine cellars and typical refrigerators could never dream up: they are portable.
- This is not only a great benefit for those who like to take their wine with them for business ventures, but also those who may need to bring bottles of wine to social gatherings.
- Generally, the wine cooler comes in smaller sizes compared to the cellar and refrigerator. This means it is easier to install it in almost any tricky place one can think of.
- Spaces such as cupboards, book shelves, office tables and the like have already been turned into built in wine coolers.
Portability and being compact go hand-in-hand. This is what makes the wine cooler so great when compared to a wine cellar or refrigerator.
As mentioned above, the wine cooler is smaller of the three options.
- Inside the cooler, the trays have been shaped in such a way to encourage the storage of the maximum amount of bottles of wine, or anything else one may want to store in there.
- The refrigerator, when compared to the wine cooler’s storage pros, is not as efficient. Normally, it is not made for the purpose of storing wine, so trying to fit as many bottles as possible would not work.
- The wine cellar’s main focus is more on decoration and looking nice than on utility. This makes the wine cooler a more bang-for-your-buck option.
Can a wine cooler be used as a refrigerator? Unlike wine cellars, which are solely for wine storage and refrigerators, which are too cold for optimum wine storage, wine coolers can be used for a multitude of other uses.
If you are wondering how exactly the wine cooler is cost-effective aside from size, space and eco-efficiency, consider this:
Other beverages can be safely stored alongside the bottles of wine, as well as other food products, which will be discussed further down.
Also, it can be mentioned that even if one decides to store other beverages, they can be assured that it will not spoil anything.
Some examples of beverages that can be stored in a wine cooler are:
- Soda water
- Plain water
- Iced tea
- Any other non-alcoholic beverage that can be thought of.
Milk is another drink that can be placed with the wine bottles, however, it should not be stored for too long. Because the wine cooler is typically set at a warmer temperature than a normal refrigerator, it can be prone to spoiling.
In fact, any fast-perishing products should just be stored in a refrigerator, where they can last longer. But, if there is no room in the refrigerator for that gallon of milk, then placing it in the wine cooler temporarily will definitely not hurt it.
Not only can wine cooler owners store other beverages, but there are other uses for wine racks other than wine as well that give them the edge over both wine cellars and refrigerators.
There are also some food items that can be stored in the cooler.
- The owner should, however, use caution while storing food in there-the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say that the most acceptable temperature to keep food from spoiling is forty degrees Fahrenheit, or about four degrees Celsius.
- Also, try to steer clear of “smelly” food that could affect the overall quality of the wine stored in the cooler as well. Some examples of this would be onions and garlic.
With that being said, there are many foods that fall under this food safety category.
Some foods that would be great examples of this would be:
- Leafy greens
- Herbs such as cilantro and parsley.
Many other fruits can be stored in a wine cooler as well, but the cooler owner should wait until these fruits ripen so they can get the most out of them.
Examples of these are:
Different types of cheeses can also be stored in a wine fridge.
In fact, since wine coolers have a higher running temperature than a regular refrigerator, they actually make the perfect storing environment for cheese as well.
- Cheese’s general storing temperature is somewhere between thirty-five and forty-five degrees Fahrenheit, or somewhere between about one and seven degrees Celsius.
- Refrigerators typically hit a little below this range, which can ruin the quality of the cheese, especially more expensive soft and hard roll cheeses.
- Speaking of soft cheeses, they should be held between forty and forty-five degrees Fahrenheit, or between four and seven degrees Celsius.
- Hard and washed rind cheeses, however, should be held at a slightly higher temperature. Their range is somewhere between forty and fifty degrees Fahrenheit, or somewhere between about four and ten degrees Celsius.
- Just like with storing cheeses in a refrigerator, consumers should take their cheese out about a half-hour before serving.
Keeping up with the theme of foods that go great with wine, chocolate is another great alternative option for storing in a wine cooler.
- Now, chocolate has a higher storing temperature than the other products mentioned above, but can still be stored with wine.
- If one is looking to keep chocolate at its ideal storing temperature, and they do not have any wine at that point and time, they can bump the wine cooler’s temperature mechanism a couple degrees to suite the chocolate, which has a preferred temperature range of somewhere between sixty and seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit, or between about fifteen and twenty-three degrees Celsius.
- Just like wine, cheese, and fruit/vegetables, chocolate can lose its quality if frozen or kept in a warmer environment.
One type of food product that is an uncommon suggestion for wine cooler storage is olive oil. But, a cooler is the perfect environment for it.
Those who love to cook with olive oil should pay close attention here.
- The preferred temperature for storing olive oil is about fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit, or about thirteen degrees Celsius, which makes the wine cooler the ideal storing unit for it.
- The first six months after buying olive oil, one should keep it stored in its preferred temperature, or else it could drastically lose its quality.
- It has been shown that forty percent of olive oil’s flavor is lost if kept in room temperature within this six-month time frame.
Moving away from food for a minute, there is one big benefit for those who love having glasses that keep their drink cool for a longer period of time.
- Many do not think of this, but glasses for beverages, especially wine glasses, can be placed in a wine cooler to keep them at an optimum chilling temperature.
- Freezing glasses, a common practice, can hinder more than help the situation.
- By doing this, glasses can break, and can even pick up the aromas that surround it, such as any meats stored in the freezer along with it.
- Also, ice crystals can form in thicker glasses, such as beer mugs, which can cause issues with foaming.
Keeping chilled glasses for wine is not only a professional practice, but chilled wine is preferred much more over warm wine. It is also convenient to store the wine glasses along with the wine it will be paired with.
Modifying a wine cooler for a multitude of other purposes is also possible.
Did you know that a wine cooler can be used as humidors (thus becoming known as wineadors)?
Products such as kegerators, humidors, agers for cheese, and curing chambers made for meats are some of the more popular ways to do keep specific goods cool.
Of course, this would require buying some equipment in order to make these processes work, but compared to buying all new products for each of these purposes, using a wine cooler for these purposes instead shows its cost-efficiency.
Wine chillers have many benefits that put it above and beyond its competition, the wine cellar and the refrigerator. There are even some unconventional uses that show how cost-effective it can be. No matter what it is used for, the consumer can be assured that the wine cooler is the best bang for their buck.