Anyone who happens to notice may observe that wines need special treatment as compared to other beverages. This can be clearly manifested by the way wines are stored separately from other beverages. That is why restaurants, especially those who serve wine, usually have wine coolers apart from regular refrigerators or coolers.
They have certain differences when it comes to temperatures, which is found to be particularly important when storing wine. That is why wine coolers are usually set with temperatures that are a bit higher than a regular fridge or beverage cooler.
But exactly how cold do wine refrigerators get? On average, wine coolers do not get any colder than 46 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because it is not proper for wines to be chilled as cold as other drinks.
Below are the key differences between a conventional refrigerator and a wine refrigerator:
As mentioned above, wines are not to be chilled in temperatures that are as cold as regular refrigerators. Regular fridges are designed to quickly drop temperatures while a wine cooler is designed to gradually lower temperature.
This is because wine has a more fragile composition that may not be able to withstand rapidly dropping and very low temperatures. This environment is similar to that of a wine cellar –cool and built such that its contents are gradually cooled rather than rapidly chilled.
Another notable difference between conventional refrigerators and wine coolers is their actions toward humidity. Where regular refrigerators aim to drive out humidity hard and fast, wine coolers are set to maintain a consistent level of humidity, just like in wine cellars.
The combination of a cold and dry environment are perfectly conducive to keep your food items fresh enough and keep spoilage at bay by discouraging bacterial growth. The same cannot be said for wine storage.
Humidity is important in storing wines since it maintains the integrity of the bottle’s cork. If you have ever tried keeping your bottle of wine alongside other foodstuffs in your ordinary house fridge, you will notice that after a few days of storage, your flavorful merlot already has hints of other food flavours such as your leftover teriyaki or garlic shrimp stir-fry.
Such things happen because as your wine bottle’s cork is void of temperature and moisture, it begins to shrivel and become quite porous, thus allowing the essences of its surroundings to enter and contaminate the wine’s rich flavour.
That is the simplest and most essential reason as to why it is important to maintain humidity in wine storage, yet it is also very vital to maintaining the entire wine experience by maintaining the integrity of its flavour.
Something as simple and as ever-present in many electronic appliances, vibration is yet another factor to consider when storing wine and thus is another difference between conventional refrigerators and thermoelectric wine coolers. That is because conventional refrigerators are run with compressors that vibrate.
This is important to note because vibrations can actually disrupt wine’s maturation process, which is another factor that can affect the wine’s quality. There are other wine storage devices such as non-thermoelectric wine coolers and cellars that are operated with compressors, but those are specially equipped with a system that is solely designed to absorb any harmful vibrations so as to allow the wine to age naturally and achieve its full potential.
So those are the three main differences between conventional refrigerators and wine coolers. Simply put, conventional refrigerators are made to keep things extra cold and extra dry while operating with vibrations quite well, whereas wine coolers are somehow the opposite –they are made to keep a cooling temperature that is not too cold and not too dry, while operating as smoothly and as quietly as a good old conventional wine cellar.
The next time, don’t just ask how cold wine refrigerators get; instead, get to all the nit-picky details as to the factors that keep wine great as it ages right in your own home or even in your very own restaurant or bar.