When it comes to getting a little more serious about your wine collection, the first thing to consider is the obvious method of keeping your wine in its best state. Three key factors will keep your wine at its prime!
Well, the difference between your average fridge and a wine cooler is obvious – you store your groceries in one and your wine in the latter. But when you think of temperature there’s a BIG difference.
Fridges are COLD, icy cold! You need to keep your perishables from rotting and going moldy. Fridges are usually kept below 40º degrees. This is way TOO COLD to just stash your wine in.
Wine Coolers are kept between 45º and 55º degrees, depending on the type of wine, to maintain a steady bottle.
Humidity also plays a key role when asking yourself the question, ‘what is a wine cooler’? A super cold and dry refrigerator will dry out the cork in your wine bottle and alter the freshness of your vino.
A wine cooler, on the other hand, will keep the humidity at around 70% so that the cork stays moist. Keeping wine bottles on their side where the wine and cork meet will also preserve the cork, and thus, your wine. Wine coolers are made with mostly horizontal shelving for the purpose of better wine storage.
Another big factor is Vibration. Many wine cooler have what’s referred to as ‘rubber bushing’ around the inside of the unit to soften any movements. Never wake a sleeping baby, right? You could apply this to your wine: Don’t disturb your wine baby sediments!
When a fridge door is constantly opened and closed and items are jostled around, this vibration to a wine bottle can mean major taste alteration. Vibrations cause a chemical imbalance in wine which really does alter the aroma, flavors, and textures of wine.
“For quality aged red wines, there are sediments that build up during storage and they need to settle. This is particularly true of wines from producers that don’t filter or fine their wines, like Williams Selyem Winery. When the wine is placed in a noisy and shaking wine fridge the sediments are stirred into the wine again, taking away aromas and flavors and potentially leaving you with an actual rough wine.”
Ahhh, this is making sense, yes? Think of how the connoisseurs do it, and wineries themselves! They store their bottles in a nice big, cool, cellar where doors aren’t continuously being opened and shut.
If you had a $1500.00 bottle of wine, or even a $100 bottle, you’d want to keep that bottle as still as a sleeping baby. Rule of thumb: Don’t wake the wine baby!
So, what is a wine cooler? Let’s re-cap: It’s a unit specifically designed for wine. Temperature range,humidity, and vibration are the three key factors that make up the difference between a wine cooler and your fridge.
With a separate unit be it a large standing unit or a small countertop top one, your wine is secure in its own little safe haven. A wine cooler will give your vintage the TLC it needs by keeping it at a good, steady temperature, a good degree of humidity (no dry corks!) and minimizing disturbance from opening and closing doors on a constant basis..(if you have kids, this is a BIG deal!)