If you’re an avid wine fan and want to take it up a notch, you might be wondering about whether or not you should opt for a wine fridge or a cooler.
Which is more effective? You might be asking yourself. Well, so are lots of others. That’s why we’ve done our research and put together an easily digestible guide so that you can figure out which one is right for you.
They make great gifts especially for those who are new or seasoned wine connoisseurs. Even if it is self-proclaimed.
Judging by the names, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference. Surely a fridge is essentially cooling down the wine? Fridge and cooler are also often used interchangeably so it can be hard to figure out which is which let alone which one is better.
This is a device that is used to store wine. The technology used is thermoelectric cooling, this is much quieter than a compressor. One advantage of a cooler is that there are no moving parts. No liquid needs to circulate, there are no leak risks or size issues. One disadvantage with this kind of cooling is that it is in fact more expensive and not as power efficient. In the wine cooling industry, research is being carried out to try and rectify this. Some manufacturers have claimed that they have an advanced system which means the cooling tech is quieter and saves more energy.
Some coolers have evolved to the point that there is no noise or vibrations at all! Although these tend to be a little on the pricier side. A cooler doesn’t come with any of those low irritating buzzing, although it is not silent. There are fans inside the cooler which allows for an even disruption of cold air.
The temperature of a cooler is rarely below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coolers tend to be much smaller and therefore have less space. The design of the unit can vary depending on your requirements. For example, you might want a cooler where the shelves slide out. Removable shelves are great as you can modify the cooler in order to make room for oddly shaped or sized bottles.
You can opt for a vertical storage section. This is great for open bottles. You can also choose if you want the doors to be transparent or not. Although this will enable you to show off your wine collection, you might want to expose them to too much light.
The design of the cooler can also depend on how many wines you want to chill. It also depends on if you genuinely want to preserve your wine collection or you just want to be able to display them beautifully. It doesn’t matter, either way, no judgment here. It will just help you understand the kind of options you have.
You might also want to store food in the cooler occasionally, such as cheese. If this is the case, ensure you can lower the temp below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fridges are usually much larger than cooler. They tend to be smaller than a normal food fridge, they can usually hold around 30+ bottles.
As mentioned above, these terms are often used interchangeably so you might find a smaller wine fridge or a rather large wine cooler. Even though coolers are smaller, it’s worth noting that you are unable to pop them under your kitchen counter. This is because they need decent airflow around the sides and back to ensure the dissolution of heat. Due to the constant misuse of the terms wine fridge and wine cooler, ensure you read the fine print so you know exactly what you’re purchasing. Some kitchens may come with a built-in cooler, these are usually created inside a cabinet and hold space to lose heat at the bottom.
A wine fridge uses compression cooling tech, similar to food fridges. This is a little louder than the cooling technology coolers use. It is a little cheaper though and more power-efficient compared to thermoelectric cooling. Wine fridges have the disadvantage of having that low buzzing sound which can’t be turned off.
A fridge can usually be set to a lower temp than a cooler. Wine is very rarely drunk ice cold compared to other beverages like beer.
Dual-zone wine fridges and coolers exist, which allow for different temperatures on different shelves. This is helpful when storing red and white wine together. Red wine is drunk at a higher temp than white wine, a hybrid allows to store both of them at the right temperature for each.
A single zone is set to one temperature and is best if you only store and drink one type of wine. For example, only reds or whites. There would be no need to have an appliance that could emit two different temperatures. Consider where you might want to place your wine fridge, which will help you decide what kind you want. You might have a dedicated area or have it on the countertop.
Wine fridges tend to be pricey as they are more comprehensive and are bigger. If you are looking to chill 8 bottles of wine, you might find it best to go for the cooler. It will look good and keep your wine chilled. If you have more wine to store and want other features such as the hybrid temperatures, the price will increase. If you have a serious collection and want to age your wine with grace, it might be best to invest in a wine cellar so you can control the temperature and humidity.
Now that you have a better idea of the differences between a wine fridge and a cooler, you can make the right choice for yourself. It seems that for those who want to chill a few bottles or want to display their collection, a cooler is best. For those who have a greater collection, and want to preserve different wines effectively the more comprehensive wine fridge is best.