Differences Between a Wine Fridge and a Wine Cooler

wine fridge

Know the difference between a wine cabinet or wine refrigerator and a wine cooler

Wine lovers who seek additional storage for their growing collections in their home or place of business will most likely find themselves online shopping for wine cabinets. But unless they know what they are seeking, they could end up with a wine cooler and not a wine fridge.

Different types of wines need different storage conditions. Storing wine for a long periods of time requires an efficient wine cellar cooling unit inside a  reliable wine storage system.

So just what is the difference between a wine cabinet and a wine cooler? Let’s look at both concepts and home appliance device categories separately:

What is a wine fridge (cabinet)?

Wine cabinets are refrigerated wine furniture which offer the correct environment for long-term storage of the perishable beverage. Wine cabinets are sophisticated cooling units provide the temperature consistency required for aging fine wines the requisite time period, whether its just a few months or many years, or decades. The following is more information about wine cabinets, aka wine refrigerators:

  • Wine cabinets provide humidity control, which is essential for aging wines. No matter the level of humidity outside and around a wine cabinet, the humidity level inside will be maintained as set, which is typically about 60%.
  • When the refrigeration system in a wine cabinet fails for the last time, the chiller can be replaced, but the cabinet itself doesn’t need to be.
  • Wine cabinets are often built for the purpose of becoming treasured heirlooms. There are many decorative styles to choose from, to match any décor.
  • Wine cabinets provide many options that accommodate wine bottles of all sizes. In addition, many wine cabinets are configured so that there is an area for bulk storage adaptable to entire cases.
  • Special considerations about placement of wine cabinets are needed. Typically, a wine cabinet requires adequate space above or behind it, to operate properly. If you have a low ceiling, 6 inches of clearance behind the cabinet is needed, which can infringe on your space.

What is a wine cooler?

All of the elements of storage needed for wine to age over time do not exist in a wine cooler. Wine coolers are designed for the purpose of providing proper wine serving temperatures for shorts periods of time. The following is more about wine coolers:

  • Wine corks can dry out and become brittle in a wine cooler because humidity control isn’t an option, and corks tend to dry out if left in a wine cooler for an extended period.
  • Temperatures in a wine cooler can fluctuate too much for long-term wine storage because insulation is inadequate.
  • When the refrigeration unit of a wine cooler goes out, the entire cooler needs to be replaced.
  • Large-format bottles usually can’t fit in a wine cooler. Wine racks in coolers usually don’t accommodate bottles other than standard sizes.
  • There are fewer style options in wine coolers than there are for wine cabinets. In fact, wine coolers are typically designed for under-the-counter installation as opposed to being decorative.

Whether a wine cabinet or a wine cooler is perfect for you, there are two more considerations to keep in mind.

With both storage types, the noise level of the cooling unit can range from very quiet to annoyingly loud. Do the research on noise level, if your wine storage unit will be within ear shot of wherever in your home you spend a lot of your time.

In addition, be sure you don’t choose a unit that you grow out of too quickly, whether a wine cooler or a wine cabinet.