What Is a Wine Cooler Or Wine Refrigerator: The Ultimate Buying Guide For Wine Coolers

what is a wine cooler

Wine is popular worldwide. Everyone cherishes a glass of wine with their meal or to celebrate any special occasion. Wine coolers are essential for restaurants, pubs, and bars. You can store precious wines at the ideal temperature, humidity, and angle with high-quality wine coolers. 

In this article, we discuss what a wine cooler is, the importance of a wine refrigerator, how to use a wine cooler, what temperature should a wine cooler be set at, the time taken for the wine cooler to get cold, the ideal temperature for storing different types of wines, and a wine cooler buying checklist. 

What Is A Wine Cooler?

Wine coolers are appliances that are specifically designed to preserve, store, and chill wine. You can purchase single and dual-zone wine coolers for your establishment. Wine coolers use a thermoelectric element or standard compressor systems to chill wine. Advanced wine coolers come equipped with a range of features, like adjustable temperature and humidity controllers. 

Features of A Wine Cooler

Wine coolers come equipped with the following features:

  1. Advanced Temperature Controls: You can effortlessly adjust the temperature of a single and dual-zone wine cooler for your foodservice establishment. In most wine coolers, you can set the temperature between 42 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Removable Racks: Wine coolers are specifically designed to store wine bottles at a specific angle. You can opt for a cellar-like position for your wine rack. You can equip your wine cooler with wire and wooden racks. The wine racks are mostly adjustable, perfect for storing large bottles. 
  3. Glass Doors: Wine coolers are perfect for storing and showcasing your wines. Most wine coolers come equipped with a tempered glass door that protects the bottles from UV rays. 
  4. Locks: Most wine refrigerators come with locks to securely store your valuable wine collection. Additionally, you can prevent children from accessing the wine bottles. 

The Importance of A Wine Refrigerator

wine cooler

We have already discussed ‘What Is Wine Cooler?’, but we are yet to discuss the importance of a wine cooler in commercial foodservice establishments. Wine coolers are better than standard refrigerators. 

Wine fridges provide steady temperature, the right amount of humidity, and block UV rays. Many wine coolers come equipped with cooling systems to minimize vibrations and floating shelves. 

How to Use A Wine Cooler?

  1. Single Zone and Dual-Zone Refrigerator: Opt for a single zone or dual zone refrigerator depending on your storage needs. Here we list the key differences between single-zone wine coolers and dual-zone wine coolers. Single zone wine coolers have a single refrigeration zone. The temperature remains at the same level throughout. Wine collectors prefer single-zone wine refrigerators. With single-zone coolers, you can preserve wines for longer periods. For centuries, wine has been naturally aged in wine cellars. Single-zone wine coolers imitate wine cellar conditions. In wine cellars, the temperature remains the same throughout. Dual-zone wine coolers are ideal for serving and storing various wine types. You can serve red wine and white wine at two different temperatures. Dual-zone coolers provide two cooling environments that you can use depending on your wine serving needs. They are perfect for wine shops, bars, restaurants, and tasting rooms where you need multiple bottles at serving temperature.
  • Adjust the Wine Cooler Temperature Gradually: The wine cooler temperature should be adjusted gradually to preserve the taste of the wine. Sudden temperature fluctuations can alter the taste. Essentially, store wine between 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. The aging process slows down in this temperature range, which is essential for wine preservation. Additionally, you can preserve the aroma, color, and flavor.  
  • Keep Away from Direct Sunlight: Sunlight and UV rays can damage wine. Excess heat and UV rays can cause the delicate compounds in wine to break. Always place your wine cooler away from direct sunlight and too much light. 
  • Vibrations: Most wine bottles contain a small number of sediments, and if the bottle is moved too often, the sediments can become agitated and spread across the bottle. The chemical reaction from the process will alter the flavor of the wine. Ideally, keep wine bottles still and protected from excessive vibrations. 
  • Position: Place wine bottles horizontally and slightly inclined so that the cork remains in contact with the wine.

What Temperature Should a Wine Cooler Be?

The ideal wine cooler temperature range is between 67 degrees Fahrenheit to -45 degrees Fahrenheit. You can store your wine in perfect conditions with wine coolers and a fridge. You can set the temperature between 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for storing white wine. You can store red wine at a temperature range between 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The temperature changes and variations need to be gradual. Sudden temperature changes can lead to the premature aging of wine. The expert-recommended humidity levels are between 60 to 90% RH. Maintaining the temperature and humidity levels will keep the cork moist and evaporation to a bare minimum. 

How Long Does It Take For a Wine Cooler to Get Cold?

Wine refrigerators are perfect for keeping wine fresh. You can store and cool sparkling wine, red wine, and farmed wine in a wine refrigerator quickly and efficiently.  Wine coolers need 2 to 3 hours to reach ideal temperature conditions. For achieving extremely low temperature conditions, the waiting period can be around 4 hours. 

What Temperature To Set Wine Cooler For Different Wines?

Wine coolers are essential for most commercial food service establishments. Most commercial kitchen refrigerators with less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit are too cold for wine storage. With commercial wine coolers, you can store and serve high-quality wine to your patrons. Additionally, you can store red and white wines at ideal temperatures in wine refrigerators. 

Sparkling wines: The ideal temperature for champagne and sparkling wine is between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit with enough humidity. Sparkling wines are carbonated drinks that taste best when served chilled. 

White Wine: White wines taste best when stored between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You can distinguish the flavors and also serve them chilled. 

Young Red Wine: Young red wine is mostly stored at 47 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Farmed Red Wines: Most farmed red wines are stored and served at higher temperatures. You can set your wine cooler temperature at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How to Clean a Wine Cooler

Wine coolers need to be cleaned weekly to prevent foul odors and humidity-related issues. You can clean a wine cooler with a soft cloth. You can use paper towels designed for cleaning wine coolers for minor spills. 

Wine Cooler Buying Checklist

Wine fridges are essential for preserving taste and freshness. Here is a list of essential things you can consider before purchasing a wine cooler for your foodservice establishment:

  1. Temperature Range
  2. Bottle Capacity
  3. Single and Dual Temperature Zones
  4. Free-standing or Built-in Design
  5. Thermoelectric Cooling or Compressor Cooling
  6. Child Lock
  7. LED lighting
  8. Quality of Glass
  9. Durability
  10. Warranty And Maintenance

Wine coolers are designed specifically for storing various wines. Wine coolers provide cellar-like conditions in your establishment or home. You can place your collection of red and white wine in wine refrigerators. Commercial refrigerators and wine coolers are ideal for restaurants, bars, pubs, and high-end cocktail places.

Posted by Damon Shrauner on