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Oct 7, 2011 06:09 PM

Wine cooler vs. a small refrigerator question

I'm just wondering why wine can't be kept in a small undercounter (or similar) refrigerator if temperature is regulated steady. All I would want to store would be red wine.


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  1. Here are a couple of topics from this forum that should go along way towards answering your question:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Midlife

      Thanks much for the links, Midlife. As a result, I've found (or deduced) an answer.

    2. If you can find one with a high enough minimum temp that should be no problem....and it can be a great place to store some cheeses.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        We have a large wine fridge for cellaring, but for keeping whites at drinking temperature we went with a cheap undercounter fridge. Reasons: 1) We don't use it for cellaring, so the lower temperature won't inhibit the wine's development; 2) We like the ability to use it as a back-up fridge (for example, when preparing for a party. 3) The temperature range is sufficient for our needs--we turn up the temp. when we are having a fancy wine event so that the whites are at a good drinking temp, but we leave it at fridge temp. otherwise (keeps beer and pop colder). 4) We live in an apartment, so having an extra fridge in, say, the basement was not an option. That said, the big wine fridge sits happily in our walk-in closet!

      2. The humidity in a "regular" refrigerator is not calibrated the same as a wine fridge. For long term storage, that's why it's not recommended.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune

          What is your recommendation for short term storage? 50+/- bottles of wine storage in a wne cooler does not warrant long term storage.

          My life, as well as my wine, both have time limits :-))
          Thanks for your further reply.

          1. re: Rella

            Not living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, *my* answer would depend upon your living situation.

            For short term storage -- meaning (to me) that you will be drinking these wines within no more than two years, with one year being preferable -- if you have an interior closet (i.e.: the sun hits no walls of the closet) or basement that stays relatively cool, you could store the bottles on their sides within, preferably in styrofoam shipping containers to mediate the shifts in temperature, both day-to-night and winter-to-summer.

            Terra cotta (clay) drainage pipe -- with an internal diameter wide enough to hold a wine bottle -- also works well.

            Barring those ideas, a wine cooler (which can double for long(er)-term storage) is your best bet, IMHO.

            1. re: zin1953

              Thanks for your answer. I have been storing my wines in a downstairs area, no sun hits walls, etc. relatively cool.

              I had no idea that I could buy a wine cooler that did not have dual sides (white and red), the reason that I was wondering if a referigerator would work for me. I found a reasonably-priced wine cooler that is not dual thermostat, and now I'm completely happy - no need to consider a refrigerator instead.

              Everyone has really been helpful I appreciate it. Thank you.