How To Use A Wine Fridge

More and more people are educating themselves on effective wine storage, and realising that wine coolers are the ultimate way of storing wine.

Wine coolers are a great way of storing your wine, but not everybody knows exactly how they work and what steps you should take when using a wine fridge.

Whether you’re storing your wine for a few days or for a few years, it’s important to know how to use your wine fridge. Keep reading to learn more about wine fridges and how to use them effectively.

Take Care With Positioning

Whether you’ve brought your wine fridge back from the store or you’ve ordered one online, one of the most important things you should do is keep it standing upright. If it’s placed upside down or on its side, even for a short amount of time, the cooling system (aka the compressor) could get damaged.

The compressor is the key part of a wine cooler – it’s the part that regulates the internal temperature and keeps your wine fridge cool. If you plan on ordering a wine fridge online, be sure to check the reviews of the retailer. Wine fridges should always be delivered in the right way, so should be delivered by professionals who know how to handle such appliances.

It’s not just the wine fridge that you should position in the right way. You also need to take care when positioning the bottles – as the position of the bottles can determine how well the wine tastes, looks, and ages.

The vast majority of wine fridges are designed to hold your typical 750ml Bordeaux bottles, but you can find wine fridges that have adjustable or removable shelves, or that allow space for larger bottles such as Champagne bottles or even Magnum bottles.

Regardless of the type of bottle you’re storing, you should be storing your wine horizontally. This is so the wine remains in contact with the cork keeping it moist. If you store your wine bottles upright, the cork could dry out – exposing your wine to oxygen. Oxygen can be a fast ruiner of wine, so it’s important to ensure the cork remains moist.

However, if your wine bottle has a screw cap, there should be no issues storing your wine vertically. Some wine fridges have serving shelves and display shelves that allow you to store your opened bottles and favourite wines standing upright.

You should also try to fill up your wine cooler – or at least 75% of it. If you plan on growing your wine collection, we recommend purchasing a wine fridge with 25% more capacity than you need. You shouldn’t leave your wine fridge too empty as this can cause the compressor to overwork, and your wines may not reach their desired temperature.

There are three types of wine coolers – freestanding wine fridges, built-in wine fridges, and integrated wine fridges. Each has its own installation requirements that you should follow closely to avoid damaging the cooler and voiding the warranty.

Temperature Control

Almost all wine fridges will allow you to adjust the temperature within the unit. The default setting will usually be the recommended storage temperature which is between 11°C and 14°C. More modern wine coolers will feature digital temperature controls and displays.

In 2022, you can find quality wine coolers that can regulate more than one temperature zone within the unit. These are known as either dual-zone wine coolers or multi-zone wine coolers.

If you have a varied collection of whites, reds, and sparkling wines that you plan on storing in the short term, then you may benefit from a wine fridge that has dual or multi-temperature zones. This is because different wines have different recommended serving temperatures.

You may also benefit from a dual-zone wine fridge if you plan on storing some of your wine bottles in the short term while storing other bottles for long periods of time within the same unit.

Dual-temperature zone wine fridges regulate two temperatures within the same unit, whereas multi-temperature wine fridges generally offer three or more temperature zones. This type of wine cooler will usually feature polyvalent technology.

Regulate The Humidity Levels

If you’re familiar with wine storage, then you may be aware that your wine storage space needs humidity. The main reason that your wine needs humidity is to keep the cork moist. If the cork isn’t moist enough, then the cork could dry out and expose your wine to oxygen.

However, you should also take care to avoid exposing your wine collection and your wine storage space to too much humidity. An overly humid environment can cause moisture to accumulate around your wine bottle and inside the wine fridge.

Moisture can promote mould growth, which is the last thing you want inside your wine fridge and around your wine bottles. It can also cause your wine labels to peel, which is something no wine collector or wine investor wants to occur.

We recommend choosing a wine fridge that regulates the internal humidity levels, protecting your wine collection and the wine fridge itself.

Don’t Forget to Clean The Fridge

Be sure to clean the inside of the wine fridge regularly – around two times a tear should be sufficient. If the wine fridge features removable or adjustable shelves, remove the shelving and empty the wine bottles and other contents from the fridge.

Then, purchase a non-harsh mould and mildew remover product and clean the inside of the wine fridge using a cloth or a sponge. When it comes to restocking your wine fridge, try to avoid placing your bottles too close to the rear of the unit – as this can hinder air circulation throughout the fridge.

You could also place a protective film around the labels of the wine to ensure ultimate protection against moisture. This is an especially useful step if you’re investing in your wine collection – as you’ll have trouble selling well-aged wine if the label has been damaged or destroyed.