Whether you consider yourself to be a wine connoisseur or a casual wine enthusiast, investing in a wine fridge can be a great way to store your wine and prolong its taste and quality. Wine coolers are perfect for keeping wine chilled to perfection, but it may seem like a large investment to make just for keeping your wine cool. Lucky for you there are several things you can use a wine fridge for. Check out some of the alternative wine cooler uses below.
How are Wine Fridges Different Than Regular Fridges?
Even though both a refrigerator and wine cooler keep things cold and preserve the life of food and drinks, there are many differences between the two cooling devices. Regular refrigerators like the one found in your kitchen are larger, colder, and noisier than a wine fridge. Wine coolers have a warmer temperature range than a standard refrigerator, which is better for storing wine for a long period of time. Refer to the chart below for some other key differences.
|45-65 degrees F||35 – 40 degrees F|
|Constant humidity||Dry air (no humidity)|
|Constant temperature and humidity levels||Inconsistent temperature and humidity|
|Little to no vibration||Vibrates due to compressor|
|Quiet operation||Noticeable noise during operation|
|Wire/wooden rack shelving for optimal storage||Drawers and shelves for storage|
It is important to consider these differences when you plan to store or collect wine for long periods of time (3 months or more). The humidity level inside a fridge is especially important for wines that are bottled with a cork. Corks will shrink when exposed to dry air for too long, allowing cold air from a refrigerator and notes of anything kept in the fridge into the wine, thus deteriorating the quality and taste. Allowing a steady level of humidity keeps the cork sealed tightly at the top of the bottle and preserves your beverage longer. It is recommended to store wine between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it ages properly. Wine refrigerators are available in dual zone or single zone styles to allow for even more temperature control. A standard refrigerator typically is set at a much lower temperature and can impact the maturation of your wine over time. Vibration can also impact how quickly your wine ages. Refrigerators run on compressors which vibrate as they run. This can impact the speed at which wine matures and impact the flavor. Wine coolers are also designed to safely and carefully hold bottles of wine on slatted shelves or racks whereas a standard refrigerator has the shelf space for wine bottles, but not the proper environment.
What Other Foods Can I Store in My Wine Fridge?
A wine fridge can be used to store many things other than wine. Read on to see if any of these ideas will make your life (and fridge organization) easier.
Cheese tastes better and lasts longer when it is stored at slightly warmer temperatures than a typical fridge provides. A wine fridge can be the perfect place to store your cheese, especially if you plan to serve it with wine (take out the cheese from the fridge to allow it to warm to room temperature for the most authentic taste). Cover the wide-gapped shelves of your wine fridge with a mesh material or other breathable surface to create a full shelf to place your cheeses so they chill at the proper temperature.
You can also keep meat in your wine fridge. Sliced meats for sandwiches and charcuterie boards store wonderfully in a wine refrigerator because of the slightly warmer temperature. Using a mesh material to create a full and breathable shelf may be necessary depending on the width of gaps in your wine fridge shelving. A wine fridge can also be a great place to dry age or cure meat. Doing this requires adding hooks, removing shelves, and adding a humidifier (depending on the meat), so be sure to research what methods are best for curing your meat of choice.
Try keeping all your favorite beverages in a wine fridge for the ultimate beverage cooler! A wine fridge is perfect for chilling bottled water, soda, sparkling water, juice, energy drinks, lemonade, and even other alcoholic beverages like beer and wine coolers. As a rule, milk and dairy-based drinks should only be kept in a wine fridge for short periods of time because they require the cold temperatures of a standard fridge to prevent spoiling. Set up a beverage fridge in your home bar, gym, man cave/she shed, or kitchen for easy access to a cold drink whenever you need it.
Turn your wine fridge into a snack fridge. A good way to ensure the food in your kitchen refrigerator stays cold and fresh is putting the things everyone always wants in your fridge in a separate place for your kids and friends to grab from. Place veggies, fruits, applesauce, and other refrigerated snacks in a wine fridge for easy access and to prevent your kids or guests from standing with the fridge door open for minutes at a time. Not only are all the snacks in one place, but wine refrigerators usually have glass doors that allow you to see in and know exactly what is there without even opening the door.
According to Public Storage, a wine fridge is the perfect place for storing all your favorite chocolates. The controlled temperature and constant humidity create the perfect environment for chocolate to chill and age. Chocolate is best kept at 60 - 70 percent humidity, the range most frequently used in wine fridges. The warmer temperatures (compared to a standard refrigerator) allow the chocolate to chill without freezing while keeping it ready to eat any time.
Some fruits and vegetables can also be kept in a wine fridge. According to Eating Well, some fruits should be ripened before you store them in a fridge, including bananas, peaches, plums, and kiwis. Other fruits can be refrigerated right away in your wine cooler. Try keeping these fruits in your wine refrigerator to free up space in your kitchen fridge:
You can keep vegetables like celery, lettuce, zucchini, and squash in your wine cooler too. Avoid keeping strong-smelling vegetables like onions or garlic to prevent contaminating any wine or other foods you have in the fridge. Herbs can also be safely kept in a wine fridge.
Prepped Party Food
Another great use for your wine fridge is for chilling party snacks before your guests arrive. Prepare your meats, cheeses, veggie trays, fruit salads, and chip dips ahead of time and keep them chilled to perfection in your wine cooler. Once the guests arrive and it's time to party, take out your snacks and prepped meals from the fridge to serve.
What Other Items Can I Store in my Wine Fridge?
You can use your wine fridge to preserve and prepare non-food items also! The possibilities truly are endless for a wine fridge. Check out these fun ideas to maximize your fridge space.
Makeup/Skin Care Products
Some skin care products perform better after they are chilled, so turn your wine fridge into your personal care storage place! Keeping face creams cold allows them to last longer and retain their potency longer than room temperature would. Not only will your products work better and last longer, but every time you use them will feel like a day at the spa. A chilled cream on your face gives you a fresh feeling and is a great way to begin or end the day. Try chilling your makeup remover wipes in a wine fridge for a fresh-faced feeling.
Another great way to use your wine fridge is storing your cigars in it. Wine refrigerators allow a constant level of humidity, which is required to maintain the quality of your cigar. Keeping your cigars in a cool, humid place keeps them fresh longer, according to Casa Cubana. If you choose to keep cigars in the fridge, be sure not to keep wine in it for too long because it can damage the quality of wine. Cigars are meant to be kept at much warmer temperatures (70 degrees F with 70% humidity) than wine (55 degrees F with 70% humidity). However, keeping your cigars cool in a wine fridge will keep them fresh and ready to go.
Protect refrigerated medications from your family by storing them in a wine fridge rather than the small butter section of your kitchen refrigerator. Before keeping medications in a wine cooler, be sure the medicine does not require a 40 degree F or lower temperature as these should stay in the coldest fridge possible. Keeping medicine out of your main refrigerator will help to keep it safe and in a constantly cool environment.
If you have a pet that eats fresh vegetables, fruits, insects, or worms, a wine fridge is the perfect place to store all their food. Having a separate place for your pet's food is nice because it keeps everyone from eating their vegetables and prevents you from seeing the less appetizing treats every time you open your kitchen fridge. Plus, the wine refrigerator keeps everything fresher longer, so you won't waste any of your pet's delicious dinners.
Glasses & Bowls
If you host many parties or simply enjoy dining with chilled dishes, a wine fridge might be the perfect solution for you. Stack up salad bowls, plates, and glasses to serve to your dinner guests in a wine fridge to keep them cold before serving. Serving cold dishes like salad on chilled dishes helps to maintain the temperature of the food. Keep your beverages cold after serving by pouring them into a chilled glass with ice.
Now what are you waiting for? Stock up your wine fridge with snacks and other beverages to make the most of your investment! If you don’t yet have a wine cooler but after reading you would like one for keeping your cheese, meats, and beverages at the perfect temperature, Sunnydaze Decor has you covered. Check out our selection of wine coolers and start your wine collection today!