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Back in the 19th century, any wine that was worth preserving would be sent to the wine cellar. Nowadays, most of us don't have the space for a wine cellar...but do have the space needed for a wine fridge. As a result, the newest way to keep wines fresh is to get a wine fridge for storage and aging purposes.
Before you rush out to get a wine fridge, you may want to take pause to learn about what they're really supposed to do. Here's the truth to how wine fridges are supposed to be used, and whether it's actually worth buying on as a wine aficionado.
First off, wine refrigerators definitely are different from standard refrigerators.
Assuming you don't live in a third world country, you probably have a standard use refrigerator in your home. You use it to store food, and you know that it has adjustable temperatures and shelving to store all sorts of different goodies. You might be wondering whether you need to get a wine fridge if you already have a regular fridge.
The fact is that you might, since wine refrigerators tend to be very different from regular use refrigerators. Moreover, you also can't use a wine fridge to store food. Wine coolers will not store anything below 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
They also are built to "caddy" wine bottles in a certain, storage-friendly way that keeps flavors intact. So, you can't really alter them to store things like Tupperware, either.
Because wine fridge doesn't actually refrigerate, per se, they tend to be called wine coolers rather than wine refrigerators in certain circles. Even so, it's the same thing.
Before you decide to get a wine fridge, you may want to consider what a wine fridge is supposed to do.
The purpose of getting a wine fridge is to store wines well, and hopefully keep their flavors intact. After all, even the most thorough wine bottling procedures can't really work well in terms of preserving flavor in very temperature-volatile areas.
Wine cellars used to do this well because the temperature in a cellar tends to remain the same, year-round. Wine refrigerators tend to do the same thing, except they obviously don't require a cellar to do so. They also store them at optimal humidity and keep them away from light.
Needless to say, a wine fridge is a great choice if you have a swelteringly hot apartment, or a house that has very poor insulation. Not having a wine cooler or keeping bottles at temperatures wines fare poorly in will cause your goods to spoil.
Of course, you might want to get a wine fridge if you are starting to collect wines, too.
Sometimes, even families with very temperature-controlled cellars end up buying wine coolers for their bottles. Believe it or not, many vintners would say that this is actually a smart buy, since there's a certain point where you just might want to start storing bottles in a way that makes them easy to uncover.
Generally speaking, if you are in a typical apartment or house, you might want to get a wine fridge if you have 20 or more bottles of wine at home. After all, it's a lot easier (and more compact) to store them in a fridge than to just leave them lying around.