Wine coolers vs. Wine cabinets – What’s the difference?

Virgin Note – A lot goes into the perfect wine experience, the grapes, the winemakers, the climate, the bottling and a hundred other aspects. However wine storage is a key element of any wine cellar, but it’s often an element that is overlooked. We’ve partnered with wine storage professionals Wine Storage Company to bring you an article explaining the difference between using wine coolers and wine cabinets. This is a guest blog and we’ll hand you over to the storage experts.

Storing your wine bottles the right way can be a tricky business, especially if you don’t have the room for a wine cellar. There are a numerous of wine storage and wine cooling solutions on the market today such as wine coolers, wine cabinets and multifunctional cabinets. But what’s really the difference and which solution fits your needs the best? Read this article and find out!

First of all, it’s important to separate the two concepts serving temperature and storage temperature. The serving temperature is the temperature at which your wine will taste its absolute best. The ideal serving temperature depends on the wine, but there are general rules. For example, sweet wines should be served between 5-6 °C, dry whites at 7-10 °C, rosé at 9-10 °C, light reds at 11-13 °C and red wines at 16-19°C. If you are keen in keeping your wines at a correct serving temperature, a wine cooler is the solution for you. On today’s market, wine coolers are available as free-standing, built-in and integrated units. You can also choose between wine coolers with 1, 2 and 3 temperature zones, making it possible for you to keep different types of wine at its correct serving temperature – at the same time!

Can’t I keep my wine in a regular fridge?

Well, you can. But a regular fridge does not take consideration to the golden rules such as the correct temperature, vibrations and odours. A wine cooler is free from vibrations, holds a steady temperature and often has a UV-restistant door that keeps the sun away from your wines. You can age wine in a wine cooler, but it’s not to be recommended. Wine should only be in a wine cooler for approximately 1 year, otherwise it should be kept in room temperature. For the serious wine collector, a wine cabinet is the best choice!

So I need a wine cabinet to properly store my wine

The storage temperature is the temperature at which the wine will age and flourish over a longer period of time. For long term storage, if you don’t have a cellar, you should invest in a wine cabinet. Wine cabinets are constructed for many years of long time storing. Cabinets are built to create the same environment that can be found in a wine cellar. The temperature holds a steady 12 degrees and a genuine wine cabinet takes full consideration of the five golden rules of wine storage; constant temperature, eliminating odours and vibrations, blocking out light and providing ideal humidity.

But what if I both want to store and serve wine? Do I need to buy both a serving wine cooler and a wine cabinet?

Of course you do! No, the truth is that there is a third option on the market of wine coolers and wine cabinets – the multifunctional wine cabinet! These cabinets offer the opportunity to have more than one temperature zone. A multi-function cabinet is designed for storage of wines whilst also providing two different serving zones; a colder one and a warmer one, in the same cabinet! The multi-function cabinets usually have a glass door with UV protected glass, which makes long-term storage a little bit less effective but still sufficient.


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  1. Hi David, I wish I could have read your article much earlier. My precious wine bottles lost its original taste due to ‘incorrect refrigeration’. A must read for all wine lovers. Thanks a lot for posting.

  2. The fact that Wine doesn’t react well to different changing temperatures is infuriating – will be using this as a guide for my colleagues – thanks!!

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