Wine expert or not, many of us know all about the various ways people would store wine before the invention of electricity. If you graduated high school from anywhere (yes, even my hometown), you will likely know that the wealthy stored their Port wine in caves and underground cellars hundreds of years before the inventions of Edison, Bell, Tesla, and others gave way to the electrical revolution.
There is a reason underground cellars and caves were seen as ideal for storage: it’s because they had all of the ingredients for proper storage of wine bottles: the spaces were cool, dark, and still. The bottles were also able to sit sideways, allowing the flavor of every bottle to remain. And this way the way wine was stored for century upon century, and it wasn’t until someone had the bright idea of creating an “electric refrigerator” to store food that someone eventually thought up the idea of using this technology to store wine in a setting that was ideal. Thus, we have wine refrigerators and wine coolers.
Both run on electricity, both give you the ideal setting and both can be sit virtually anywhere that is dark in your home. A corner of a bedroom, a den that has no windows, or a basement that has never seen the light of day is all ideal places. It seems like the miracle of Science, right? Thanks to electricity, anyone can store wine in a safe and protected environment (and temperature). However, while both are incredible “flavor-saving” devices, equal they are not.
I won’t lie, a wine refrigerator and a wine cooler are both incredibly awesome. Once you go from storing wine in a refrigerator (a terrible idea) to storing it in a wine cool and/or wine refrigerator, you will be blown away by the difference in taste: the flavor is stronger, there is no flat taste to be found, and honestly, it keeps wine delicious!
Whether you decide to choose the wine refrigerator or the wine cooler, you need to first step back and take a look at how you drink wine and what type of wine you purchase. If you purchase mostly white wine, then you will want to purchase the wine refrigerator for this fact alone: white wine cannot be stored as long as traditional wine.
Why does this matter? It’s simple really: the humidity in a wine refrigerator is uncontrollable. It stays around a constant 30% at all times, whereas the humidity for preserving wine is meant to stay at around the 60 – 70% mark. Over time, the humidity in a space can start to harm wine, making wine refrigerators unsuitable for storing in the long-term. Thus, since one should finish a bottle of white wine in weeks and/or months rather than years, it makes perfect sense to use a wine cooler for storing your white wine only.
As you have undoubtedly figured out by now (and I hope you have or you haven’t been paying attention to my article), wine meant for storage in the long-term should always be stored in a wine cabinet. The reasoning is simple (and again, if you have to ask yourself “why,” you haven’t been paying attention): because a wine cabinet has controllable humidity. A cabinet’s humidity will assuredly stay in the 60 – 70% mark at all times, allowing you to store your wine bottles for as long as you want. Care to store that expensive bottle of wine for 10+ years? You are able to do so, and longer if you wish. Essentially, you could store a bottle of wine for 50+ years and a wine cabinet would be able to keep it tasting incredible (not counting the shelf life of the wine- after all, if you are storing white wine for 50 years, be prepared for a grave disappointment when you open the bottle).
While stated previously, it must be stated once more: the beauty of a wine cooler and wine refrigerator is they allow the individuals that are serious about storing their wine to do so. You do not have to have your own cave, your own underground cellar, or anything else that only the wealthy can afford (not sure if people actually own their own caves anymore though). Now, you can store it anywhere in your home, and you will get the same flavor from your favorite bottles as you would if you had stored them in a wine refrigerator.
Whether you want to purchase a cooler so you can store your spirits for the short-term or you want a wine cooler to store it long-term, it has never been easier to ensure your wine keeps its original flavor. Yes, the age of invention definitely has its perks, and if anyone ever disagrees with you, remind them this: you can preserve your wine anywhere in your home: 100 years ago, the very idea would be scoffed at. Thank you Science for allowing me to preserve wine anywhere in my home!