Are Wine Refrigerators Only for White Wine? Real Talk Only


If you like to entertain, you’ll want to be prepared for guests with a great wine selection. You’ll see many different ways to store wine out there, including several styles of wine refrigerators. Before making a purchase, you’ll want to find out more about the types of wine that work well in a wine fridge. 

Are wine refrigerators only for white wine? You can store both white and red selections in a wine refrigerator. The key to storing wine properly is to achieve the right temperature setting. You can purchase a dual compartment fridge if you wish to keep a variety of wines. You can adjust the temperature in each section to accommodate either red or white wine. 

Once you learn about the possibilities of storing your favorite wines in a wine refrigerator, you’ll then have to choose the one that best fits your home and style of entertaining.  Consider the amount of wine you plan to store and what types. Read on to find out more about choosing the wine refrigerator that is right for you. 

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Should You Put Red Wine in a Wine Fridge?

You can put red wine in a wine fridge if it is set at the correct temperature. If you attend an event, such as a wedding, you may notice that the bartenders leave the red wine out of the refrigerator, while they keep the white wine cool.

In most homes, you may see red wine out on the counter or in a wine rack. And while these two examples of room temperature work fairly well for reds, the ideal temperature for red wine is 50-65 degrees. You can put red wine in a wine fridge if the building is too warm

Since white wine must stay cooler than red, you can get a refrigerator with adjustable settings to keep your favorite wines perfectly cooled. You may have your personal preference concerning red wine, as well. 

Some people like it to stay room temperature; others like it slightly chilled. You should always keep your red wine warmer than your white wine, however. 

Dual Compartment Wine Refrigerator

You may like to have an assortment of both red and white wines in your home. If you have a lot of parties or family gatherings, a dual compartment wine fridge may be right for you. Each compartment can be set at a different temperature. 

You can keep your red wine chilled just enough to bring out the flavor and keep the white wine perfectly cool. Dual-zone refrigerators also work well for your favorite soft drinks. You can set up the different zones for red and white wine or wine and other beverages. 

The dual-zone capability is incredibly helpful for consumers that do not drink the same products all the time. You can adjust the settings to accommodate your summer beverage collection, wine for the holiday season, or guest favorites for a party. 

The Proper Temperature for Your Wine

The temperature of your wine is important because the flavor can suffer if you do not store it properly. While red wine should remain warmer, the flavor can become dull if it gets too warm. The optimal temperature of 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit keeps flavors intact. 

While it is best to serve your white wine cold, if it gets too cold, it does not taste as good. The flavors do not escape properly if the temperature falls below 45 degrees. Choose a setting between 45- and 50-degrees Fahrenheit.  

When you drink white wine that is too cold, the flavor does not reach your tongue right away. You feel the cold first. Take notice that a regular refrigerator for food is usually set around 35 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are serious about your wine, get a designated wine refrigerator. 

The temperature must also remain steady in your wine refrigerator. Temperature fluctuations can cause expansion or contraction of the wine. This can cause the cork to shift, drying out the wine. 

Note: All wines should stay below 70 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent swift aging. 

To learn exactly why you shouldn’t store wine at room temperature, check out this complete article that will list the reasons and explain much better alternatives.

What Size Wine Refrigerator Do You Need?

Be sure to get the right size of the wine refrigerator for your needs. Measure the area where you plan to keep it before you go shopping, so you can get a perfect fit. If you have a wet bar in your home, you may have room for a larger one, for example. 

You also need to think about how many bottles of wine you plan to store at once. Perhaps you only keep a few on hand daily. If you have large parties or family gatherings, however, you may need something larger. It is important to think about all possible situations to get a refrigerator that will suit your needs all year long

You can choose from several different shapes, as well. You can get one shaped like a traditional mini-fridge. You can also find tall, narrow ones for small spaces. Most wine refrigerators have a glass door so you can display your wine beautifully. 

How to Correctly Place Wine on Storage Shelves

You place your wine on its side on perfectly sized shelves. These shelves have sections to keep the wine from moving around. It is important to use a wine refrigerator to keep wine stored in the proper position.

 Once a bottle of wine is open, you must store it on its side. This keeps the cork from drying out, which can allow oxidation of the wine. Dual-zone wine refrigerators may have wine shelves in part of the fridge, and regular shelves in the other. This way you can store regular beverages. 

If you plan to use the fridge for multiple purposes, look for a model with removable shelves. This way you can use the wine shelves or shelves for cans and bottles. 

To learn if you need a wine cooler refrigerator to store wine, check out this article. Here, I dispel a lot of myths and explain exactly why a wine cooler is a sound idea.

Lighting in Your Refrigerator

Light can also cause a wine to age quickly. There’s a reason wine isn’t in clear bottles. The dark-colored bottles protect the wine from the light. The lights in your wine refrigerator should not affect the quality of your wine since the bottles help to keep light out.

You can, however, reduce ultraviolet light in your wine refrigerator by using an LED light bulb instead of a fluorescent one. If you prefer to keep your labels looking nice and new, be sure to store your bottles with minimal lighting. 

Why Not Just Store Wine in a Food Refrigerator?

You may wonder why you need to spend money on a separate refrigerator for wine. A good collection of wine is expensive. You can end up throwing that money away if your wine gets ruined. Do not come home and put your wine in the refrigerator with your food. Many problems can arise from this bad habit. 

  • The temperature in your food refrigerator is too low for wine. As we discussed, this can negatively affect the taste. 
  • Temperatures may also fluctuate as people open and close the fridge throughout the day. you need a proper temperature setting that stays stable. 
  • Vibrations can also ruin the quality of your wine. Most people open their refrigerator often throughout the day. This causes the wine to move around too much. Most traditional refrigerators also vibrate regularly, on their own. 

To learn the do’s and don’ts of wine storage, check out this comprehensive article I wrote. It will guide you through the entire process of wine storage and ensure you are ever misguided.

Humidity Control and Wine Storage 

You must monitor the humidity in your wine refrigerator. A proper humidity level keeps the wine cork moist. The humidity level should remain between 50 and 70 percent. 

  • If the humidity is too high, mildew can grow on the corks and paper labels. 
  • If humidity is too low, the corks can dry out, even if the bottles remain on their sides. 

You can get a thermometer and humidity monitor for your wine refrigerator. Some models even link to your cell phone, so you can get alerts when the settings become problematic. A well-insulated wine refrigerator can also help keep the humidity level consistent. 

Stability of Your Wine Storage

Many wine refrigerators have vibration control. Some winemakers store wine in caves to protect it from disturbances. Vibrations can release sediment and acids. This lessens the esters, making the wine less flavorful. 

Place your wine refrigerator in a calm part of your home to minimize vibrations, as well. This is especially important if you have kids and pets that run through the house. You can place it on a counter in your wet bar to avoid movement when people walk on the floor. 

Aesthetics of Your Wine Storage

Many people like to display their wine on a nice display rack. This makes the wet bar or kitchen look nice. If the temperature is wrong in the room, however, your wine may not taste as good as it looks. You also need a wine refrigerator to prepare the white wine properly and store it once it is open. 

Most wine refrigerators are a traditional black color with a glass door. This allows your wine to show, adding a bit of décor to the room. The shelves inside allow you to line up your wine and beverages in an organized fashion, as well. 

You may have a specific counter or bar where you can display the wine refrigerator nicely. Take proper measurements of the area before you go shopping to get one that compliments the area well. 

Can the Temperature in Your Home Affect Your Wine?

The temperature in your home should not affect the wine inside a wine refrigerator. Large temperature fluctuations can negatively affect your wine, however. Large homes can cause issues because they are difficult to heat and cool,  making the temperature unstable.

You can put your wine in the wine refrigerator immediately when you bring it home. This keeps it at a steady temperature from the minute you bring it home. When you use the heat in your home, it dries out the air. This can be detrimental to red wine sitting out in a room. 

A wine refrigerator helps keep your wine at the proper temperature, despite the temperature in your home. If the temperature in your home is excessively cold or hot, however, it can affect your wine. Make sure the home stays above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit to protect the wine in the refrigerator. 

Properly Maintain Your Wine Refrigerator

It is important to take good care of your wine refrigerator, so it lasts a long time. Good maintenance also ensures that your wine stays in good condition. Good maintenance starts when you first bring the fridge home. 

Most refrigerators need to sit upright for at least 24 hours before you plug them in. This is because the coolant can move around during transport and needs to settle for the fridge to work properly. If you plug it in too soon, you can ruin the refrigerator. 

Check the instructions to find out where the ventilation originates. If you have a wine refrigerator with front ventilation, you can store it inside an enclosed area under the counter. Many wet bars have a specific area to slide in a small fridge. 

If your wine fridge has a ventilation system in the back, place it in an open area, such as on top of a counter or table. Some wine refrigerators have a carbon filtration system to eliminate odors. Purchase extra filters and change them according to the manufacturer’s directions.  As with any refrigerator, keep the inside clean by wiping it out as needed. 

Accessories for Your Wine Refrigerator

Once you get a wine refrigerator, you can start collecting other items to make your experience enjoyable. You can get nice wine glasses, glass charms, and decorative coasters. Wine glass charms work well for parties so everyone can keep track of their glass throughout the event. 

You may also like to have some high-quality accessories for opening the wine. A good wine opener helps you avoid breaking the cork or getting it stuck. If you have a full bar, there are many accessories to help you mix other cocktails, such as a jigger. 

Get a variety of glasses for different types of drinks. You may also enjoy a small ice machine or a mini-fridge with a freezer section for ice trays. You can display your favorite wines at a party in an ice bucket, as well. Many wet bars contain the following items. 

  • Wine refrigerator and wine rack
  • Kegerator for a beer on tap
  • An assortment of decorative glasses for different types of drinks
  • An assortment of tools such as a jigger, bottle opener, a knife, stirrer, and cutting board
  • Ice maker
  • Blender
  • Glass rimmer set for sugar and salt

Choosing your Wine

Do some research before starting your wine collection. You may like to purchase a few staple products that you like to drink often. Specialty wines can become quite expensive. Read about the aging process and flavor before you choose one of these. 

You can also attend wine tasting events to find new wines for your collection. Many people also enjoy visiting vineyards in different areas of the country. This can be a great way to learn the history of your wine and find new favorites. 

If you are planning a big gathering at your home, you can also ask guests to bring a wine to share. If you would like to provide most of the wine for the party, ask friends and family about their preferences so you can make a shopping list. 

Wrapping Up: Is a Wine Fridge Only for White Wine?

If you want your wine to taste, it’s best and lasts longer; a wine refrigerator is the best option. You cannot depend on your traditional refrigerator to keep the wine in good shape. There is too much activity to ward off vibrations and the temperature setting is too cold.

Red wine may also not do well if you keep your house very warm. A wine refrigerator is a necessity for people that take their wine seriously. There are many features to choose from when shopping for a wine refrigerator. With the proper research, you can easily find the right one for your home. 

Carl Walton

Owner & primary writer on PinotSquirrel.com. It is my goal to bring you the most useful and actionable guidance about wine storage there is online. I consult with industry experts to bring you only what you need to know.

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