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Deciding upon a good place inside your home to place a wine fridge is an important step to storing wine better for the long-term and also getting the bottles prepped for serving. If you like good wine and are interested in getting the most out of your wine, the proper placement of your built-in or freestanding wine refrigerator can make a big difference.
What is the best place to place a wine refrigerator? The best place to store a wine refrigerator is located safe from disturbance, cool, and dark in your house. I would strongly recommend a basement or kitchen placed a few feet away from the nearest major appliance. The dining room is also a great option because it offers convenience and a natural ambiance to your dining experience.
These are merely suggestions. Let’s take a much deeper dive into this topic and tell you the pros and cons of each location.
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Best 11 Places to Put a Wine Cooler
The kitchen is the obvious choice for a variety of reasons. It can make for easy grabbing of wine for cooking or drinking and it is a focal point of the house.
Wine should be stored in darkness but the tinted glass of most wine coolers will allow you to place your wine fridge in the most well-lit and heavily trafficked room in the house.
The kitchen is the most popular place people install their wine fridges.
2. Dry or Wet Bar
Many homeowners are installing dry or wet bars to specific parts of their homes now for the sole purpose of mixing drinks for company, friends, or themselves.
It takes a lot of the clutter and commotion away from the kitchen and directs it to a more welcoming and casual part of the house for lounging and drinking.
A good wine refrigerator will make the perfect companion to your bar.
3. Dining Room
The dining room is a natural location for a wine refrigerator if you do a lot of hosting dinner guests.
Instead of planning out how many bottles you’ll need from the cellar or kitchen, as you run out, you can simply just grab another bottle or two from the dining room refrigerator.
This makes for a convenient dining experience with the company and you won’t need to carry back multiple bottles from across the house each time.
Cellars are unbeatable for long-term storage of wine with virtually unlimited space for bottles. You can fit a lot more bottles of wine in a cellar room than you can in even the most expensive wine refrigerators.
The dark, calm, and cool conditions of a cellar make it ideal for storing wine especially once you get control of your humidity. But cellars cannot get wine to serving temperatures on their own.
This is why having a companion wine cooler in your cellar is the perfect combination. You can long-term store your mass amount of bottles in the cellar but rotate bottles into the wine fridge to get them perfect for serving.
Basements, just like cellars can be a great place to store wine long-term. They are typically the coolest parts of the house and can remain quite dark.
Placing your wine refrigerator in your finished or unfinished basement can be a great way to clear up needed space in the kitchen and move the wine to a safer, more accommodating location.
6. Den or Entertainment Room
Dens and entertainment rooms are good places for the placement of a wine refrigerator. Dens are a great place to drink wine and liquor while socializing or smoking cigars.
They are typically cooler in air temperature and oftentimes, off-limits to young children which makes it a great place for wine storage.
Many people spend much of their free time at home in their entertainment room anyways. Placing a nice wine cooler in this room can be a great idea.
7. Outdoor BBQ
If you live in a state without great seasonal weather and temperature fluctuations, installing a wine fridge in your outdoor BBQ area is a great idea. After all, you are going to be outside cooking and eating anyways a lot.
Don’t do this in places like Minnesota with brutal winters or places that experience many days super hot days in the summer.
Coastal cities tend to have the best climate for outdoor wine refrigerators from my experience as they don’t experience as wide of seasonal changes.
8. Tasting Room
If you are serious about wine and have a designated tasting room or area in your home, then a wine refrigerator or two are the best ideas for you.
Placing a wine refrigerator in your designated tasting area will help you quickly access wine and safely store it when you aren’t drinking any.
The garage is a great place to store your second or backup wine refrigerator. Make sure your garage is fairly insulated or else it will be cooking through electricity like crazy in the summer and winter to keep its internal content at a steady cool temperature. The garage can be a decent place for wine storage inside a wine cooler but not ideal.
10. Guest Bedroom
This is not a glamorous place to place a wine fridge and kind of comes off as lazy but it can be a fine place for wine storage.
Most guest bedrooms go unused most of the year and only when you have guests spending the night will it be occupied by people.
Placing a wine cooler in this room can be a really good and efficient use of the limited apartment or house space.
11. Closed-In Porch
A closed-in porch can be a good spot to place a wine fridge as long as you live in a location that doesn’t experience a ton of seasonal extremes in weather. This exactly like the idea of placing a wine refrigerator in your outdoor BBQ area.
Also, take into account the amount the natural sunlight exposure the porch gets. If it gets too much sunlight, even the tinted glass of the wine cooler cannot fully protect the wine.
Freestanding Wine Cooler vs. Built-In Wine Cooler
Freestanding wine refrigerators are very much like regular kitchen refrigerators as they are easy to move and relocate. Because of their freestanding nature, they are not secured into one place and therefore, much more vulnerable to jarring and micro-vibrations than built-in wine refrigerators would be.
Built-in wine refrigerators are installed into a fixed location, oftentimes under a counter, where they remain. Because they are locked into a specific location, they are much sturdier and less vulnerable to micro-vibration and jolting that freestanding units will be.
If I had to pick one type of wine cooler for a kitchen featuring various appliances, all of which can emit micro-vibrations, for sure I would go with a built-in wine fridge.
They are much more stable, secure, and more resistant to jarring and vibrations that can kill your wine if your bottles are exposed to it for an extended period.
Does a Wine Cooler Require Ventilation?
All wine coolers require some amount of ventilation to keep the wine fridge and the wine itself from being damaged. Wine coolers, like other major appliances, require energy and produce a ton of heat as they operate to keep wine inside at a steady temperature.
A built-in wine cooler has forward-facing vents on the front of the unit that dissipates heat forward allowing the cooler to cool off and not damage wine.
A freestanding wine cooler, on the other hand, needs greater clearance on the backside of the unit since heat is dissipated behind the cooler. For this reason, a freestanding wine refrigerator should never be placed under a counter.
The lack of clearance would cause the wine cooler to overheat and strain to keep a low temperature inside the unit.
Can You Put a Wine Fridge in the Bedroom?
You can place a wine refrigerator in a bedroom as long as you don’t place it near a major appliance like an air conditioner or fan as the tiny micro-vibrations in the environment can rattle the wine inside the wine fridge and damage it. Most bedrooms are left dark and relatively cool throughout the day.
If your bedroom gets very sun during the day, your fridge will need to work harder to maintain steady internal temperatures which will rack up the energy bill and could cause the wine fridge to prematurely die. As long as you keep your bedrooms relatively cool throughout the day, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The biggest thing to concern yourself with is making sure the room is free of vibrations that can ruin wine in time. A bedroom, especially a spare or guest bedroom, can be a very good spot for a wine cooler.
Can You Put a Wine Fridge Next to the Oven?
You can put or install a wine refrigerator next to an oven but you need to be careful you gently open and close the oven door as allowing the oven door to slam can cause your resting wine to be jolted.
Vibrations of any kind are very damaging to wine and a terrible idea if you plan on storing wine long-term. A built-in wine cooler will be sturdier and thus be less likely to transfer impacts onto your wine but it can still happen.
Freestanding wine refrigerators are very susceptible to vibrations and should be avoided placing near an oven. I’m not judging you at all for allowing the oven door to slam as I have been guilty of this myself more times than I can count.
Can You Put One in the Garage?
The garage can be a good place for a freestanding wine refrigerator as long as it doesn’t experience too hot or too cold of weather throughout the year. For this reason, having an insulated garage can greatly reduce a lot of those seasonal extreme temperatures though not entirely.
As long as you invest in a very good wine fridge, your wine will remain at a constant temperature and condition range year-round. But what will struggle is the operating intensity and energy use of your wine cooler.
Your wine cooler will need to work much harder during the summer to keep your wine cool enough and during the winter, it will need to keep your wine cool but without allowing it to drop too cold inside.
Also, if you do any kind of machinery or cutting work in your garage, make sure you do it far from where you place your wine cooler as the vibrations from your machinery can affect your wine.
Next to the Dishwasher?
The dishwasher is not a good place to put your wine fridge next too. Dishwashers emit a ton of micro-vibrations and warmth when in operation that damage and even ruin a wine.
A built-in wine cooler will prevent warm air from getting to your wine and, to a large degree, will keep micro-vibrations from affecting your wine.
A study by Scrimgeour & colleagues shows that warmer temperatures do negatively impact wine condition when stored long-term.
That said, I would advise strongly against putting a built-in wine cooler near a dishwasher. Don’t even think about placing a freestanding wine cooler next to the dishwasher. That is asking for trouble.
Can You Put a Wine Cooler in a Cabinet?
Be very careful about placing a wine cooler in a cabinet. All wine coolers require space for ventilation. Freestanding wine coolers have their vents in the back of the unit and therefore must have ventilation space at the rear of the unit.
Freestanding wine fridges are not suitable for cabinets as there isn’t enough clearing or circulating air behind the unit to keep it running optimally.
A built-in wine cooler can be a possible option for permanent installation into a cabinet. This is because the vent of the built-in cooler is actually on the front of the unit so heat will dissipate out of the unit in a forward manner.
A built-in wine cooler can be a decent choice for storage in a cabinet as long as you remove the cabinet door and don’t close off the air supply to your wine cooler. Doing so will cause the wine cooler to overheat and possibly break.
The basement is a very good place for the storage of both wine in a wine rack and a wine refrigerator. Basements, both finished and unfinished, are naturally great places for storing wine.
They are dark, cooler, and free of most household appliances that emit vibrations. It stands to reason that basements would be a great place to place your new wine fridge.
I’m sure everyone can come up with their downsides to having a wine fridge in the basement but the only one that sticks out to me is that you will need to walk much further to grab your wine, which can be problematic if you are entertaining and need to carry multiple bottles with you.
Under the Counter?
Under the counter can be a great place to permanently store a built-in wine cooler. You will likely do most of your cooking with wine in the kitchen.
Most evening drinks will likely begin in the kitchen as well. So it stands as a great starting point to consider placing your built-in fridge somewhere in the kitchen and under a counter is ideal.
My only recommendation would be to not place it next to the dishwasher, kitchen refrigerator, oven, or under a blender. These prominent kitchen appliances produce a ton of vibrations that can damage wine and also heat as well.
Should You Store Wine Near Kitchen Appliances?
Try your best to avoid placing wine for long-term storage near kitchen appliances like blenders, kitchen refrigerators, and ovens as both micro-vibrations and heat from these units can seriously damage or warp your wine. You also want to keep your wine cool and dark, both of which can be tough to do in the kitchen unless you put them in a built-in wine cooler.
Should You Store Wine in the Kitchen Refrigerator?
For short-term storage, especially for cheap table wines under $20, the kitchen refrigerator is perfectly fine. The fridge will keep wine too cold for serving but as long as you take the wine about 30 minutes before pouring, you’ll be fine.
The biggest issue with the kitchen fridge for long-term wine storage is micro-vibrations the fridge puts off as it works and the cold air temperature. For long-term storage, do not store wine in the kitchen fridge but it is probably fine for short-term storage of cheap table wines.
Scientific Literature Referenced:
Scrimgeour, N., Nordestgaard, S., Lloyd, N., & Wilkes, E. (2015). Exploring the effect of elevated storage temperature on wine composition. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 21, 713-722. DOI:10.1111/ajgw.12196 (via Wiley)