Can a Wine Refrigerator Be Kept on Carpet? The Hard Truth


Keeping your wine cooler isn’t necessarily something you need to do but it helps for storing wine long-term, especially with white wine. If you want to keep your wines separate from your regular food, you might want to look into getting a wine refrigerator. However, if you don’t know where to keep your wine refrigerator, the whole experience can go wrong very quickly. 

Can a wine refrigerator be kept on carpet? Technically, yes, but it’s not advised by most wine experts. Carpet is not a completely flat surface, which will make your fridge either overheat from improper ventilation or leak from improper drainage. Keeping a wine refrigerator on a carpet also runs the risk of staining the carpet.   

In this article, you’ll learn how a wine refrigerator works and why it won’t work on carpet. You’ll also find out the best place to store your wine refrigerator, and what types of wine you should and should not store inside of that wine refrigerator. 

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Can A Wine Refrigerator Be Kept on Carpet?

Yes, a wine refrigerator can be kept on a carpeted surface if you feel the need. Unfortunately, though, if you do decide to go that route, you’re in for a rude awakening when your fridge leaks onto the carpet or overheats and ruins your wine. 

Proper Conditions for a Wine Refrigerator

A wine refrigerator works by using some type of thermal insulation (usually double walls) to keep the cool air in and the warm air out. To do that, they will need to be placed on a surface that will allow them to ventilate properly.

If they can’t do this, then they can’t keep your wine cool and you risk hot air seeping in and spoiling your wine.  If you’ve ever felt a carpet before, you know that a carpet is not a completely flat surface.

They have little fibers that, depending on the type of carpet you have, can clump together and form bumps that make your wine fridge lopsided. The best place for a wine cooler is on a hard surface–wood, granite, or plastic–that will keep it from becoming crooked and will be easy to clean in case of an emergency.

Once you’ve established where you’re putting the wine refrigerator, you must maintain a clean, dry area around it.

Drainage Matters

Making sure your wine refrigerator can drain properly will have a very significant impact on your wine-cooling experience. Without proper drainage, you’re hurting more than you might think, including the actual wine itself. 

Did you ever find a towel you left sitting on the basement floor after a day at the beach? Do you remember how it smelled? That’s exactly what will happen to your carpet if you decide to put a wine fridge on it, and it starts to leak. To create that cool air and control the humidity, wine fridges circulate some water that gets pulled in from a fan at the back.

If the water leaks out of the fridge, your carpet will begin to grow mildew, which is a problem that will only worsen with time. If you let it get bad enough, the moisture will rot the wood underneath the carpet, which is a whole different animal. Also, it will make your wine taste of mildew, effectively ruining the entire bottle. 

Ventilation Matters Too

Wine fridges have small fans at the back that regulate the flow of air through the refrigerator. If your air is not circulating properly, it will not only impact the humidity but the taste of the wine, too. Poor ventilation often results in temperature changes, and too many fluctuations in temperature will change the chemical makeup of the wine itself.

To maintain good ventilation to your wine refrigerator, always make sure you have it standing upright on a flat surface before you store wine in it. You should always leave the refrigerator running for at least a little while before you store your first bottle in it, just so you can be sure that everything is cycling properly — no point in sacrificing a bottle to some rookie mistakes. 

Once you pop the cork, most wines go bad within a day or so. But a Coravin Wine Preservation system (available for a great price on Amazon) can extend the life of your opened wine for weeks or even months. It is awesome. You should check it out and see if it will fit into your lifestyle.

The Best Place to Keep A Wine Refrigerator

You have a lot of options, and you can use some life-hacks to keep your wine stored in a safe and adequate place, AKA, not carpet. The ones we listed are the most common places wine refrigerators are stored, but really, any easy to clean and flat surface will support your wine fridge just the same.

The Kitchen 

The kitchen counter is a good choice for some smaller wine refrigerators and good reason. It’s already in the kitchen so you won’t be hopping around from room to room just for a glass of wine. Kitchen counters are made to hold appliances in general, so as long as you make sure that the space around it is clean and dry, you’ll be fine.

This option will not work out for larger wine refrigerators. Your kitchen counter is only so big, so that’s why a lot of people who would still like to store their wine in the kitchen for convenience, either store it off to the side of the counter or have it installed underneath the counter in one of the cabinet spaces. 

To learn whether or not storing a wine cooler inside a cabinet is a good idea or not, check out this complete article we wrote.

The Living Room

Since a lot of people drink socially, keeping the wine in a common area that your guests can easily access is a good place to store it all. If you have a hardwood floor, you’re all set to go, though you may want to consider getting a little silicone mat for underneath it just as an extra layer of protection. That would be especially important for unsealed floors. 

If you do have carpet in your living room, you can store your wine refrigerator on a table so that it doesn’t touch it. If it’s too big for a table, there’s no need to fret; you can put a plastic mat underneath it. That almost eliminates the possibility of anything going wrong. It keeps the wine refrigerator on a flat surface and provides an easy to clean area that you can even change out with the seasons if you feel like it. 

For a complete list of the best locations to place a wine refrigerator, check out this article I wrote. To get a good estimate of the running costs associated with a wine fridge and how to reduce those costs, check out this article.

To get a complete sense of why you should not store a wine refrigerator next to a kitchen oven, check out this article. To learn if a wine fridge is necessary for good long-term wine storage, check out this article we wrote.

What Type of Wine Should I Refrigerate?

You don’t necessarily have to refrigerate wine at all, though some people prefer to have and serve their wine at certain temperatures. For example, white wine should be served at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas red wine is best served at room temperature. 

If you refrigerate red wine and then bring it back up to room temperature, that fluctuation can severely damage the test as it alters the chemistry of the wine. Doing so by the glass might not be such a risk, but if you decide to refrigerate and then re-warm by the bottle, that can get expensive fast.

Overall, the consensus seems to be that you should refrigerate your white wines, but your red wines are best left in a cabinet or on a shelf where they can stay at room temperature to maintain their flavor.

Keeping a Wine Refrigerator on Carpet: Not Cool

Keeping your wine refrigerator on a bare carpet is a terrible idea for everybody all around. It’s bad for the wine, bad for the floors, and, if it gets bad, really bad for the wallet. If you are considering making the purchase, it’s better to spend the money to make it secure and safe now so you can save the money it might have caused in damages later.

A properly kept wine cooler can be used to store other things, too. Other beverages, like iced tea, soda, and even bottled water can be kept separate from the wine in the wine refrigerator so that nobody feels let out or inconvenienced if they don’t have to drink. A good host considers everybody, even if they don’t show up.

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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