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For wine lovers, the idea of having unlimited wine on tap in your water dispenser sounds like a dream. But what would that entail? While it sounds amazing, there are going to be considerations that need to be made before you hydrate with your favorite red or white vintage.
Can you put wine in a water dispenser? You can put wine in a water dispenser. But keeping the dispenser clean and functioning properly can be challenging as they are prone to clog if the wine has sediments. The type of wine and the effect this storage will have on its quality also determine whether you should store wine in a water dispenser.
So, before you start emptying your water dispensers and corking bottles for your new wine dispenser, it’s important to go through some of the details. Finding the best ways to make this work for you will be crucial to the success of your next wine night.
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How to Use Your Water Dispenser with Wine
We all love a good “life hack”. And life hacks that involve wine are twice as exciting. At first glance, this is a very simple process. You add wine to an empty water dispenser, grab your favorite wine glass, and pour.
This is a great short-term hack for easy pouring. If you are throwing a party or a big wine night gets together, this will be a great way to make it nice and simple for your guests. It’s also going to get some amazing reactions when they realize the genius hack.
If your refrigerator has a built-in water dispenser, you can easily use this any time you plan on drinking an entire bottle quickly. However, you don’t want it sitting in the water chamber for extended periods.
What Types of Wine Can you Put in a Dispenser?
You can put any type of wine you’d like in your water dispenser. The question becomes more about the length of time it will be there, and at what temperature you prefer your wine. Most reds are meant to be drunk at room temperature. Some can be slightly chilled.
For the most part, if you are a red wine drinker, this may not be the hack for you (unless you prefer your reds chilled). If you want some recommendations for chilled red wines, check out this article.
Reds should also be stored in a cool, dark place. So, if you don’t drink the whole bottle right away, the refrigerator is going to be an extremely harsh atmosphere.
The best wines to use for this hack will be white, sparkling, and rosé. For flavor, the ideal temperature for consumption, and proper storage elements, these wines will do the best in this environment. The amount of time they will be in the chamber is another consideration.
Considering Shelf Life
Water chambers and wine bottles don’t stack up evenly when it comes to their storage of liquids. Wine bottles are specifically designed to keep your wine fresh and flavorful.
Whether it is cork or a screw top, they keep additional oxygen out of the wine, which helps hold in the aroma and robust flavors.
Once you pour the wine into space like a water chamber on a dispenser, it no longer has that protection. So, if you are thinking of using this hack as an occasional wine drinker who might partake in a glass a couple of times per week, the flavor will be fine the first week, but after that, it will begin to degrade. That wine is going to become overly oxidized and will no longer have that freshness or flavor over time.
This chart shows how long different types of wine last after the bottle is opened.
Sparkling Wine: 1-3 days
Light White Wine & Rosé: 5-7 days
Full Body White Wine: 3-5 days
Red Wine: 3-5 days
Fortified Wine: 28 days
Bagged Wine: 28 days
Keep in mind that these timelines are based on wine that is still in the original container. If you leave wine in the dispenser, the wine will degrade more quickly.
The water chamber may be a great storage house for water, but it will allow too much exposure for wine to survive there for long.
It’s not to say that the wine will make you sick, but it will not taste nearly as good, and it will lose much of its aroma. Since this is mainly going to be used for sparkling, white, and rosé, it will also lose that crisp fresh taste we love when we pop that new bottle open.
Boxxle Premium 3-Liter Box Wine Dispenser
For a great at-home wine dispenser to keep box wine fresher for longer, this is a great product to test. It fits all 3-liter bags of wine on the market and keeps wine fresh up to 6 weeks after opening. It is a great way to enjoy wine long-term and not waste any wine.
It has awesome customer reviews. Watch the video below to see how it works. Click here to view the product page for this great wine dispenser at Amazon where you can read customer reviews and see current pricing.
What About Other Types of Alcohol?
Other types of alcohol will work in the same way. It is possible, and it makes for a great party hack, but then you will have to clean the dispenser—and your guest will be gone by then. Depending on the type of alcohol, it may not have as many specific guidelines as wine.
Wine is a very particular beverage that requires a lot of additional considerations. Everything from the fermentation process to consumption to storage is nuanced. Stick with non-carbonated, clear liquids when possible such as vodka or gin if you want to try other types of alcohol.
Something with the carbonation of beer will likely go flat and cause problems in the dispenser itself. Something richer, like an Irish Cream liquor, will cause clogging.
Cleaning Your Water Dispenser After Wine
Whether you plan to use this once for a party or if this water chamber will not be where your wine lives, you need to make sure you keep it clean.
Since these are water dispensers, not wine dispensers, they were not built to withstand anything other than clear liquids over a long period.
After each use with wine, you will want to thoroughly rinse and wash the entire unit.
1. Remove the water chamber and any funnels that may be attached.
2. Some refrigerators will have a small rubber ring around the nozzle where the water is transported. If you have one of those rings, take it out and wash it in the sink with soap and water.
3. Wash the entire tank and any attachments that you may have on your refrigerator’s chamber.
4. Rinse and dry everything thoroughly before putting it all back.
5. The nozzle where the liquid is dispensed should have a quick cleaning as well. Using a new toothbrush, dip it in a mixture of water and vinegar, and use the toothbrush to get into the small sections around the nozzle to clean it thoroughly.
6. Refill the tank with water and dispense water into a large cup or bowl to let it run for a while and clear away remaining water and vinegar as well as any wine that was caught up in the nozzle.
Be sure everything is thoroughly rinsed before consuming water from the filter again. This is a great process to follow even if you are not using wine in there, just for regular cleaning of any debris or mold that may begin to build.
If you plan on filling it back up with more wine afterward, still follow the same process and ensure it is fully rinsed and ready for your next rosé.
How to Use your Water Dispenser for Wine
If you are using the right type of wine, thoroughly cleaning the dispenser, and making sure you don’t exceed shelf-life expectations, then this hack can be a huge hit–especially at parties when a lot of people will be drinking wine throughout the night.
And we don’t judge. Even if it’s just you after a long week and you’re ready for someone on one time with some wine. Pour away!