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Wine is one of the most common adult beverages in the world! If you enjoy wine, then a wine fridge or cooler as they are commonly known is a worthwhile investment. They store your wine at the optimal temperatures to keep them at the highest quality. However, wine fridges can do so much more than just hold wine they can also be modified to be used in a variety of different ways.
Can you use a wine fridge for beer and food? Yes, you can and should use a wine fridge for beer as well as wine. It may also be great for some foods especially those that accompany wine but not optimal for all, so keep in mind temperature requirements for various foods.
You can use a wine fridge to store beer and most foods. Most wine fridges are great for storing beer, as beer and wine are best at similar temperatures.
However, the lower temperatures of most wine fridges may not be optimal for all food storage. So, what can you put in a wine fridge you might ask? Keep reading to find out all the dos and don’ts with why you need a wine fridge!
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What is a Wine Fridge?
A wine fridge is usually a small temperature-controlled fridge specifically designed for wine. Wine fridges come in many sizes, shapes, and styles. They are ideal because they can be large or small depending on space and need.
They are also much quieter than a regular fridge because they operate at such high temperatures therefore, they do not require a compressor to run as loud as your normal fridge.
Wine fridges do not work the same as a regular fridge, which reaches low temperatures very quickly to prevent food from going bad. Instead, they stay above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce the internal temperature slowly so the quality of the wine is not affected.
They are also different in that they aren’t meant to hold regular groceries. The temperature within is much too high to keep most refrigerated items from spoiling.
This also means the temperature will remain consistent due to not being opened and closed as frequently, which is good for preserving the wine inside as well.
However, it doesn’t mean it can’t be used for any other items it can be used to hold beer and some other food items that won’t spoil as easily.
Best Inexpensive Wine Refrigerator
There are a ton of great wine fridges on the market but for my money, this 15 Bottle refrigerator by NutriChef (link to Amazon to read customer reviews) is in a class all its own. It is a quiet wine refrigerator crafted beautifully with stainless steel for a great classic look. It is ideal for storing red and white wine as well as Champagne and other sparkling drinks long-term.
It has a sleek compact design and fits well in a variety of in-home locations. It has earned tremendous reviews from wine drinkers who now own this fridge. It can also be great for storing beer and some approved food items safely. Check this great wine cooler out on Amazon and see how much you can save.
To learn which wine coolers are the best for Champagne and sparkling wines, please check out this helpful guide I crafted.
What Can Be Stored in A Wine Fridge?
Although wine is in the name a wine fridge can be used to store so much more, which is what makes it ideal for small spaces. Wine fridges are great for storing beer because they will keep them at the optimal temperature to preserve taste. Surprisingly beer and wine do best at the same temperature which is around 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not only can beer and wine be stored within these small, compact fridges some other beverages and snacks can be stored inside as well. Wine fridges work great for juices, soda, water, and even energy drinks. Unfortunately, you are quite limited to what snacks are safe to store inside.
You can store some fruits and vegetables for a short period of time, 24-48 hours is best but longer time periods may cause spoiling. Some cheeses may also be stored inside your wine fridge depending on specific requirements.
Chocolate is also a great addition to your wine fridge. The temperatures you will be storing your beer and wine will also be perfect for storing chocolates.
It will keep them at a temperature that is not too hot or cold and will keep them ready to snack on while enjoying your favorite beverages.
What To Avoid Putting Into Your Wine Fridge
There are however several items to avoid storing in your wine fridge due to the temperature. Milk, eggs, and other dairy products that require a much lower temperature will quickly spoil in a wine fridge. So, it is best to keep these in a normal refrigerator that can maintain a much lower temperature.
If you are unsure about the safety or temperature an item needs to be stored at you can do a quick google search to get the answer, most items will have the appropriate storage temperature printed on them as well.
Wine fridges are not made to replace your current refrigerator so it is very important to check temperatures before storing foods or beverages you are unsure about for safety reasons!
Alternative Uses for Wine Fridge
There are many do-it-yourself and custom things you can do to modify or improve your wine fridge. There are some basic modifications you can do like adding racks to hold your wine bottles, bottle openers to the exterior, and of course décor to make them fit your space and blend in better.
There are also a few more advanced do it yourself modifications such as:
- Kegerator: Yes, you can turn your basic wine fridge into a kegerator that will have your favorite beer on tap or even your own craft beer on tap. This is very convenient if you have frequent parties or events. This does require some do-it-yourself modifications and there are a number of various plans online to best suit your needs.
- Aging Cheese: Wine fridges are perfect for maintaining the appropriate temperatures to help with the aging process. This may also require a few do-it-yourself modifications unless you purchase a wine fridge with humidity controls. Sometimes that’s as simple as adding a bucket of water but can differ from cheese to cheese. It is important to do your research before attempting to age cheese on your own. For a guide to the best wine refrigerators that can also be used for aging cheese, check out this great article I wrote.
- Curing Meat: You can also modify your wine fridge into the perfect, compact meat curing device. This will require you to add hooks for hanging your meats as well as adding a humidifier and other things depending on what type of meats you are curing. Again, this is something you will need to thoroughly research to ensure you get the meat cured the correct way.
- Storing Cigars: Yes, you can convert your wine cooler into a place to store your cigars. According to Best Home Brewing Kit, you should not store your cigars and wine together for a long period of time. Wine does best stored at 55 degrees with 70 percent humidity and cigars do best at 70 degrees with 70 percent humidity. However, if you just want to store your cigars a wine cooler works perfectly and only requires minor adjustments to keep your cigars fresh!
Should You Invest in A Wine Fridge?
If you enjoy drinking wine or have a wine collection that needs temperature controls, yes! Wine does not do as well in the refrigerator because the temperature is too low, but wine fridges are created especially to preserve the unique flavors of your wine.
For a complete article on if wine fridges are necessary for proper long-term wine storage, please check out this helpful article.
They are also compact and are made to fit in virtually any place, even beside your couch. Wine fridges are quiet and do not require as much power as your typical refrigerator due to their compact size and low compressor size. This makes them perfect for game rooms, apartments, and even your pool room.
They can also be used for multiple do-it-yourself ideas. You can have one machine to hold all of your sodas, water, wines, and beer that can easily convert to a meat curer or cheese aging machine with only a few modifications.
They can also hold most of your snacks that compliment your wine, like fruit, nuts, cheeses, and chocolates. Keep everything in one location for easy access.
Whether you are needing a small wine fridge to hold 10-15 bottles or a full-size wine fridge to hold 30-50, if you need duel climate controls or individual compartments for aging, I can assure you there’s a wine fridge to suit your specific needs.
If you can’t find one that’s perfect for what you need you can have one custom-built or do your own at-home modifications.
There are wine fridges for every need and financial situation so it is important to have an idea of what you need specifically and do some shopping before making a final decision.
Keeping your specific needs in mind when browsing will make the process much less overwhelming and ensure that you get the perfect wine fridge.
A wine refrigerator can be useful for storing beer and some types of food. Be careful not to put food designed for kitchen refrigerator storage in your wine fridge.
Doing so is asking for trouble. Kitchen fridges get way colder than wine cooler refrigerators and therefore are a much wiser choice for safe food storage.
Beer, on the other hand, can do great in a wine fridge stored long-term. And if you like your beer ice cold before serving, just chill a few bottles or cans in the kitchen fridge the night before. But for longer-term storage, a wine fridge is great for beer.