Do I Need a Wine Fridge?

Wine Making Talk

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trashy

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OK, so we rearranged recently. The wine came out of the closet (so to speak) and now adorns the shelves of our wine room, which is just an open room in the middle of the house. No direct sun, but the average temperature in our house is 76 at coldest, 80 at warmest. Recently we initiated some energy-saving procedures and the house spends more time around 80 than it does 76. But I don't think this is good for our wine, over 100 bottles now and another 30 in a carboy, ready to bottle. I recently read about the effects of storing wine at 75+ vs. 55 and I'm concerned.

Unfortunately a closet wine cave or garage wine cellar is NOT an option as we plan on selling the house and moving within a year. This has me thinking about used wine fridge/cave contraptions or converting an old kitchen fridge using a separate thermostat. Have any of you done anything like this? Any ideas or suggestions?
 

Wade E

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How many bottles are we talking about trashy. Those big wine fridges really jump up in price. Might just be worth it to AC a small room.
 

Coaster

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I did the fridge conversion using a seperate thermostate and had serious moisture issues (mold on the corks) here in central Texas.
 

rgecaprock

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Trashy and Coaster......I'm having a real problem with the Texas heat too. Just moved into the house in May. Of course you find things wrong....and it is 85-90 degrees in here every afternoon to evening. We stay outside until dark. Have to get some insulation in the attic to cool these 15 foot ceilings. I have worried about my wine too. Thank goodness I don't have a large volume. Looking forward to the end of October!!


Ramona
 

Wade E

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I had used 1 for a year with no problems but didnt have a separate thermostat. It was an old fridge and surely was no energy star. It did a great job but filled up fast.
 

JimCook

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Trashy,


I use a EuroCave wine cellaring system for my wine - works amazingly. Humidity levels are spot on and the temperature range for the wines is held between 2 degrees (that won't happen with a normal refrigerator). Since consistency in wine temperature is one of the keys for cellaring, it's amazing to see that kind of tolerance. Another important point is vibration free operation. The long-term storage of wine is affected by any kind of energy its exposed to (heat, light, vibration, etc.), and standard refrigerators are not vibration free. The glass door on the front (optional) not only holds an amazing seal, but is also UV-protected as well. What's the downside to all of this amazing cellar-ness? The cost, as the unit ran around $3,000 give or take for a system that holds 200-240 bottles. Was it worth it, of couse - I protect multiple thousands of dollars of wine, and even inexpensive wine just tastes better after it's spent some time in the system and equilibrated.


I have seen some other alternatives where you can build your own (comes shipped in parts) or slightly less expensive version, but be sure to check for temperature regulation, humidity control, and vibration free operation.


As I'm sure you know, wine that is held at a higher temperature will oxidize faster in the bottle. Also, wine that experiences temperature swings will not be as stable over time (PeterZ talked about this in a post I can't find in relation to small temperature currents in the bottle).


My $0.02,


- Jim
 

Wade E

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I completely agree wit Jim's post but for some of us that cant afford to spend $3000 to hold 240 bottles a fridge will do for now. This is why I built my wine cellar for under $600 and being in the utmost subterranean part of my basement holds a good temp and good humidity most of the year but use a dehumidifier for the summer. I know that you dont have this option right now but maybe like I said if you have a spare room it would be worth it to air cond. that room on low just to keep it decent. Its a small price to pay to keep your investment safe if you have more then a hundred bottles and plan on having ore then a wine cooler can handle.
 

wctisue

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Two years ago on one of my weekly trips to Home Depot I found Magic Chef 52-bottle wine coolers on sale for $99 each. I bought two and stacked them in our wine closet. Looks nice and keeps wine spot on 57 degrees. I remember Home Depot had six of these on sale at the time -- wish I had bought all of them. Just one of those being at the right place at the right time. All black case with smoky glass door.


So I've only had wine aging for two years at the right temperature. Two-year old wine is very good but then again I like to drink it as soon as I rack it off the clarifying agents.


Here's a picture. Unstacked because we're moving.





Wayne
 

Wade E

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I would say that if all you have and plan to have at all times will fit in a wine cooler then that is the way to go and to try and find 1 with a good energy star rating.
 

trashy

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more wine coolers - never thought of that. Been pricing full-sized used fridges and deep freezers. Just found someone who supposedly has more than one 50-bottle cooler in 'scratch and dent' condition - $99 ea. Sold.

Well, they will be after they email me back...

Two of those babies in the closet ought to work. Great idea Wayne, thanks a lot!
 

joeswine

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trashy as a havc contractor if there is a room with a window and you have a lowels or home depot near you for $99.00 you can purchase a 5000,btu window unit /115 volt end the problem of quick ageing and when you move take it with you this way no matter home much you want to store in the room or anything else for that matter its good to go////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
 

trashy

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the only enclosed room we could use (guest bedroom) faces the street and window units are specifically verboten by the HOA.
 

SB Ranch

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From what I understand room temperature is 55 F (cellar temperature) for all wine. Keeping a room at 55F in Texas with a window unit would be very expensive. I know, I've tried it. Rooms in a home have variable temperatures, find the coolest room till you have an appropriate cooling source for your wine.


Fortunately we have enough social events to keep the wine stock revolving quickly. So they do not spoil at 75 F the house temperature. I think the cellar cooling systems are the best answer but be careful to prep your walls first. The walls will weep inside the wall due to the heat/cool differential. Then your walls will rot.Edited by: SB Ranch
 

Wade E

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You could also buy a portable AC for the room. You dont need to get it to 55*, you just need to try and keep it a consistent lower temp. Thse portable 1;s work pretty well as we had 1 in our office at the last place I worked.
 

TallTexan

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Trashy,


I use a EuroCave wine cellaring system for my wine - works amazingly. Humidity levels are spot on and the temperature range for the wines is held between 2 degrees (that won't happen with a normal refrigerator). Since consistency in wine temperature is one of the keys for cellaring, it's amazing to see that kind of tolerance. Another important point is vibration free operation. The long-term storage of wine is affected by any kind of energy its exposed to (heat, light, vibration, etc.), and standard refrigerators are not vibration free. The glass door on the front (optional) not only holds an amazing seal, but is also UV-protected as well. What's the downside to all of this amazing cellar-ness? The cost, as the unit ran around $3,000 give or take for a system that holds 200-240 bottles. Was it worth it, of couse - I protect multiple thousands of dollars of wine, and even inexpensive wine just tastes better after it's spent some time in the system and equilibrated.


I have seen some other alternatives where you can build your own (comes shipped in parts) or slightly less expensive version, but be sure to check for temperature regulation, humidity control, and vibration free operation.


As I'm sure you know, wine that is held at a higher temperature will oxidize faster in the bottle. Also, wine that experiences temperature swings will not be as stable over time (PeterZ talked about this in a post I can't find in relation to small temperature currents in the bottle).


My $0.02,


- Jim
Jim, I am just beginning a search for a wine cooler. Can you tell me which model EuroCave you purchased? Also, which other brands were under consideration and what were your reasons for choosing this particular brand and model? I have only shopped the Wine Enthusiast web site thus far, and they offer a single-zone model of their own brand that I am reading about. This will be a Christmas gift for me, and I'm trying to find something to age my reds that will accommodate as many bottles as I can possibly fit without breaking the bank. I've been given a budget in the $3.5K range. Any input from you would be greatly appreciated!
 

ibglowin

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9 year old thread. That user has not posted for about that long as well.

Jim, I am just beginning a search for a wine cooler. Can you tell me which model EuroCave you purchased? Also, which other brands were under consideration and what were your reasons for choosing this particular brand and model? I have only shopped the Wine Enthusiast web site thus far, and they offer a single-zone model of their own brand that I am reading about. This will be a Christmas gift for me, and I'm trying to find something to age my reds that will accommodate as many bottles as I can possibly fit without breaking the bank. I've been given a budget in the $3.5K range. Any input from you would be greatly appreciated!
 

TallTexan

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9 year old thread. That user has not posted for about that long as well.
Hi Mike, would you recommend that I begin a new thread with my question? I haven't seen any other forums that have the input that I'm seeking. Thanks!
 

ibglowin

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If you did a search and didn't find anything recent I think a new thread is probably in order.

Hi Mike, would you recommend that I begin a new thread with my question? I haven't seen any other forums that have the input that I'm seeking. Thanks!
 

mainshipfred

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I did the fridge conversion using a seperate thermostate and had serious moisture issues (mold on the corks) here in central Texas.
Question, did you keep the frig in the garage or house. I could see if it was in the garage you could have a humidity issue openning the door too often. If it were in a conditioned house I would think it would be less of an issue since your house air conditioner is a natural dehumidifier. But then again I don't know about Texas weather.
 

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