wine refrigerators - Printable Version

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- chisel - 06-19-2005 02:16 PM

Question - is it really necessary to have a designated "wine refrigerator" for long term storage? Why couldn't a normal refrigerator provide the same function, i.e. consistent temperature and humitidy control?

- hotwine - 06-19-2005 03:34 PM

Welcome to the board, Chisel. Plain o' refrigerators are designed to operate at lower temperatures than are wine fridges.... the former typically in the mid-30's or so, the latter in the mid-50's. They also maintain a drier environment.... lower relative humidity (RH).... than the 60-70% recommended for wine storage (to keep the corks moist without turning the labels into paper snowflakes with too high an RH figure). As a minimum, you would need to re-wire or replace the refrigerator's thermostat. Not sure how the RH issue should be addressed.<P>When I chilled my old storm cellar a while back, I got lucky with the RH. At times, it had been as high as 90%, so the "snowflake problem" with lossened labels was very real. But by installing an industrial refrigeration unit, it not only dropped the temp down (from a high of 90F) to 57; it also dropped RH down to 60%. Made me one happy camper.

- hotwine - 06-20-2005 05:50 PM

From the 31 July 2005 issue of Wine Spectator, page 139, here's an ad for a widget that claims to control a fridge, AC or freezer for wine storage:<BR>Have no idea as to the veracity of its claims.

- chisel - 06-21-2005 08:20 AM

Thank you for your reply. Not exactly the answer I was hoping for, but very informative and helpful. I guess I will be shopping for a new wine chiller. Thanks again!