Wine Cooler vs. Wine rack – What’s the Difference? We see great deals of blog sites and other sites that try to specify and individually classify wine coolers, wine cellars, and wine refrigerators – as if they can be systematically distinguished. Nevertheless, you will observe that despite presuming and saying that they are unique, the author can’t really articulate any meaningful method to identify them. And when the do, most websites attempt to classify wine “cellars” based upon unclear concepts of price class, by calling them “high-end” wine coolers. That specifies nothing, considering that prices differ along a continuum.

By: Andy Mangold
In other cases, the distinction is more concrete however just as arbitrary – e.g., some say wine cellars should have humidity control. But this is also not useful, given that even one of the most standard wine fridges can come with, or be fitted with, some kind of humidity control system, such as a basic tray of water. A third so-called definition that we usually see is that wine cellars are allegedly developed for more “long-term” storage. This too is impossibly vague and unhelpful, considering that many wine coolers/fridges are created to maintain proper long-term storage temperatures. So as long as the fridge or cooler holds up over the long-term, then it can work for long-term storage. There’s no essential difference as to how they go about keeping temperature levels, since more affordable wine fridges and pricey “cellars” alike all utilize the same kinds of cooling machinery (compressors or thermoelectric systems).

Basically, wine coolers, wine fridges, wine rack or any other temperature-controlled boxes/cabinets are all developed to do the same thing: keep wine at optimal storage temperatures, generally around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Some can also chill whites to their appropriate service temperature (however that has nothing to do with storage). Obviously, these units might vary significantly in their reliability and quality, but this typically has nothing to do with whether they are marketed as wine rack versus wine coolers.

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Please note that when we discuss long-term storage, for many consumers, this typically means up to 5 years, generally much less. If your fridge/cooler/cellar can operate effectively and reliably during this period, it can by this definition store wine “long-term.” If you intend on storing wine longer than this, and your cooler/cellar has actually been running well so far, go for it. Nevertheless, if you are keeping alright wine as an investment, or are keeping ultra-expensive wine that you are passionate about, forget about saving your very own wine altogether – put your finest wine in an expert storage center and only keep in your cooler the wine you plan to take in!