Difference Between Wine Coolers vs Fridge - What's The Difference?

    Wine Cooler Vs Fridge

    If you're asking yourself what the difference is between a wine fridge and a regular fridge, then honestly, you're asking a very valid question! It's a common question we get asked by our customers (a lot).

    "Normal fridge vs a wine cooler - what's the difference?"

    In short...

    YES, there are differences. 

    Listen to this post here:

    Differences Between a Wine Fridge & Mini Fridge?

    The perfect temperature for most wines is between 45°F to 65°F. A normal fridge changes temperatures quickly and has low humidity. In contrast, a wine fridge, slowly changes and maintains temperatures while holding a higher level consistent humidity.

    There's a number of key differences between a wine fridge and a standard fridge, compared to a fridge a wine cooler has:

    • Precise temperature settings
    • Temperature consistency
    • Zero / minor vibration
    • Horizontal shelves suited to wine bottles
    • Humidity control
    • Protection against contamination

    Regular fridges are useful for storing the odd bottle of white wine or champagne to bring them to serving temperature but ultimately if you want to take care of a small, medium or large collection a regular fridge won't be sufficient.

    Let's take a look at the 6 differences between wine fridges and regular fridges in more detail below:

    Wine fridge Vs Mini Fridge - Temperature range

    1. Temperature Range

    First off, the temperature range of a fridge vs a wine cooler is different. While a regular fridge will typically have a temperature range of 40°F or lower a wine fridge will have a range between 45°F and 65°F. 

    In addition wine coolers are available with single, dual or multi zone temperature options. A single zone device maintains 1 temperature zone, a dual zone 2 temperature zones (also know as a red and white wine fridge) and a multi-zone up to 5 temperature zones across the device.

    This allows you to store both white and red wines in the same wine fridge, for optimal serving enjoyment and the best conditions for long term storage. 

    Wine fridge Vs Mini Fridge - Temperature Precision

    2. Temperature Precision

    In addition to specific temperature zones, the main difference between storing your wine in the refrigerator vs wine cooler is that you have complete control over the temperature of the wine cooler.

    In contrast, there may be a few settings for temperature control in your kitchen fridge but these will be very wide bands of temperature change.

    A wine fridge can be set in 1-2°F increments ensuring you have full control of the temperature inside the cooler.

    In addition the temperature consistency within the wine fridge is likely to be more consistent than a normal fridge or mini fridge due to the use of internal fans which distribute air more evenly. 

    Finally, it's likely the door to your wine cooler won’t be opened and closed as often as your fridge causing less temperature fluctuations from the outside air entering into the fridge.

    Wine fridge Vs Mini Fridge - Vibration

    3. Vibration

    Vibration can hurt your wines in the long term.

    If your wine bottles are moved around as people grab food from the kitchen fridge, this movement can disturb your wine and effect the taste and quality when opened.

    On top of this, a compressor in a mini fridge or kitchen fridge creates vibrations which can travel into the fridge via the body - again not so great for your wines.

    In comparison a wine cooler compressor is designed to have zero or very minimal vibration so your wine bottles are protected from movement altogether

    Wine fridge Vs Mini Fridge - Storage Design

    4. Storage Design

    We've all opened up our kitchen fridges and thrown a couple of bottles of sauvignon in the upright shelf inside the door. That's great for storing a couple of wine bottles you're looking to drink in the next week. But what if you're looking for a wine fridge to store 20 bottles, 30, 50 or 100+ bottles?

    There's only one option: a wine cooler.

    Wine fridges are designed with purpose built shelving which neatly houses wine bottle horizontally.These shelves are often fitted on sliding rails too, maximising the space inside the wine fridge and making access to your collection effortless, while also minimising vibration.

    Finally, unlike a normal fridge or mini fridge a wine cooler can be use to display and showcase your wine collection in its full glory. Luxury models often come installed with display shelves as standard so your wines can be held upright, showcasing the bottle labels in their full glory to your guests.

    Wine fridge Vs Mini Fridge - Humidity

    5. Humidity

    A standard kitchen fridge is usually opened multiple times a day.

    Whenever the fridge door is opened, moist air enters the fridge, increasing the chances of ice build up at the back of your fridge.

    The door to the wine cooler won’t be open and closed as often as that of your fridge, and you would be able to also control the humidity level inside the wine cooler.  

    This is crucial when wanting to uphold the integrity of your wine bottles' corks to prevent any oxidation of the wine from taking place before you have had the opportunity to enjoy them.  

    Wine fridge Vs Mini Fridge - Temperature range

    6. Contamination

    Wine can be very susceptible to taking on the flavours of the air where they're stored due to the penetrable and moist corks.

    People enjoy wine for it's taste, so the idea of contaminating the flavour of your wines with the smell of foods kept in your fridge is probably less appealing.

    The combination of a left over spaghetti bolognese and a sweet desert wine isn't ideal!

    The humidity inside a regular fridge is designed to be low which can dry wine corks and shrink them. This increases the chance that odours can drift into the sealed wine bottles via the permeable corks.

    Obviously housing all your wines in a wine fridge is the best bet to keep your wines tasting as they were intended. In addition most wine fridges are installed with charcoal filters which filter the air inside and entering the wine cooler for any unwanted aromas - keeping your wine collection free from musty, stale smells.


    Final Thoughts

    A wine fridge is different from a normal fridge due to:

    • Precise temperature settings
    • Temperature consistency
    • Zero / minor vibration
    • Horizontal shelves suited to wine bottles
    • Humidity control
    • Protection against contamination

    We hope you enjoyed our article on differences between wine cooler versus a normal fridge and why you should refrigerate wine in a wine fridge.

    If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email us at

    You can browse more posts on Wine Storage here.

    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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