Before we go any further, we should make it clear that we’re fully aware that this decision is a fairly uncommon one to make. But it is one that’s worth talking about as people use what basement space they have as an impromptu wine cellar when they may be better off using a wine fridge.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to expand your house, you’re building a house from scratch or you already have basement space that could be utilised then you might be considering a wine cellar.
Well, if that sounds like you then we’re going to be talking about the merits of a wine cellar over a wine fridge. You might be thinking well if money’s no object then obviously a wine cellar, but it’s not quite that straightforward.
Why Choose a Wine Cellar?
When is a wine cellar better than a wine fridge? First, a wine cellar will offer more consistent storage than a wine fridge. A proper wine cellar will be kept at the same consistent conditions whereas a wine fridge is liable to fluctuations in conditions simply from the door being opened and so on. This is if your cellar meets certain requirements however. A wine cellar needs to have quite unique conditions and it’s very unlikely that your cellar will meet those requirements naturally. Not all cellars can keep their conditions consistent.
If you intend to age your wine for say, over a decade, then a wine cellar is more conducive to doing that. The humidity and temperature plus the nature of being able to let it sit in a cellar makes it perfect for doing so. So you need to think about your wine collection and where you see yourself taking it. Is your wine collection for ageing and for value or is to be enjoyed?
In some cases, a wine cellar can cost very little and require very little upkeep. Some properties will already have a perfect wine cellar space with the ideal conditions. If this applies to you, then you may be able to see similar results to storing your bottles in a wine fridge in your own home already.
Why Choose a Wine Fridge?
The most obvious reason for this straight off the bat is that any property, any house can accommodate a wine fridge. You have fantastic storage conditions within a self-contained unit and there’s a wine cooler for any wine collection. You can get a small integrated wine fridge that goes in your kitchen that holds around 20 bottles or so. Sometimes this is all you need and the associated costs are far less. Or you can get a wine fridge that holds hundreds of bottles
If you’re not planning on ageing your wines for years and years, and your wine collection actually gets called upon often then a wine fridge is better for this. Although wine fridges are liable to experience a fluctuation in conditions, they are very good for consistent conditions. If your cellar isn’t perfect the your wine bottles can get cooked in the summer months.
Wine fridges have an obvious convenience edge. Everything in one tidy place, you know exactly where to go and there’s only a certain amount of places to put your bottles. If you have our own storage system you should know exactly where each bottle is straight away.
Another big draw for their wine fridge is the cost and availability of course. Not everyone has a cellar, and if they do, not everyone has a cellar with perfect wine-storing conditions. You would need to create those by investing thousands of pounds into building a custom wine cellar. Wine fridges start at a few hundred pounds and freestanding models can be put anywhere.
It is worth considering that at the very top of the range of wine coolers, some models fetch as high a price as installing a wine cellar.
Which One Is Better: Wine Cooler or Wine Cellar?
The definitive answer to this is that ideally, a combination of the two would be best. However, this isn’t really a satisfying answer.
Wine cellars are almost as much to exhibit wine as they are to functionally store it. So think about your relationship with your wine collection. Is it something you like to flaunt? Something you like to observe? It may be that a wine cellar is the only way you can do your love for wine justice.
If you are just enthusiastic about wine and you prefer to enjoy your wine collection by sharing it and drinking it, then a wine fridge represents the cheaper, less complicated option almost every time. Unless you happen to have a natural wine cellar under your home that has perfect conditions.
If you have the means then having a wine fridge for bottles you plan on drinking and cellar space for bottles you plan on ageing is best. Otherwise it’s up to you decide which one is more suited to your style.
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