September 19, 2008, Newsletter Issue #139: All Wine Cellar Coolers are not Created Equal

Tip of the Week

There are many different methods by which you can cool wine in your wine cellar or chill your wines. You'll hear terms like refrigerator, wine cooler or wine cooling system - but what do they all mean?

For instance, some wine cellars are kept at the optimal temperature, but this is not a cold enough temperature at which to serve white wine. In many cases, a person will install a small refrigerator in their wine cellar just to keep white wine on hand for drinking.

Then we move on to "wine coolers" or "wine cooling systems". When we say cooler, we aren't talking about the styrofoam portable cooling unit for your beer during the summer.

Wine cellar cooling systems are designed to keep an entire room at a certain temperature (usually between 55 and 65 degrees). Most of these, however, do not have humidity controls. If they can control the relative humidity in your wine cellar, the system will probably be expensive.

Why is controlling the relative humidity important? Although 90 % of existing wine cellars do not have relative humidity controls, this can be damaging to your wines.

Choose a wine cooler, or wine cooling system that meets your needs in the following categories:BudgetHow large is your space?

Then consider adding a humidity control unit after the fact.

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