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What Is the Difference Between a Cooler and Refrigerator?

What Is the Difference Between a Cooler and Refrigerator?

Choosing between a wine cooler, a beverage cooler, and a standard refrigerator for your drinks can be a bit overwhelming. If you're new to this, you're likely wondering what the differences between the three are.

The only thing they have in common is that they keep their contents cool. Nonetheless, the way they look and operate differs in terms of temperature, humidity, and vibration. They are developed and constructed to serve a variety of purposes. First, let's discuss their differences and understand what they're designed for.

Wine Coolers vs. Refrigerators vs. Beverage Coolers

Wine coolers

An example of Wine Cooler is the Allavino FlexCount Classic II Tru-Vino 346 Bottle Three Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler 3Z-YHWR7274-S20

Wine coolers keep red wines, white wines, and other bottles of wine chilled at their optimal serving temperatures. The temperature range of a wine cooler is higher than that of a refrigerator or beverage cooler. The temperature of a wine cooler, in general, does not fall below 46°F. Therefore, wines should not be stored as cold as other beverages in a beverage cooler or drinks refrigerator if you don’t want to ruin their flavor.

There are so many varieties of wine coolers out there.

Types of Wine Coolers

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  • Freestanding Wine Coolers - In contrast to the built-in ones, free standing wine coolers must not be recessed into any cabinetry.
  • Side by Side Wine Coolers - Lastly, side by side wine coolers, often have multiple temperature zones and have double doors.

Types of Wine Coolers by Zones

  • Single Zone Wine Coolers - This type of wine cooler contains only one temperature zone. If you exclusively store one type of wine, then a single zone wine cooler is perfect for you.
  • Dual Zone Wine Coolers - This wine cooler is divided into two compartments, each with its own set of temperature controls. This design allows you to store both red and white wines without needing to purchase two separate wine coolers.
  • Multi Zone Wine Coolers - This is the best option for wine enthusiasts who want to experience a variety of wines. Wine fridges with multiple temperature zones allow you to chill, store, and age different varietals.

Here's an example of a Dual and Triple Zone Wine Cooler. The products featured in the video are from the stunning and stylish line of Summit Appliances Wine Coolers

Some Dual Zone and Multi Zone Wine Coolers function as a refrigerator and wine cooler combination -- sometimes known as a beer and wine fridge. Wine, cans, and bottled beverages can all be stored in a wine beer fridge combo. So, if you want to keep different kinds of drinks on hand, a wine and beer cooler fridge is the cooler fridge for you.

Wine Cooler Brands

If you love to entertain your guests with the perfect bottle of wine, you might consider investing in high-end wine cooler. Refer to these articles:

Refrigerators

Summit 24" Wide Built-In Outdoor All-Refrigerator CL68ROS

Product in the photo: Summit 24" Wide Built-In Outdoor All-Refrigerator CL68ROS

A standard refrigerator or fridge is designed to keep food and drinks cold and dry with an average temperature of 40°F. They have various compartments, glass shelves, and bulky trays to store a variety of perishables such as salads, fruits, milk, and meat. A top freezer or bottom freezer can also be found in refrigerators.

Refrigerators are available in a range of styles. You can choose from the top and bottom mount refrigerators to french door refrigerators, side-by-side refrigerators, compact refrigerators, glass door refrigerators, and more. They have interior lights inside, similar to the beverage cooler, but it goes off when the door is shut.

Refrigerator Brands

Beverage coolers

Allavino FlexCount II Tru-Vino 30 Bottle/88 Can Dual Zone Stainless Steel Beverage/Wine Fridge 3Z-VSWB15-2S20

Product in the photo: Allavino FlexCount II Tru-Vino 30 Bottle/88 Can Dual Zone Stainless Steel Beverage/Wine Fridge 3Z-VSWB15-2S20

How Does a Beverage Cooler Work?

A Beverage Cooler, also called a beverage center or beverage refrigerator, is designed to store beverages of all kinds. They also come in different compartments to accommodate different types of beverages.

Unlike a regular fridge, the LED lights inside are always on, illuminating the beverages, and have a transparent door making it visible from the outside.

Types of Beverage Coolers

  • Freestanding Beverage Centers - A freestanding or standalone beverage refrigerator can be placed almost anywhere in your house or business as long as it is close to a power outlet, or you can use a power extension cord for maximum flexibility.
  • Built-in Beverage Centers - There are also beverage refrigerators that can be built into cabinetry. Perfect for upgrades and home renovation projects.
  • Under Counter Beverage Centers - Same with built-in beverage coolers, this type of beverage fridge can be built-in to cabinetry but particularly designed to fit under counters.
  • Side by Side Beverage Centers - This type of beverage cooler comes with double pane glass doors or french doors. They usually have dual or multi-zone temperature zones so you can store as many varieties of beverages.

How Cold does a Beverage Cooler Get?

A beverage cooler temperature range is between 39°F and 65°F, and you can adjust and set the temperature to suit your needs.

Beverage Center Brands

 

Does a Wine Cooler Get as Cold as a Refrigerator?

The temperature range is what differentiates a wine cooler refrigerator from a standard refrigerator. Wine should be chilled between 45°F to 65°F. Most wine coolers do not provide temperatures below 46°F. A refrigerator's temperature range is 35°F to 42°F, which is considered too cold for wine.

Wine Coolers

Can You Use a Regular Refrigerator or Beverage Cooler to Store Wines?

A beverage cooler and refrigerator are similar to each other, but beverage coolers frequently do not offer the adjustable shelves or door storage that a refrigerator often does, and they often have glass doors to display the contents.

A wine and beverage refrigerator can be adjusted to a wide range of temperatures so it may be used for either, but keep in mind if you want to store both at the same time you will either have too-cold wine or too-warm drinks depending on how you choose to set the internal thermostat.

A regular fridge is designed to escalate temperatures quickly and dry out humidity. It may seem logical to store wine in the refrigerator, but the quick answer is an emphatic "No."

Many hazards are lurking about your traditional fridge that can adversely affect your wine's quality. If left in the same space too long, it's possible to get a hint of General White or Red meat in your Pinot Noir. Why does this happen?

Wine Cooler

If the cork in a wine bottle shrinks and becomes overly porous due to insufficient humidity levels, the odors from the bread, bologna, beer, and whatever else you're storing can seep inside and contaminate your wine. Remember, regular refrigerators are engineered to suppress humidity, not sustain it.

Wine coolers are crafted to maintain an ideal humidity level so that your wine cork stays impermeable and moist, not allowing outside air to intrude the bottle and spoil your wine. You also won't be as tempted to store your leftovers in your dedicated wine cooler, meaning there's even less of a chance of the two ever meeting outside of a meal.

The answer is simple: your wines should never be kept in a standard refrigerator or beverage cooler.

When Should You Use a Wine Cooler Instead of a Regular Refrigerator When Drinking White Wine?

If you are a wine lover, you may one day wish to convert your love for wine into a notable collection that reflects your personal tastes and passion for the hobby. However, even from that very first bottle in your collection, you want to make sure you're storing your wine properly.

For those not fortunate enough to have a wine cellar in which they can store their collection (at the proper humidity level and temperature, no less), the ideal way to keep your wine at the optimal 55°F is to purchase a high-grade wine cooler.

While many may be tempted by the size and space offered by your average fridge, a conventional refrigerator just won't cut it.

Keeping Your Wine Cool

Aside from keeping your wine chilled to serve at the ideal temperature all year long, a wine cooler's purpose is to protect your collection from environmental changes, including fluctuations in humidity.

What is the best temperature for serving wine? Read on to these articles for the ultimate guide to the proper temperature for serving wine.

A wine cooler will gradually lower temperatures and maintain a high and effective humidity level at all times. The temperature in a traditional refrigerator and beverage cooler is inconsistent because it is being opened throughout the day. Whether you want to serve your wine at the perfect temperature with dinner or store it for a longer period, a wine cooler ensures an even temperature throughout, always.

wine cooler

Another enemy of your beloved wine is vibration. All-purpose refrigerators vibrate because they run on a compressor. This vibration can disrupt a wine's natural maturation process, causing it to age and degrade faster.

You don't want to disturb the sediment present in the bottle, but it also causes complex chemical reactions which are less visible. Vibration over time will agitate a wine causing a reduction in esters, which dulls flavors.

Although some wine fridges are also powered by compressors, they have a unique vibration absorption system that greatly reduces the impact of tremors and noise, allowing your wine to quietly and adequately mature.

There are also thermoelectric wine refrigerators that don't vibrate at all but are better suited for already cool environments.

wine cellar

Final Word

For wine lovers, the optimal way for wine storage is within a cellar or wine cooler, not in the fridge or a beverage center. With changing temperatures, noisy vibration, pesky odors, a lack of features, and bottle capacity, your wine will be much better off in a dedicated wine cooler.

When you have a wine collection or are planning to start one soon, you may want to build a proper wine cellar and it's crucial to store them in a location with the ideal conditions by installing a wine cellar cooling unit.

You may refer to these related articles:

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