6 Tips To Maintain Your Wine Cooler

by Kelvin Teo | Last Updated: September 28, 2020

You have your friends come over one day to celebrate an occasion. Thinking that you have the perfect bottle of champagne to pop, you reach in to your wine cooler only to realise that something is off with its temperature. You dread that this will lead to a less-than-optimal drinking experience because your prized grape may have gone bad. Worse of all, your friends are wine lovers who can tell the difference between a good and a bad bottle.

The result? A not so enjoyable night that could’ve been prevented if you have done your due diligence.

Although wine refrigerators are generally low in maintenance, it is still important that you ensure that your unit runs smoothly if you want you wines to be in tip-top condition.

Here, we have highlighted 6 tips that will not only improve your wine cooler’s performance but ensure its longevity so that you get the most out of your expense.

1) Proper Space For Ventilation and Ambient Temperature

You may have come across built-in wine coolers which may be marketed as “zero-clearance” — don’t take this figure at face value. Some may still require up to an inch of clearance depending on model and size. Freestanding units typically need 2 to 3 inches of clearance for proper ventilation.

Ambient temperature, on the other hand, affects the overall efficiency of the unit. With this in mind, do take note of the minimum and maximum ambient temperature that fits your wine cooler when choosing a location to place it. Ambient temperatures don’t affect temperatures within the wine cooler though. For a more extensive guide on wine storage, check this out:

Are You Storing Your Wine Wrongly?

If you want to enjoy your glass of wine to the fullest, proper storage is a must. This detailed guide reveals how you can store your prized bottles optimally.

2) Understand Your Wine Fridge’s Capacity

It is important not to overload your wine fridge. Unless specifically stated by manufacturers, bottle sizes are usually based on Bordeaux-style 750ml bottles.

If you are unsure whether a unit can hold your collection, it will not harm to invest in a bigger capacity refrigerator. This is because overcrowding can lead to “hot spots” within the unit, causing wine to go bad. Having a balanced temperature throughout the unit will ensure that each bottle is properly cooled and ready to serve when needed.

3) Sunlight

Another factor to consider in the maintenance of your wine cooler is the proximity to direct sunlight. Because wine is sensitive to heat as well as UV rays, the temperature of the area you place your wine fridge should not fall below 60°F (15 degrees Celsius) or go above 90°F (32 degress Celsius).

If your wine unit features a glass door, there is even more reason for you not to place it in a location that is highly-exposed to direct sunlight. However, not everyone has this luxury in terms of space so if you are in such a situation, do consider investing in a tinted film for glass.

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4) Take Note of Mold and Mildew

Wine cellars are built to have some humidity internally — to keep the cork moist. However, humidity can lead to mold. Fortunately, mold doesn’t really affect the quality of your wine if they are properly sealed and/or capped. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore this small issue as it may lead to a larger, unforeseen problem in the future.

You can address this simply by wiping it off with cloth or paper towel at the first sign off it. No fuss. An ideal humidity level is between 50 to 80 percent — this prevents the corks from drying out.

5) Filtration

Certain wine chillers come with a carbon filtration built into their interior. This wonderful invention serves as a natural odor buffer that will otherwise permeate the cork and penetrate the wine.

Most filters are good for approximately a year or so, but this depends on the overall ambient temperature and humidity levels in the location of your wine cooler. To stay on the safer side, you should change theses filters every 6 months or they may become clogged and no longer function optimally. It is good to stock up on your replacement filters every now and then.

Why You Need to Buy a Charcoal Filter for Your Cellar

Charcoal filters help filter the air before it enters your wine cellar. This is important for several reasons.

6) Occasional Cleaning

From time to time, it is good to clean your entire unit to prevent build-up of dirt and frost in hard-to-reach places. Perform this cleaning procedure by switching off the power and removing all the bottles. (Take note: Keep your wine collection in a cool and dark environment so that your wines’ quality don’t deteriorate.)

The condensing coils and fans may be exposed in a unit’s back wall in some cases and if so, it is recommended to use a handheld vacuum cleaner. Other good options will be to use a dust brush or paper towel. This will help maintain the coils’ quality and prevent exterior coil damage. Also, use warm water and gently wipe down the interior walls and floor of the cellar to remove any moisture build up and mineral deposits.

Kelvin Teo founded Filled With Wine™ because one summer night, he noticed that his glass of wine tasted funny. It was only after he discovered that he stored his bottle wrongly that he realised the importance of proper wine storage. Since then, he has taken the art of wine drinking seriously and is now on a quest to help fellow wine lovers achieve the best drinking experience possible.