Tips for Converting a Refrigerator for Wine Storage

For wine lovers without wine cellars, converting an old refrigerator into a mini wine cellar is a convenient way to keep favorite bottles on hand. Of course, red wine requires the right temperature to age well, so you may have to add a new thermostat to your old fridge before it is suitable for long-term wine storage.

Stay in the Wine Zone

Wine should be stored in a narrow temperature range. If it's too warm, the wine will spoil. If red wine is too cool, it won't age at all. The ideal temperature is 50 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit, however a few degrees in either direction shouldn't harm your wine. In fact, since cooling red wine slows the aging process, some experts believe storing red wine below 50 degrees gives it additional complexities.

Getting the Temperature Just Right

Even at the warmest setting, most refrigerators are too cool for wine. To check out the temperature in your fridge, leave a thermometer inside for a day or two. If your refrigerator is too cool, you'll need to install an external thermostat designed for refrigerators. Just plug the thermostat into a power bar, plug the fridge into the thermostat and put its temperature sensor inside the appliance. The sensor is on a thin wire so you can put it in the door without letting in any heat.

Keeping a Good Cork on It

Wine corks require a bit of humidity so they can do their job. When corks dry out, air can get inside the bottle, oxidizing the wine and ruining years of patient aging. Ideally, corks should be stored in a humidity level of about 70 percent. Put a bowl of water in your new mini wine cellar and a humidity meter. Top up the water as needed and your corks will be fine.

White Wine and Temporary Measures

If you only drink white wine or plan to drink your stored wine within a few weeks, you may not need a dedicated wine fridge. Many Samsung refrigerators come equipped with a FlexZone™ drawer. This is a deep, full-width drawer with its own temperature control. If you set the drawer at 42 degrees Fahrenheit, it's perfect for storing red wine for several weeks and white wine indefinitely.

Photo Credits: Kris Robertson/Demand Media

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