For the true wine lover, how your bottles are stored is just as important as what they contain. While both a wine cooler and a wine cellar have their advantages, how can you determine what’s best for you and your wine? We’ll examine the difference between a wine cooler and a wine cellar by detailing their specific functions and providing pros and cons for each. 

Wine Storage Tips: Understanding the Difference Between a Wine Cooler and a Wine Cellar 

What is the best way to store wine? It’s really about what’s best for you and your personal collection. Temperature, humidity, space, and cost are just some of the factors that can go into your storage decision. To understand the difference between a wine cooler and a wine cellar, it’s helpful to know how each function and accommodates these factors.

What are Wine Coolers?

A wine cooler is a refrigerator that keeps wine at a constant, ideal temperature. For most wines, this is at or around 55℉. This temperature prevents their flavors and nuances from being affected by warmth while also keeping the cold from slowing the aging process. Wine coolers come in a variety of sizes and can be located in the kitchen, living, or dining room for easy access and convenience.

The main difference between a wine cooler and a wine cellar is that a cooler provides customized temperatures ideal for small wine collections. Dual-zone wine coolers have the ability to maintain two different temperatures, a warmer one for reds and a cooler one for whites.

difference between a wine cooler and a wine cellar

What are Wine Cellars?

A wine cellar provides a fully climate-controlled environment for a larger wine collection. These cellars are usually in the basements of homes and are constructed out of stone or brick with dirt or stone floors. This location provides the humid setting wines need to age properly or remain stored for more than 5 years.

While temperature is an important factor in how you store your wine, humidity is just as crucial as a factor for long-term storage. Humidity prevents wine corks from drying out and shrinking, allowing air to enter the bottle and spoil the wine. When comparing a wine cellar vs wine cooler, a cellar provides the space and humidity essential to preserving a large, diverse collection over a longer period of time.

Which is Best: Wine Cellar vs Wine Cooler?

It’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each storage method when deciding between a wine cellar or wine cooler. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider when planning how to store your wine:

Wine Cooler:


  • Can keep a small collection at ideal, customized temperatures.
  • Convenient location options provide easy access and quick serving ability.
  • Offers a stylish and attractive option for displaying wines.
  • Comes in a variety of price points.


  • Can only accommodate smaller collections.
  • Doesn’t allow for the multiple temperature variations a more diverse collection requires.
  • Not ideal for long term storage beyond 5 years.
  • Does not control for odor, vibration, or sunlight that can negatively affect the wine.
  • Malfunctions, like finding that your wine cooler is warm, can occur.

Wine Cellar:


  • Offers a fully climate-controlled storage environment
  • Provides the humidity essential to long-term storage
  • Can accommodate large, diverse wine collections
  • Presents a wide variety of customization options


  • Location not always ideal for easy access and quick serving
  • Expensive to build and maintain if the location doesn’t provide naturally ideal conditions

Knowing the difference between a wine cooler and a wine cellar can help determine the best choice for you and your personal collection. Does a wine cooler meet your wine storage needs? Don Bacon Appliance Service is here to help in the event of maintenance or repairs.