Many mini fridges left over from university can be found tucked away and gathering dust. Put that fridge to use to keep wine chilled and ready.
Sure you could buy an actual temperature-controlled wine storage unit, but the mini-fridge sized models start at several hundred dollars and the price climbs from there. For long term storage of valuable wine that might be an investment worth making, but for keeping some sub-$20 bottles chilled and at the ready for dinner and weekend parties, converting a mini fridge is a great option.
There are two methods for adjusting the temperature of the mini fridge to be more suitable for wine, namely using an appliance timer and adjusting the actual thermostat in the fridge. The guide at wikiHow covers both methods, but we're inclined—the engineers among you can chime in on this—to suggest using the thermostat tinkering method, as it would seem to place less stress on the compressor and waste less electricity:
1. Pull the control knob straight off the thermostat. You'll probably see a small screw next to the main control. That's the calibration screw. 2. Twist the calibration screw. Twisting it counterclockwise is likely to alter the temperature range so that the fridge doesn't get as cold, but the only way to make sure is to find out which direction turns the compressor on, then twist it in the opposite direction slightly past its original position. 3. Wait 12 to 24 hours, then take the temperature. Make incremental adjustments to the calibration screw until you get a good temperature for wine.
For more tips including how to humidify your new wine storage unit and the steps for the appliance timer method, check out the link below. If you've rigged up your own way to keep wine cool, let's hear about it in the comments below.