Summer is the perfect time to show off your hosting skills. The warm evenings and sunny weather provide plenty of barbecue and party opportunities, while the start of a new football season is a great chance to meet up with old mates.
With so many guests to cater for, you might be worried about a lack of fridge space for drinks. That’s where a second mini fridge could come in handy, with certain models even allowing you to store drinks at different temperatures.
Here, we help you decide whether a beer fridge or wine cooler is better-suited to your needs…
In a nutshell: Have an ice-cold bevvy on hand for watching the footy with a separate fridge to store your beers
Planning on having the lads round for the new football season, or hoping to take advantage of the warm weather with a family barbecue? Maybe you’re just tired of your other half’s beer cans filling up the bottom shelf of your fridge every weekend.
Whether you’re an armchair fan or prefer to pretend the footy isn’t on at all, you can have a stash of drinks at the ready with a beer fridge.
These mini fridges fit perfectly under a kitchen counter or out of sight in the garage, and keep your drinks nice and chilled. But there are a few things to consider before buying one:
- What will you be keeping in it? A beer fridge is only designed to store cans – so you can’t put food in it
- The fridge will be the same temperature throughout – perfect for storing beer but not so good for wine
- How many cans? These fridges are designed to sit on worktops and can’t hold more than 40 cans
- Want to put your beer fridge in the garage? Some models can’t be kept outside
In a nutshell: Fancy a posh summer picnic? Try a designated wine cooler to keep your vino in perfect nick
These fridges are specially designed to keep your wine in the best possible condition – whether you’re supping a glass on an ad hoc garden picnic, or hosting friends for a summer barbecue. They’re not for food or beer.
Wine coolers come in all shapes and sizes, with plenty of features depending on the type of wine you like to drink. You can buy coolers solely for storing one type, or go for one that holds red, white and champagne.
Things to consider:
- How much wine? An integrated model can hold 40 bottles – while taller coolers can hold 200
- Red, white or both? Red wine is stored at a different temperature to white – store both using a cooler with dual-zone cooling
- Storing lots of different-sized bottles? Go for one with adjustable shelves that roll out for easy access
- Avoid vibrations: Enjoy your wine as it’s meant to be tasted by opting for a cooler with anti-vibration technology
Tip: Whichever type you choose, your wine will be stored horizontally, preventing the cork from cracking and air entering, which can damage it.
Or go for a second fridge…
Want somewhere to put party and barbecue food as well as your beer and wine? You probably need a second fridge. These are great if your family fridge is full and you need some extra space for parties.
Things to consider:
- Where are you going to put it? Each fridge freezer has a temperature range it works within – so if you want to store it in the garage make sure you choose a fridge that’s suitable for outbuildings
- Budget? You’ve already got a main fridge so the second one only really needs to be a basic freestanding model
- Running costs: Fridge freezers are quite costly to run. Keep yours at the right temperature (between 0c and 5c) to boost its energy efficiency
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