Humidity in wine fridge/cellar

Hi everyone-

I’m wondering how/if a home wine fridge controls humidity and also looking for humidity management tips. I have two wine fridges at home: a 48 bottle unit made by Wine Enthusiast (bought new about 5 yrs ago) and a larger 150 bottle EuroCave (purchased off Craigslist, not sure how old it is but seems to be in good shape). Both seem to be working well in terms of temperature control. Neither have controls for humidity.

The Wine Enthusiast fridge is quite damp inside. I have had some labels develop mold and I sometimes find condensation on the inside of the unit. I’ve taken to wrapping bottles going in there with plastic wrap. I’ve never had mold or visible dampness inside the EuroCave.

A few questions:
1- Given that these units don’t have knobs or buttons to adjust humidity, do you think either of them are actually doing anything to control the humidity?

2- I’m not measuring the humidity in either unit. Should I be? Is this something I should be worrying about?

3- If this is something that I should be worrying about, how would you recommend that I adjust it up and down?

Thanks!
Noah

Really high humidity can ruin labels, as you noted, and really low humidity can dry out corks.

I’d get a humidity meter and check what you have - anything between 50-70% is acceptable.

I don’t control humidity in my cellar but I do keep an eye on it - usually around 60%, so nothing need be done.

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SensorPush is an easy way to measure humidity.

Thanks for the information and just purchased an affordable one for my wine cooler.

I think the first part is certain, but there is a lot of debate how true the second part is, particularly if the bottles are resting on their sides.

You can search and find long threads on here discussing whether elevated humidity really is or isn’t necessary in your storage cabinets.

Just me personally and my experience, I think the need for elevated humidity in wine storage is one of those old axioms that probably wouldn’t bear out if you actually did a scientific test.

Not sure about the WE unit, but this issue occurs in the Eurocaves when bottles are touching the back panel of the unit - I believe it’s mentioned in the manual.

If you do bulk storage, I find it it impossible to avoid and end up having to pull the bottles and wipe down the back around once a year or so.

Can too much humidity damage the cork/cap? Which in turn could possibly damage the wine ? Just curious. Worse case I guess you lose your label and the unit works inefficiently.

I have three wine coolers and use the WirelessTag products which allow you to monitor temp, humidity and light. They also allow you to set alerts which push out email/texts based on your settings. Additionally the data is accumulated so you can produce graphs/reports which compare each cooler. Best part is no data storage fee just product cost. Check it out and let me know if any questions. Here is a link https://wirelesstags.net/

I think the answer is clearly no. Lots of older French wines, where the bottles were stored in damp cellars without capsules until shipping, have lots of mold under the capsule. You just wipe it off with a paper towel.

If the cork is so poor that it lets in mold smells, you’re probably going to have some serious oxidation.

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If you want something discreet go to a cigar shop and by an insert they use in a humidor. You can get a battery powered temp and humidity reader for cheap. Smaller than a credit card.

There’s plenty of humility in my wine fridge. Sure, I’ve got some pretty nice, age-worthy wines in there, but I’m not above having a bottle of Bogle or Kirkland’s in there, too.

That’s certainly true of my 1994 vintage Marvel cooler.

Lots of good suggestions, everyone. Thanks! If I do end up monitoring the humidity, what to do I do if it’s too high or low? What is the best way to adjust it up or down in a home wine fridge?

little water in a glass bowl will raise humidity, little baking soda in glass bowl will lower humidity. Keeping bottles away from walls and keeping door closed as much as possible help maintain constant humidity (knowing what bottle you want to grab and where its located before opening the cellar will help decrease time the door is ajar.

Make sure the bottles aren’t too close to the fan/cooler. I had one bottle too close and the label disintegrated and the fridge froze up a bit .