Water-filled wine bottles in storage

Does anyone else use empty wine bottles to fill with water, recork, then put in empty spaces in their coolers? I think it makes sense but can’t find any scientific support for it, and it’s a lot of work depending on the number of wines you have.

Hi David
If increasing thermal mass to smooth out temperature variations is the aim, then it’s pretty solid science.

I dont do this, but if you are concerned about temp fluctuations or adding a bit of extra mass to slow down warming in the case of a cooler failure or heat wave, this would make sense

I’m having a hard time with a scenario where this is worth the effort. I have empty bottles, old corks, and a corker since I also make wine so could do this rather quickly. But unless the unit was less than half full, the best one could do would be a fractional increase in the overall thermal mass. And then there is the question of what to do with the water filled bottle when you need to remove one to make room for a wine bottle. It just seems to be too much effort for limited gain that is based on avoiding the worst case impact of a random event.

Now, if it’s a case where everything in the cooler is GC Burgundy, First Growth Bdx, Cult Cab, etc., then yes, fill every slot with water filled bottles as the impact of that random event is significant. But if like me it’s holding a lot of $20-$30 bottles, then the risk reward calculation just doesn’t justify the effort.

Like others I can not really see a big reason to work so hard to increase the thermal mass here. I am assuming that is the reason to do this. If the cooler works fluctuations in air temp are low (maybe 5 degrees I think). Fluctuations in the liquid temps are less even if the cooler is not that full. Try a probe in a bottle and see.

If the reason is concern over a cooler failure and just adding a bit of time before temps rise I’d say there are other much better solutions than this small stop gap measure.

This 100% works. I actually did an experiment when I finished my basement cellar…the more wine I added, the longer the time lapse was between my cooling unit running. It was a material difference as well. It was documented by my Netatmo thermostat, not just me noticing when it ran. No idea how this translates to wine fridge units, nor would I necessarily tell someone to fill hundreds of bottles with water to save just a few bucks on your electric bill - but if you worry about power outages in a warm climate, the juice may be worth the squeeze.

This is WineBeserkers… who has any empty slots in their storage? [scratch.gif]

Empty slots… how?

They say if the apocalypse comes, one of the most important things is to fill your bathtub with drinking water before you lose electricity and water pumps. I suppose it makes sense to have some water around for emergencies–but I plan on just drinking wine for months when Station Eleven comes our way. I do have a bunch of Skyline Chili in a can in case of an emergency too. I have an old passive root cellar for my wine though and it’s never worried me on temperature variation too much–so no worries about the electric going out and thermal mass.

A friend got married and moved to San Diego with her husband, who had plenty of wine storage, so she gave me a 650 bottle unit double insulated with large compressor outfitted to go into a garage (Southern California). I figure with that unit at least half full, plus several other units inside, I have enough wine to leave my sons some but worry as the garage unit begins to empty about variations in temp… Thanks for your thoughts!

Put other stuff in there. Liquor, soda, bottled water, olive oil, anything you want to store and could have at a lower temp. Saves the labor of collecting/filling wine bottles.

I would say that given your location and conditions you are a prime example of a person for whom it might be worth a little effort.