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Benefits and Advantages of Compressor Wine Refrigerators

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

Introducing Our Most Powerful Cooling System Yet

Historically, wine refrigerators have relied on thermoelectric power to keep contents at a steady temperature, but now, there is new technology available that doesn’t use traditional electrical power. Instead, the latest and most advanced wine coolers rely on gas compressors to maintain consistent temperatures, a must to keep wine preserved until it’s ready to serve and drink.

You could open bottles and pour wine the traditional way by hand, but once you get into the inventory numbers, it’s easy to see that you’re actually losing profit by serving too much wine at a time. But a modern wine dispenser is the ideal solution, especially with public health and safety still top of mind for many restaurant patrons.

Gas compressor-based fridges are more affordable than in previous years and come with more features than older models, which only helps restaurant owners and managers like you keep costs low, especially energy costs.


So, with that in mind, here’s a quick look at what makes gas compressor wine coolers better than standard thermoelectric wine dispensers. It’ll give you an idea of the main differences – and why gas is by far the preferable choice nowadays!

What is compressor wine cooler technology? And how is it different from standard cooling technology?

A wine dispenser aims to preserve wine after opening the bottle while also controlling how much wine servers pour by the glass. Thus, the primary benefit of any type of wine fridge is that it allows you to keep wine longer after you serve it.

If left to the elements, wine can spoil in a matter of hours if you leave it at the wrong temperature or sit in direct sunlight, for example. Nothing ruins a red wine faster than direct sunlight for several days on end; white wines and champagnes are even more sensitive when exposed.

Without a doubt, the best way to prevent this faux pas is to keep the wine in a commercial refrigerator or preservation system. In a compressor-based wine chiller, there might be an internal fan that keeps internal temperatures uniform; there may also be an external fan to remove heat from the compressor itself as well as the entire wine dispenser system. Either way, the gas will do most of the cooling.

You may not know that you can use two types of gases: R600a and the standard refrigerant R134a. The catch is that the former is more energy-efficient than the latter type. R600a is also better for the environment since it doesn’t contain greenhouse gases.

What exactly is R600a Isobutane gas?

Most of the time, the standard type of refrigerant is R134a, and that’s what you find inside an ordinary refrigerator. Yet, a fridge that uses R600a gas is better at cooling down and keeping stable temperatures – all while being more energy-efficient than thermoelectric fridges.

Studies have shown that R600a isobutane gas can be as much as 32 percent more efficient than other types of compressor gases. Even better, R600a is about 4.5 percent more energy-efficient, which can save a substantial amount over its lifecycle.

Not only that, but this type of gas cools down faster, about twice as fast in controlled tests. The takeaway for restaurants is that you should remain vigilant and stay away from cheaper, less efficient, and outdated technology.

Still, before we go any further about benefits and advantages, let’s give a reminder about what causes wine to go bad at all.

giving thanks

What causes wine to spoil in the first place?

If you’re still learning the basics about wine, you might not know that it is susceptible to oxygen, and that’s why bottles are sealed with a cork or a plastic stopper.

When exposed to air, the wine starts to oxidize and change. Still, ironically, that’s what you want because this process “opens up” the wine’s flavors, aromas, and appearance, depending on the specific varietal.

But after a while, this process starts to make the wine taste sour, spoiled and gives it a distinct vinegar-like taste. Color-wise, an oxidized, sour wine will look more brown and maroon than usual, yet if you have any doubt that a bottle of wine is spoiling, sip a small amount, and the taste of vinegar will be unmistakable.

So, to prevent spoiling, you have to keep wine at a stable, cool temperature and keep it at a sound humidity level too.

Why is it important to keep wine at a stable temperature and humidity?

Essentially, wine is “alive” and changes until it rots, so you slow down the process by keeping the wine at a low temperature. All wine spoils over time, but it sours much slower when kept cool, especially white wines.

The imbalance inside the machine results in lost inventory, which raises costs if you have to replace all of your stock and fix the appliance too. Humidity is another factor to keep in mind because thermoelectric cooling doesn’t affect humidity since the technology is more rudimentary though less expensive.

Generally speaking, that’s why wines spoil faster than other alcoholic beverages, so the benefits and advantages of compressor-based climate control systems revolve around slowing down the inevitability to sell as much wine as you can before it happens.

Top benefits and advantages of a compressor-based climate control system over a thermoelectric wine chiller


Thermoelectric cooling may still a popular option, but that’s changing fast as compressor-based wine dispensers become more affordable and add more features.

Among many other benefits, the most noteworthy include improved performance of the fridge overall.

Other benefits of gas compressor wine dispensers include:

  • Fast and powerful cooling at a consistent temperature
  • Larger bottle capacity
  • More storage and service options
  • Shielded from outside heat sources
  • Easier to maintain
  • Easy to replace individual parts rather than the whole system

The result is that you can be more efficient all-around when storing, serving, and drinking wine. You will benefit from lower costs, your employees will benefit from increased safety, and your guests will enjoy a good glass of wine that tastes great.

Why do some restaurants still use thermoelectric refrigerators instead of newer coolers?

Clearly, compressor coolers are a superior product, yet why do people keep using thermoelectric coolers? The answer is relatively simple: cost. Since these chillers cost less, it’s a safe choice when you have a lot of wine to cool.

The main disadvantages of thermoelectric fridges include::

  • Vulnerable to outside heat sources
  • Temperature can fluctuate each time you open the door
  • Weaker cooling overall
  • Inconsistent temperature
  • Inconsistent humidity in different parts of the dispenser
  • Limited level of cooling
  • Not designed for outdoor use
  • Hardly more energy efficient than an ordinary kitchen fridge

So, the bottom line is that these coolers and chillers are more expensive to maintain over their lifecycle, not less. The upfront cost may be lower, and it’s tempting to opt for a quick fix. On the other hand, if you want to keep costs down over time, thermoelectric refrigerators aren’t the best choice.

Instead, try out one of our wine fridges or wine-by-the-glass dispensers to see the difference for yourself.

Recap of Key Takeaways

We’ve presented you without a lot to think about during this post, so let’s recap the highlights to give you an idea of why you should give WineEmotion’s products a try.

Keeping inventory costs reasonable is priority number one for restaurants, especially since the pandemic isn’t over. The numbers are better than a year ago from a national level, but many customers haven’t returned at the same volume. 

In this type of environment, it’s more vital than ever to find ways to control costs while maintaining public health and safety measures. Many restaurant patrons won’t return to a place if they believe they are at risk of contracting COVID-19, so they choose to take their business elsewhere.

That’s another reason why a modern wine dispenser is beneficial. Your staff won’t have to worry about serving spoiled or warm wine. A suitable dispenser takes the hassle out of the opening, storing, and serving of wine by the glass.

But not every wine fridge is the same, especially restaurant-grade products. You might come across a bargain, but is it really worth saving money upfront? You have to account for the cost of the fridge from start to finish, not just what you pay to buy it.

Thermoelectric machines are simply old and come with outdated technology that’s not cost-efficient, not even close. Not only that, but these machines usually don’t have a large enough capacity to hold dozens of bottles.

So, if you want to maximize results, stay away from thermoelectric refrigerators even if the price is attractive. Ultimately, you pay more to maintain and repair these machines over their lifecycle, which is why WineEmotion’s products are the better option.

Wineemotion Machine at Chez Phinney in Seattle, WA

Introducing WineEmotion’s Wine-By-The-Glass Wine Dispensers

WineEmotion continues the evolution of commercial wine dispensing systems with the most advanced cooling system for your wine by the glass program.

Among other products, we sell modern, state-of-the-art wine refrigerators, wine coolers, wine dispensers, and wine climate control systems that give restaurants a whole new way to serve wine by the glass and control stock.

The system keeps each bottle fresh even after opening by sealing each bottle with a small amount of gas so the aromas and flavors don’t dissipate. Essentially, the system replaces oxygen with a gas mixture since oxygen causes wine to spoil after exposing it to the air.

Typically, an open bottle of wine only lasts about three to four days before souring, but wine lasts much longer with our wine fridges and dispenses and still tastes the same as the day you opened the bottle.

Are you curious about what else our compressor technology can do? Click here to see our complete line-up and learn more about the different specifications of each fridge.