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Storing Cigars in a Wine Fridge

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

There are plenty of aficionados out there who prefer buying cigars by the box, as opposed to singles, because they know what they like and they want to get the best deal. You almost always get a discount when you buy cigars by the box. But when your cigar stash bulks up, storage can become an issue. A standard 25 or 50-count humidor can’t house all your cigars if you’ve got five or six boxes to humidify.

That’s when connoisseurs get creative and turn to cigar storage alternatives like coolerdors or building their own cedar-lined cabinets. Another popular option for storing a lot of cigars is a wine fridge, or converting one into a cigar cooler. If you want to use a wine refrigerator to store cigars, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Storing Wine and Cigars Together

Storing wine and cigars together is okay for a short time (like a few days) if you’re in a pinch and need to keep your cigars fresh temporarily. But storing wine and cigars for a prolonged period gets tricky. Cigars need to be kept at 70% relative humidity (RH) and 70 degrees. Wine can also be stored at 70% RH, but a cooler temperature of 55 degrees is ideal for wine.

Because cooler air holds less moisture, you need to increase the humidity to keep your cigars properly humidified at a lower temperature. At 55 degrees, you would need to boost the humidity up to 80% to keep your cigars fresh. Don’t let your cigars dry out if you’re storing them with your wine.

Converting a Wine Fridge into a Humidor

The best option is to convert your wine fridge into a humidor, or get a “wineador” (see below). Humidified wine coolers are desirable for cigar storage because they are made with airtight refrigeration seals and often include climate-controlled technology which makes it easy to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity for your cigars. What most wine coolers lack for cigar storage is cedar shelving. Cedar is ideal for aging premium cigars because it reacts well with moisture and repels cigar beetles.

Finding authentic Spanish cedar can be challenging and sometimes expensive. You also need to retrofit the shelving to fit inside your wine fridge. If you’re fond of DIY projects and aren’t afraid of saws and hammers, it may be worth your time to buy a standard wine cooler and measure out the draws and shelves on your own. Make sure the cooler has a reliable humidification system, too. If your cooler isn’t equipped with a good humidification system, the Cigar Oasis Plus Humidifier and Cigar Oasis Magna Humidifier are excellent devices to consider. Both are designed to humidify larger enclosures.

The “Wineador” from NewAir

The easiest, no-fuss option is a “wineador,” slang for a cigar humidor from NewAir. The company specializes in producing climate-controlled wine and beverage refrigerators. They have adapted their technology for cigar storage as well.

Their climate-controlled units are outfitted with high-quality adjustable cedar shelves. Monitoring the temperature is simple with an LED screen on the front. Each unit includes a plastic container for storing the humidification device of your choosing. Additional features include a glass door, an interior light, adjustable feet, a lock and key, and the unit can be heated as well as cooled with the Opti-Temp climate control. Preparation may take longer than a traditional box-style humidor, simply due to the amount of cedar shelving on the inside. Building the humidity to a consistent 70% RH can take up to a week or longer. For optimal airflow, it’s recommended not to fill the cooler much over two-thirds of its capacity. NewAir humidifiers range in price from just over $150 to $550 depending on the model.

For connoisseurs who like to toss the boxes of cigars they buy in a single space without constantly rearranging their collection to fit more, a wine fridge could be the way to go.

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