Can I Also Store Food in My Wine Refrigerator?

Good Questions

Q: My partner and I live in a small NYC apartment. One thing we couldn't part from when we moved here was our 50-bottle wine refrigerator. It keeps a temperature of around 45-47 degrees. Half of it is always empty and we were thinking of putting some food items in here - what do you suggest?

Our thoughts run from artisan cheeses, potatoes, onions, garlic, fruits...?

Sent by Michael

Editor: Michael, you can definitely double-task your wine refrigerator for certain food items. Meat, eggs, and dairy are not options, as they need to be stored at temperatures under 40°F -- see this USDA page for more info:

Refrigeration and Food Safety

But fruit and vegetables can definitely be stored there! Overall, it's best to store most fruits and vegetables at about 33°F — but this is just to prolong their freshness. If you are using your refrigerator to just store produce overnight or for a few days, the temperature there should be fine.

Cheese should be stored at temperatures between 35° and 45°F so you might be able to get away with some hard cheeses.

Readers, do you use a wine refrigerator to store anything besides wine?

Related: Trapdoor in the Kitchen Floor: Spiral Wine Cellars

(Image: Wine and Storage)