If you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, you might like having a few bottles laid in so you’ve always got a choice of wine.

Best-Wine-Fridge

How do you store your wine, though?

Even if you only store a few bottles for a short time, the fridge is not your best option.

With a dedicated wine cooler, also known as a wine fridge, you’ll be able to store your wines at a stable temperature. Wine is ruined by fluctuations in temperature so this is key. A broad range of 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimum storage temperature for reds while white is best kept between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Champagne should be stored between 41 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Wine coolers come with a single or double zone. Think about whether you’ll be storing different types of wine in your collection and choose accordingly.

Why else should you bother investing in a separate wine cooler, then?

Simply storing the bottles on their side means that the cork remains moist since it’s in contact with the wine. This is not possible when you stand bottles upright in a regular refrigerator.

The lack of vibration is another benefit of coolers, most of which now use a thermoelectric system with no compressor. Vibration can agitate the sediment in your bottles and impair the taste.

Coolers also ensure that humidity levels are somewhere between 50% and 80%. The ideal humidity for storing wine is 70%.

Exposure to light will rapidly spoil the taste of wine and the controlled environment of a cooler prevents that.

So, even if you initially thought you could get away with throwing your wine in the fridge or the cupboard, perhaps that summary of the benefits of wine coolers has made you rethink that.

We’ll get right down to business now with our bumper collection of the 20 best wine coolers up for grabs.

Dive in!


I. Top 20 Best Wine Coolers and Fridges

1. Our #1 Pick: Kalamera 30-Bottle Wine Cooler

Kalamera-15''-Wine-Cooler-30-Bottle-Built-in-or-Freestanding

Our overall winner is this mighty 30-bottle cooler from the highly reputable Kalamera. What makes it so good, though?

While you’ll be able to store 30 bottles of your favorite red or white, this cooler measures up at just 14.9 x 33.9 x 22.4 inches. You can opt to have the unit built in or leave it freestanding.

The single zone is a cinch to control and you can adjust the temperature from 40 through 66 degrees Fahrenheit using an intuitive LED display.

Build quality is robust and the highly insulated and double-layered doors are made from tempered glass. They look great and won’t fog up while they’ll also help you keep the temperature inside just right.

The compressor is designed to run quietly and without any vibration so you won’t end up agitating the sediment in your wine.

For a sleek and versatile wine cooler capable of housing a pretty robust collection, this flexible unit is a must.

Things We Like

  • Accommodates 30 regular bottles with ease despite occupying a pretty small footprint
  • Easy operation with single-zone functionality
  • Double-layered doors made from tempered glass to optimize temperature regulation while minimizing fogging

Things We Dislike

  • Larger diameter bottles don’t fit on the shelves too well

2. The Best Dual Zone Wine Fridge: Kalamera 46-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Fridge

Kalamera-24''-Wine-refrigerator-46-Bottle-Dual-Zone-Built-in-and-Freestanding

Do you plan to store both red and white wine in your cooler? If so, you’ll want a dual-zone unit like this hard hitter from Kalamera.

5 beech shelves accommodate up to 46 standard sized bottles. You’ll need to think twice if you frequently store larger bottles of champagne or Pinot.

With 2 zones, you can cool the upper zone between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit while the lower zone sits between 50 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit giving you complete control over both red and white wines.

As with all Kalamera coolers, not only is the lack of noise in operation welcome, the low levels of vibration protect your wine from having the sediment rattled around.

Whether you choose to integrate this cooler into your existing units or you want to leave it freestanding, this 24-inch Kalamera will set off any kitchen wonderfully.

Things We Like

  • Dual zones allow you to keep all your favorite bottles at their very best
  • Safety lock to keep anyone from tampering with your collection
  • Advanced cooling technology keeps both noise and vibration to an absolute minimum

Things We Dislike

  • A few complaints about quality control

3. Also Great: EdgeStar 38-Bottle Wine Cooler

EdgeStar-CWF380DZ-19-Inch-Wide-38-Bottle-Wine-Cooler

EdgeStar produce a range of cost-effective wine coolers that still deliver firmly on the quality front.

This oversized 38-bottle unit that’s sized as just 19 inches so you’ll get a Tardis-like set-up with an amazing amount of room inside considering the small form factor.

The upper zone can be cooled between 40 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit while the lower area ranges from 54 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Potent fans mean you’ll get consistent circulation throughout.

This cooler is only designed for freestanding use so you should look elsewhere if you want an integrated set-up. The door hinge is reversible to maximize your placement options.

Wooden edges to the shelves breaks up the metal finish and imparts a sleek and understated aesthetic.

If you’ve got kids in the house, the security lock is a welcome touch so you won’t come home to find your precious collection damaged or the temperature tampered with.

For a pocket-friendly approach to keeping your wine at its best, the EdgeStar deserves a place on any shortlist.

Things We Like

  • Shelving has attractive wood facing
  • Dual zones for both red and white wine
  • Reversible door so this cooler will fit just about anywhere even in tight spaces

Things We Dislike

  • You’ll notice a fair bit of noise in operation

4. Budget Pick: Ivation 18-Bottle Chiller

Ivation-18-Bottle-Thermoelectric-Red-And-White-Wine-Cooler

Ivation proves you don’t need to take out a bank loan to find an effective wine fridge. This slick and imposing 18-bottle unit is ample for a small collection.

This unit comes with or without a lock depending on whether you actually need this security feature.

Only a single-zone unit, you’ll have space for 18 standard bottles and the ability to ensure they age correctly.

Coolers stand or fall on the strength of the doors. With this fridge, you’ll get foam-insulated polyurethane doors that are also tempered and smoked. This combines to give you an odor-free environment while also maintaining humidity at the appropriate levels.

The thermoelectric cooling system does without a compressor. This means you’ll get less noise and less of the damaging vibrations that can disturb the sediment and spoil your wine.

You can illuminate the inside of this cooler to grab your bottle then hit the touch controls and ditch the light when you’re done.

For a compact and stylish wine cooler from a brand you can trust, this Ivation unit is a solid performer at a price you’ll love.

Things We Like

  • Commanding design without compromising function
  • Unbeatable price/performance ratio
  • Doors tempered and smoke to regulate humidity levels

Things We Dislike

  • A few gripes about consistency of temperature

5. NutriChef 18-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Cooler

NutriChef-PKTEWCDS1802-18-Bottle-Dual-Zone-Thermoelectric-Wine-Cooler-Red-and-White-Wine-Chiller

One of the nicest looking coolers on the market, kitchenware legend NutriChef bring their expertise to bear on wine storage.

We’ll lead off by drawing attention to the noise factor. While you won’t disturb the neighbors, the thrum is nevertheless noticeable so buyer, beware.

If that doesn’t phase you, you’ll appreciate this design-driven cooler that won’t stiff you on the performance front and doesn’t cost the earth either.

The inclusion of vertical shelving is a neat touch. This allows you to store opened bottles upright rather than wasting the contents.

If the 18-bottle unit doesn’t offer you quite enough capacity, there’s a 24-bottle model available. You can also find this 18-bottle version in an all-stainless variant at a slight premium.

The dual-zone temperature can be easily controlled through the intuitive interface and you can view the reading in Fahrenheit or Celsius so no more mental calculations.

If you can tolerate a little bit of noise and you’re looking for a rugged, reliable cooler at a reasonable price-point, the NutriChef is a complete winner.

Things We Like

  • Vertical shelving incorporated allows you to store open bottles, too
  • Reinforced glass door to maintain the optimum storage environment
  • Dual-zone functionality ideal if you drink a wide variety of wine

Things We Dislike

  • Reasonably noisy

6. Magic Chef 12-Bottle Wine Cooler

Magic-Chef-MCWC12B-Black-12-Bottle-Single-Zone-Wine-Cooler

If you live in an apartment or you’ve got a cramped kitchen, this countertop cooler from Magic Chef allows you to store a dozen bottles of your favorite wine without dominating the entire space.

A single-zone fridge, the chrome shelving gives you 4 rows of 3 bottles all stored so they remain at their best for longer.

Like all wine fridges, the Magic Chef is marketed as running quietly. While not strictly untrue, you should be aware that the cooler you run the fridge, the more aggressively the fan will run. Also, if the ambient room temperature is over 77 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll get more noise from the fan. While not a deal-breaker, you shouldn’t fall for the hype and you should buy with your eyes wide open.

This cooler is not especially cheap considering its diminutive stature but you’re investing in a fridge that’s built to last from a brand you can rely on so why not treat yourself?

Things We Like

  • Minimalist design ideal for a modernist kitchen
  • 12-bottle capacity means this cooler makes a neat fit in smaller kitchens
  • Chrome shelving complements the matte black housing wonderfully

Things We Dislike

  • Generates more noise at cooler temperatures

7. Koldfront 24-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Cooler

Koldfront-TWR247ESS-24-Bottle-Free-Standing-Dual-Zone-Wine-Cooler

If you have a small wine collection and you’re looking to store up to 24 regular Bordeaux bottles, this dual-zone cooler allows you to keep both red and white at their optimum temperature fuss-free.

The control panel sits front and center and you can manipulate it using the responsive touchscreen.

Temperature range in the top zone is 54 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit while down below you can keep bottles between 46 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Koldfront is only designed as a freestanding cooler. If you’re looking for something to build into existing units, this is not the model for you. Also, if you’re looking for a smaller or larger cooler, Koldfront offers both.

Alongside robust performance and a rugged build, the Koldfront looks great, too. The mish-mash of wood and stainless steel makes for a nice juxtaposition and you’ll get unbeatable value for money. What’s not to love?

Things We Like

  • Dual-zone unit with tempered glass door to keep humidity levels in check
  • Touchscreen is easily accessible and straightforward to navigate
  • Classic understated design with wood shelving making a nice contrast to stainless steel

Things We Dislike

  • Not suitable for built-in use

8. Avanti 12-Bottle Counter Top Wine Cooler

Avanti-12-Bottle-Thermoelectric-Counter-Top-Wine-Cooler

Not everyone wants a huge wine fridge so Avanti fill this gap with a slimline 12-bottle countertop model. 8 bottles lie down and you can fit another 4 upright in this small single-zone unit.

Like all the best modern wine coolers, you’ll benefit from a thermoelectric cooling system in place of the traditional compressor. Not only does this reduce noise levels considerably, you’ll also notice almost no vibration so you won’t end up agitating the sediment in your wine.

The compact form and curved glass means this cooler will act as an asset on your countertop rather than being something you want to hide out of sight.

For a nice method of keeping a modest gathering of bottles in fine fettle for as long as you want to store them, this little Avanti is ideal.

Things We Like

  • Perfect for small kitchens and apartments
  • No vibration to disturb the sediment in your bottles
  • Thermoelectric cooling system so you won’t get too much racket from this unit

Things We Dislike

  • A few complaints about build problems developing over time

9. Magic Chef 6-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cooler

Magic-Chef-MCWC6B-6-Bottle-Single-Zone-Black-Wine-Cooler

If even the Avanti is too large for your needs, this Magic Chef model stores just 6 bottles.

Perhaps you live alone and only hold back a few bottles at a time. Maybe you live in a small apartment or your kitchen is so overrun with appliances, you just don’t have room for a larger cooler. It might be that you want a secondary cooler for your den or basement. Whatever the reason, small wine fridges are remarkably versatile and this single-zoner packs a real punch.

With a light inside, you can see your capsule collection at a glance with no need to keep opening the door and compromising the cooling environment.

With a thermoelectric cooling system, noise and vibration are kept to a complete minimum.

In addition to performing strongly for a mini-model, this cooler looks great, too. Why not treat yourself today?

Things We Like

  • Commanding design finished in matte black
  • Measures up at just 20 x 10 ¾ x 15 inches so fits almost anywhere
  • Interior lighting so monitor your bottles without needing to open the door

Things We Dislike

  • Obviously not robust enough for a larger collection of wine

10. NutriChef 12-Bottle Wine Cooler

NutriChef-12-Bottle-Thermoelectric-Wine-Cooler

Another NutriChef cooler up next in the form of this 12-bottle beauty.

Freestanding, you’ll be able to slip this cooler in relatively limited spaces. It measures up at just 9 ¾ x 19 ½ x 25 inches so it won’t eat up too much real estate in the kitchen.

This is a dual-zone unit with the upper zone cooling between 46 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit while the lower zone has a range of 54 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

With vertical shelving incorporated, you’ll even be able to store your opened bottles so you’ll keep wastage to an absolute minimum.

The lighting inside allows you to preserve the integrity of the storage environment while still keeping an eye on your collection. This is further enhanced by the reinforced glass door with completely airtight seals.

Thermoelectric cooling slashes both noise and vibration levels substantially.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective storage solution from a brand you can rely on, NutriChef’s 12-bottle cooler is well worth a place on your shortlist.

Things We Like

  • Super-quiet cooling system
  • Keep all the cool air inside with interior lighting and an airtight environment
  • Freestanding design gives you flexibility over placement

Things We Dislike

  • Reasonably pricey although still solid value

11. Homelabs 18-Bottle Wine Cooler

hOmelabs-18-Bottle-Wine-Cooler-Free-Standing-Single-Zone-Fridge

Homelabs serves up a very affordable wine cooler capable of accommodating a full 18 standard bottles of wine.

The polished chrome shelving slips neatly out allowing you simplified access at all times.

The design is sleek yet understated and the cooler is meant to stand either on the counter if you’ve got plenty of space or, more likely, down on the floor.

Although capacity is impressive, this is only a single-zone cooler so think twice if you want to store both red and white in the same fridge. You’ll enjoy a temperature band of 54 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit to keep your wine at its very best.

A few users have reported the unit not measuring up as disclosed in the listing. We’d recommend giving this cooler a swerve if you’ve got a particularly tight space lined up.

For an inexpensive and attractive cooler that’s got ample room for a reasonable wine collection, this Homelabs is a solid choice.

Things We Like

  • Shelves slide out to streamline access
  • Store 18 regular bottles of wine so ideal for a modest collection
  • Freestanding unit with wheels for improved mobility

Things We Dislike

  • A couple of users complained that measurements were inaccurate

12. The Best Large Capacity Wine Cooler: EdgeStar 332-Bottle Side-by-Side Wine Cellar

Edgestar-332-Bottle-Built-In-Side-by-Side-Wine-Cellar

What do you do if your wine collection is starting to outgrow a smaller cooler? The obvious answer is this nifty side-by-side arrangement comprised of a pair of EdgeStar 166-bottle units.

Each unit arrives with the doors right-hinged. Since you’re getting a pair of the same coolers, each one functions as a single zone. If you want to segregate your wine, you’ll need to do it by unit rather than within each one.

The stainless steel housing offset with wooden trim makes for a striking contemporary aesthetic. The look will work just as well in a traditional kitchen as a modernist condo so it’s highly versatile.

With enough space to house 332 bottles and keep them at the optimum temperature and humidity level for as long as you like, the EdgeStar is tailor-made if you’ve got a collection-in-progress.

While it’s certainly not cheap, the EdgeStar is hands-down the best large capacity wine cooler on the market.

Things We Like

  • Exceptional capacity ideal for a growing collection
  • Broad band of temperatures from 40 through 65 degrees Fahrenheit so perfect for all types of wine
  • Slide-out shelving trimmed with wood for a subtle finish

Things We Dislike

  • Eye-wateringly expensive

13. EdgeStar 36-Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler

EdgeStar-CWR362FD-24-Inch-Wide-36-Bottle-Built-In-Wine-Cooler-with-Dual-Cooling-Zones

Sticking with EdgeStar but scaling things right down in terms of capacity, this 36-bottle cooler is not cheap but packs a remarkable punch.

The manufacturer points out front and center that you’ll only achieve the claimed capacity with regular bottles. Throw in some champagne bottles and you’ll find you don’t have quite the room.

In terms of placement, you can leave this cooler freestanding or build it in as you prefer. It’s nice to have this flexibility.

10 full-depth and 2 partial-depth shelves slide out so you won’t be contorting yourself to drag out a nice bottle for dinner.

The only meaningful downside of this fridge is the compressor-based system that generates a reasonable amount of hum. You should factor this into the equation before committing to purchase.

In all other respects, though, the EdgeStar delivers in fine style and is built to stay the distance.

Things We Like

  • Eye-catching design but not a case of form over function
  • Dual-zone cooler giving you increased versatility with storage
  • Carbon filter included

Things We Dislike

  • Compressor-based cooling kicks out a fair amount of noise

14. Kalamera 66-Bottle Dual-Zone Built-In Wine Cooler

Kalamera-30''-Wine-Cooler-66-Bottle-Dual-Zone-Built-in-and-Freestanding

Back to Kalamera again with this 66-bottle cooler coming with dual temperature zones.

Measuring up at 30 ½ x 34 x 22 inches, you won’t need to much kitchen real estate to accommodate this generous cooler. Despite the slimline dimensions, you’ll get space to store 66 of your favorite bottles across the 14 wooden shelves. Stored on their sides with ample room to circulate, you’ll keep all that precious wine at its very best.

A nice touch on this cooler is the audible and visible alarm if you leave the door opened and the cooling environment compromised.

Compressor cooling is less than ideal and you’ll need to prepare yourself for a little noise. This is one area where thermoelectric cooling systems win hands-down.

Glass French doors open in the middle to reveal each side of this dual-zone unit. Contrasting with the expanse of glass is rugged stainless steel. This wine cooler looks fantastic and delivers fully without costing the earth.

Things We Like

  • Enough space for a mid-sized collection of regular bottles
  • Door alarm and LED light combine to ensure you never leave the fridge door open by mistake again
  • Compact footprint despite substantial capacity

Things We Dislike

  • Customer service gets a bad rep

15. Allavino Wine Refrigerator

Allavino-VSWR172-2BWRN-Wine-Refrigerator

This Allavino wine fridge has enough capacity to house a growing home collection. This cooler also works well in commercial setting and you can expect a price tag to match.

What do you get for your money, then?

The dimensions of this cooler are 71 ½ x 23 ½ x 7 inches so you’ll get the room for 172 bottles of wine without taking up too much space in the kitchen.

Choose from the door either right or left-hinged to suit. You can also opt for a straight or curved handle so you can tweak this cooler to suit the surroundings. You can also decide to leave this fridge freestanding or to build it in.

Dual zone cooling allows you to keep all your wine at its best from Chardonnay to Bordeaux.

Fan-forced cooling and technology baked in means you’ll get a wine cooler that kicks out very little by the way of noise or vibration.

While you’ll need to dig a little deeper for this cooler, you’ll be rewarded with a rock solid cooler made to stay the distance.

Things We Like

  • Enough room for 172 standard sized wine bottles
  • Slim and tall design saves space
  • Slatted wooden shelving built to maximize space without sacrificing rigidity

Things We Dislike

  • Extremely pricey so not for bargain hunters

16. Koldfront 18-Bottle Freestanding Dual-Zone Wine Cooler

Koldfront-TWR187ESS-18-Bottle-Free-Standing-Dual-Zone-Wine-Cooler

If you’re looking for a small freestanding wine cooler that still gives you dual-zone functionality, Koldfront comes up trumps with this eye-catching little unit. For larger coolers, check out the remainder of the Koldfront range.

Despite the size, you can store your red and white wines at the precise temperatures they need to stay at their best for longer. Shelving is removable giving you great versatility.

Thermoelectric cooling gives you a quiet and almost vibration-free storage experience.

If you’ve got inquisitive kids in the house, you’ll appreciate the safety lock giving you all the security you need.

Inside, you’ll get muted LED lights which are bright enough to illuminate your collection without intruding on the atmosphere in your room.

As an added kicker, this cooler comes in at a remarkably keen price-point so what are you waiting for?

Things We Like

  • Sleek and stripped-down design ideal for minimalist homes
  • Dual-zone unit catering for both red and white wine
  • Safety lock is a nice touch from Koldfront

Things We Dislike

  • Some gripes from customers about shelving

17. Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Wine Refrigerator

Wine-Enthusiast-Silent-18-Bottle-Wine-Refrigerator-Freestanding-Slimline-Upright-Bottle-Storage-Wine-Cooler

If you’re looking for a cheap yet effective wine cooler, this 18-bottle unit from Wine Enthusiast comes with a great deal to recommend it.

Although you’ll only get an 18-bottle capacity, the shelves are designed to pull out completely. You can reconfigure the wire shelving so that you’ve got the precise storage set-up that suits.

The dual-zone cooling allows you to segregate your wine and store it according to what works best.

The thermoelectric system is extremely energy-efficient and also kicks out no damaging CFCs. As a further benefit, you’ll get a cooler that runs quietly and doesn’t vibrate too much either.

Design-wise, this tall and thin cooler looks commanding. It would slot in to both traditional and minimalist homes giving you the ability to keep a growing wine collection at precisely the right temperature.

Wine Enthusiast has been in the business for decades and that expertise shines through with this cooler. You’ll get everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Things We Like

  • 7 pull-out shelves giving you more versatility with larger bottles
  • Dual-zone cooler for white and red
  • Tall, slim design saving you space in the kitchen

Things We Dislike

  • Some reports of problems developing within the first year

18. EdgeStar 18-Bottle Wine Cooler

EdgeStar-18-Bottle-Built-In-Wine-Cooler

Next up we’ve got another EdgeStar cooler, this time an 18-bottle model designed to be built into your kitchen.

Tall and slim to use as little space in the kitchen as possible, this built-in model can slide under the counter with ease.

This is a single-zone cooler so make sure you don’t plan to keep both red and white – not unless you want to invest in a pair of coolers!

Build quality is rugged. The reversible doors allow you to have it hinged whichever side best suits. These doors are made from double-paned glass tempered for maximum protection.

5 full-sized shelves along with a single partial shelf all slide out. You’ll be able to move things around to accommodate oversized bottles, although that will cause you to dip out on a little capacity.

If you’ve been hunting for an affordable, efficient and capable wine cooler ideal for a modest collection of white or red wine, EdgeStar delivers as always.

Things We Like

  • Contrast between matte black and stainless steel make a striking statement
  • Reversible door maximizes your placement options
  • Tempered glass keeps all the cooling inside where it belongs

Things We Dislike

  • Only a single-zone storage unit

19. NewAir 18-Bottle Wine Cooler

NewAir-Wine-Cooler-and-Refrigerator,-18-Bottle-Freestanding-Wine-Chiller-Fridge

An 18-bottle wine cooler gives you ample space for a modest collection you’d like on hand for easy access.

This classic freestanding chiller from NewAir gives you a temperature range of 54 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. With 5 shelves, you’ll get just a single zone with this fridge. If you need to store both red and white wine, we’d strongly suggest you look at one of the dual-zone models instead. That way, you’ll ensure all types of wine can be cooled to just the right temperature.

You can keep an eye on your bottles without opening the door thanks to the internal blue LEDs. This makes a nice addition to your mood lighting, too. It’s subtle and not too intrusive.

All 5 chrome-plated shelves slide out so you can access your collection with ease.

For a cheap yet capable cooler from a reputable brand, give this 18-bottle model a shot.

Things We Like

  • Eco-friendly cooling with no contaminants kicked out
  • Makes a subtle yet commanding statement on the design front
  • Intuitive push-button controls a pleasure to use

Things We Dislike

  • Some complaints about more noise developing over time

20. Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle Wine Cooler

Wine-Enthusiast-Silent-32-Bottle-Wine-Refrigerator-Freestanding-Touchscreen-Dual-Zone-Wine-Cooler

Last but certainly not least, this lean but high-capacity cooler gives you space for a 32-bottle collection.

With a pair of zones, you’ll be able to keep your white wine, champagne and red all at the temperature required for maximum lifespan and optimum quality.

You can tweak the temperature using the sleek touchscreen and you’ll see the precise temperature of each zone subtly but clearly displayed in blue.

7 shelves all slide out when you fancy grabbing a bottle. You won’t need to keep opening the door to check your bottles either since the interior is illuminated.

The thermoelectric system reduces noise and vibration.

For a no-nonsense storage unit perfect for mid-sized collections, give this Wine Enthusiast beauty a road test.

Things We Like

  • Digital touchscreen is a cinch to navigate
  • Dual-zone storage for your complete flexibility
  • Freestanding model with wheels for ease of movement

Things We Dislike

  • You can’t build this unit in

OK…

With our huge guide to the best wine coolers put to bed, there’s no excuse at all not to have a shortlist of suitable models.

We’ll round out today by highlighting what you should keep your eye out for on the buying trail.


II. Wine Cooler Buyer’s Guide

wine-cooler-buyer's-guide

You might imagine that buying a wine cooler is a remarkably simple purchasing decision.

In some ways, that’s right. There isn’t all that much to buying the right model for you. Just factor the above elements into your research and you should get the best fit fuss-free…

  • Placement
  • Capacity
  • Single-Zone or Dual-Zone?
  • Noise
  • Shelf Configuration
  • Energy Costs
  • Finish and Detailing

Placement

Location counts when you’re thinking about buying a wine cooler.

While a compressor wine cooler is highly efficient, you’ll need to ensure there’s adequate ventilation so hot air can escape from the coils.

A freestanding wine cooler can be placed on the floor or the countertop. The coils are housed at the back of the unit for a leaner look. You’ll need to make sure there’s several inches of clearance all around your cooler so make sure you’ve got the set-up to accommodate if you’re considering a freestanding model.

A built-in wine cooler gives you more flexibility. You’ll be able to slot it in between cabinets and also use it in a freestanding capacity if that suits.

Make sure of placement and dimensions before you go any further to avoid any unpleasant surprises later down the track.

Next, you should ask yourself how many bottles you want to store…

Capacity

We’ve clearly listed out the capacity in terms of bottles stored for each of the coolers we review today. That way, you can flick through and see the key information you need at a glance.

If you’re looking to build a collection, we’d suggest erring on the side of caution and inflating your estimated need by 50%. It’s highly likely you’ll be buying more wine than you consume so it’s amazing how quickly you run out of space.

By future-proofing your storage, you’ll effectively save yourself money. After all, if you rush out without proper due diligence and buy yourself a 6-bottle unit only to find out it’s far too small, you’ll only end up spending more money on another unit. Get capacity right first time round.

Note: Many manufacturers are somewhat creative when it comes to describing capacity. Since this is such a key selling point with coolers, capacity is often under conditions where all shelves have been removed. Don’t be surprised if you fail to hit the intended capacity. Again, we’d urge you to buy a larger cooler than you first think you might need.

So far, so good. How about the type of wine you’ll be storing? This has an impact on what kind of wine cooler makes the best fit.

Single-Zone or Dual-Zone?

Different drinks call for storage at different temperatures:

  • Red wine: 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit
  • White wine: 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Champagne: 41 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit

If you only intend to store one type of wine and you’re absolutely confident those needs will not change, it’s possible a single-zone wine cooler might suffice. We stress here, you should be certain you’re not likely to branch out into storing different wine or you might regret this decision.

For collectors of mixed drinks, a dual-zone wine cooler is your best bet. With independent climates, you’ll be able to keep everything you own at exactly the right temperature whether you’re interested in long-term or short-term storage.

If you’re looking for economy and the most compact form factor, you can get away with a single-zone unit. For long-term storage, both red and white wines can be kept at a standard 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the element of your buying decision to get right and you shouldn’t automatically buy a dual-zone unit if it’s not the right solution for you.

Noise

Some wine coolers create a fair amount of noise so what counts here is where you plan to position your wine fridge.

If the cooler is set down in the basement, maybe you’re not at all concerned about the noise factor.

For anyone with a wine cooler in the kitchen or close to the home theater, tolerance to noise is likely to be much lower.

The amount of sound a wine cooler kicks out is due to the type of cooling system.

A standard compressor system used in most refrigerators gives off a degree of hum and noise. Large compressors can be particularly loud.

Thermoelectric systems – most of the coolers above are of this type - run completely silent. They don’t produce any chemicals and they give off no vibration either. This is great for the environment and also for the quality of the wine you’re storing.

Shelf Configuration

Not all coolers are designed with shelves optimized for wine which is why it’s important to buy a dedicate wine fridge.

The object is for wine to be stored on its side so the cork remains in contact with the wine and stays moist. The cork will maintain the plumpness required to keep bacteria out for years, perfect for longer-term storage.

Look, too, for shelving you can remove. This makes accessing your wine easier and also allows you to benefit from multiple storage configurations.

Energy Costs

A wine cooler using a thermoelectric system will use less electricity than one with a compressor.

Finish and Detailing

Design might not be your primary reason for buying a wine cooler but there’s no doubt it plays some part in your decision.

If you’re putting the cooler down in the basement or hidden away somewhere else, you probably don’t care much what it looks like. If, on the other hand, it’s built into the kitchen, you’ll likely place more priority on the design.

OK…

We’ll tail off for today with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about wine coolers…


III. Wine Cooler FAQs

wine-fridge-faqs

1) Why can’t I store my wine in the fridge?

You can, it’s just not advisable. Firstly, the wine will be too cold. The normal temperature for food storage is 38 degrees Fahrenheit while wine coolers are set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels are dry enough that the cork will shrink so breaking the seal. The oversized compressor in most fridges will also create vibration. This agitates the sediment in the wine and disturbs the flavor. Beyond all this, the constantly opening and closing fridge door will expose your wine to fluctuations in temperature and light leading to a wine that will rapidly degrade.

2) Do I need a single-zone cooler or a dual-zone cooler?

For short-term storage of both red and white wine, a dual-zone cooler makes sense. If you have your eye on longer-term storage, you should use a single-zone unit so that all wine can be kept at 55 degrees Fahrenheit in order to reach full maturity.

3) What’s the point of the interior LED lights?

With wine, you want to avoid exposing it to changes in temperature. The more you open and close the door, the more this happens. With LED lighting, you’ll use very little energy in exchange for being able to look through your collection without needing to open the door.

4) How long can I store wines for?

As a rule, white wines are drinking wines while red wines are aging wines. How long it takes for red wine to mature depends on a range of factors including the type of wine, its vintage, its quality and complexity. During the aging process, tannins come out allowing the other characteristics of the wine to develop. Red wines can be stored for decades or even centuries due to the elevated tannin content. So, for all intents and purposes, you should be able to store red wine for just about as long as you fancy.

5) Why do I need to keep bottles laid on their side?

This placement ensures that the cork remains in contact with the liquid. When stored upright, the cork can easily dry out. A moist cork will stay swollen and stop any air from reaching and contaminating the wine. Since this placement in not practical in most regular fridges, a wine cooler steps in to fill the gap.

6) How about screw top bottles, do I still need to store these on their side?

No. Since there’s no cork, you won’t benefit from storing screw top bottles horizontally. Store these bottles vertically instead. This will free up precious space for those bottles that genuinely need horizontal storage. Also, if you want your wine ready-to-drink, there’s no waiting time involved with screw-top bottles. A corked bottle stored horizontally needs inverting at least 8 hours and ideally 24 hours before corking. A screw-top bottle will be ready to drink.

7) How do I know if my wine has been poorly stored?

Look at it and see where the wine sits in the bottle. A properly stored wine when standing will fill to halfway between the shoulder and the top of the bottle. If the wine is “low in the shoulder” it means it’s suffered from oxidation and evaporation through the cork. A bulging cork is a sign of premature aging. If you notice an excess of sediment, that also indicates a probability your wine has been improperly stored.

8) Do I need to turn my wine occasionally when it’s being stored in the long-term?

You don’t, no. If the environment you’re storing your wine in is regulated like with a wine cooler and the shelving is designed specifically for wine, you’ll gain nothing by turning your wine. Indeed, you’ll lose out since you’ll be needlessly exposing the wine to a change in temperature for no end gain. Leave it alone and be patient!

9) Which is best, a freestanding wine cooler or a built-in unit?

This one comes down entirely to personal preference. This will be dictated by the layout of your kitchen and where you plan to place your cooler. If you opt for a freestanding model, make sure you’ve got enough space around it for proper airflow. If you decide on a built-in cooler, you need to be certain before committing to purchase that you’ve got the space to accommodate it.

10) Can I get a cheap wine cooler?

Absolutely. Many of the coolers we review today come at a very reasonable price-point. As you step things up in capacity, you’ll need to dig a little deeper but you’d expect that. There’s certainly no need to pay a fortune for a wine fridge, though.


IV. Conclusion

Well, you should have a solid idea by now of the best wine fridges wine coolers on the market.

We chose to serve you up with as many as 20 coolers since there’s quite a variety in terms of pricing and capacity so we wanted to make sure there was something for everyone.

Pay attention to our wine cooler buying guide and you should have no trouble at all finding a suitable cooler at a price that’s right.

Bookmark the Winewoo for all your home and garden needs. We pride ourselves in bringing you a frank and honest lowdown on all the latest products. We won’t shy away from drawing your attention to the flaws in a product so you can buy with your eyes wide open. Follow us on social media, too, and come back soon! We’ve got a busy holiday season lined up for you!

The Best Wine Coolers and Fridges