Top 10 Best Wine Fridges Reviewed In 2017
If you frequently enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, drink a glass to unwind after a long, hard day at work, or drink red wine for the health benefits, you know there are a few steps you must take before enjoying the perfect glass of wine. Selecting the right wine for your meal that suits your tastes is the first step, as well as having wine glasses that allow you to hold the stem so as not to heat up the wine while drinking it. Equally as important, which many people don’t consider, is how the wine is stored.
Buying a bottle and just putting it in the fridge is commonplace, but did you know that wine should be served at a higher temperature than other beverages? Instead of cranking up your kitchen fridge and putting your other foods and beverages at risk of spoiling, those who enjoy a great glass of wine should invest in a wine refrigerator.
№1 – Firebird New Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
This is a 28-bottle wine cooler that comes with an electric touchpad for precise temperature control with LED display. The adjustable temperature control allows you to create the perfect environment for your wine while the thermoelectric fan cooling system helps reduce vibration and noise.
№2 – Culinair AW162S Thermoelectric 16-Bottle Wine Cooler
This is a 16-bottle wine cooler that is built with state of the art technology that delivers quiet and vibration free operation. The thermoelectric refrigeration technology is a welcome addition that eliminates the need for an internal compressor. It can reduce the internal temperature by up to 20-degrees below ambient temperature. You will certainly love the adjustable shelves and glass door as it displays the best bottles of wine. The adjustable feet combine with the flush back design to ensure that vibrations don’t disturb the bottle sediment.
№3 – AKDY 21 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler
This is a dual zone, freestanding wine cooler that features an electronic touchpad for precise temperature control. There is also an LED display for clear visibility. The adjustable temperature control enables one to create the perfect environment for your wine. Another notable feature is the thermoelectric fan cooling system that helps minimize vibration and noise. The wine cooler has low energy consumption as well as efficient advanced heat dissipation, meaning that you don’t have to worry about high energy bills. It comes with a one year warranty on parts.
№4 – Whynter 20 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
This wine cooler offers up to twenty bottles of wine storage capacity with thermoelectric cooling for minimal vibrations. It is a countertop unit that features a tinted glass door and allows for compact style wine preservation. While the tinted glass door may be seen as a disadvantage by some, it actually helps protect your wine from exposure to UV rays. It has a space saving design with a recess handle as well as five removable chrome shelves.
№5 – Kalamera 15” Wine Refrigerator
If you are looking for a freestanding wine cooler unit, the Kalamera’s 30-bottle wine cooler will prove worth your money. It comes with a single zone system that keeps your wine perfectly chilled. The advanced technology and low noise compressor keeps the wine sediments undisturbed. The temperature memory function is a welcome feature that sets the temperature in the cooler after it’s back from a power blackout. The two-layer tempered glass door with the stainless steel frame gives the unit an elegant look.
№6 – NewAir AW-181E 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
The NewAir AW-181E wine cooler is beloved for several reasons. For starters, it is available in three other capacities. It uses a compressor-free cooling system that operates quietly. The digital thermostat helps chill the wine to the perfect temperature while the double paneled glass door provides added insulation. The interior LED illumination is attractive and gentle. The unit has an adjustable temperature range of 54-66 degrees Fahrenheit. It can store up to 18 bottles in one compact unit and the stainless steel door provides added durability. Five removable and sliding racks allow you to utilize the core of this unit anyhow you want.
№7 – Avanti 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Counter Top Wine Cooler
It stores up to twelve bottles of wine and features an innovative design that allows the standing or vertical storage of four bottles. It operates quietly and produces minimal vibrations, thus ensuring that the sediment of the bottle isn’t disturbed. The curved glass door provides a clear view of the wine and gives the unit a modern, stylish look. The look is complimented by platinum finished accents.
№8 – Haier HVTEC16DABS 16 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler
This wine refrigerator can hold up to 16 bottles and comes with a soft interior light. It is perfect for both red and white wine. The unit has a curved double pane insulated glass door and a recessed handle. The dual touch screen controls combined with the two LED displays make it easy for you to create an environment that’s perfect for the wine. The unit has eight full width chrome storage racks.
№9 – Danby 120 Can Beverage Center
This beverage center has a capacity of 3.3 cu. ft., which is equivalent to 120 cans. The mechanical thermostat offers a temperature range of 43F to 57F. The unit also comes with three black wire shelves as well as interior LED lighting that illuminates the compartment when you open the door. Another feature is the recessed side mount door handle and an integrated lock with key. Other features included a tempered glass door with stainless steel trim and black body.
№10 – Igloo 6-Bottle Wine Cooler
This is a six bottle wine cooler that is perfect for small spaces. It has a brand new stylish finish and features a white interior light that provides a good view of your wine. The unit has a two layer glass door design and adjustable temperature controls allow you to create the perfect environment for the wine. Also notable is that this cooler is available in other capacities i.e. 4-bottle, 8-bottle, 12-bottle, 28-bottle and 30-bottle.
Factors to Pay Attention to Before Purchasing a Wine Fridge
Selecting a wine cooler that best suits your needs and budget requires some research due to the many brands and models available.
Take your time to consider and compare the most important features and first and foremost make sure you know what type of wine storage unit you need regarding the number of zones, bottle capacity and available space in your home.
In most cases a high quality and well-built wine refrigerator cooler is a better investment in the long term though the price might look a bit steep at first.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Wine Cooler or Wine Refrigerator
Why should you buy a wine cooler when you already have a fridge?
A wine cooler or refrigerator maintains constant temperature for cooling and/or chilling wines so that you have ready-to-serve wine at hand all the time.
Wine refrigerators are meant for short term storage of wines for maximum 1 year.
Our page about Types of Wine Cooler Refrigerators gives you an overview of different wine coolers & refrigerators regarding cooling method, installation (freestanding or built-in) etc.
Search and compare prices of the most popular wine cooler refrigerators. learn about our Wine Cooler Review & Rating System.
Capacity of a Wine Cooler Refrigerator
Wine coolers are available in many sizes from small wine cooler refrigerators storing 6-20 bottles of wine to large models capable of holding 100-200 or more bottles.
Collectors owning or planning to own a few hundred bottles of wine or more might consider buying a capacious wine cabinet or wine room.
Although the shipping cost of a capacious wine cabinet is slightly higher but if you compare the total cost of two smaller wine fridges the larger unit will turn out to be the better investment.
For those who drink wine only occasionally a single bottle wine chiller or a double-bottle wine cooler will be practical.
Note that for the built-in feature you have to look for a zero-clearance unit specially designed for built-in purposes. These wine coolers have front venting meaning that the hot air is forced out in the front of the appliance instead of the back so that you can install the fridge flat against the wall.
For example the U-line Echelon Series wine refrigerators are zero-clearance units perfect for under the counter installment. See other undercounter home wine coolers.
Some wine fridge models are for standalone use only while some manufacturers offer models that can be installed both as built-in and as freestanding.
Price of Wine Coolers
Perhaps the second most important factor to take into account is that how much you can afford to buy a wine cooler.
On the other hand you might not want to spend an exorbitant amount on a high-end wine cooler refrigerator when you can find a good one with features that suit your wine storage needs at a more reasonable price.
Just to give you a rough guidance on how much wine coolers cost, consider paying for
When comparing wine cooler prices use price per bottle (total price divided by wine bottle capacity) to get a more realistic value of the appliance.
Just as most furniture and appliances, wine refrigerators come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations. To pick out the best type of wine refrigerator that will be able to fit seamlessly into your space and serve you very well, try considering the location where you plan to place your wine refrigerator.
You can either place your wine refrigerator in any living space such as your dining area, kitchen, living room, and entertainment room; or in any utility space such as in a basement or in your garage.
If you do decide to place it in your living space, its treatment and expectations will be quite similar to that of your other indoor appliances or furniture. That being noted, you would want a wine refrigerator that is built to visually impress.
A visually appealing refrigerator with vintages lined up inside is sure to be a conversation starter for any gathering at your place. That being said, a living space wine refrigerator should also be no louder than a whisper. Thermoelectric wine refrigerators are very efficient at this. These types of wine coolers are very reliable and are usually eco-friendly.
On the contrary, if you plan on sending your wine refrigerator down to the basement or stashing it away in your garage, you might want one with a strong and reliable compressor, since these types are more reliable in environments that are prone to sudden fluctuations in temperature.
This type of wine fridge is usually more stable and more powerful, and a bit louder –but how it sounds in your garage or in your basement is less likely to be a concern compared to what you want to achieve when it comes to wine storage.
And since you are in need of a wine refrigerator buying guide for purposes of wine storage, it is also important to decide if you want to store it as a built-in appliance or a free-standing device that you can move around as needed. Choosing either one will depend greatly on your preferences.
If you want a seamless blend of furniture-to-appliance in your home you may opt for a built-in wine cooling system; whereas if you need more freedom when it comes to dimensions, a free-standing wine refrigerator comes in sizes that are small enough to be placed on a countertop or a kitchen table, or large enough to fit hundreds of bottles at once.
And speaking of bottle capacity, it is very important to decide as to how many bottles of wine you would wish to fit in it once it is in your home or establishment. There are wine coolers that can store as few as six bottles and there are those that store as much as 260.
The optimum temperatures for wine storage range somewhere between 55 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, with little to no fluctuation. Maintaining this consistent temperature throughout storage is essential to maintaining wine quality.
However, different varieties of wine may differ also when it comes to their optimum storage temperature. For example, rich reds are served best at 59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit whereas light reds are at 54 to 57 while dry whites between 46 and 57. That being said, if you like collecting different wine varieties, it would be best to purchase a dual temperature control wine refrigerator.
This type of cooler allows you to manually set individual temperatures per compartment and arrange your wines accordingly. Otherwise, if you predominantly drink just one variety of wine, a single temperature zone type of wine refrigerator will work just fine for you.
What size wine cooler should I buy?
This depends on how much wine you need to store. Knowing this first makes it much easier to narrow down your search for that perfect unit for you. Space can play a big part in your decision too.
If you only want to keep a few bottles of chilled wine at a time (12 bottles or less), and space is limited, then a countertop wine chiller would be perfect for you. Small wine coolers generally hold from 4 to 12 bottles and take up less room. If you’re on a budget they can be the least expensive as well.
However, if you’re a bit of a casual collector, or would like to become one, and you have the room, then an undercounter unit would be just great! This is the most popular style and they tend to hold around 12-50 bottles. Most undercounter wine coolers for sale also come in both freestanding and built-in styles.
Models that keep up to 24 bottles are perfect if most of your wine will be consumed within a year, or if you want to stock up and like to have the ability to buy one or two cases when that great sale comes along.
If you want to start storing bottles for more than a year, then look at the best wine cooler reviews on this site about units that can hold up to 48 bottles.
Freestanding wine coolers are portable and generally cost less than built-in ones , but they do need clearance on all sides. Built-in units, which are usually ventilated at the front, can be placed in tighter spaces for that more fitted and finished look.
These full-size units do require more ventilation and use more power but are top of the range when it comes to cooling wine. You don’t need to have really expensive wine to be a big collector either; as long as it’s stored properly and kept at the right temperature, it will improve with age.
If you drink just red or just white wine, not both, then a single cooling zone unit would be the best wine cooler for you.
If like me, you like to dabble in both red and white wines, then a dual cooling zone unit would be the perfect one to choose from. With this type of unit, you can keep some bottles of each, and have them cooled at the ideal wine storage temperature ready to drink when needed.
With separate temperature settings, you can have your whites chilled more than your reds. But make sure the unit holds its temperature steady and does have separate digital temperature readouts, as some don’t, but are still advertised as dual cooling units and are not always up to the job.
All that said, red wine and white wine will keep well at the same temperature (around 55 degrees Fahrenheit), and, if you’re not worried about keeping the ideal serving temperature but have realized why you should not cool wine in you regular fridge, then you could keep both red and white in a single cooling unit. Single cooling zone wine coolers are also a cheaper option.
Are wine coolers noisy?
This has its own section and for good reason, as noise is the most common complaint when it comes to choosing the best wine cooler, and should not be overlooked.
Is shelving important?
According to Liebherr’s Mark Bristow, all wine should be stored horizontally to keep the cork from shrinking or cracking and allowing air to enter. Less expensive models will have fixed shelving, but top-range models boast telescopic shelves – these sit on rollers so they can be pulled right out of the fridge while remaining supported, so you can inspect your vintages more easily.
Different temperature zones
Good quality wine coolers will have adjustable temperature zones that’ll allow you to store red wine in the same cabinet as white, but in conditions perfect for each. Look out for designs with two temperature zones or more.
- Charcoal filters inside the cooler will remove odours that could spoil the taste.
- A UV-protected glass front will shield the bottles from the sun’s damaging rays.
- Anti-vibration features will stop the sediment in the wine being disturbed.
These include manual, electric and one-touch. If you want the freedom to adjust your wine to the temperature you think best, opt for manual. For a pre-set temperature range which has been deemed appropriate for the wine, go for electric. One-touch systems let you adjust the temperature within a pre-determined range.
At Wren we offer a range of wine coolers which can match every style of kitchen, from modern through to country-style. If you’re planning your kitchen but unsure of how to incorporate a wine cooler, book a free appointment with one of our friendly experts.
Single and Dual-Zone Wine Refrigerators
The review team did conclude that it makes sense to include both single and dual-zone wine refrigerators. It may be for different reasons, but both beginners and experts often prefer dual-zone models for their cellar. If you’re in the beginner category but aren’t sure what we’re talking about, a dual-zone refrigerator has two separate compartments in which different temperatures are maintained, the perfect setup for storing both reds and whites.
The Features to Look for in the Best Wine Fridges
Once we figured out what our prerequisites were, the review team had to define the features that qualified a wine refrigerator for our rankings. The review team are including coolers whether they use refrigerator-style compressors or are thermoelectric models, which make less noise but can’t get quite as cold as units with compressors. As long as a model could reach the optimal temperature for white wines of approximately 45° Groom+Style considered it worthy of consideration.
The Construction of Top Quality Wine Fridges
The review team looked, of course, at the construction details for each wine refrigerator. In this category, a key aspect of construction involves the use of materials which can properly protect wine from outside light and temperatures.
Overall stability and sturdiness factor in as well.
Groom+Style didn’t give extra points for coolers which have a greater capacity, although we naturally will mention how many bottles each models can hold. We did consider the types of shelves or restraints in the units, since they contribute to the reliability of the refrigerator.
The review team also looked at the exterior design of each model, since it’s quite likely a wine cooler will be one of the featured appliances in a dining area, great room or other prominent section of a home.
Compressor vs Thermoelectric
If you want a cooler without digging too deep into your pocket, then a compressor-type one would make the right buy. They’re also a bit louder and heavier than thermoelectric ones. But then, they’re lasting nature and overall performance are noted to be better.
Apart from the above points, these two types also vary on energy efficiency, capacity and of course their external appearance. Nevertheless, we can’t determine which type you should be making a beeline for, because they entirely depend on your own personal needs.
Built-in and Free-Standing
Free-standing coolers are free to be placed anywhere you want it to, while built-in ones are custom made and could be made to meet your standards. If you’re quite conscious about your furnishing, then we believe a built-in cooler will please you than a free-standing unit.
Humidity is used to maintain the cork moisture of your wine bottle and, in the process, help them last longer. While most coolers have a humidity control, some cheap and inexpensive models tend to come without it. So don’t forget to check for this feature in your cooler. A wine cooler is not something you’ll stow away under the bed. So a higher level of noise could turn out to be a nuisance. Most compressor-type coolers are noisy – they vibrate more. But still, there are certain brands that use high level of insulation to muffle this noise. So before you buy, if the noise level concerns you much, don’t forget to turn your attention on this region.
Most of the wine coolers on the market are not Energy Star rated. Even worse: Some models consume double the electricity of a similar unit from a different model. So both through an economical and environmental perspective,a cooler with an Energy Star rating would make an ideal buy.
Convenience of Shelves
Not all wine coolers have the same type of shelves. That’s why it’s important to identify your most convenient type, beforehand. Metal wine racks allow you to see the labels of your wine bottles easily while sliding shelves give you access to any particular bottle that’s lying in the furthest corner of your wine cooler. In the meantime, if you’ve quite a big collection of wine bottles but lack storage space, consider stacking up bottles on top of each other. To facilitate this, certain coolers come with a unique design of shelves.
Likewise, check out all types of shelves and compare them with the size and shape of your wine bottles. Then settle for the one you think would be the best.
When people start thinking about storing wine, their first thought is usually simple enough: ‘Buy a wine cabinet.’ These come in a variety of shapes, sizes and finishes and represent the simplest option for home storage. They are more than just glorified refrigerators: in addition to maintaining a steady optimal temperature, the compressors are damped or housed separately to reduce vibration, they keep high humidity, and some of the more expensive models also have heating units in case the ambient temperature drops too low.
If you are considering going down the cabinet route, some things to bear in mind: Where are you going to keep it? If it’s in the garage or a utility room then the finish isn’t crucial, but in a living area you want it to look right and operate quietly. And what sort of capacity do you want? 150 bottles might sound a lot to someone new to wine, but it really doesn’t take long to accumulate double this quantity.
At under £1,000, options are fairly limited. This sort of budget will buy you a large unit from a cheaper manufacturer, or a smaller capacity cabinet from one of the more upmarket producers.
Liebehrr makes an extensive range of affordable cabinets which have a good reputation for quality, and whose prices are attractive. The most popular unit is the WKR 4176 which has a maximum capacity of 180 Bordeaux-sized bottles and which I’ve seen for sale as cheaply as £659 on internet comparison shopping sites. Some might prefer a stainless steel finish, which comes at a premium of £200+, as opposed to the default Burgundy red. Fridge manufacturer Miele makes a similar cabinet which sells at around the same price.
While they offer excellent value, there are two potential drawbacks with the Liebherr and Miele units. Firstly, because of their depth – the same as a domestic fridge – the bottles can’t overlap neatly at the neck. As a result the capacity is reduced compared with a similar size, purpose-built wine cabinet. A second drawback is that the compressor isn’t designed for operation at an ambient temperature lower than 8ºC, so these cabinets can’t be used in an unheated garage or outbuilding.
Also in this price bracket are the Vintec cabinets, which are distributed by Vin Garde. The range includes smaller units specially designed to fit under worktops in fitted kitchens. Although they’ve only just been launched in the UK, Vin Garde reports that demand is very strong. Particularly elegant is a stainless steel fronted model, priced at £899. It fits some 50 bottles and also offers dual temperature zones. The Corner Fridge Company also sells a range of under-the-counter units, including a fully integrated model.
You might think that for this sort of money you’d be looking at more than a cabinet. Alas, you’d be wrong, though the choice expands a fair bit.
Eurocave offers a wide, high-quality range with a variety of finish options. Their dimensions are such that bottles can overlap neatly at the neck, which increases capacity. You can opt for smoked glass doors for a more elegant look – this costs a little extra – or even go for a stainless steel finish, which bumps up the price considerably. Eurocave’s main competitor is Transtherm (available from Vin Garde), whose cabinets offer similar quality and finish options for around the same price. Other cabinets in this price bracket worth considering include models by U-line and The Corner Fridge Company.
It’s worth bearing in mind that with wine cabinets, there are different combinations of shelving available, with a trade-off between capacity and convenience. The most efficient use of space is achieved by stacking bottles on top of each other in a way that makes it tricky to access those at the bottom. To avoid awkward rummaging around when sourcing that elusive bottle, store according to projected drinking windows – wines for near term consumption on one shelf, those that need another year or two on the second and so on. If you have a number of bottles of one wine you might put one on each shelf so as to follow its progress as it matures.
If space and budget permit, now’s the time to think about constructing your own cellar, using modified air conditioning units designed to operate at lower temperatures. There are a number of ways of doing this. If your DIY is up to it, you can build one yourself. You’d need to partition off a suitable space with stud walls, insulate it properly, add a vapour barrier and then put in a suitable conditioning unit. There are a number of these on the market, including the Fondis ‘Winemaster’ range (available from Vin Garde and The Corner Fridge Company, from £1,369) and a range from Eurocave (from £1,930). The classic reference work for this sort of cellar construction is Richard Gold’s How and Why to Build a Wine Cellar (Wine Appreciation Guild).
If this all seems a bit complicated, then there are companies which will do the whole installation for you. The Corner Fridge Company is one of these. Not surprisingly, managing director Irwen Martin reckons it’s a cost-effective solution: ‘My experience is that wine collecting is addictive, and whatever space you think you will need, you’ll have to double it,’ he says. Martin reckons that if you took off 1.5 metre from the back wall of your garage, this would make room for 1,000 or more bottles for a similar price per bottle as cabinet storage. (Make sure your garage is secure if you are going to store your precious collection here.) Apex manufactures, designs and installs custom-built cellar racking. Although it normally supplies this for existing cellars, the firm can also build and install cellars.
A slightly different take on the walk-in cellar comes from Vinosafe. It offers kits for assembling walk-in cellars, distributed in the UK by Vin Garde and Vinosafe. These modular cellars are pretty straightforward to assemble – ‘a 12 year old child could do it’ says Vin Garde’s Roy Wilson – and keep good temperature and humidity levels. They are 1.6 m wide and can be made to any length, holding from 680 to 4,000 bottles.
Eco Friendly Styles
A lot of the companies that make wine refrigerators are looking for ways to incorporate eco-friendly manufacturing in the building process of wine refrigerators. Everything involved in the process from how the materials are assembled to how the fridge operates is becoming environmentally friendly. There are some models of wine refrigerators that have near zero emissions and Energy Star compliant appliances can end up saving you on energy costs and reducing overall energy consumption across the United States. Some other things that help reduce power usage include keeping the fridge in a room that is already temperature controlled and also setting the internal thermostats.
What is the Temperature of the Room the Wine Fridge will be in?
Since wine refrigerators are usually kept indoors they will generally all do a good job of maintaining the desired temperature to preserve your wine to its best taste. Putting it in a garage or in an un-air conditioned room and it can burn out the compressor and cook your wine too. If you live in extremely hot climates, take proactive measures to get stronger compressors and insulation unless you have a spot that will be able to remain consistently at around 75 degrees.
If you can, find the spot you want to put a wine refrigerator and measure it BEFORE you buy one. Also be sure to measure doorways to get it to your desired spot and measure any other area that you will be utilizing to get it in. It doesn’t do any good to measure the spot where you’re intending on putting the wine cooler if you can’t get it through the doorway or down the hall.
Our own wine enthusiasts put these best built in wine cooler reviews together in order to assist the more serious wine enthusiasts to discover the perfect one for them. In doing so we discovered that the one major consideration which will ultimately lead you to the best built-in wine cooler for you is indeed the question of exactly what you’re going to do with it. Pretty much all featured built in coolers were built to deliver great performance for a considerable amount of time to come, so it comes down to where you’re going to mount your cooler and things like how often you’re going to drink your wine.
So, TOP10 of Wine Fridges:
- №1 — Firebird New Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
- №2 — Culinair AW162S Thermoelectric 16-Bottle Wine Cooler
- №3 — AKDY 21 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler
- №4 — Whynter 20 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
- №5 — Kalamera 15” Wine Refrigerator
- №6 — NewAir AW-181E 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
- №7 — Avanti 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Counter Top Wine Cooler
- №8 — Haier HVTEC16DABS 16 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler
- №9 — Danby 120 Can Beverage Center
- №10 — Igloo 6-Bottle Wine Cooler
by Don Oliver | Last Updated September 1, 2017