You’ve arrived here because, like me, you’ve been looking for the best wine cooler trying to decide which one is right for you, and there’s a lot of confusing options out there!
After gathering lots of information over time, I have made it my job to let you know, and give you honest advice about the various different styles, models and sizes of wine coolers available, and what features they have to offer to suit your needs.
Choosing the best wine cooler that makes sense for you is very much based on the way you store and enjoy your wine, so below are some questions that will help steer you in the right direction.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will save a lot of time because when you look at the wine cooler reviews I have listed on this site, you will be able to simply skip over the ones that do not suit what it is you are looking for:
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The best wine coolers come in three styles:
• Countertop size (small wine cooler)
• Undercounter size (medium wine cooler)
• Full-size (large wine cooler)
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.
For the more serious collectors who are looking to store wine for months or even years, and are not building a wine cellar, a full-size large wine cooler is the best way to go. They are similar to a typical home kitchen fridge, about the same height and width, and hold over 100 bottles… sounds like a good amount of wine to have in the home to me!
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.
“Do you drink red or white wine – or both?” 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.
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.
Thermoelectrical models tend to be quieter than compressors. Compressors are usually noisier as a rule. An electric wine chiller tends to be more expensive, but is usually quieter – but the extra expense can be worth the investment.
Quieter wine coolers also produce less vibration. Vibrations and noise can affect the quality of wine over time as they prevent the wine from maturing properly by unsettling the sediments in the bottle.
Ok… now you have answers to these questions:
• how many bottles you would like to keep;
• if you need a single or dual cooling zone unit;
• whether you have the space for a countertop, undercounter or full-size unit;
• if you would like a freestanding or built-in unit;
• and you know what your budget is;
you can now look at the best rated wine coolers and pay attention to additional features, such as:
• stainless steel and wood shelves – for that modern look;
• digital temperature controls – that can be easily adjusted from outside of the unit without letting in warm air;
• sliding shelves – so you can store your bottles neatly and easily, and find the bottle you are looking for when enjoyment time arrives;
• removable shelves – so that you can store larger bottles such as Champagne and Pinot Noir alongside your typical sized wine bottles;
• door locks – in case you have children around and/or want to prevent unwanted access to your collection;
• interior LED lights – for that classy look and feel. Some lights can differ in color for that extra special touch!
To sum things up, I have listed below three examples of popular selling models in the three basic styles; countertop, undercounter and full-size so that you can compare the options and pricing:
This is a great looking 6 bottle wine cooler and has 3 pullout shelves, which allows you to store and view a decent selection of wine.
It has interior LED lighting for that cool, modern look, and is a thermoelectric rapid wine chiller, so nice and quiet. It is also energy efficient so uses minimal power.
You can adjust the temperature from 46-66 degrees Fahrenheit, which offers ideal settings to suit most types of wine.
What’s not so cool?
Despite having sliding shelves they are not so easy to get out. The shelves are also suited for holding standard size bottles. It will hold larger bottles but this, of course, will limit your capacity if needed.
For one of the cheap wine coolers, this is very nice. It’s a quiet, small, entry-level countertop model with many other good wine cooler reviews. It’s attractive to the eyes, fits well and looks great in small spaces. It’s economical and doesn’t cost much in power to run either. This unit is well worth considering if you like to keep a few bottles at a time.
|Small||16 Inches||10 1/2 Inches||19 5/8 Inches|
This is a single cooling zone wine cooler with electronic touchpad controls, and can hold up to 28 bottles of wine.
It’s a freestanding, undercounter unit so gives you the ability to move it around to different locations and spaces.
It features 6 scallop shaped chrome racks that pull out, so you can easily find the bottle you are looking for.
With a vibration-free thermoelectric cooling system, it is economical to run and nice and quiet too!
It has digital temperature readouts, ranging from 54-66 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can easily manage the internal temperature for red or white wines without having to continually open the door and let in air.
It’s nice and stylish in stainless steel with a black cabinet, and has a double-paned glass door and interior lighting so looks great and fits perfectly in the home.
What’s not so cool?
You have to screw on the door handle. It is a single cooling zone unit, so if you are VERY specific about keeping red and whites at their different serving temperatures, then a dual cooling wine fridge would be better for you. And, although it is a very quiet unit, you will hear a low buzzing of the fan intermittently. This wouldn’t put me off purchasing this great unit though.
This is one of the best wine refrigerators for its price. It works well, looks great and is very quiet.
Tip: If your bottle doesn’t seem to fit, just pull out the shelves, raise and lower them, and turn them upside down to place or accommodate larger bottles. There is also a small rectangle at the back of the fridge at the top in the middle. It’s best to put your regular sized wine bottles in this area.
It keeps a consistent temperature and will also fit in a smaller opening, as most undercounter wine coolers are 34 inches high.
This is a top rated wine cooler, and in my opinion wood shelves are the only feature missing that would make this unit perfectly cool!
|Medium||29.25 Inches||18.13 Inches||20.88 Inches|
Check HERE for the latest price and any current discounts on this cooler
This full-size wine cooler by Avanti, one of the more popular wine cooler brands, has built-in shelving and can store up to 149 wine bottles. It is freestanding in stainless steel with a black cabinet, built-in interior fan, dual cooling zone design, and is ideal for storing and chilling wine.
It has great interior lighting, which can be turned on or off at the touch of a button, for easy display and for viewing labels. The stainless steel door is also reversible, which can suit different room layouts, and it features a nice towel bar handle too.
It has very nice wooden shelves (I am a big fan of wooden shelves) for easily sliding in and out and locating the required bottle. You can store 74 bottles in the upper part and 75 bottles in the lower part of the unit.
It has a nice soft-touch electronic control and display panel so that you can monitor the temperatures in both the lower and upper storage areas. Red and white wines can be stored at optimum temperatures in this same unit (ranging from 40-65 degrees Fahrenheit).
Large, double paned tempered glass doors make external viewing easy, and the security lock is perfect if you have children in the home.
What’s not so cool?
To reach the capacity of 149 bottles you have to use all standard size wines. You can fit larger bottles, but they will decrease the total number of bottles this unit can hold. Some of the bigger Chardonnay bottles are a tight fit as well.
This full-size wine cooler is quiet and perfect for your very own wine collection at home, or even at your bar, wine shop or restaurant.
You can store all of your fine wines, red, white or sparkling, and will be very satisfied with the functionality and appearance of this large unit. It also does a very good job of keeping the two storage areas at their specified temperatures.
|Large||71 1/8 Inches||23 1/2 Inches||26 7/8 Inches|