Wine refrigerators are built to keep your wine at just the right temperature to preserve its flavor and aroma for the ultimate tasting experience. Learn more about what a wine refrigerator can accomplish, how it helps preserve your wine collection, and how to choose the perfect one for your lifestyle in the wine guide below, whether you’re a seasoned expert or casual consumer.
What’s the difference between a wine fridge vs. a regular fridge?
Ordinary refrigerators aren’t up to the challenge of preserving your wine’s quality. A wine refrigerator is distinct from a standard fridge in three key respects: the temperature it maintains, the amount of humidity it provides, and the amount it costs.
- White, sparkling, and red wines are best preserved at cooler temperatures, hence wine coolers often feature temperature settings between 40 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (4 and 18 degrees Celsius).
- The humid air is sucked into the refrigerator and then directed out the back, leaving behind an ice-free and dry environment. However, wine freezers keep the humidity higher to keep the corks from drying and enabling air to pass through, which would otherwise destroy the wine.
- Wine refrigerators typically cost less than standard refrigerators because of their compact size and specific features.
What are wine fridge benefits?
A wine refrigerator has several uses beyond just preserving wine quality for serious collectors and occasional consumers alike. Some examples of these advantages are:
- Perhaps the most obvious advantage of having a wine refrigerator is that it provides optimal conditions for storing wines. Wine refrigerators are designed to safely store and serve wine at the right serving and storage temperatures, maintain optimal humidity levels, protect bottles from harmful vibrations, and maximize storage efficiency.
- Most wine refrigerators are small enough to tuck neatly under the counter or into a room’s corner, so you won’t need to make major adjustments to your existing floor plan to accommodate it.
- To get the most enjoyment out of one’s wine collection without breaking the bank, a wine cooler is a great choice. Costing anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000 or more, alternatives like big wine cabinets, wine cellars, or adapted wine rooms aren’t exactly cheap.
- The primary use of a wine cooler is the preservation of your most prized vintages, but it may also be used to store a wide variety of other beverages. You may make the most of your storage area by installing a dual-temperature control system to store beer and soda while you build up your collection.
Is buying a wine cooler worth it?
How do you know if a wine cooler is a good investment for your house if not everyone who drinks wine should have one? Some things to think about are as follows.
- How long you plan to store wine: If you prefer purchasing wine and consuming it quickly then there’s no need to invest in specialized storage, but a plan to age wines for several months or years calls for catered storage solutions that support your investment by maintaining wine quality.
- If you buy wine with the intention of drinking it soon after purchase, you don’t need to spend money on fancy storage; if, on the other hand, you intend to age wines for several months or years, you’ll want to find storage solutions that will protect your investment by preserving wine quality over the long haul.
- The design of your home: A wine cooler is a functional and attractive appliance, but it is important to provide it a dedicated spot in your home. You should keep your wine cooler in a well-ventilated area, out of the sun, and apart from any vibrating or hot appliances.
How do I choose a wine fridge?
When searching for the best wine fridge, it’s important to think about the appliance’s purpose, size, capacity, and features. With the help of the guidelines below, you can zero in on the wine fridge that is the perfect fit for your home and your wine storage goals.
Step 1: Select a type of wine cooler
- A freestanding wine cooler, as opposed to a built-in model, is a freestanding device that stands on its own. Be sure to position the cooler so that the hot air can exit safely through the cooler’s exhaust vent, which is typically located on the back or side of freestanding wine coolers.
- Models that are either built in or fitted under the counter space provide a seamless look by fitting in between the existing cabinets in the kitchen. These units have a front vent instead of a back one and may be set up permanently or used on their own, giving you more options for where to put them.
- These wine and beer refrigerators can be installed anywhere or used as freestanding additions to your home. The main characteristic that sets them apart is the presence of two separate areas, one of which has racks for lying-down wine bottles and the other of which is designed for storing upright beverages. Dual-zone temperature regulation allows you to set each compartment to the exact temperature your wine or beer needs to stay fresh.
Step 2: Consider wine fridge sizes and capacities
It is possible to select a wine refrigerator that is just appropriate for your collection thanks to the wide range of sizes and capacities on the market. The most frequently encountered sizes and capabilities can be grouped into three classes, and these are:
- Modest: Wine enthusiasts who only need to keep a few bottles may benefit greatly from a compact wine refrigerator. These coolers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including freestanding, built-in, and countertop versions, and typically have a width between 10 and 20 inches with a capacity between 2 and 40 bottles of wine.
- The most common width for a wine refrigerator is 24 inches, and these units may hold anything from 40 to 100 bottles of wine for wine aficionados.
- Extra-Large: Large wine refrigerators are ideal for serious wine enthusiasts because they can hold anywhere from one hundred to two hundred bottles. Despite their narrow width of 24 inches, these coolers can be built to a height of 70 inches, making them ideal for storing large quantities of items.
Step 3: Explore wine fridge features
Not all wine refrigerators are made equal, despite the fact that their shared purpose is to provide the optimal conditions for aging wine. Read on for an overview of characteristics found in most wine refrigerators, and use that knowledge to zero down on the model that best suits your needs.
- If you simply want to keep red or white wines, single-zone climate control is the way to go, while dual-zone climate control is ideal for storing a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. If you’re planning on amassing a collection of wines with widely variable temperature requirements, a climate-controlled wine cellar with separate cooling and heating zones is a must.
- There will be a wide range of sizes and shapes among the bottles in your wine collection; therefore, it is important to locate a unit with adjustable racks to accommodate all of your favorites.
- Some wine refrigerators have doors that can be switched over so that they open from the left or the right, giving you more options for where to put it in your kitchen.
- If you intend to keep your wine fridge in a very sunny spot, UV-protected glass can shield your bottles from the sun’s rays, which hasten wine’s aging process and can negatively affect the wine’s flavor, fragrance, and color.
- As you narrow down your search for the ideal wine cooler, you may give a lot of thought to the finishes available. The common design of wine chillers calls for a stainless steel exterior. For a more up-to-date look, you can choose from options like Whirlpool’s, which comes in black stainless steel.
- LED lighting makes it easy to find what you need and contributes to the wine fridge’s modern and stylish appearance.
Set Up, Maintenance, & Troubleshooting
Set Up and Installation
Before you install a cooler, here is what you should consider:
- Place your wine fridge on a level surface. Please don’t put it anywhere it might topple over, like a slope or a decline (example: a staircase).
- Don’t go out in the sun or the heat
- Don’t put it somewhere where kids or pets can readily get to it.
- Stay off the carpet. Mold and unpleasant odors might be the result of infrequent but significant water damage, such as from a spill or leak. Use a plastic sheet as a barrier between the floor and the fridge if you must set it up on carpet.
- Keep the cooler out of the reach of water and dust to prolong its life.
- Make sure to let your new fridge sit for a few hours after delivery, unplugged and with the door open. This way, your wine won’t absorb any of the aromas from the new plastic or freshly painted metal.
- Unplug the device and let it stand for at least 24 hours before plugging it in.
While installing your new wine refrigerator:
- Learn your unit’s capabilities by reading the handbook cover to cover. If you don’t use your wine fridge as the handbook specifies, you’ll have serious problems.
- If you want your unit to have adequate exhaust, you’ll need to make sure you stick to the clearance guidelines.
- Check the legs of the wine cooler and make sure it is stable.
Commercial production accounts for the entirety of the wine fridge market. Some manufacturing defects are inevitable, even when following meticulous production methods.
If the cooler does not turn on:
- Make sure the cooler is correctly plugged in.
- Verify that the power is on.
- Be sure to double-check the plug.
- Make sure the wine cooler is set up according to the instructions by consulting the manual.
If the wine refrigerator is not cooling properly:
- Make sure your wine fridge is getting the right amount of current.
- Verify that you’ve got the thermostat set to the appropriate temperature.
- Make sure there is adequate clearance around the exhaust and vents, and that they are not obstructed in any way.
- Keep the cooler door closed as much as possible to keep the temperature stable.
- When the device is not sitting flat and even on the floor, it can make a rattling noise.
- To lessen the impact of the compressor’s noise, it helps to put carpet under its feet.
- Make sure there is enough venting so the compressor doesn’t have to work as hard, which might increase the noise level and cause the machine to overheat.
- Noise can be mitigated by preventing the unit from vibrating against nearby objects, which can be achieved through proper air circulation around the device.
- Troubleshooting would be complicated by the extremely loud noise.
- The accumulation of frost can be aided by turning off the power and letting the frost dissipate. If the problem persists, it will be necessary to conduct a full diagnostic on the device.
- After unplugging the device, you can try turning it on again to see whether the problem has been resolved.
- Take cautious around frayed or bare wires. Your cooler’s electrical wire needs to be replaced right away if it has been damaged.
- If you play around with the wires or handle the device roughly, it could break.
- When plugging in the cooler, the ground prong must never be omitted. Doing so raises the possibility of experiencing an electrical shock.
- Verify that everything is securely fastened.
- Avoid getting your moist hands on the cooler at all costs.
- Verify the condition of your wine fridge on a frequent basis. If it isn’t, and you have exhausted all troubleshooting steps outlined in the manual, you should disconnect it from power.
- Be advised that there is a risk of your unit toppling over if it is not permanently installed. Not all racks should be removed simultaneously.
- If you want to prevent this from happening, you might consider anchoring a free-standing unit.
- A non-built-in, freestanding device will need ventilation, although this does not preclude it from being anchored.
- It’s important to remember to think about servicing your device at regular intervals. Avoid a buildup of dust by regularly inspecting and cleaning the exhaust locations.
- Maintenance on your unit, like that of a refrigerator, is crucial to its continued proper operation, and we do provide Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets that can alert you if the temperature is abnormal. If you’re looking for Wi-Fi, go to www.vinotemp.com.
- Be careful to look for the appropriate rating agency’s logo before making a purchase of one of our appliances, since we carry ETL, UL, and CSA ratings.
- Whatever your wine storage needs—short or long term, red, white, or champagne—we have you covered.
- If you have a wine or beverage cooler, be sure no pets or kids can get to it. A frayed electrical cord is unsafe to use and could result in fire or electric shock.
- Put in a childproof lock to prevent pets and young children from unlocking the door. There may be a lock on your storage space.
- To ensure that no child or animal gets trapped within a unit, always remove the door before throwing away an appliance. Have a qualified technician remove the coolant/refrigerant and dispose of it in an environmentally responsible manner.
- Careful handling of packaging goods is appreciated. Take out all the packing and tacks. Drop them off in the designated recycling bins.
The 8 Best Wine Fridges in 2022, According to Experts
Best Overall: Frigidaire 38-Bottle Wine Cooler
- Thermometer that actually works
- Separate areas for whites and for reds
- New collectors can easily afford it.
- Even better for beer cans.
- Some improvements to the smoothness of the wood shelves are in order.
- Humming noise
- Buzzing sound
Berrigan favors drinking wines at serving temperature, so dual-zone refrigerators are her go-to (meaning, she likes her whites to be cooler than her reds). She suggests the 38-bottle Frigidaire cooler because of its frostless design, UV-protected tinted glass pane, stainless steel frame, reversible door, LED lighting and display, and energy-efficient fan system.
As if that weren’t enough, our reviewer also found that the twin zones were great for keeping her bottles at just the right temperature (55 to 64 degrees for reds and 41 to 54 degrees for whites). When asked if the refrigerator was suitable for keeping alcoholic beverages, she said that it was. The modern design was a hit with our guinea pig, but there were a few design issues. The seven shelves didn’t glide out very smoothly, and the racks were too narrow to accommodate bottles with wide shoulders, so she could only store 26 bottles in total.
With a capacity for 38 bottles, Dimensions: 33.875 x 21.5 x 22.375 inches | 41°F to 54°F and 55°F to 64°F are the corresponding temperature bands.
Best Compact: NutriChef 15-Bottle Refrigerator
Approximately 38 bottles’ worth of space | Dimensions: 33.875x 21.5x 22.375 inches | We’re talking about a 41-54 and 55-64 degree temperature swing.
- There is room for 38 bottles. The item’s dimensions are 33.875 x 21.5 x 22.375 inches | Temperatures between 55 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit might be expected.
- Fits well in constrained quarters
- Very quiet
This is a very calm place
- Subdued silence
This compact wine refrigerator from NutriChef is ideal for individuals with limited room. Up to 15 standard wine bottles can be safely stored in its four chrome wine racks and one bottom standing rack. Its freestanding shape and dimensions of 17.7 inches in length, 13.6 inches in width, and 27.2 inches in height make it suitable for placement on either the kitchen floor or countertop.
Compressor cooling technology (with temperature adjustments between 41 and 64 degrees), an auto-lock for the stainless steel door, and a digital control panel for the temperature and internal LED lights are just some of the features that make this unit stand out. To top it all off, the wine fridge’s vibration-free mechanism not only keeps your bottles chilled but also keeps the unit running quietly.
12 bottle capacity | 25 inch width | 9.9 inch depth | 19.7 inch height | 50 to 64 degree F temperature range
Best Single-Zone: Kalamera Built-in Wine Cooler
- Highly-Efficient Cooling System
- Door locked
- Racks with movable shelves
Things We Dislike
- Using too much energy
In general, a single temperature fridge is better if your wine collection is predominantly red. “Remember that every wine, red, white, sparkling, and fortified, ages properly at the 53 to 57 degree temperature range,” writes Tilden.
Simply said, a single-temperature refrigerator will do the trick if aging rather than serving temperature is your top concern. Kalamera’s 18-bottle single-zone wine fridge is sleek in design yet highly functional, featuring vibration-reducing advanced cooling technology, smart digital control, a double-pane locking glass door, and six adjustable beech wood shelves that won’t scratch your bottles. The fridge’s minimum temperature is 40 degrees with a maximum of 66 degrees. The front vent also allows you to build it into your counters or keep it as a freestanding fixture.
Best Built-In: Wine Enthusiast Vinotheque Café
According to Tilden, “if you plan on incorporating the wine cellar into cabinets,” a wine cooler that is permanently installed is the way to go.
This type of fridge features a unique vent system: the fan is located at the front, meaning it can be installed under a countertop or table as there’s no need for extra room at the back or sides for heat to escape from the unit. The dual-zone Vinotheque Café model from Wine Enthusiast features a front vent, beechwood racks, a touch screen complete with a hygrometer and much more.
Because of its front-mounted fan, this refrigerator doesn’t need any additional clearance at the back or sides for heat to escape, making it ideal for under-counter or table installation. Wine Enthusiast’s Vinotheque Café model, with its two independent climate zones, has many convenient features, including a front vent, beechwood racks, a touch screen with a hygrometer, and more.
46-bottle capacity; 34.25-by-24-by-24-inch footprint; 41-to-54- and 54-to-68-degree operating temperature range.
Best Features: Ivation Built-In Wine Cooler
- Simple regulation of temperature inexpensive enough to be reasonable
- Adjustable shelves can be removed but not added.
Ivation is a well-known brand in the world of home appliances, and their selection of wine refrigerators is impressive. This built-in model maintains temperatures between 40 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit and includes a thick double-pane glass door to shield bottles from harmful ultraviolet radiation. It has a heavy-duty compressor and a thermally-insulated single-zone chamber that can accommodate up to 31 bottles, so you can rapidly test out recipes from wine industry leaders or a wonderful wine book that a friend or you were given.
The inside LED lighting may be dimmed to your liking and controlled digitally across many zones. This powerful cooler is also energy-efficient and whisper-quiet, thanks to its vibration-reducing technology, which keeps your bottles from settling. With its front-venting design, this built-in refrigerator may be installed wherever you like, whether that’s in a new or preexisting cabinet.
Capacity: 31 bottles | Dimensions: 34 x 15 x 21 inches | Range of 40°F to 66°F
Best Slim: EdgeStar Built-In Wine Cooler
- Perfect for tucking away a small collection of rare bottles Turnaround door
- Storage space is really restricted.
EdgeStar’s seven-bottle, single-zone wine refrigerator is compact but powerful, fitting comfortably on any counter or in a minimal amount of floor space. The refrigerator may be installed in a cabinet or beneath a counter thanks to its front vent system.
It also features an easy-to-use digital temperature display (with a minimum temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and a max of 65 degrees), six slide-out metal racks, LED lighting to showcase bottles, an integrated lock system and a reversible door to accommodate both left- and right-handed users.
Best Large: VinoTemp 141 Bottle Single Zone Freestanding/Built-In Wine Cellar
It has a reversible door that can be opened from either side, an integrated lock system, a minimum temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and a maximum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has six slide-out metal racks, LED lighting to highlight bottles, and an integrated lock system.
- Protects worth Backlit with three different color options, one of which helps to reduce bacteria and mold
Keeps its worth Backlit with three distinct color options, one of which helps to minimize bacteria and mold
- protects and keeps its worth Backlit in three colors, one of which kills bacteria and mold.
Michael Kennedy, proprietor of Vin Fraîche and Gagnon-Kennedy Vineyards, claims that a big single zone wine refrigerator is a wise investment for expanding collections.
According to Kennedy’s interview with Liquor.com, “in actuality, you can store everything at roughly 55 degrees,” thus single-zone coolers are the way to go. “Most inexpensive dual-zone coolers in my experience end up breaking far sooner than single zones—sometimes, the more parts you have, the more opportunity [there is] to break down. “Until you reach the 300-bottle mark, you should continue using a single-zone system,” he advises.
Best Splurge: EuroCave Premiere Double L Wine Cellar With Display Presentation Shelf
- Secured by alarms and locks, energy-efficient, and remarkably silent.
- needs a lot of room
There is no dearth of luxurious wine refrigerators available for a hefty outlay of cash; in fact, one might spend thousands upon thousands on a top-tier model equipped with numerous bells and whistles. But how do I even start? EuroCave’s Premiere line is a sure bet, according to Vito Palumbo, brand manager for Italian wine label Tormaresca.
“They are top quality and [are] great for those collection bottles that you want to retain in immaculate condition,” adds Palumbo of Eurocave, which is distributed only in the United States by Wine Enthusiast. If you’re looking for a wine fridge at this level, you’re probably an advanced enthusiast or collector; the EuroCave Premiere Double L Wine Cellar is a great option thanks to its many convenient features, including its modern look, increased energy efficiency, digital control panel with temperature alarm systems, ultra-low noise output, integrated locking handle, adjustable shelves, detachable light system, and more. Featuring a 356-bottle capacity, a one-year parts and labor warranty, and a five-year warranty on sealed parts, this freestanding dual-zone cooler is an excellent investment (parts only).
Refrigerator has a 356-bottle capacity, measures 71.26 by 53.5 by 28.46 inches, and can maintain temperatures between 48 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Should you put wine in the fridge?
The experts agree that 55 degrees is the sweet spot for almost all wines. So, if you have white, red, or any wine that you want to retain for the long haul, it’s best to store it in a wine fridge, which is specifically built to keep the wine at the appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Put simply, they come in useful when you need constant, extended access to a wine cellar but can’t manage to locate one.
How long does wine last in the fridge?
Unopened wine bottles can age for quite some time under the right conditions. Most wine refrigerators store bottles horizontally, so if you open a bottle and plan to save the rest for later, you should use a bottle stopper with a good seal and drink the wine as soon as possible to preserve its quality. Alternatively, use a system like Coravin to “tap into” your bottles (literally) and enjoy them for months (or even years) to come.
What temperature should a wine fridge be?
The typical temperature of a cellar is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about 20 degrees colder than the average home. This is the ideal temperature range for storing red wines (although, as Berrigan notes, anywhere between 50 and 68 degrees is a safe zone). Whites and other chilled still wines are best kept between 42 and 50 degrees, which is warmer than the average temperature of a normal refrigerator. If you’re working with a single zone, take Tilden’s advice and store any and all bottles between 53 and 57 degrees, which is the sweet spot for all wines to age gracefully.
We suggest you get a wine fridge that can hold 20-55% more wine than you already own. As your collection expands, you’ll have enough wine on hand for parties.
- A typical wine refrigerator may hold anything from 20 to 30 bottles.
- There are single-bottle options for people who choose to keep simply a single bottle of wine.
- Larger capacity wine freezers can hold anything from 100 to 300 bottles, making them ideal for serious vino enthusiasts.
One of the main benefits of a wine refrigerator over a typical wine cellar is that they come in a wide range of sizes, making it easy to choose one that will fit in your home.
What is the difference between free-standing vs. built-in?
Free-standing. If a piece of equipment is labeled “free-standing,” it is meant to be used independently of any cabinetry. It needs to be able to “breathe” freely, as its exhaust is positioned at the back of the unit. Refer to the helpful reference that has been posted below to learn more about the particular installation requirements of free-standing units.
View the Free-Standing Installation Guide (PDF)
Built-in. When a fridge is built-in, it can be set back into cabinets so long as the required clearance is met for the appliance’s exhaust system. You’ll find general guidelines for installing a built-in unit below, and the handbook for your wine fridge will have any further specifics you need.
View the Built-In Installation Guide (PDF)
What are some common questions I should ask myself before I purchase?
- How many bottles do I buy compared to how many I drink in a given month? If you buy and drink wine at about the same rate, a wine cooler or refrigerator is ideal for short-term storage.
- Which wines do you keep, white or red?
- I was wondering how long you planned on keeping your wine.
- I’m curious about your financial situation.
Where can a wine refrigerator be installed?
They can be built in beneath cabinets, freestanding, or even moved from place to place. Their versatility makes them ideal for a wide variety of settings, including private residences, commercial establishments, recreational vehicles, yachts, hotels, restaurants, pubs, wineries, and more.
What do wine enthusiasts buy?
Vinotemp wine coolers can be found at the homes of celebrities and extremely well-off customers, as well as in fine dining establishments.
What are some common areas to place a wine cooler inside the home?
Under the stairs, in a closet (with adequate ventilation), in the family room, in the kitchen, in the dining room, the man cave, the bar, the basement, the garage, the outdoor patio or entertainment space, in your personal wine cellar, etc.
Are racks different in wine coolers?
There will be a selection of shelving configurations available in wine refrigerators. Wine refrigeration appliances will contain wooden or metal shelves for storing wine. This racking can have bottle supports to help the bottle from rolling around, or to be able to stack the bottles for maximum bulk storage.
The shelving options in wine coolers will be versatile. Both metal and wooden shelves can be seen in wine refrigeration units. As an option, this shelving unit can be outfitted with bottle supports to prevent bottles from toppling over and allow for vertical stacking of bottles.
If you have any more queries, please get in touch. Any questions about wine storage? We’re here to help!