Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 21, 2021
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Any serious wine lover needs to consider purchasing an under counter wine cooler. If you really appreciate the subtleties of wine and detecting the various notes and aromas, and truly want to enjoy wine the way it should be enjoyed, a cooler is simply essential. Leaving bottles of red in kitchen cabinets or placing white wines in the refrigerator isn’t good enough to really get those ideal temperatures, and the best under counter wine cooler models can offer a lot of useful functionality.
They come in a wide variety of styles, however, so we’re here to help identify the perfect model for your needs. When drawing up this list of the best wine coolers and finding products like the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler, which we found to be the best cooler in this category, we considered a lot of different factors. These include the bottle capacity, number of shelves, whether or not the cooler offers dual zone temperature control, the temperature range, and the size of the cooler itself.
Below, you’ll find a comparison table listing all the best built-in wine coolers we discovered, along with our ratings for each one and some nominations to let you know their best features and uses. We covered a lot of ground for this list, consulting user and expert reviews on a huge range of models to find only the very best, and you can find detailed reviews of each cooler down below, as well as an extensive buying guide telling you all you need to know when shopping for your next wine cooler.
Topping out list of the best rated under counter wine cooler models is the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler. Produced by one of the best brands in the business, this nicely-sized wine fridge comes with enough space for 30 bottles, which are stored on six stylish, removable wooden shelves behind a double-layered tempered glass door. Offering everything you need from a modern wine cooler, the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler is a big winner in every category.
It comes with a high price tag, but that cost is more than justified by the many features and high quality design of this cooler. It’s made from only the finest materials, with the tough door and quality shelves giving it a futuristic look that can work flawlessly in every kitchen. It comes with LED controls too, letting you easily tap on the control panel to adjust the temperature however you like. Unfortunately, this is only a single zone temperature wine cooler, so you won’t be getting that dual zone functionality offered by rival models.
The Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler is one of the easiest to install. You can be up and running with this cooler in a matter of minutes, and it even has the potential to be installed in a freestanding capacity, adding a lot of extra value and flexibility to this design. It comes with a built-in safety lock to keep your wine safe and protected from children too.
Next up, we have the EdgeStar CWR5631FD, and if you’re looking for a dual zone wine refrigerator, this is easily one of the best models you can choose right now. The dual zone technology of this cooler essentially allows it to act like two fridges in one, with each section being fully programmable at different temperatures for various kinds of wine. You can keep your wines frosty in one section and then get your reds at just the right temperature in the other.
Clearly, the EdgeStar CWR5631FD also stands out for its enormous size, and this can be seen as both a plus point and a negative one. On the downside, the huge size of the EdgeStar CWR5631FD means it comes with a lofty price tag and it will simply be too big for many kitchens and spaces, taking up a lot of room. On the other hand, if you do have the space for it, it can store all the wine you could ever need, with a total of 12 shelves and a maximum capacity of 56 bottles.
Other advantages of the EdgeStar CWR5631FD include its stylish digital controls, its super strong safety lock to provide total peace of mind to the user, the fact that it can be set up as a freestanding wine cooler if needed, and its strong glass which actually protect your wine from UV rays, preserving every single ounce of quality in each bottle.
We’re going back to Kalamera for the next entry on our list: the Kalamera 12” Wine Cooler. This model actually offers a lot of the same features and functionality as the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler, but in a smaller and more affordable package, so if you like the power and performance of this brand but need something that offers a little extra value, this could be the perfect option.
Like its big brother, the Kalamera 12” Wine Cooler only has one temperature zone, but it has a lot of plus points to make up for that one minor downside. Firstly, it stands out for its unique sense of style. This is one of the best looking built-in wine fridge options you can buy right now, with its sleek exterior, stylish wooden shelves, and cool blue lighting effects really enhancing the aesthetic and allowing this cooler to fit in in any kitchen environment, or elsewhere around the home. It can be installed as a freestanding cooler too, so there’s a lot of flexibility when you buy this model.
The Kalamera 12” Wine Cooler also offers a wide temperature range from 40 all the way up to 66 F. Some models go even further with their temperature controls, but the range of the Kalamera 12” makes it well-suited for most users, perfectly able to cool red and white wines to desirable temperatures. It comes fitted with super strong and durable double-layered glass doors too, fitted with UV protection technology to preserve the quality of your wines.
And now we’re back with EdgeStar once again for our favorite slim-fit wine fridge: the EdgeStar CWR70SZ. Easily one of the best rated built in wine cooler options you can choose if you live in a small home or don’t have much free space in your kitchen, the EdgeStar CWR70SZ is super slim and offers just six shelves, with space for a total of seven bottles. For some, that will be just right, but others who like to build up a bit of a collection might see the EdgeStar CWR70SZ’s small size as a disadvantage.
Whichever way you look at it, this built-in wine cooler does have a lot of plus points. Designed with a stainless steel frame and door handle, UV-resistant glass panel to keep wine safe and secure, and stylish blue LED lighting inside, the EdgeStar CWR70SZ is very easy on the eyes and highly durable too, offering the strong levels of performance and reliability you need from the best built-in wine cooler.
Since this is a compressor wine cooler, it’s worth pointing out that it can be a little on the noisy side for such a small device, but this is only a minor annoyance that shouldn’t really bother most people. Overall, if you just need a slim-fit wine cooler to store a few bottles, there’s a lot to love about the EdgeStar CWR70SZ and its broad temperature range gives it a lot of flexibility.
Next up, we have the Smad Under Counter Compressor Wine Cooler, which is certainly one of the best options to go for if you’re considering a compressor wine cooler. It’s a good size to fit in many kitchens, garages, and other spaces, while still being able to hold an impressive number of bottles. You can get 28 bottles of Bordeaux-standard wine in this cooler, and you can remove the lightweight metal shelves as needed to make space for bigger bottles too.
One of the best advantages of the Smad Under Counter Compressor Wine Cooler is how quiet it is. Many compressor wine coolers tend to vibrate and hum quite a lot, but this one is surprisingly silent, having a decibel rating of just 39. You will still hear it, but compared to many other coolers out there, it’s quite a peaceful device. It also offers great value for money, coming with a fair price tag for solid functionality and performance.
As is to be expected, a cheaper wine cooler like this one can’t offer quite the same features and excellence as some of the more expensive models out there. The Smad Under Counter Compressor Wine Cooler is quite a simple cooler to look at, though it does still feature a nice digital control panel and stylish lighting. It doesn’t offer the same standards of UV protection or build quality as others, and setting it to the right temperature and getting it to stay there can be a little tricky at times.
Last but not least, we come to our Budget Pick and one of the most affordable built-in wine coolers you can buy today: the Electro Boss Black 28 Bottle Wine Cooler. Available at a great price, this cooler has a few flaws but is able to offer very impressive features and thermoelectric functionality to your home. It can store a decent total of 28 wine bottles across six shelves, and it comes with digital controls and LED lighting to add some style and elegance to its simple but sleek black design.
As a thermoelectric model, the Electro Boss Black 28 Bottle Wine Cooler doesn’t have the best temperature range. The lowest it can go is around 52, which means it’s only really suitable for red wines, rather than whites. If you don’t drink much white wine, this won’t be a problem, but if you crave the frostier varieties, you might want to choose a different model.
Still, in spite of this flaw, the Electro Boss Black 28 Bottle Wine Cooler has the advantage of being super quiet. The thermoelectric design works to keep wine at just the right temperature without disturbing the bottles too much or generating an irritating buzzing sound. It also comes with a 1-year warranty, and it’s a very flexible wine cooler too, able to be installed under the counter, on top of a counter, or built-in to various other spaces as needed.
Why is it special?
Simple but stylish design
Flexible and easy installation
What are the flaws?
Quite a small temperature range
Not great for white wines
Things to Consider
After seeing some of the very best built-in wine refrigerator models and reading through our best under counter wine cooler reviews, it’s time to take a look at the buying guide. This guide will tell you all you need to know about wine coolers, from the advantages of owning them to the individual features and factors you need to consider when shopping for your own.
Advantages of an under-counter wine cooler
There are many positives to having your own under counter wine cooler. Here are just a few of them:
Better Wine Drinking Experiences – Any wine connoisseur or sommelier-in-training knows that temperature is an essential part of the wine drinking experience. Wines are designed to enjoyed at very specific temperatures. Reds, for example, should be enjoyed at around 60-65 F, while white wines are often served between 43 and 50 F, and coolers allow you to get your bottles at these precise temperatures and enjoy your wine more.
Impress Your Friends – Having a wine cooler and perfectly chilled wine to serve at dinner parties or while simply having your friends or family over can be a great little way to impress them and enjoy better quality moments together with your nearest and dearest.
Add Style and Elegance to a Kitchen – Wine coolers like the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler are often very classy and elegant in their design and construction, and they can really add a lot of style to any kitchen, especially if you’re going for a modern theme with chic appliances.
Great Storage Solution – If you’re a big wine lover and have your own collection, you’ll know that storing it can be tricky. Coolers let you keep all your bottles in one place, and you can even use the cooler to store other drinks too, adding a fun and good-looking storage solution to your home.
Features to consider when choosing a built-in wine cooler
When buying your built-in wine cooler, there are several different features to think about. The size, temperature options, capacity, shelves, ease of installation, and other features all need to be considered, and some of these features will matter more to you than others, depending on your budget, lifestyle, and your wine drinking habits.
Shelves and wine bottle capacity
This is typically seen as one of the most important features of any wine cooler, but the actual importance of the number of shelves and the capacity of the cooler will depend on your lifestyle. Some coolers, like the EdgeStar CWR5631FD, come with large amounts of shelves and space for dozens of bottles, while others are smaller and more compact in design, like the Smad Under Counter Compressor Wine Cooler. Ultimately, it all depends on how much wine you tend to drink or keep around the home at any one time. If you like to have a little collection of wine in your home and want the freedom to be able to buy more bottles without worrying about storage, a larger cooler will be better for you.
The whole point of buying a wine cooler is to cool down wine to just the right temperature, so the temperature range and functionality of your cooler is a big factor to think about. The first factor to consider is whether or not your cooler needs to have dual zone or single zone temperature control.
Dual zone wine cooler is the better option, as seen in the EdgeStar CWR5631FD, letting you store different types of wine in the cooler and have different temperature zones for your reds and your whites.
If you get a single zone cooler, you’ll have to be more selective about the bottles you put inside it. The next thing to think about is the temperature range of your chosen cooler. A larger range, as seen in the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler, gives you more options in terms of the wine you can store, as well as giving you greater levels of control over the wine itself.
Some wine coolers are a lot easier to install than others, and the ease of installation of any appliance is always an important factor to think about before making a purchase. Nobody wants to waste time or have to pay extra getting a professional to fit a wine fridge. Choosing a model which has been rated by owners as easy to install is a great way to enjoy a pleasant experience with your wine cooler. Plus, you might also like to consider a cooler which offers flexibility in terms of its installation. Some coolers, like the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler for example, can also be installed free-standing or counter-top, which might be useful in the future if you move home or redesign your kitchen.
Thermoelectric vs compressor wine coolers
Wine coolers can be divided up into thermoelectric and compressor models, and many buyers are confused about the pros and cons of these different systems. Thermoelectric is generally regarded as the better option as it results in less vibrations, meaning that the wine itself won’t be disturbed or spoiled. The lower vibrations in thermoelectric wine coolers like the Electro Boss Black 28 Bottle Wine Cooler also makes them quieter and less distracting for the owner. Compressor wine coolers like the Smad Under Counter Compressor Wine Cooler do have their advantages, however. For example, compressor models tend to have much more effective cooling and can even go much cooler than than thermoelectric counterparts, offering more flexibility and better performance for wines that are served chilled.
Noise level rating
Like any home appliance, wine coolers can make noise, and some models are a lot quieter than others. This factor might not matter too much to you, but some people don’t like the hum or vibrating noises some coolers can generate, so choosing a quieter cooler is the best option if you prefer to have a silent home.
Dimensions and weight
The size and weight of your cooler are very important things to think about too. It’s important to remember that you need to have enough space to support the cooler, and if it’s going to be placed on some kind of surface, you won’t want it to be too heavy to put too much pressure on that surface or be difficult to install. Be sure to measure up your kitchen or area where you plan to install the wine cooler and check that it will fit before placing your order. Those with not very large kitchens might favor small wine coolers, for example, the EdgeStar CWR70SZ.
Extras: lighting, controls and security lock
Some wine coolers come with one or more additional features like stylish lighting effects, digital controls, and even built-in locks. These features can add a lot of class and functionality to your cooler. Ideally, you’ll want the lighting to have an on/off switch so it doesn’t waste power when you don’t need it on. Many people also favor digital controls over manual options, and the security lock, as seen in the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler, can be a nice bonus to keep your bottles away from kids and prevent you from having to buy a separate lock.
Many modern wine coolers actually come with locks built-in. They’ll often come with a set of keys or a pin code you can enter to unlock the cooler. Of course, locks aren’t always essential, but they can offer some big advantages, especially if you have children in the home. Keeping kids away from alcohol is a big responsibility for any parent or guardian and locks on the wine cooler will help you to do this.
Yes, your wine cooler doesn’t have to be exclusively used only to store wine. Many of these coolers can offer temperatures as low as 40 F, so they’re ideal for plenty of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks too. Beers are just one example of other drinks you can keep in the wine cooler if you run out of space in the fridge, with sodas and even bottled water being fine to put in the wine cooler too.
You can put your wine cooler anywhere you like, as long as it fits properly and there’s a power supply to keep it running. Many people put these kinds of coolers in the kitchen, giving them easy access to their wine while preparing meals and entertaining guests, but wine coolers are also often found in garages or even down in the cellar if you have one.
Overall, it was the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler that stood out as our best rated wine fridge. It offers a lot of flexibility in its design and construction, providing good storage space without being too large, and coming with plenty of cool features like a safety lock, LED control panel, and stylish lighting.
Next up on our list of best under counter cooler models was the EdgeStar CWR5631FD. With its big size and dual zone technology, this is the ideal option for the ultimate wine lover, and if you’ve got the space for it, it’s quite simply a must-buy.
Offering a nice compromise between the former two options in terms of size and price, the Kalamera 12” Wine Cooler is an affordable and highly effective wine cooler with a lot of great features and functionality, perfectly suited for most homes.