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 12, 2021
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No, this is not an article for wine snobs. This could be the key to unlocking a whole new dimension to your culinary journey. Below we discuss the best wine cooler options in depth. Whether you have different types of wine in storage or prefer one specific blend, it’s time to take them out of the normal fridge and place your assets in a proper wine cooler. Why? Because it’s better for your wine.
To help you make the right decision on where to invest your money, we discuss all relevant features that help you get value for money. We know bottle capacity and temperature zones matter to the more experienced collectors. In addition, the installation process and dimensions are vital to planning where you’ll place it. You’ll find all these features summarized in our easy to understand review section with outstanding products such as our winning item, the EdgeStar CWR532SZ that simply blew us away with its innovative design.
The data we compiled was gathered by a panel of experts from some of the leading wineries in the country. We asked them which ones they use in their personal capacity and requested their feedback on new models on the market. We’ve included their expert feedback in our detailed reviews below. Glance at the comparison chart to get a quick feel for what today’s wine cooler industry offers. If this is a new topic for you, you’ll appreciate our buying guide where we discuss the relevant features in more detail.
Let’s give those bottles the right place to wait until you’re ready to enjoy the contents.
The reason this Edgestar model is at the top of our list is thanks to the excellent combination of features. It’s a balanced buy, making it value for money in almost any scenario.
Despite its compact design, you can fit over 50 bottles in this one, so you can have a substantial wine collection looked after. You can even move the shelves to store bottles that aren’t the normal 750ml. Of course, that will influence how many of them you fit inside.
The manufacturer installed blue lighting so you can have a view of your bottles without allowing too much light near your asset. Your wine is further protected thanks to the rubber brushed characteristic. The vibrations of the unit won’t affect the bottles much, which is a genius add on to the design since too many vibrations can move the bottles so much that it affects the flavor.
Thanks to the grid at the bottom and in front of the unit you can safely install this under a counter or use it free-standing. The effective carbon fiber ventilation system will work in both scenarios.
Just note that it’s a single temperature zone cooler so you can’t cater for all types of wine at once. This is only a challenge if you do want to stock multiple types.
We love the stylish look it has, with the wood-trimmed shelves and silver exterior.
This wine refrigerator blew us away with its capacity because 172 bottles are quite a large collection. This means it’s a wise investment for serious wine collectors who have been at it for years and need ample space for all their wares.
Good news: there are two temperature zones so you can look after different types of vino if necessary. The capacity stays the same with most types of bottles, but simply not when you’re storing champagne sized items. This means you can collect bottles from unique wineries that tend to use odd sized and shaped bottles—they will still fit in your new fridge.
This is another unit that has a wise design so you can either use it as a freestanding fridge or have it fixed under a counter. This is thanks to the venting system situated at the front.
We appreciate the bit of customization you’re offered as you can pick the type of handle you want your unit to have. There are also left and right hinge options so use the one that makes the most sense for your layout.
You operate it with a digital feature which manages the temperature well.
Of course, this one will cost more than our smaller Editor’s Choice model, and also know it’s one of the priciest large capacity units on today’s market. But the stylish look, the effortless use with smooth sliding shelves and the two temperatures zones make this purchase worth it.
This one doesn’t have the biggest capacity, but it does beat some others in terms of versatility: you can have two separate temperature zones in a relatively small wine cooler.
You’ll also love how the temperature settings are managed as it’s smart enough to remember your previous settings and return the zones to those levels even after it was switched off for a while. Some users do report that the temperatures are off by a few degrees, but this can be specific to the unit, so talk to the brand if you suspect such a problem. The company does provide good customer care support that may sort out your query fast.
It will look beautiful standing in your kitchen thanks to the silver and black exterior. Inside you’ll find wood finishes, giving it a classic spin. Unfortunately, the shelves aren’t the strongest of all the ones on our list.
This is another innovative design that allows for both freestanding and built-in usage, so use it wherever you have the space available. The door can be reversed, so you have many options for installation. Just remember the plug is low on the right of the unit.
Mostly, this is a quiet unit so you won’t be bothered by it. For its capacity, it’s one of the more expensive models, but the dual zone feature makes it worth it.
This standalone wine cooler from Colzer combines functionality and elegance. This is underlined by the tempered glass door and the LED lighting. It’s simple to operate and you can easily bring up to 18 bottles of white or red wine to the desired temperature in this wine cooler.
The bottles are held securely in the wooden drawers and are evenly cooled. The temperature display is digital and the device is operated with practical soft-touch buttons. This allows you to set the temperature between 41 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
The door is double insulated so that you can have an optimal cooling effect. This wine cooler consumes little power at a cost of just $0.15 per day.
The dimensions are 34.5 inches in height, 23 inches in width, 12 inches in depth and the weight is 66 pounds. Although a compressor is built into this device, there are no annoying vibrations. The compressor is quiet. The noise emission is specified as below 38 decibels.
Another practical advantage is that you can remove the wooden frames. So, cleaning this refrigerator is also very easy.
The structure of this wine cooler is very compact and has space for 18 bottles. The 6 wooden shelves are removable and can be used individually.
This is another slim design you’ll love, but we also love it for its power. Unlike the previous brand, this one is driven by a compressor, which means more power for you. You also have the benefit of it being safe to use as a freestanding unit or under your counter if that’s the only place you have space for it. With the vent at the front, you’re sorted.
We think this is an excellent compromise design on this brand’s list of products in terms of size. Not too big or small, making it practical for those who are starting out on a new hobby or who don’t have much space to sacrifice. But you’re not limited too much in how much you can store.
Your asset will also be safe as you can lock this unit. That makes it a smart buy for restaurants or offices but especially for homes as it’s childproof.
This is only a single zone unit, so serious wine connoisseurs may require a different item if they store various types of wine.
The only way to turn it off is to unplug it—there’s no on/off button. But the installed blue LED lights can be managed. The blue hue also adds some character to the display, once again making it an enticing purchase for restaurants that want to show off their merchandise.
There are some concerns about it not offering very low temperatures and some consumers have complained the shelves aren’t for US standard bottles. Units supplied from China may cause some quality concerns. But with excellent customer service provided by the brand, you may be able to get a replacement if yours has faulty components.
Wine is fragile and needs to be stored somewhere with stable temperatures and minimal light and movement. That is why you need an appliance that is specifically made to help with storing wine. If you want to get the best from your wine collection and have your bottles ready to drink whenever you want, then you should consider this product from Ivation.
We reviewed this appliance and are full of praise for its features. For one, this machine is relatively lightweight. Therefore, it is easy to move around for installation. You likely don’t need any assistance with moving it around. Furthermore, it is quite easy to unpack and install.
One challenge, though, involves setting up temperature zones. The instructions are somewhat confusing. However, we believe you’ll eventually know how to set that up.
The design is standard and relatively sleek. The body is sleek and features an LCD display with controls. Inside the appliance are 6 shelves fro storing up to 33 wine bottles.
When removing a wine bottle, we observed that the cooler tips, so you should hold it down so that your collection doesn’t crash to the ground.
One of our favorite features is the presence of double-paned doors. These are energy efficient and will protect you from UV rays. Also, this glass is yinted and you can see your bottles without having to open the cooler.
Now we get to the smaller models that provide enough space for 12 bottles or less—a perfect addition to the beginner’s office or if you want to keep a few special bottles separate. Or purchase two to cater for different types of wine since this one isn’t very expensive.
This is another freestanding unit, but in most houses, it’s easy to find open floor space for this compact, upright design. You can place it almost anywhere since it runs quiet enough that it won’t disturb you during the night. Thanks to the lightweight design, this one is easy to move around the house if needed, but don’t do it too often as you’ll damage the components.
For an affordable fridge, you’ll be impressed by the ventilation system that helps ensure all bottles are kept at the same temperature. The door seals well so no heat can enter or escape. This brand also developed precision Thermo-Electric Cooling Technology to help you manage your bottles’ environment. You manage this via the modern digital panel on the outside of the fridge.
It’s versatile as you can store bottles horizontally or vertically. On the top shelf, you’ll be able to place larger, unique sized bottles if that’s what you’re collecting. Just note that longer bottles will probably block the door from closing, so keeping to standard-sized units is ideal.
When looking for the best wine coolers on the market, one of the things that we have discovered that many users desire is a wine cooler that works well without making a lot of noise. Most people are bothered by a loud model. And there is good reason to be bothered. If the wine cooler is noisy, that might be a result of vibrations that can cause movement in the wine bottles and disturb their contents.
Thankfully, this 12 wine bottle cooler from Ivation is a quiet option. Not only is it quiet, but it offers some pretty nice performance.
One of the reasons for this quiet performance is that the unit uses an efficient cooling system that doesn’t use a compressor. There is minimum vibration and very low noise.
It is also a good option on different levels. For one, the design is pretty sleek and elegant. It is very attractive and there is an LCD display on the door. The door itself is created of tempered glass that serves as an insulator.
In addition, the model has a relatively pleasing temperature range that will suit your red and white wines.
With up to five shelves, this cooler will house up to 12 750ml bottles. The shelves are built to keep the bottles intact and reduce movement. With such an environment, your wine will age wonderfully.
Even though we are not oenologists, we can say that it is important to keep wines at the right temperature. We offer you this KOOLATRON wine cooler if you are a minimalist. Its loading capacity is limited to 8 bottles and does not necessarily delight large consumers.
However, this wine cellar has many other advantages that will convince you. To briefly discuss the strengths of this material, we will start with its stainless steel design. Apart from elegance and modernity, this material has great robustness. Also, the steel material is recognized for its capacity to retain temperature. According to your needs, you can adjust the temperature through an electronic control panel between 46°F to around 66°F.
On the other hand, we also like the interior lighting that highlights each bottle. Due to its small size, this cellar will blend wonderfully with the kitchen and even in the living room.
The cellar cannot support more than 8 bottles but it offers four removable stainless-steel shelves. The temperature control is precise. Operation is also silent.
What do we love it for?
Small, but reliable
It's adorned with interior lighting
Comes with digital temperature controls
Includes removable racks
What were we disappointed with?
Not suitable for large consumers
Doesn’t accommodate larger-sized bottles
Things to Consider
Now, how do you know which of these wine coolers will suit your lifestyle the best? Use our buying guide as an easy reference to help you make the right decisions.
Reasons to get a wine cooler
If you’re not sure yet whether this is the new appliance your home needs, let’s tell you why one of the best wine cooler products should feature in your home. Firstly, realize that your normal fridge simply isn’t the right option anymore; not if you’re serious about enjoying wine optimally, or if you’re embarking on a new hobby. A normal fridge can’t store wine at the appropriate temperatures or cater for different wines that need different temperatures.
A wine cooler is also made to prevent your wine bottles’ corks from drying out. Did you know your refrigerator pulls out the moisture so the air is dry? In contrast, a cooler traps it inside, so your corks stay moist enough. It effectively manages humidity, such as the Ivation 24 Bottle Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler mentioned above with its effective seals. So, you just need to open a bottle, dispence and aerate your wine and then enjoy a perfect drink.
In creating these ideal conditions, a cooler becomes the perfect place for your wine to age. You can see that it serves many functions, making it a good investment for anyone that enjoys a glass of white or red.
Features to consider when choosing the right wine refrigerator
Our list of wine coolers proves that all of these appliances aren’t the same. To ensure you get the best value for money, you need to match features to your unique requirements. Below we’ll discuss the features that most wine lovers consider when they make purchases. When you use this as your shopping checklist, you’ll quickly identify the best option for you.
Shelves and wine bottle capacity
A first feature to consider is how much space you’ll have to place your bottles. Ask yourself what the average number of bottles is that you’ll want to store at a time. Make sure of your habits so your purchase the ideal long term solution.
Important note: the bottle capacity mentioned in specs is measured in terms of standard-sized bottles.
If you’re not sure how many bottles you’ll want to store, at least research the number of shelves you’ll get and whether they’re removable. If you can customize some, it’s a great sign of user-friendliness.
Some coolers allow for storage of bottles in upright positions, but this isn’t a common requirement for all wine lovers. If it’s something you’re after, there are models out there that will suffice such as the NutriChef PKTEWC120.
Modern technology enables wine cooler manufacturers to create different zones in one unit. But not all wine coolers have this feature. You have to pick between a single and dual-zone wine cooler. Of course, the dual zone design is versatile, but if you only store one type of wine, you may not need this. Since the dual zone models tend to be more expensive, you can save some money if you settle for the single zone type.
Even in a single zone unit, also read up about the temperature range the cooler can provide so you know it can cater for your favorite bottle of vino at its optimum temperature.
In the modern market, you’re lucky to be able to pick between a permanent installation and a portable design. With fixed models, you must ensure it suits the cabinet space you have available—as they’re often installed as part of a cupboard area—or the area underneath a counter. You also need enough space for a vent to be installed at the front, as this is the only means of ventilation for built-in wine coolers.
You can place a portable or freestanding unit wherever there’s enough floor space, as long as you have access to a power source too. They can also be moved around to where you need them or want to enjoy your wine with a group of friends. A benefit here is that you don’t have to pay an additional price for installation. Just remember that a unit that gets moved around regularly may get damaged easier than a fixed unit.
Thermoelectric vs. compressor wine coolers
There are two ways your wine cooler will produce the low temperatures you require. The first option is a thermoelectric process that is popular because there are barely any vibrations while the components work. This is a plus because it means it’s a relatively noise-free unit.
A compressor wine cooler is much more powerful than a thermoelectric unit, making them the preferred option if you require large capacity. But these units will be noisier, even with advances in modern technology. They also impress by maintaining the same temperatures, even in areas where the climate often changes—something a thermoelectric cooler can’t always do.
Note that a compressor wine cooler tends to be more expensive than its countertype, as they’re often larger and require more components to do their impressive work.
There’s no best option—simply pick what’s appropriate according to your preferences of noise levels, budget, and capacity.
Noise level rating
Above we mentioned the noise aspect already. Yes, it’s an important feature to consider as you don’t want your new appliance to ruin the atmosphere in your home, restaurant, or office.
If your cooler will be in a basement or storage area, chances are a few vibrations won’t disturb anyone. But if it’s in your kitchen, lounge, or office, you may require silence from time to time.
This aspect will often be noted in specs and is worth your consideration beforehand to ensure satisfaction with your new purchase.
Dimensions and weight
As with any portable unit, it’s ideal to have one you can easily carry and maneuver. So pick a lighter model if you know you’ll often move or transport your wine cooler.
Also measure out your available space, so you know exactly what sizes you need to shop for.
With fixed units, weight is less of a problem as it won’t ever need to move. Just make sure it will fit and that it’s big enough for what you want to use it for.
Luckily the market offers all sizes and even wine coolers small enough to place on your countertop or use as a room beverage cooler such as the Koolatron Wine Cooler.
Extras: lighting, controls and security lock
You may not find the perfect wine cooler on our list, but the good news is that you can do some customization if needed. Many wine lovers add lighting to their coolers or pick it as a paid-for extra feature. Just make sure the lighting only provides a soft glow and can be switched on & off as you don’t want it on at all times. It can affect your wine’s aging as well as the electricity bill.
You can opt for manual or digital controls. You may prefer the first if you want to stay in control of your wine’s aging, but the benefit of a digital setup is that it’s so effortless!
If your wine is a valuable asset, you’ll want to lock it up securely. Luckily there are units with locks such as the Kalamera 15” Wine Cooler to keep a fridge childproof—simply enquire from the manufacturer. If it’s not a necessity, rather spend your money on other extras.
Tips on getting the best results from your wine fridge
As mentioned above, a cooler is not only about keeping your wine chilled. It can be an integral factor in its aging process. You can ensure optimal results with a few good habits and guidelines.
Ideally, your wine should be in darkness rather than in direct light, which is why you don’t want harsh lighting inside. Also, make sure there aren’t extreme light beams entering the front panel from outside the cooler.
Look after your cooler and don’t let it fall, get knocked over or moved unless absolutely necessary. As we’ve stated, this can cause components to get damaged.
You want your bottles to be kept at a humidity of 60% to 70% and do your best to ensure the same temperature is maintained. This is why a compressor system is so valuable as it won’t have as many temperature fluctuations as a thermoelectric unit.
Do what you can to keep the room’s air clean so there’s no pollution or particles that will ruin your wine as air is ventilated in and out of the cooler.
A smart, practical decision relates to where you’ll place your fridge. Ideally, you shouldn’t put even one of the best wine cooler models in a garage or basement where you know the temperature often fluctuates. Many fridge models won’t be able to compensate for the erratic temperature conditions. Also, because it will have to work harder, it may have a shorter lifespan than usual.
You won’t necessarily be able to add a lock to all wine coolers. It depends on the door type of your model as some designs won’t work with the locks you find at locksmiths or hardware stores. Remember you don’t want to damage the unit in the process so think twice before drilling a hole in your cooler.
The temperature you should store a bottle of wine at depends on the type of wine you have. In general, you can work with one of two temperature settings:
45°F for sparkling wines, Rosés, and dry white wines
55°F for most other wines such as reds, a full-bodied white wine or light versions
Now, which one will be added to your home appliances or restaurant layout? We picked the Edgestar CWR532SZ as our favorite, giving it a 9.9 rating. This is because it’s such a practical size that can work for newbies and experienced wine collectors alike. It’s also effective and durable.
The Allavino FlexCount did impress us though with its dual zone design, earning it a 9.7 rating. If it’s a large capacity you require, this is your ideal buy. It also looks sleek and takes many bottles without using up much floor space.
Another dual zone wine cooler worth a try is the Kalamera 24” unit that earned 9.6 out of 10 with our experts. It could be the best wine cooler for you whether you want to stock white or red wine. And it looks super stylish!
Did you make your decision yet? Take care of your wine so you can enjoy a glass next week, or even in a few years when it’s aged and better than perfect.