All wines, even red wines, should be served at a temperature lower than room temperature, and wine refrigerators make it possible to always serve wine at the perfect temperature. Keeping wines at a consistent and cool temperature also insures the aging process improves them.
Wine coolers and refrigerators are available at all price points and sizes, from small countertop units to room-size cellars. Consumers should consider how they will use and how many bottles they plan to store so that they can choose a product that meets their needs.
Top 10 Best Rated Wine Refrigerators & Coolers
Avanti has been providing innovative refrigeration solutions for commercial and residential use for over 40 years. Their wine chillers range in size, fitting 12 to 160 bottles, and prices start at $120.
|Read 14 Reviews|
Viking has full-size and compact wine cellar options available for consumers. Consumers can customize their wine cellar by choosing their preferred door hinge, finish and optional accessories.
|Read 6 Reviews|
A part of the Danby Group, Danby Product Ltd. was founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1947, and they have since moved to Guelph, Ontario. Their other product lines are Silhouette and ColdTech Commercial. Prices start at $120.
|Read 32 Reviews|
Avallon Global designs high-end appliances that are sold at major retailers nationwide. Their wine coolers are built-in and include features such as anti-vibration, UV protective glass and a security lock.
|Read Expert Review|
Edgestar is a marquee brand for Living Direct, Inc. They focus on space-saving and portable solutions for homeowners, and their products are also available for commercial use. Buy your wine cooler directly from Edgestar’s website.
|Read Expert Review|
Vinotemp provides customized wine cellars for individuals and businesses that are made in their California-based facility. Budget-conscious consumers can shop Vinotemp’s online outlet for discounted items.
|Read Expert Review|
With a variety of solutions for wine enthusiasts, Whynter specializes in providing portable and space-saving solutions for homeowners. Their wine refrigerators are available at major retailers across the country.
|Read Expert Review|
Fisher & Paykel’s home appliances are designed to improve the functionality of your home. Their wine cabinets are stylish and innovative, providing space for up to 144 bottles at a time.
Kenmore wine cellars feature a compact design that will easily fit on a countertop or wet bar. Their capacity ranges from 16-45 bottles, and they are all backed by a one-year limited warranty. Prices start at about $140.
Magic Chef® has been dedicated to simplifying the lives of American consumers since 1929. Their products, including their wine coolers and beverage centers, are available at major retailers nationwide and online.
What features matter most?
The types of wine you choose to store in your wine refrigerator or cooler will guide your decision when it comes to zone control.
- Single temperature zone: If you only store red or white bottles of wine in your wine refrigerator, then a single temperature zone cool will work well for you. These refrigerators can be set to your preferred temperature, ensuring all of your whites or reds are the perfect temperature when you open them.
- Dual temperature zones: Dual temperature zone refrigerators are a must for those who store a mix of red and white wine bottles. These types of refrigerators allow you to set one temperature for reds and one for whites, so you can store the wines together and have them the correct temperature when you are ready to drink them. Some wine coolers even have three zone controls.
The amount of space you have for a wine cooler will be a major factor when deciding which one to buy.
- Countertop: Countertop units are lightweight and hold 6-18 bottles of wine. These units are made for small spaces and are portable, which can be handy if you anticipate moving your wine refrigerator.
- Built-in undercounter: Built-in undercounter units are designed to be built-in underneath your kitchen or bar counter. These are generally compact and can hold anywhere from 12-50 wine bottles.
- Full-size: Full-size wine chillers can hold over 100 wine bottles. These units can be either standalone or built-in, and they are designed for businesses and wine enthusiasts.
Your budget will play a role in which wine refrigerator you choose to buy. While wine refrigerators are, in general, not a cheap purchase, there are ways to reduce your overall cost and still get a good quality wine refrigerator.
- Promotions: Many brands run special promotions for their products on their websites, in retail stores and/or through their social media pages. Check frequently to see if your purchase qualifies for a discount or rebate.
- Refurbished units: Some retailers refurbish wine refrigerators that have been returned, giving consumers a discounted price on a product that is works as good as new but might have a few scratches or dents. If you’re budget-conscious, this can be an easy way to save up to a few hundred dollars on a brand new wine refrigerator.
There is a wide array of additional features that wine refrigerators can have. Many features are included in certain models, and other features can be custom-ordered.
- UV-light protection: If your wine chiller is in a room that frequently receives natural sunlight, then you will want to buy one that has UV-protective glass. UV-rays can cause certain chemicals to breakdown, and it can induce oxidation of other chemicals. This adds up to poor quality wine.
- Open door alarms: Some wine chillers and cellars include an alarm that sounds when the door is left open. This can help you save on energy costs and also preserve the integrity of your wine by ensuring it is kept at the appropriate temperature rather than overheating.
- Security lock: Those with an extensive wine collection, including businesses, will want a wine cellar with a security lock that prevents intruders from opening your wine cellar.
- Anti-vibration system: Compressor units should have some form of anti-vibration system in place to ensure your wine ages correctly. This is especially important for winemakers and wine enthusiasts who purposely buy wine before it has had enough time to age.
Type of wine stored
The type of wine you store will impact the temperature you set your wine refrigerator to. If you frequently drink whites, reds and/or sparkling wines, you will want to invest in a dual-temperature controlled wine chiller.
- Reds: Many people mistakenly believe red wine should be served at room temperature, but the fact is that reds should be served slightly chilled, at 60-70 degrees.
- Whites and rosés: White wines and rosés should be served cold, at 45-60 degrees.
- Sparkling/bubbly wine: Sparkling wine should be served ice cold, at 40-50 degrees. However, the high pressure that sparkling wines are under can lead to a messy explosion in your wine chiller. Make sure to only chill your sparkling wine for a few hours before your event, and store it unopened at room temperature until the day of your event.
The electrical unit that cools the air inside wine coolers will affect the size of the cooler and the amount of noise it makes. This feature may be especially important for those who want a larger unit and/or make their own wine.
- Thermoelectric units: Thermoelectric units are quieter than compressor units, which can be a plus for homeowners who live in a small space. They are also more energy efficient, and they don’t vibrate naturally. However, they are only available as small units since thermoelectric cooling is not nearly as powerful as compressor cooling. This type of cooling is also not ideal in warm environments.
- Compressor units: Most wine refrigerators use compressor cooling, which is more powerful than thermoelectric cooling. Larger units can stay cool with compressor cooling, even when the air outside of the unit is warm or even hot. One drawback to compressor cooling is that it is louder than thermoelectric cooling. It can also vibrate, so you may want to look for a unit with an anti-vibration gasket.
What are different types of wine refrigeration systems?
Wine chillers are designed exclusively to hold wine bottles. Their temperature range is made for wine, and they might even have automatic temperature controls for white or red wine. These units generally accommodate wine bottles that are laying on their side, although some have capacity for standing wine bottles.
Wine cellars can range in size from cabinet-size to an entire room. They are not automatically cooled, so you will need to install the right cooling unit into your wine cellar to ensure that your wine is always at the right temperature. Wine cellars are found in hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars and homes.
Wine kegs are ideal for bars and restaurants, although homeowners who frequently entertain, make wine and/or are avid wine drinkers may find them to be an acceptable alternative to traditional wine refrigerators. These units are available with one or two taps, and they are eco-friendly since they eliminate the need for bottles and corks.
Unlike wine cellars, beverage centers are made for holding a variety of drinks, not just wine. Consumers can use beverage centers to store cans, beer bottles and wine bottles.
Who's it for?
Wine enthusiasts are people who enjoy collecting, drinking and sharing wine. They likely have established favorites when it comes to white or red wines, and they will want a full-size unit that can hold all of the wine they collect.
Small home dwellers
Those who live in a small home, including an apartment or condo, will appreciate the space-saving features of a countertop or built-in under-the-counter unit.
Restaurants and bars that want an attractive presentation for their wine collection will want a customized wine cellar. They may also find that they can save money by investing in a wine keg rather than buying their wine by the bottle.
Offices that host events and/or allow their employees to enjoy a glass of wine now and then can benefit from a wine refrigerator that will keep the wine separate from employee lunches. Depending on the size of the office, they may want anywhere from a small countertop unit to a full-size wine cellar.
People who frequently have guests over will want a wine chiller that is large enough to accommodate their wine selection. They will likely want a dual-temperature controlled unit so they can have both whites and reds on-hand at all times.
Wine makers (anti-vibration)
Hobbyists who make wine will want a wine refrigerator to store their wine while it ages. They will want to find a wine chiller that has an anti-vibration mechanism to ensure their wine isn’t disrupted as it ages.
Avanti sells a variety of refrigeration units, including apartment-sized refrigerators, upright and chest freezers, water dispensers, beverage coolers and wine chillers. Their wine chillers hold between 12 and 160 bottles of wine.
- Best for Avanti wine chillers are best for small home dwellers.
Danby has been providing cooling solutions for homeowners for over 65 years. Their wine coolers allow homeowners to keep between 17 and 50 beverages chilled without taking up valuable space in their refrigerators.
- Best for Danby wine coolers are best for small home dwellers.
A brand of the Haier Group since 2012, Fisher & Paykel has been designing products since 1934. They started operating in New Zealand and currently operate in over 50 countries worldwide. They have manufacturing facilities in China, New Zealand, Thailand, Mexico and Italy.
- Best for Fisher & Paykel wine cabinets are best for wine enthusiasts.
Viking has been part of The Middleby Corporation since 2013. They make and sell a variety of kitchen appliances, including ranges, cooktops, ovens, ventilator systems, refrigerators, dishwashers, cookware and wine cellars.
- Best for Viking wine cellars are best for wine enthusiasts and small home dwellers.
Kenmore has been a trusted household name since the mid-twentieth century, manufacturing appliances that improve household efficiency. Their wine cellars are ideal for small spaces, with capacities ranging from 16-45 bottles. They also sell a 4.6 cubic feet beverage center, which can hold wine bottles, beer cans and beer bottles.
- Best for Kenmore wine coolers are best for small space dwellers.
Magic Chef® has been offering homeowners kitchen appliances that are easy-to-use since 1929. They are a brand of MCA Corporation, and their wine and beverage coolers offer consumers a stylish way to entertain and store their canned and bottled beverages.
- Best for Magic Chef wine coolers are best for small home dwellers, offices and frequent entertainers.
Avallon Global develops luxury residential appliances, including wine and beverage coolers, refrigerators and air conditioners. They are headquartered in West Lake Hills, Texas.
- Best for Avallon wine coolers are best for wine enthusiasts, frequent entertainers and wine makers.
A marquee brand for Living Direct, Inc., Edgestar’s products are designed specifically for small spaces and portable use. Their wine coolers are available as built-in or freestanding, and they also sell wine kegs with single or dual taps.
- Best for Edgestar wine coolers are best for wine enthusiasts, frequent entertainers, small home dwellers, bars and restaurants.
Vinotemp International has been distributing wine cellars around the world since 1985. They offer consumers custom-made wine cabinets that are built to order and handmade in the company’s Southern California manufacturing facility.
- Best for Vinotemp wine coolers are best for wine enthusiasts, bars and restaurants who want a customized wine cellar.
Whynter, LLC was founded in 2002. They design cooling products that are optimized for small spaces and portability, including air conditioners, portable freezers, ice cream makers, ice makers and wine coolers.
- Best for Whynter wine refrigerators are best for frequent entertainers and small home dwellers.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.