When learning about wine and enjoying its qualities, you may discover that there are other things that will take your experience to another level. One of those things are cooling devices, mostly called coolers, but also refrigerators and fridges.
If you have an interest in wine, we are sure that investment in the right cooler will be very satisfying and worthwhile investment. It may be really difficult to decide from vast array of models that are being presented on the market today.
We consider ourselves a passionate wine lovers and we used many different models over the past few years. We made some good choices, but also few mistakes and in this article, you will find many informations not only on the basic types, popular brands, its advantages and where to place them, but also very valuable tips on what you should avoid and how to identify potential pitfalls.
Although the best choice depends on what you’re looking for, we genuinely hope you will find the article helpful and that it will ease your decision to pick the best choice for you based on our honest advices. We combined our experience with an extensive research and are ready to share and pick the best models that are nowadays on the market.
Storing your wines in the fridge is not the best idea due to several reasons and if you’re serious about your wine collection, you will need a dedicated wine cooler.
To save you some time reading through the article, we just list the top 3 wine coolers of 2017 below so that you can click on them to find out more:
Kitchen refrigerator vs wine refrigerator
The problem with cooling wines conventionally is that red and white wines need different temperature settings and you can’t have them get too cold or too warm. The ideal temperature for storing wines is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (≈13°C), which prevents them for aging very fast. However, 55 degrees Fahrenheit is a bit cold for red wines to be served at and a bit too warm for white types, which brings us to why you need a dedicated wine refrigerator, even if you’re storing non-alcoholic wines.
Wine coolers are specifically designed to create an ideal environment for wine. They keep the wine at the right temperature and ensure the right humidity level. To keep a wine cork moist, it needs to be in an environment of around 57% of humidity. As you might know, standard kitchen refrigerators are designed to keep the humidity level at zero. That is a problem, because as the cork dries, it begins to shrink and as a result of that, more air will seep into the wine. What follows is unwanted oxidation and loose of wine quality.
That brings us to a general rule of thumb, which is that you should never keep your wine bottles in the fridge for more than 4 weeks simply because those devices are not designed for a bottle of wine, but instead to keep the food fresh.
What Are The Main Advantages Of Wine Coolers?
- Temperature and Humidity Consistency – Coolers have a heavy insulation that keeps the constant humidity and temperature inside the box. Both are essential for ageing your wines properly.
- No Vibrations – Vibrations can disturb sediments that are naturally occuring in a wine. Again, wine cannot age properly when exposed to such vibrations.
- Free Space – By this I mean free space in a fridge – now you don’t have to store your wine in a regular refrigerator. You have a place specifically designed for it and you can store large colections.
- Less Sunlight – Your collection is no longer exposed to high amount of natural light. Over time, an increased exposure to light can ruin the wine flavor.
Two basic types
As you can see from the picture above, there are two basic of refrigerators – single zone (the one on the right) and dual zone (the one on the left). As the names suggest, single zone models only have one compartment, while dual zone ones have two.
So what are the advantages of each type? Single zone model is good if you’re a new collector or just have a preference for red or white wines. If you’re looking to store both reds and whites though, you’ll need a dual zone cooler with two different temperature zone settings for each of them separately.
Also, each compartment can be set at specific temperature as per your requirements and that gives you more control. You can also choose whether you want to store wines for long or prepare them to be served soon.
There is of course much more to it than this. We have a whole section dedicated to reviews of best wine coolers available on the market today. Section goes much deeper into details and is designed to help you pick the right choice for you.
What is Wine Cooler?
Simply put, as you might expect, it’s a device used to chill wine to a preferred temperature. They are compact and can be placed anywhere and that is one of the main reasons why they are gaining more and more popularity especially among people who are living in small and/or limited spaces.
Except the obvious benefit of being sure that fine bottle of wine is always available at the fingertips of its owner, when we compare wine cooler with regular refrigerators and wine cellars, we discover that they have a number of other benefits.
Things You Should Consider Before Buying Wine Cooler
There’s quite a lot of different features when it comes to buying a wine fridge. Many of them are important to consider before you decide to pay. Here are the ones that might be considered the most important:
- How many bottles will you be storing?
- Do you want a built-in or free-standing wine cooler?
- Are you planing to store both red and white wines or just the one type?
- Where will you strore your wine fridge? Some fridge types are more compact, others might take up a lot of space.
Features and Benefits of Wine Coolers
Better for Regular Use
For beginners, a wine cooler is capable of creating the most suitable conditions for wine storage as compared to refrigerators. A refrigerator can just create a very cold environment for a wine bottle to be kept appropriately. Wine cellar, on the other hand, has suitable conditions for wine bottles that will be stored or preserved for five years, or maybe for a decade or two.
A wine cooler has certain advantages over refrigerators and wine cellar. The cooling conditions of wine coolers are ideal for all kinds of wine. Wine cellars maintain the perfect stability, humidity control, exclusiveness, and temperature. All these make the wine cooler a better choice than refrigerators and wine cellars.
Wine Coolers are Economic
Compared to refrigerators and wine cellars, wine coolers are less expensive. Wine coolers come with an equipment that is specifically designed only to keep wine bottles cool, therefore, wine coolers have lesser adaptability & as a result, the cost of production or manufacturing of wine coolers are comparatively lower. Wine cellars and refrigerators are larger than wine coolers and a customer has to pay for their adaptability functions, capacity, and size. Although wine coolers are designed only to cool wine bottles, it can also have other uses as well, making it more reasonable.
The wine coolers are inexpensive and at the same time, they also come with a very low cost maintenance plan. Wine coolers have a comparatively simpler mechanism that helps them to function and they do not need parts that are very expensive. In addition to this, the individual components inside wine coolers are also cost-effective and for this reason, the wine coolers are economic compared to wine cellars and refrigerators. The size is also an important factor that plays a role in determining the price of a commodity. The wine coolers are compact in size and therefore, are easy on your pocket and maintenance.
A Reasonable Option
Wine coolers are cost-effective and come with the benefits of both refrigerators and wine cellars. When you combine these two factors, wine coolers prove to be a more reasonable medium. In addition to this, when you take the price of wine cellars into consideration, you will realize that wine coolers are a better option compared to refrigerators and wine cellars. Although, some may say that considering the multiple benefits of refrigerators, a refrigerator is a better option. But when it comes to keeping wine bottles, refrigerators sometimes spoil the wine, which proves to be costlier in long run. Wine coolers are an ideal middle way that gets you desirable results when it comes to preserving wine bottles.
A wine cooler is actually eco-friendly. Wine coolers use the thermoelectric medium for cooling, which is a better alternative compared to compressor based cooling. This feature helps in saving valuable energy, which helps in preserving the environment. Wine coolers produce zero harmful emissions and use no dangerous chemical to cool. Instead, wine coolers use one metal rod that exchanges heat between outside environment and internal chamber. This feature makes the wine coolers an eco-friendly option compared to other alternatives that are available in the market presently.
Wine coolers are portable and compact compared to wine cellars and refrigerators. This feature offers a great benefit to its users who would like to carry wine to business meetings or journeys or to a social gathering. The wine coolers come in smaller sizes and that helps the user to carry and install it anywhere.
Wine coolers also offer adequate space for wine storage. The wine coolers come with specially shaped trays that can store a good number of wine bottles. The trays are designed especially so that they can hold wine bottles.
Wine cellars are made solely to store & preserve wine and refrigerators are designed for multiple functions & can spoil the wine. Wine coolers, on the other hand, can have alternative uses other than keeping wine bottles. You can keep other beverages such as plain water, soda water, lemonade, iced tea, or any non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages inside wine coolers. In addition to this, you can also keep food items as well inside the wine cooler while traveling because you cannot carry a refrigerator with you while traveling.
What Are The Best Wine Cooler Brands?
- Avanti Wine Cooler
- Vinotemp Wine Cooler
- Magic Chef Wine Cooler
- Danby Wine Cooler
- Edgestar Wine Cooler
- Haier Wine Cooler
- Vissani Wine Cooler
- Wine Enthusiast Wine Cooler
3 Best Brands of Wine Coolers
There are basically three types of wine coolers, namely, single zone coolers, dual zone coolers, and built-in coolers. If you are about to purchase a wine cooler for the first time, you should go for the single zone coolers. They are economical and offer sufficient space for beginners. If you are looking for the best wine cooler then you can consider one from the following three wine coolers.
Avanti EWC1021 Wine Cooler
This is a single zone wine cooler that can hold twelve bottles. This wine cooler comes with a slim and tall design. You can monitor its internal temperature and at the same time, the temperature can be adjusted easily.
Koldfront 18 Freestanding Cooler
This is a dual zone cooler that can hold eighteen wine bottles. This cooler comes with a high-tech design and low noise cooling system with an LCD display that will help you keep an eye on the temperature.
This is probably the best built-in wine cooler, which comes with a powerful system of air circulation and a compact design.
The basic differences between wine coolers and wine cellars & refrigerators are the price, portability, and the design and wine coolers beat them in all these factors. Wine coolers are the ideal cooling system for wine bottles. They are economical, compact, and portable. They can be a lovely addition to your drawing room or your office.
Compression And Thermoelectric Technology
It is recommended to always store your wine cooler in a room below the cooler’s temperature. Although highly dependant upon the specific model and its capabilities, storing a cooler in a humid room will prevent the cooler from reaching the lower temperatures within its internal range.
Units with a singular zone typically have an internal range of 20 degrees, whilst units with two zones can differ in temperature up to 10 degrees between each zone.
Compression units are the better option of you cannot find a suitable storage place. These models use compressors to chill the wine and these often reach lower temperatures than competing units. They have the ability to maintain a constant low temperature even when stored in a warmer room.
Even if you are unable to source a room with a temperature lower than the cooler’s, and you do opt for a compression unit, it is still recommended to find the coolest room possible to avoid lofty energy bills. Your garage may be a suitable option.
Thermoelectric wine coolers are the other viable option. These coolers use electrical currents to chill the unit’s internal tiles. A fan pushes this cool air around the unit to keep your wine cooled. These units will lower the temperature to around 20 degrees fahrenheit below the room temperature.
Thus, they are more suitable for moderate room temperatures. Additionally, they are the energy efficient and cost effective alternative which makes them a lucrative option.
EdgeStar – 34 bottle
The Edgestar wine bottle cooler is a spacious, robust, and admittedly the most expensive cooler that we reviewed. It can be installed effortlessly as the door handle is the only piece that needs assembling.
This is straightforward and can be completed by simply peeling the insulation back and inserting. You also get the added benefit of deciding which side you would like to have the handle. This cooler reached its cooling temperature only 2 hours post installation.
Its impressive cooling features was evident when we tested the amount of time taken for red and white wines to reach their optimal storing temperatures. Red wine took only 30 minutes whilst the whites took 60 minutes; note, this is 50% quicker than the other models we tested.
The unit comprises of two zones both lit by a stylish blue light. This was complemented by easy to read temperature displays. Between the red and white zones was a three-inch area to separate them and ensure they cooled at separate temperatures. Compare this to competing model’s one-inch separator and you can see why this model has so much attention to detail.
Additional features of this unit are its stylish and sleek design fitted with quality shelving. Whilst the other units we reviewed made use of steel shelving to be pulled out, this unit offers a more elegant wrapped shelving complete with a wood stopper. This model’s shelving also had some innovative grooving to allow bottles to face both ways and create more space.
We do not have many complaints with this model but if we want to get picky and whine about something we could argue that the temperature controls are not very convenient to operate.
Specifically, the gages do not allow you to manoeuvre up and down between the temperatures and instead you have to go to the end of the temperature range and work from there. As this is a larger unit, you should also assess whether you have adequate space and ventilation to store it.
Without a doubt, this cooler has quality written all over it; it is a professional piece that will impress your friends and fellow wine enthusiasts.
- Quickly reduces temperature storing temperature – the quickest out of all products tested
- Oversized shelving accompanied by wrap wiring and wood stopper keeps your bottles secured
- Wide separation between each compartment for effective cooling between reds and whites
NewAir – 33 bottles – Best single zone fridge
If red and white wine is not your thing and instead you have a sole preference, then the NewAir singular zone bottle cooler may be the perfect option. It has a sleek design that will enhance any dining area. Impressive features include simplified controls, insulated glazed door, and eye-catching blue interior lights.
A quirky but convenient feature within the cooler is the addition of a basket so you can store any unconventional bottle designs. Practicalities is matched by top performance as this cooler can reach a minimum temperature of 39 degrees fahrenheit.
A common concern often voiced about singular units is that they fail to maintain an even spread of temperature throughout their unit. After testing two singular zone bottle coolers, we can confirm these suspicions as correct. In the case of the NewAir model, there was a temperature inconsistency of 4 degrees fahrenheit between the top and bottom of the cooler.
The top of the cooler was warmer and although this is an unwanted annoyance, you may be able to turn this into an advantage of you do want to cool both red and white wines. Simply place the red wines on the top shelf to benefit from a slightly warmer temperature.
One other performance related issue we identified was that the temperature of the cooler rise up to 7 degrees fahrenheit each time the door was opened. In fairness, the optimal cooling temperature was again reached in only 15 minutes. The doors of this unit are not UV protected and it is paramount that you store, or face the doors, our of the the sun’s rays.
- Overall, this cooler was the best singular zone model testes. It has a professional appearance, easy temperature settings, and is capable of storing both whites and reds
- The basket is a nice touch allowing you to cool unorthodox bottle designs and larger bottles
- Additional positives include an insulated door, a reliable lock, and a blue display so you can locate your favourite wine easily
Ivation 18-Bottle Wine Cooler
For an economic wallet friendly option, this thermoelectric model may be the perfect option. This is the go to product if you need a cooler that is going to maintain a static temperature for a long duration. Thus, making sure your wine ages at a constant and consistent speed.
This unit has a range of 54°-64°F that can be easily adjusted using a sleek control panel. This is a singular zone wine cooler and due to its celebrated function in ensuring a constant temperature, we strongly recommend only keeping red OR white wine at one particular time.
Some impressive features include tempered glass and thermopane doors. The latter is responsible for protecting wine from odours and maintaining humidity which prevents your wine corks from drying. The unit is also UV protected which will protect the wine’s molecules and promote aging. It operates with minimal noise and vibration and its neutral but sleek design allows it to fit into most room decor.
Aobosi 30-Bottle Wine Cooler
If you have progressed from a novice wine appreciator to a more serious collector, then the Aobosi model may be right for you. It can stock up to an impressive 30 bottles at one time and comes complete with two seperate zones allowing multiple wines to be stored simultaneously.
These two zones have even been tailored ready for reds and whites. The top area has a temperature ranging from 40° to 55°F whilst the lower compartment has a temperature ranging between 55° and 65°F.
Thus, the upper section is made for white wines and the lower for their counterpart, red wines. The cooler functions with minimal vibration to prevent upsetting wine sediment and allow the wine to mature perfectly.
This unit is a nice addition to most settings because of its undeniable stylish design, including steel trims and a reversible clear glass door. The shelving is manufactured using beech wood to add a touch of class to its already evident eye-appeal.
NutriChef 18-Bottle Wine Cooler
A capacity of 18 wine bottles is a bit of a sweet spot in our opinion because it is a great size for everyone from newbie collectors to seasoned professionals; as well as usually sitting in the affordable price range. This NutriChef is a prime example and can be used by everyone for a friendly price.
This cooler has a lot of design features worthy of shouting about. This includes a precise thermoelectric system for cooling, a state-of-the-art ventilation grill accompanied by a quality circulation fan, and user friendly temperature gages.
The cooler will enhance whichever room you choose to keep it due to its many (stylish) features, namely, but not limited to: compact design for plentiful low and high storage options, reinforced glazed door, LED lighting, sleek modern design, and elegant details..
This wine cooler even has a touchscreen control on the doors to make changing the temperature as easy and effortless as possible. Yet, one of its most charming and convenient aspects is that it allocates a space for already opened bottles that can maintain a serving temperature in preparation for your next dinner party – or your next glass, whichever comes first!
EdgeStar 34-Bottle Wine Cooler
The edgestar wine cooler with a capacity of up to 34 wine bottles is the ideal product for those seeking compressor technology. This unit is efficient in maintaining a single temperature even in the most adverse room temperatures.
This cooler has two zones that can perform at two different temperature ranges of 41°-54°F and 54°-64°F in the upper and lower sections, respectively. This is perfect for cooling both red and white wines simultaneously.
The unit has been designed so it can store Bordeaux size bottles on removable shelving. The door is practical and swings both ways so you can adapt the cooler’s position to ore locations in your property. The model is complete with a quality locking system to ensure your collection is firmly sealed off.
This is a stylish freestanding product but should avoid being installed in areas with poor ventilation. This is due to the possibility that the motor could overheat. The unit is not the quietest operator but it is nothing untoward and that you would not have heard from standard kitchen appliances – just don’t keep it next to your bed.
Danby 36-Bottle Wine Cooler
The Danby model offers a spacious unit which makes it ideal for people with larger or growing collections. It should not look out of place when integrated with most modern room decor as it shows off a sleek design.
This wine cooler has one zone and should only be used to store one wine type at one time, and this should probably be white wine due to its limited temperature capabilities ranging from 43°-57°F that make storing red wine an issue. Sorry red wine lovers but this cooler is probably best avoided unless you are a white wine drinker.
Another design flaw appears to be the fact the temperature controls are inside the fridge. Opening the door to alter the temperature is inconvenient and in some instances may even be counter productive.
What the cooler lacks in functionality it may make up for in aesthetics. The cooler offers a great home to showcase your fine selection of wine through an attractive design and LED blue light. Even though it does not boast it, the cooler can actually fit in larger than standard bottle sizes.
The glazed door offers reversible opening to adapt to the location you choose for it, adding a touch of needed convenience to win back some positive points. FInally, this unit comes complete with a 1 year warranty on specific parts for peace of mind.
Best Small Wine Coolers
No matter if you have just began your wine collecting ventures, or you are a seasoned pro, wine coolers can accommodate the full spectrum of experience and our reviews have kept this in mind. A wine collection of 18-36 bottles is a perfect capacity for most people no matter how serious of a collector you are.
Yet, if you already know you would prefer a smaller cooler, or you would prefer a smaller investment for the time being, then a smaller capacity of 4-12 bottles may be more ideal.
Avanti 12-Bottle Wine Cooler
Wine coolers with smaller capacities still feature in our review because they remain a convenient option for many. One of these convenient products is the Avanti wine cooler. This thermoelectric is quite identical to iGloo coolers by accommodating 12 bottles (4 of which standing), as well as adopting similar technologies.
The digital controls are also easy to use and can be switched from the metric system to fahrenheit as per needed. There is also a user friendly feature for newbie collectors as the settings offer a simple red wine or white wine cooling option so you don’t have to do the leg work and your own research. This aesthetically pleasing product will fit perfectly into most decors as it is both stylish and neutral.
The product is compact and light making it easy to transport and store. One of its attractive features is that it is extremely quiet and without vibrations during operation and is one of the reason it is also found in commercial settings.
This is also a positive for preserving the quality of your wine. The unit has a secondary function and can transform into a miniature wine cellar for those that would like to age some exceptional red wine.
NutriChef 12-Bottle Wine Cooler
This NutriChef 12-bottle capacity cooler offers both advantages of being able to house a good number of wines but with the addition of being an affordable product. It is also compact enough to fit under counters if required.
It has a temperature range capable of cooling your elegant wines between 50°F-64°F; although the singular zone means you should only stock one wine type at one moment. Aesthetically, it matches a number of other models and has a selection of beautiful features. This includes a power controlled LED light, elegant details, and reinforced glazed door.
Noteworthy performance features are the air-tight sealing that maintains the temperature inside the cooler whilst also ensuring optimum moisture levels. You can also place this unit anywhere you prefer as it hardly makes a noise and the interior standing bottle section will always catch the eye.