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There are quite a few alcohols that are good, even perfect if served at room temperature or even warm. Wine is typically not one of these, save very specific recipes for mulled and spiced wines.
To that end, your wine should be kept cool…and not everybody has a convenient basement compound to house their thousand bottle wine collection.
To that end, we have wine coolers, or wine refrigerators if you prefer. They’re exactly what they sound like: refrigerators for your wine.
Despite how simple that sounds, there are a lot of options out there, and a huge variety in price and performance which can make choosing the one that’s right for you a real pain. To that end I’ve put together a quick buying guide to go along with this list of the best wine coolers out there, which should help explain the thought process I take into choosing coolers like this.
Here are the best wine coolers you can buy:
- Best overall - Kalamera 30” Beverage Refrigerator
- Best for Displaying Wine - Bodega 15” Single Zone Wine Cooler
- Best Wine Capacity - Kuppet 36 Bottle Countertop Wine Cooler
- Best Stainless Steel Wine Cooler - Edgestar 21 Bottle Freestanding Dual Zone Wine Cooler
- Best Dual Zone - Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator
- Best Vertical Storage - Nutrichef 18 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
- Best Countertop Wine Cooler - Nutrichef 15 Bottle Countertop Compressor Cooler
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
11 Best Wine Coolers and Fridges Reviews in 2020
1. Best overall - Kalamera 30” Beverage Refrigerator
This massive machine is worth every penny if you’re a real beverage connoisseur.
It holds a huge amount of stuff; up to 33 wine bottles and 96 standard sized cans of other beverages.
It’s set to hold anything you’d care to throw at it. If you don’t own a kegerator you can store all your favorite colas and beers alongside your wine, making for the perfect addition to a home bar; everything you need at hand to make all sorts of cocktails and other mixed drinks can be kept perfectly chilled at hand where you need it.
The dual zone design keeps your wine and other beverages each at their optimal temperature, with the left (wine) side boasting a solid temperature range of 40 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit, and the right (other beverage) side chilling down to 38 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The machine itself doesn’t look half bad, being somewhere between a standard industrial machine and a more decorative wine display, with its tasteful wood shelving and shiny chromed exterior.
It’s easy to use and set, and even has smart memory technology: if there’s an unexpected power outage or you have to unplug it for whatever reason, it remembers what it was set to, and instantly resets itself to that temperature once power is restored.
This beverage refrigerator is a great buy…if you’re willing to pay the price. It come sin at about 5 times the average of other (significantly smaller) units on this list, and still doubles the runner up. The machine is no joke, but neither is that price tag.
Absolutely immense storage capacity.
Versatile dual zone design perfectly chills both wines and other beverages.
Smart temperature technology instantly reboots to the proper temperature after unexpected outages.
Easy to use
Looks great in a home bar setting.
Extremely expensive compared to the other wine coolers on this list.
2. Best for Displaying Wine - Bodega 15” Single Zone Wine Cooler
This is the perfect display case wine cooler. It’s sleek, while being spacious and looks quite nice in most kitchens or other venues made up to match a silver coloring.
The cooling on this is impeccable, with a wider than average range: 41 degrees to 68 degrees, a full 7 degrees difference in available temperatures than most wine coolers out there.
The controls are simple and easy to use, but very versatile, allowing you to accurately set the case to a specific temperature and let it be, trusting it to take over.
Most of its space is given over to housing standard Bordeaux bottles, but it also provides space up top for the larger champagne and similarly large wine bottles. It’s whisper quiet as well, and can easily be used on its own as a free standing unit, or installed into most countertops.
If this were a dual zone cooler it would be just about perfect, even with the fairly high price compared to most of this list (about double the average).
Great 31 bottle capacity.
Supports larger bottles (like champagne bottles) as well as standard sized ones.
Easy to use and read display.
Great wood shelving.
Sleek and aesthetically pleasing.
Only has a single temperature zone, cutting its versatility.
A bit expensive.
3. Best Wine Capacity - Kuppet 36 Bottle Countertop Wine Cooler
This unit is a bit of a weird one.
You have a countertop unit here bit with a massive capacity; up to 36 bottles of standard size can be rested on the racks of this wine cooler. Despite this, it remains fairly compact (32” high and 21” wide by about the same deep), so is usable on larger countertops or islands. It also makes a fairly decent free standing unit as well, giving you a lot of choice for where to put this.
The cooling is solid, and trends toward the especially cold side; it can go as low as 37.4 and as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 10 degrees Celsius), so it’s not at all suitable for warmer wines that prefer the 54 degree average, like most reds.
It’s also a fairly quiet compressor model, coming in at 35 dB (a bit quieter than your refrigerator), which is nice.
For the price you’re not going to get anything that matches, much less exceeds, the raw storage capacity on this unit. If you have a lot of wines and don’t really care if or how they’re displayed, only that they’re kept cold, this is a great one.
Easy to use.
Enormous 36 bottle capacity dwarfs pretty much everything else on the market.
Exceptionally cold interior.
Relatively compact for all its storage space.
A bit too cold for the optimal temperature for some wines.
Does not aesthetically display your wines.
4. Best Stainless Steel Wine Cooler - Edgestar 21 Bottle Freestanding Dual Zone Wine Cooler
This is a great example of a dual zone wine cooler. While it’s not necessarily the best around, the combination of price, performance, and durability is a force to be reckoned with, and makes it a great contender.
The stainless steel shell (and handle) gives this unit great durability, and just a little bit of extra insulation over an aluminum model. The shelves are still chrome, but well made and cradle the bottles well for easy removal. The shelves themselves are also removable, so you can fit larger bottles in the cooler once the extra shelves are out of the way.
But the dual zone technology is what makes this one stand out. It’s not the only one of these on the market by any mean, but they’re fairly hard to find compared to single zone units, and especially at this pretty low price point. You have the upper section (large enough to hold 6 standard 750 mL Bordeaux bottles) that chills to between around 44 degrees Fahrenheit and up to about 64 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lower zone is a bit more temperate, with a more standard around 54 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range.
This give you extra versatility in storing a variety of wines, some of which may “prefer” different temperatures.
Overall for the price there’s no better dual zone wine cooler out there.
Easy to use.
Very durable stainless steel construction.
Dual zone design allows for extra variety in wine storage.
UV protected glass for better aging of wine.
Good temperature range.
Great price for the kind of wine cooler this is.
Lacks some of the more advanced or luxury features some units provide.
5. Best Dual Zone - Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator
This is another great dual zone unit. It comes in at a decent price (a bit more than Edgestar’s dual zone offering) and has a slightly smaller total capacity (18 vs 21 bottles), but makes up for that a bit with its incredibly trim design.
This unit measures only a little under 10 inches at the front, about 6 inches thinner than the average wine cooler. This make it excellent to tuck into little nooks and crannies other units wouldn’t fit into.
This all without sacrificing performance; this Wine Enthusiast model still retains the same basic stats as larger units in a similar price range, providing two distinct zones (a warmer upper for reds, and cooler lower section for white wines), a solid construction, and great insulation.
This model also has a completely opaque face, perfectly protecting all your wine from the sun, though this may double as a drawback if you were intending to show off your collection inside the case.
Incredibly slim profile easily stores anywhere.
Dual zone design cools a variety of wines perfectly.
Great price for the size.
Completely opaque door fully blocks the sun.
Almost completely silent.
Doesn’t make a good display case for your wines.
6. Best Vertical Storage - Nutrichef 18 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
Another nice dual zone unit, this time coming at us from Nutrichef.
This model is one I like overall a fair bit less than Edgestar’s offering above in a lot of ways, but it does have a couple of neat features to make up for it.
My main rub here comes in two major issues; the construction and design. This was clearly designed to be very compact, which is potentially an upside. Unfortunately what it really ends up being is CRAMPED. Everything gets jammed in very close looking; an aesthetically pleasing cooler this is not.
The construction is also a bit flimsier than the Edgestar unit above as well. Not terrible, but not as good overall.
This is made up for some by the lower price point, the fact that its overall performance is still similar (same temperature range, UV protection, and so forth), and one other feature.
I really like the vertical side rack that this one has, which is designed to store your opened wine bottles and preserve their flavor. It’s a great touch, I just wish it didn’t come at the cost of making everything else look smooshed together.
Dual zone technology ads extra versatility.
Great vertical side rack for chilling and storing opened bottles.
Interior is cramped and ugly.
7. Best Countertop Wine Cooler - Nutrichef 15 Bottle Countertop Compressor Cooler
At first glance, this Nutrichef unit is identical to the one above it, but it has a few key differences. The most noticeable one is the slightly lower bottle capacity, but that isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme. It makes better use of its space if nothing else, looking less cramped overall.
This model is also a countertop unit, small enough to fit most standard counter spaces. This is nice if you want it to be up off the floor and relatively out of the way.
It’s not a dual zone unit (which also lends to it being less cramped) and it’s a compressor cooler.
That last bit is probably the biggest drawback. Compressor units are quite a bit louder than thermoelectric models, which makes this a less than desirable unit to keep in any high traffic area, like your kitchen.
This is obviously at odds with it being a countertop model. If it was a free standing model you could put it pretty much anywhere out of the way and probably not notice it. Overall a very strange design choice, even if it is on the quieter end for a compressor model, it’s still a bit too noticeable for my taste.
Countertop model is compact and fits on most full sized counter spaces.
Vertical side rack for open wine bottles helps preserve open wines longer.
Good performance overall.
Great price for the size and performance.
A bit louder than a thermoelectric equivalent would be.
8. Best Starter Wine Cooler - Ivation 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Red and White Wine Cooler
This is a great smaller model, giving you a great starter cooler or one for smaller collections.
It has all the basic features you’d like from a wine cooler. It keeps the wine at a consistent temperature chosen by you (between 54 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, or 12 to 18 Celsius) and does so while remaining whisper quiet (the best feature of these thermoelectric) models.
A CFC free polyurethane provides good insulation, and the door is sealed against thermal leaks and protects your wines from UV rays so they aren’t spoiled by direct sunlight.
It’s a basic model, but is absolutely worth picking up if you want a relatively inexpensive wine cooling device. It has no frills, but provides all of the vitally necessary bits of a wine cooler while remaining accessible to use and easy to store wherever you please.
An overall solid buy for budget conscious wine drinkers.
Easy to use.
Protects from harmful UV rays that can spoil the taste of your wine.
Very low price for a wine cooler.
Fairly small capacity (only 18 normal sized bottles).
Extremely basic construction and function; no extra or advanced features.
9. Best Free Standing Wine Cooler - hOmelabs 18 Bottle Free Standing Wine Cooler
Another basic model from hOmelabs, with a few upsides and downsides compared to some similar options.
It hits all the basic benchmarks just fine; it cools between 54 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 18 degrees Celsius) and providing enough space for 18 regular sized wine bottles.
The construction is solid, with a set of decent chrome shelves that are easy to slide your bottles in and out of the wide and easy opening magnetically sealed door.
The LED screen is easy to read and adjust as well.
Unfortunately this cooler comes with a few drawbacks that really mar it. The first is its price; a bit more than a similar model above which I find to be a little better. It also has no UV protection, which isn’t ideal if you plan to store these wines long term.
If you’re already putting this somewhere fairly dark, or you don’t plan to age wines for flavor this is fine, but otherwise that may make this model undesirable.
While I like the overall construction and sleek design better than similar models, it all comes down to how much you value the UV protection.
Easy to use.
Sturdy and well built.
Good cooling ability.
Compact and easy to store.
A bit pricier than similar models.
No UV protection.
10. Best Budget Wine Cooler - Magic Chef 12 Bottle Single Zone Wine Cooler
This is a very low key unit, but it’s quite good for what it is.
It’s as basic as it gets in a lot of ways, no real frills here. You have standard shelving, no really noticeable tinting on the class, and a single zone of cooling with the standard temperature ranges.
But it makes and excellent miniature wine cooler. The price is exceptionally low for a wine refrigerator of any kind, and it’s small enough to fit on basically any counter top with at least 2 feet of clearance (which should be most of them).
It’s compact and whisper quiet, running on a thermoelectric cooling system that keeps it cool and quiet, the exact kind of thing you look for in something you’ll be putting somewhere you might have to be near it a lot, like a kitchen or parlor area.
It’s just an overall excellent unit for what it is, so long as you’re not expecting much out of it. It’s great for the part time wine collector or casual connoisseur, and would make a great addition to most homes.
Compact, lightweight, and easy to move and install.
Very low price for a wine cooler.
Whisper quiet for peace of mind in high traffic areas.
Low wine bottle capacity.
Poor UV shielding.
11. Best Compact Wine Cooler - Nutrichef 12 Bottle Free Standing Wine Cooler
One last one from Nutrichef, this time an ultra compact model.
This is a free standing 12 bottle model that gets very nice performance for its price. While not as low as the Magic Chef option above, it is still fairly inexpensive.
Unfortunately that higher price doesn’t really come with appreciably higher performance. It works fine, mind you, but it’s everything you’ve seen before, save with a slightly better temperature range; 41 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit rather than the usual 44 to 54 degrees range.
It’s easy to use, very tinted, and takes up a very small amount of space if you have small outdoor kitchen, making it an excellent buy for anyone with severe space concerns as well as a small collection. It’s far from my favorite wine cooler on this list, but I still thought it was worth mentioning for all those reasons.
Unfortunately that’s a give and take; it’s also a compressor unit, making it a bit louder than the average, and not one I’d recommend for any kind of high traffic area like a parlor or living room, or even the kitchen in some cases (if it’s too close to either, like with an open floor plan).
Compact and easy to tuck pretty much anywhere.
Wider than average temperature range; can run a bit colder than the usual.
Blocks UV rays well with very dark glass.
Easy to use.
Compressor cooling is inherently louder than thermoelectric cooling.
While I stand by the Kalamera Beverage Refrigerator as the best unit on this list, it’s not exactly the most cost efficient option. I believe the rest of this list captures a wide variety of performances and price ranges that should provide a good option for anybody.
From the smaller but still pricey Bodega to the compact and very low price Magic Chef and Nutrichef 12 bottle models, plus all of the other 18 bottle units in between, there should be a model for any household.
Of those 18 bottle “standard” units, my favorite comes down to the Wine Enthusiast model. Dual zone cooling is always a plus, and it provides excellent performance at a great price. Still, the others are strong contenders in their own ways as well, with various tradeoffs in price, size, and performance that are worth taking a closer look at before choosing which is right for you.
What Should I Look for in a Wine Cooler?
Wine coolers are surprisingly variable in what they can do, with a huge number of factors that can make or break a good cooler.
The biggest single decision you’re likely to make regarding a wine cooler is this: whether it’s a dual or single zone unit.
Dual or Single Zone?
Single zone units are typically cheaper, but are inherently less versatile than dual zone models.
A single zone wine cooler is a single encased unit that has one set temperature that chills the wine inside to the temperature you set. This temperature is usually somewhere between 44 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is fine, even great if you prefer a specific type of wine. Red wines and white wines are best served at different temperatures. While there’s no hard and fast rule, typically red wines are best served at a slightly warmer temperature than white ones for best results. In essence red wines are best chilled, while white wines are best when they’re actually COLD.
If you prefer either red or white wine over the other (or wine variants), it’s probably best to get a single zone, set it to your preferred temperature, and enjoy at your leisure.
However, if you have no real affinity for either and like to keep both around, then a dual zone model is a must have. It has two completely separated sides with individual temperature controls.
Higher end models have a complete 50/50 split between the two sides, while most will have one side smaller than the other.
These sides are usually split into a “cold side” and a “chill side” as I like to call them, with different temperature ranges in each. The “chill side” runs from 54 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (usually) and is designed for your warmer wines, while the “cold side” runs from 44 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit on average, and is better for your colder wines. These may be placed side by side or vertically depending on the model.
Ultimately which is best for you is going to depend on your need or want for the level of versatility from your wine cooler.
Much like any appliance, a wine cooler should be well made and sturdy, of a tough material that can weather the test of time. Steel is good for this, or aluminum in a pinch.
Wine coolers typically add an extra factor to this: glass.
The door of a wine cooler is usually going to be made of some kind of glass, and should preferably be tempered.
More importantly, a wine cooler’s glass door should have significant UV protection.
Sunlight (specifically UV rays) have a tendency to spoil wines, creating “wine faults” in them. These become more pronounced as the wine ages, so it’s less of a big deal if you plan to drink your wine fairly quickly, but is still a factor.
Paler wines (like your typical Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc) are the most at risk for this, which is why they usually come in tinted bottles of some kind.
Of other especially not for the construction of your wine cooler is that it should be sealed tightly and corrugated or dimpled on the inside; this keeps the humidity at a constant rate, which prevents the cork from drying out or harboring mold.
These things are almost, but not quite, up to personal preference. The last two main factors here are bottle count and type of cooling method.
Bottle count is simply the measure of the capacity. Your average wine cooler holds about 18 bottles of normal sized wine, and if you’re lucky will be able to hold larger bottles somewhere (like champagne bottles.
This is up to your needs; if 18 is enough, too little, or too much, buy one with a bigger count.
The second is compressors vs thermoelectric cooling. The gist of its is, the latter is quieter, and the former is usually cheaper. This is also pretty much completely up to preference.
You’re looking at an average minimum of about $200, and larger units can cost up to $1000 and can be far more.
What you’re willing to pay should be decided before choosing what you need from a wine cooler, because the price can add up fast.
For other bar appliances like under counter ice maker, look no further as we have it discussed here.