Table of Contents
- Wine Fridge Buying Guide
- Review Of the 5 Best Wine Fridges
It has been a long week and a cup of wine is the perfect treat for your weekend or perhaps you’ve planned that special dinner with anticipation and it comes in handy having a couple of cool liquor bottles to offer your guests.
However; beyond just storing wine in wooden cabinets with glass doors or cellars, it’s always a good idea to have an electrically powered mini cooler around to keep your drinks cold, just in case you need to pop a bottle for your friends.
Wine refrigerators have become a common appliance in many homes, beyond just bars and restaurants, as there are brands that offer small, wine fridges for your kitchen or your personal studio. Depending on the size/capacity of the inner shelves, you can also store cans or other bottled drinks in them.
Therefore, if a wine, drink cooler is on your wish list, you will find the next buying guide helpful!
Wine Fridge Buying Guide
What Exactly is a Wine Refrigerator?
Wine/drink refrigerators have been around for a long time in commercial places such as restaurants, bars, cantinas, cafés, due to the immediate need to have an under-counter wine fridge to cool bottles if the clients requested drinks at their table. Wine coolers and mini-fridges became quite popular in the 1980’s as a common asset among young tenants renting apartments in the US.
Decades have passed and fortunately for the common homeowner, wine fridges have become more portable and energy-efficient as thermoelectric wine fridges of high electricity consumption have been slowly replaced by compressor-driven coolers that are more environmentally friendly and that won’t overcharge your electricity bill.
Nevertheless, before you choose your personal electronic wine cellar for your kitchen or studio, you’d need to define what is the type of mini wine/beer/drink fridge that will adapt to your personal drink choices.
How to Choose The Best Wine Cooler For You
The main specs of a wine cooler we should keep in mind have to do with installation type, capacity, types of temperature, and of course, price. Let’s review the most outstanding characteristics of a wine cooler in-depth:
- Freestanding: A freestanding wine cooler is basically a unit that you should not store into a shelved cabinet or place on a cupboard as usually their exhaust will be located at the rear part of the fridge and it will need space for the fans to ventilate and breathe. It is recommendable to place a freestanding wine cooler on the floor close to an AC outlet as using an extension cord may affect its overall performance.
- Built-in: A built-in wine cooler is a fridge that can be placed into cabinetry as long as you follow the instructions that the brand specifies in their user’s guide for the correct installation of it. It can be placed on top of another piece of furniture, as long as the exhaust is uncovered.
- Freestanding & Built-in: Some wine coolers will come with the advantage of dual choice installation, freestanding and built-in. Again, make sure you read the manual properly before choosing which will be the final installation for your device.
- Dual zoned: A dual zoned wine cooler has two independent storage spaces, most likely it will be a partition in the middle (vertical or horizontal) that will maintain a separate coolness temperature, so you can divide your red and white wine bottles in between them. Most modern wine fridges come with adjustable temperature settings and a digital display to control those.
- Single zoned: If a wine cooler/drink cooler is presented as single zoned, it means that it is not partitioned and that it has a steady temperature that will cool all your wine bottles or drinks at the same level. Usually, mini-fridges of one single temperature zone will be aimed more at beer, soda, juice bottles plus other soft liquors and not so much at wines.
Capacity & Shelves
The overall capacity of a wine cooler can be measured in cubic feet and depth (in inches or centimeters) However, each wine cooler includes interior shelves (usually made of wood) or metallic racks for you to place and order your bottles efficiently. Some models even have the number of bottles they store in their commercial name. Check out for online reviews of previous customers acquiring and storing bottles in their wine fridges, you may get a closer idea of the bottle size the wine cooler supports. The average capacity of a portable wine cooler is between 29-38 standard-sized (750 ml.) bottles.
Brands & Prices
There is a wide array of brands that manufacture and sell portable wine coolers. Among the most popular ones we can find the Vintec wine fridges, Electrolux Frigidaire’s wine coolers, Sub Zero, CDA, Haier, Newair, Caple, Vinotemp and Liebherr coolers have been around for quite some time; Danby and Magic Chef mini-fridges being some of the most popular ones in the bunch.
The price of a wine cooler can start from $200 up to $1000 dollars, depending on their capacity, overall design, and temperature settings. You can buy a wine cooler online or at department stores. The common warranty in store for your wine cooler may be of 1 year or 18 months for defective, factory, or delivery damaged parts. Make sure the sellers assure you that the warranty will be valid if the unit is purchased with them.In this buying guide, our editors have chosen to review 5 outstanding wine cooler models you’d like to keep an eye on.
Review Of the 5 Best Wine Fridges
Manufacturer, color, materials: The Frigidaire 38 Bottle 2-Zone Wine Cooler by Electrolux is a practical wine fridge that offers two separate temperature zones for you to store your red and white wine bottles or any other bottled drink. It is made of stainless steel; it comes with a steel door with a glass window for you to look at what it’s inside. Its inner shelves are made of wood, the cooler has integrated LED light. Its finish is smooth, metallic grey.
Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: This small fancy appliance stands 34 inches above the ground, measures 21.5 inches wide, and has an internal depth of 24.5 inches. This wine cooler has a and has a capacity of 38 bottles and 4.4 cubic feet.
Voltage, Temperature range: This Frigidaire Wine cooler uses 120 volts to operate and the inner temperature range of it is 41F to 64F (5° to 17° Celsius).
Safety: Electrolux recommends cleaning this unit every two months. Do not use detergent, make sure the fridge’s control is set to OFF, unplug it, remove the bottles and wash the interior of it with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda in approximately 1/4 of warm water. Rinse and dry.
Other features: This lightweight wine fridge comes with a reversible door hinge, which means its door can be installed to open from left to right, or right to left, depending on the space you’ll design for it, it also offers different temperatures for red wine, 55 F, (12° C) and white wine 45 F. (7 °C).
Manufacturer, color, materials: The Guangzhou Wanbao Group, a popular Chinese brand known for their good quality electronic devices that are sold at very affordable prices present their Magic Chef line, and their very popular Magic Chef Beverage Cooler made of stainless steel, with an inbuilt see-through glass door, metallic shelves and LED light. Its finish is stainless color style with an automatic defrost feature.
Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: This practical beverage cooler measures 27.2 x 25.4 x 37 inches and weighs 95.2 pounds. Its internal capacity of 5.1 cubic feet allows up to 154 drink cans to be stored successfully among three shelves. Impressive!
Voltage, Temperature range: This device needs a standard 115 volts AC outlet to operate as it is a 110 volts device. Also, it is a single zone beverage cooler; its inner temperature range is 37F to 47F (2.7° to 8°) this cooler is not meant for wine bottles for its low-temperature settings, however, white wines can be stored in it if necessary.
Safety: The Guangzhou Wanbao Group doesn’t recommend using an extension cord for their mini-fridges as their performance may be affected. If the cooler is away from the power grid socket, ask a certified electrician to install a new outlet nearby the area where your beverage cooler will be placed.
Other features: The Magic Chef drink cooler is a practical device that allows you to remove its shelves for easier cleansing. Also, it comes with a LED mini-display screen that allows you to control its functions digitally.
Manufacturer, color, materials: NewAir introduces their Dual Zone29-Bottle Wine Cooler that offers a double zone cooling for up to 29 standard-sized wine bottles. Its overall composition is stainless steel; it comes with a glass door and elegant blue LED lights that illuminate your stored bottles. Its inner shelves are made of wood, it can be chosen in black stainless-steel style or grey metallic color.
Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: This small fancy appliance stands 33.75 inches above the ground, measures 14.88 inches wide, weighing 73.8 pounds, and has an internal depth of 22.5 inches with a cubic feet capacity of 3.2. This wine cooler stores 29 bottles on 5 shelves.
Voltage, Temperature range: The NewAir wine mini fridge uses 120 volts to operate, its temperature range is 40F to 66F (4° to 16° Celsius). You can adjust the inner temperature to maintain your white wine bottles from 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the upper zone/shelves and your red wine bottles from 50F to 66F in the lower zone/shelves. This unit has a consumption of 260 Kilowatt Hours Per Year.
Safety: New Air warns their clients to clean the condenser/manually defrost this unit at least once every six months, otherwise the lack of cleansing can cause a malfunction in the internal mechanism of the wine fridge. Also, allow the unit temperature to stabilize for 24 hours before use and never obstruct any internal fans. Following these recommendations will add more lifespan to your cooler.
Other features: For extra precaution, this unit has been equipped with a lockable UV glass door, preventing children or unwanted people to have access to the stored bottles. Despite the fact this cooler’s installation is built-in, its front-venting design allows this device to be displayed as a freestanding cooler in your kitchen.
Manufacturer, color, materials: The Canadian Danby company that have independent retail stores across Canada, the US, and México is well known for their wine coolers of great capacity and good prices. The Danby Designer 38 Bottle Dual Zone wine is a sophisticated free frost drink cooler that is made of stainless steel, with 6 metallic inner racks that are separated by dual zoned temperatures, ideal for your whole collection of reds and whites. It comes in grey metallic color, and its white LED thermostat can be seen through its glass door.
Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: The Danby wine cooler measures 24.94 x 19.4 x 33.13 inches, it weighs 90.4 pounds and with a capacity of 4 cubic feet it can store up to 38 standard-sized bottles inside its cabinet.
Voltage, Temperature range: This wine cooler uses 115 volts to operate and its inner temperature range is programmable between 4°C – 18°C (39.2°F -64.4°F). It is a dual zoned fridge that can be adjusted for different types of wine.
Safety: Danby recommends not to store perishable food, groceries, in this unit such as meats, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. We must keep in mind a wine fridge doesn’t work at the same low temperatures that a regular refrigerator does, therefore your foods may go bad sooner than you think. Avoid bad odors and unpleasant stains on your wine cooler, just store bottled drinks in it.
Other features: This wine cooler is equipped with a tempered glass door that protects your wine bottles from UV rays, plus its magnetic door gaskets retain humidity levels inside the device. Also, this model comes with a reversible hinge for left or right door opening.
Manufacturer, color, materials: The Texan brand EdgeStar; experts in manufacturing lifestyle appliances, has released their 36 Bottle Built-In Wine cooler. An elegantly designed wine cooler in French door style, that has two small glass doors that open a cabinet in which you can store your bottled drinks among the 12 metallic racks with wooden fronts that are split into two separate sections inside the fridge. Its finish is smooth, metallic grey with stainless-steel black.
Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: This small fancy appliance’s height is 33.88 inches, it measures 23.44 inches wide, and has an internal depth of 22.63 inches. This wine cooler has a storage capacity of 36 bottles of standard size (750 mm).
Voltage, Temperature range: This very fancy wine cooler uses a standard AC outlet of 115 volts to operate and its temperature range is 40F to 65F (4° to 18° Celsius). It features a digital display mini screen to control its functions easily. Also, it is a dual zoned mini fridge that has an integrated safety lock to keep your drinks safe.
Safety: Even though this cooler is programmed to automatically defrost, EdgeStar advises checking upon your fridge during wintertime; this is because if the device has been operating in very cold/humid environments for long periods, frost can be built on top of the shelves and you’d need to defrost it manually to help the compressor to keep operating efficiently. Warning! Never use pointy/sharp objects to remove frost!
Other features: Just like our car alerts us if a door hasn’t been properly closed, this wine refrigerator presents the advantage of an inbuilt door ajar alarm, which will go off if one of its doors is open or semi-open for more than 5 minutes. Let’s remember that leaving your wine cooler’s doors open for extended periods of time will result in poor cooling performance and electricity waste. Also, this unit comes with tempered glass doors that protect your favorite drinks from the UV sun rays and a carbon filter that absorbs odors (It needs to get replaced every 3-6 months).
Standard refrigerators have to operate at low temperatures to preserve your perishable foods for as long as possible: Milk, juice, meats, fruits, and vegetables. Usually, kitchen refrigerators are set between 32-40°F (0° to 4° Celsius) whereas wine coolers do not need to operate that low since wine should not be stored at very cold temperatures.
As you probably know, the ideal coolness for your wine bottles is between 45-65°F (7° to 18° Celsius). Also, keep in mind your refrigerator is an “All family” appliance that is constantly being opened-closed and meanwhile your juice cartons won’t go bad if your refrigerator is constantly vibrating; wine taste may be affected by the constant agitation, plus, if children peek in your fridge, it is not the best idea to have glass bottles stored in it.
The lifespan of a wine cooler is regularly between 10 to 15 years. And just like standard refrigerators, wine fridges can endure a few repairs in their useful life. Unfortunately, sometimes the spare parts for a broken wine cooler may be more expensive than the device in itself, and some customers would prefer to buy a new unit, instead of repairing an old one.
In this article, we list our favorite 5 best selling wine coolers from diverse brands that are also of varied prices. Frigidaire is a veteran manufacturer of cooling devices such as portable AC units and mini-fridges. EdgeStar has been in the home appliance market for a long time, Danby, NewAir, and the Magic Chef appliance line have featured as top sellers on online stores in the category of wine/ beverage coolers and kitchen appliances.
Modern wine coolers come with a digital display mini screen with an LED light that is usually placed at the top of the fridge and that allows you to change the temperature settings digitally. Dual zoned coolers will allow you to change the temperature of both partitions in the device separately.
A wine cooler is no more dangerous than a common kitchen refrigerator. Let’s remember that any appliance that is electrically powered and that works with refrigerant gas is potentially hazardous/explosive if we store flammable products in it such as aerosol cans.
Do not forget however that a wine fridge is equipped with glass doors, therefore make sure your device is well-grounded and away from the reach of children or pets.
Also, when the time to dispose of your fridge has come you must comply with your local regulations regarding disposal of the device due to its flammable refrigerant components.
All refrigeration /cooler products contain refrigerant gas, which under the rules of federal laws must be removed before disposal.
If you are a wine enthusiast that loves to own a particular mini bar, a wine fridge is a must in your home, especially because such devices are usually equipped with safety locks for extra security and UV tempered glass doors that will protect your wine bottles from the sunlight.
Also, let’s not forget your bottles will be stored at correct temperatures with the necessary humidity, both your white and reds.
From the old wine cellars in Europe that used to be dark underground caves in which wine bottles were meticulously taken care of, to portable mini-refrigerators that keep your favorite drinks preserved at hand, we have come a long way, and having your own wine cellar at home, is definitely something you’ll want to experience. Cheers!