Why buy a wine cooler?
Wine coolers are great appliances for anyone with a wine collection, or for anyone without a cool, dry place to store it. The ideal temperature range to store your wine is between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If wine gets too warm, its flavor will go flat. If it freezes, the cork’s seal can fail. A wine fridge will consistently keep wine (and other beverages) at the ideal temperature and on its side to properly preserve it and prepare it for drinking. And the sleek and stylish designs of wine fridges mean that they can fit right into almost any kitchen.
What should you look for in a wine cooler?
- Temperature Control: Obviously, you want to be able to control the temperature of your wine cooler. This allows you to operate it to better store the specific type of wine. For example, white wine is generally stored cooler than red wine.
- Multiple Ranges: If you only prefer one drink, such as red wine, then it isn’t much of an issue if your wine cooler only has one temperature range. However, if you have people in the house who prefer multiple drink types, having a wine cooler with multiple sections within the fridge that can be set at different ranges is best in order to set them at their specific ideal temps.
- Capacity & Shelves: Make sure that you’ll be able to store as much (or as little) as you want and need. Thankfully, there are wine coolers on the market in various sizes and capacities to meet different needs. There should be multiple shelves or racks inside the fridge to accommodate the bottles that you want to store. Removable shelves are great if you want to be able to store larger or more awkwardly shaped bottles. Shelves that roll out (with stoppers) are also convenient so that you can clearly read a bottle’s label before selecting it. The shelves should securely hold your bottles to minimize rolling and breaking.
- Operation: A good wine cooler will run quietly with minimal vibration, as clanky and shaky appliances can be a real nuisance. An energy-efficient model can minimize the wine cooler’s impact on your energy bill, saving you money for more wine!
Is a wine cooler only for wine?
Absolutely not! A wine cooler can store and cool most beverages! Having temperature control means that they’re versatile for just about any drink that you can think of, from sparkling cider to beer cans to soda to even apple juice. Not every beverage container will fit into the specific shelves of the cooler, but many different things often will. If you’re a beverage lover, a wine cooler is an amazingly convenient addition to your home.
Kalamera Wine Cooler
This energy-efficient wine cooler features an impressive cooling system and sleek design.
Pros: This wine cooler is made with a durable steel frame and two layers of tempered glass, helping to stabilize inner temperatures and keeping the glass from fogging. It features a defrosting function that works every six hours to keep your wine optimally fresh and your wine cooler appearing its best. It can hold up to 45 bottles on its five quality wooden shelves. The thermostat offers two zones and an LED display to help you choose which temperature is right for your wines. Perhaps the best part of this wine cooler is the versatile design that allows it to be easily installed under the counter in a kitchen or bar area or as a free-standing statement piece.
Cons: While this wine cooler can hold up to 45 bottles, this is only the case with typical wine bottle sizes. If you prefer champagne or pinot or like to buy magnum bottles, you won’t be able to fit as many bottles. Different-shaped bottles might also pose a problem with the grooved shelf design. The temperature control can also be finicky, so you might have to check the temperature periodically to ensure that it’s set where you want it.
Bottom Line: This is a great wine cooler for people who want a classic and sleek option. The blue light is a nice feature to catch your attention and display your collection. While the shelving and size might limit the true number of bottles that you can store, there’s a dual-zone LED thermostat to keep your wines at the best temperatures, whether under or on the counter.
Koolatron Temperature Control Wine Cellar
A wine cooler featuring dual zones that are separately controlled with a digital display.
Pros: With two different zones controlled separately, this wine cooler is great for keeping multiple types of wine. Each zone is designed to hold up to six 750-milliliter standard bottles on removable racks, so the fridge can hold up to 12 bottles or be rearranged to hold larger bottles. It’s easy to control with an easy-to-read digital display and an inner LED light for easy reference of your wine. The unit also features a compact design, so it can fit almost anywhere in your home where there’s a power source. The door blocks UV light for even greater wine protection and storage while also highlighting your wine collection. The reliable cooling on this unit is also eco-friendly without vibrations or harmful CFCs.
Cons: The cooling settings might change unexpectedly, so it’s wise to keep this unit in a place where you can occasionally check that the inner temperature is still at the correct setting. Hot temperatures might cause the unit to experience trouble regulating the temperature. Also, the dual zones aren’t interchangeable, so you’ll have to keep white wines on the top section only. Even though the design is compact, these coolers can’t be stacked.
Bottom Line: This is a great budget option for someone who doesn’t need to store more than 10 bottles of wine. While the temperature can be difficult to control, the display is easy to read, its design is sleek, and the door blocks UV light for extra protection.
Nutrichef PKCWC120 Refrigerator-White & Red Chiller Countertop Cooler-Freestanding Compact Mini Wine Fridge 12 Bottle Capacity, Digital Control, Black
This refrigerator features child-safe auto-lock functionality and a customizable internal temperature.
Pros: This cooler has a built-in circulation fan and ventilation grill as well as accurate precision compressor cooling technology. The temperature (in Celsius and Fahrenheit) is easily adjustable, and there are inner LED lights to help you see and choose which bottle of wine you want to pair with your evening charcuterie. The glass door is reinforced for added durability and has an airtight seal. You can place it on the floor or on a countertop and store up to 12 bottles inside.
Cons: This cooler only features one zone, so you’ll be forced to choose between reds or whites this time! It’s only for standard-sized bottles as well. While the design is compact, the handle is larger than most and might take up more space than needed, especially if you’re trying to tuck this cooler into a smaller location. The unit needs to be unplugged and then plugged back in to reset the temperature, which can be a bit of a hassle.
Bottom Line: This is a great option for someone who wants a compact design and prefers to drink one type of wine. There are multiple useful built-in elements, such as ventilation grills and a circulation fan, to help keep your wine fresh and party-worthy. You can easily adjust the temperature, and it’s nice for both short-term and long-term wine storage.
Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Wine Cooler
This wine cooler requires minimal freezer space and chills wine within five minutes of use.
Pros: This cooler is designed to chill your bottle of wine in only five minutes and will keep it cold for hours. The inner element slides out, allowing you to easily freeze it without taking up much space. The inner shell is flexible, can lie flat when removed, can be cleaned easily, and can tolerate both regular and prolonged use. It’s also easily transported, making it ideal for use at home or on the go!
Cons: The inner element must be frozen for at least six hours before use. If you’ve forgotten to freeze it ahead of time or you want to chill another bottle back-to-back with the same unit, you’re out of luck. Also, the ice pack will struggle to chill the top of the bottle since they won’t come in contact with each other. The process can take longer than five minutes if the wine is at room temperature.
Bottom Line: This is a great portable or at-home wine chiller for wine that’s already chilled. It will keep chilled wine cold without a mess and for longer than the standard bucket of ice, but it won’t be able to chill the very top of the bottle if it’s at room temperature. The design is great for one bottle at a time, but you must freeze the inner shell for at least six hours beforehand. However, the entire unit does save a lot of space, and the inner part is durable, easy to clean, and flexible.
Kalamera Wine and Beverage Refrigerator
This refrigerator has room for multiple beverage types and an automatic backup temperature control setting.
Pros: This refrigerator can keep almost any beverage at just the right temperature. It allows you to treat your guests to whatever drinks they desire since it has two sections—one for bottles, one for cans—and two different temperature ranges for those sections. It can store 20 wine bottles and 78 cans. There’s also a temperature backup setting that will save your precious drinks by automatically restoring the last set temperature in the event of a power outage. Its stainless steel make and French doors are sure to add flair to almost any space, whether on or below the counter.
Cons: Awkwardly shaped cans or bottles might not fit properly. It can’t be used outdoors, such as on a patio, and it can be louder than some models on the market while trying to cool itself down. While the dual zones are great, it only goes down to 38 degrees Fahrenheit, and many folks prefer their canned beverages colder.
Bottom Line: The design elements give this cooler great functionality and appearance. The sliding metal racks and wooden shelves are useful, and there are two zones: one that’s ideal for wine bottles and one that’s ideal for beer and soda cans.
AAOBOSI Upgraded Wine Cooler
With quick cooling and low vibration, this wine cooler can store a large number of bottles.
Pros: This cooler protects your wine’s flavor by featuring two built-in circulation fans to keep the temperature perfectly regulated. There are dual zones with separate temperature settings and a carbon filter to keep the air inside the cooler fresh, cool, and pure. Six wooden shelves easily slide out to help you choose the right drink, and adjustable feet ensure that the cooler stays and sits level on almost any surface. It features a safety lock to keep little fingers away from your glass bottles, and it can fit 51 standard Bordeaux bottles.
Cons: If you need to store a variety of bottle sizes, this cooler might not be able to handle it. The dual zones, while handy, are preset for temperature ranges that can’t be changed. The upper zone is much smaller than the lower zone, so larger bottles will obviously be harder to fit in the above zone. When stored at full capacity, the bottles will also rub against each other, which can damage labels.
Bottom Line: This wine cooler is great for storing a lot of wine, with removable shelves and inner circulation that keep it fresh and at just the right temperature. While it’s not as customizable as other models on the market, it offers features that will help you store a variety of wine bottles—just fewer of them. Overall, it’s a stylish way to store a lot of wine.
Wine coolers are a great investment for almost any wine lover, offering a place to store their bottles without cluttering their fridge or creating an expensive wine room in their basement. Wine coolers can add a little extra class to almost any home, so they’re great to look into if you’re remodeling and looking for that one missing piece.