The wine fridge, or wine chiller, is one of those neat gadgets aimed at very precise kinds of atmospheric preservation. Unlike a regular minifridge, these plug-in models deliver consistent ambient temperatures for keeping red and white wines in just the right conditions for pouring or preserving. Finding the right wine fridge, however, can be tough. There are a whole lot of designs for wine fridges available on the market. First, buyers have to think about the quantity of bottles being stored. Some models fit up to several dozen bottles, for instance, while others are made to be single-bottle chillers.
Also, there’s a lot more complexity when it comes to finding the best wine fridge for a particular home collection. Some models offer dual-zone chilling for storage and serving, while others keep all of the wines at the same temperature. There’s also the energy footprint to think about, as some of these models run through kilowatt-hours much more quickly than others. In addition, it’s a good idea to consider how noisy a unit is, as well as its visual design and whether it fits into a particular furnishing scheme.
Below are some of our favorite wine fridges on the market.
NewAir 32-Bottle Dual-Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler ($400+)
Improper storage of your wine can lead to disappointment when you finally open that bottle you’ve been saving. This NewAir thermoelectric wine fridge is a good starting point if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive, no-frills way to store 32 bottles of wine the right way. The LED display and digital controls make it easy to operate, and you can adjust the thermostat to chill your wine to its optimal temperature. You can also enjoy the benefits of dual cooling zones, so you can chill red wines on one side and white wines on the other. Plus, the cooler is freestanding, so you can move it to the game room for poker night, to the kitchen for a dinner party, or into the backyard for your annual summer barbecue.
Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar ($90)
The Haier six-bottle wine fridge comes from a maker of versatile dehumidifiers and countertop dishwashers, sure, but it remains a very popular choice if you intend to store six bottles or fewer at a time. It’s a single-zone unit with a temperature range that can fluctuate between 45 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 to 18.9 degrees Celsius). The bottles rest on chrome wire racks. The temperature readout shows up on a small LCD display. This small unit (20.3 by 14.1 by 9.9 inches) fits onto most countertops, and wine enthusiasts with more space can buy progressively larger designs if desired.
Electrolux IQ-Touch 46-Bottle Wine Cooler ($1,980)
If you’re a more serious collector, the Electrolux 46-bottle wine cooler has some nice features. While it only has a single temperature zone, you can set it between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 to 18.3 degrees Celsius). The UV-filtered glass door should protect more sensitive bottles from light. Inside the stylish unit are LED lights and wood shelves that slide out on a ball bearing system. Built-in alarms will let you know if you left the door ajar, if the temperature is fluctuating, or if the power went out. You’ll also be able to keep valuable vintages under lock and key.
Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Refrigerator ($270)
Not to be outdone, Wine Enthusiast offers its own 18-bottle system, one that can easily fit into tight spaces given its slim build. The 37-inch-tall thermoelectric fridge looks a little different from the other options on this list. A dual-zone model, the fridge holds 10 bottles on top and eight on the bottom. The larger zone is meant for storage, holding temperatures between 54 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit (12.2 and 18.9 degrees Celsius). The bottom zone lets you chill your whites to ready-to-serve temperatures, with a range of 46 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit (7.7 degrees to 18.9 degrees Celsius). One really unique feature is the upright bottle shelf, which allows irregularly shaped bottles to stand up.
Vinotemp 2-Bottle Open Wine Cooler ($194)
If you’re really short on space, Vintotemp’s 2-Bottle Open Wine Cooler is just 11.4 inches wide by 10.3 inches deep and 10.3 inches tall. Sure, it’s small, but it can still chill your wine to between 41 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 18.9 degrees Celsius) using thermoelectric technology. While it’s pricer than the six-bottle Haier model and probably isn’t the best choice for long-term storage, it will take up less counter space and won’t overchill your champagne.
Vinotemp 1,130-Bottle Walk-in Wine Vault ($11,395)
Just in case you want to go the polar opposite of the two-bottle chiller, Vinotemp has customized walk-in wine vaults. With redwood-and-powder-coated-metal shelves and a 1,130-bottle capacity, this 72-inch-by-73-inch-by-80-inch behemoth is just the beginning of where serious (extremely wealthy) collectors can start. Lighting and locks don’t even come standard, and if you want a biometric fingerprint lock, prepare to shell out an extra $419. Small price to pay for keeping your fancy-pants collection safe, right?
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