Best Wine Cooler Reviews
Top Rated Wine Refrigerators for 2022
A wine cellar (or wine cooler refrigerator) is a must-have for wine lovers and wine enthusiasts. If you like Finger Lakes wines and have a small to medium size collection of wines but no wine cellar, an electric wine cooler or small wine refrigerator is definitely a worthwhile investment. A dedicated wine chilling refrigerator helps to make sure that your wine is stored under the perfect lighting, temperature and humidity conditions and served at just the right temperature. A compact wine cooler or countertop electric wine cellar will free up space in your kitchen refrigerator for food and allow for more wine bottles to be chilled and stored properly, and ready to serve at all times.
All wine should be stored at a consistent temperature between 53-57° F, whether it’s red or white. It is only serving temperature that varies. Wine serving temperature has a big effect on how a wine tastes, smells, and feels on the palette. Served at the wrong temperature, even a good wine can be ruined. Wine is fragile, and is sensitive to temperature, light and humidity. The kitchen fridge is too cold and humid for wine, and comfortable room temperature is to warm, dry and inconsistent.
How to find the best wine refrigerator for you out of the various brands, models and sizes of wine refrigerators depends on your specific needs. The best wine fridge chiller for you may be a compact 6-bottle counter top wine cooler if you are short on space and wine. Or maybe a 28-bottle small wine refrigerator is more what you need. A dedicated wine refrigerator shouldn’t have to break the bank. There are budget, relatively inexpensive wine coolers under $100, as well as high-end wine refrigerators with all of the bells and whistles.
What is a Wine Cooler / Wine Chiller?
A wine cooler, or wine fridge, or electric wine cellar as they are also refered to, is a refrigerator dedicated specifically for cooling and storing wine that regulates the temperature, lighting and humidity needed for proper wine storge better than your standard kitchen refrigerator.
So how do I choose the Best Wine Refrigerator for me? …
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wine Cooler?
- Number of wine bottles
- Available Space and Placement
- Single Zone or Dual Zone
- Compressor or Thermo-electric
Number of Bottles:
Do you frequently entertain guests or have dinner parties? Do you drink wine with dinner every night? Did you recently go on a Finger Lakes wine tour and have new favorite bottles of wine? Or do you just want to get the clutter out of your kitchen refrigerator and still want a properly chilled bottle of wine ready when the moment is right? The answers to these questions will help you determine how many bottles of wine you need to be able to store in your wine cooler. Smaller compact wine coolers typically hold 6-24 bottles of wine and are great for the newbie wine enthusiast and casual wine collector.
Available Space and Placement:
The available space you have for a wine fridge will help determine whether you choose a compact countertop wine cooler, a wine chiller that fits under the counter, a small corner wine fridge, a not-so-compact, free standing wine refrigerator.
Location placement of your wine cooler is a factor in deciding which wine fridge to buy. If you are planning to put your wine refrigerator in a garage or a basement, you may want to look for a better insulated model to prevent wine storage temperature fluctuations due to extremely hot or cold external temperatures and humidity variations.
Single Zone or Dual Zone:
Are you storing just red wine, just white wine, or do you have both red wine and white wine bottles to store? Single zone refrigerators have only one temperature setting throughout the whole fridge. Dual zone wine coolers have controls for 2 different temperature settings within different areas of the fridge so you can store your red wines at one temperature and your whites at a colder, more ready-to-drink temperature. If your collection is varied and growing, you may want to invest in a dual-zone wine refrigerator.
Compressor or Thermoelectric:
Some people complain that an additional refrigerator will be too noisy. Thermoelectric wine coolers cool through a cooling node instead of a compressor, so they run much quieter and minimize vibrations, which can disturb the naturally occurring sediment in wine and interfere with the wine’s natural ageing process. If you are putting your wine cooler in a basement, garage or other out of the way place, a compressor regerator may be just fine, but for a wine cooler that hums quietly, a thermoelectric wine cooler is the way to go.
So why can’t I just store my wine in my regular kitchen refrigerator?…
Advantages of a Wine Cooler vs. a regular kitchen refrigerator?
- Temperature Stability – The kitchen fridge has way more traffic than a dedicated wine refrigerator, and everytime the refrigerator door is opened the temperature fluctuates in the fridge, which is not good for proper storage of wine. Also, the kitchen refrigerator might be a little too cold for storing wine, which ideally should be stored at approximately 55°F. The average refirgerator is set at below 45°F to safely store perishable foods, which is a little chillier than the recommended temperature for wine storage.
- Frees up space in your kitchen refrigerator – Wine bottles take up a lot of space in the fridge that could otherwise be used for food.
- Reduced Vibration – The kitchen refrigerator has a compressor running to keep it cold, which causes vibration. Vibration stirs up the natural sediments in the wine, which is not good for proper aging of the wine. Thermoelectric wine coolers cool through a cooling node instead of a compressor, so they run quieter and minimize vibrations.
- Lighting Control – Light is an enemy of stored wine. UV rays can degrade and prematurely age wine. Lots of these wine coolers have tinted glass doors to protect the wine from harmful UV rays while still being able to see your wine collection.
- Humidity Control – Ideally, wines should be stored at a humidity level of 70 percent, which keeps the cork from drying out and letting air come into contact with the wine.