Do I Really Need To Buy A Wine Refrigerator?

A wine cooler, sometimes also called a wine fridge or a wine refrigerator is used to store wine at the ideal temperature for serving. In order to enjoy the best taste from your wine, whether it is an expensive bottle or a more reasonably priced one, you need to keep it at the correct constant temperature.

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What Does A Wine Refrigerator Do?

Storing wine in a place where the temperature fluctuates a lot such as a fridge (the temperature fluctuates every time you open it), in the garage or on the worktop causes some chemical reactions in the wine which spoils its taste. By keeping your wine in a wine refrigerator, you make sure that it is stored at the same constant temperature to preserve its taste.

A wine chiller will store wine for serving and should not be used for aging of wines. You can store wines for up to a year in a chiller but if you are looking to age wine for longer, then you should get a wine cabinet or a wine cellar.

Why Do I Need A Wine Refrigerator?

As mentioned above, wine fridges are essential for keeping wine at the ideal constant temperature for serving if you want to enjoy the best possible taste out of your wine collection. However, there are more benefits to having a wine cooler at home or in your establishment.

​1. Humidity Control

Incorrect humidity levels can also spoil your wine. Wine coolers are especially designed to maintain a specific humidity level and insulation to preserve your wine for longer.

2. Protection From Odors

If you leave your wine in the fridge or with other things around, then the odors from foods, drinks and other things lying around the wine will eventually spoil your wine. A wine cooler will keep your wine away from odors.​

    What Temperature Should A Wine Refrigerator Be Set At?

    You first need to decide whether you are going to use your wine cooler primarily for wine storage, for wine serving or for both because that will help you decide what temperature you need to set it at.

    All wines whether they are red, rose or white should be stored between 53-57 degrees F. When it comes to serving wine, then the basic rule is the lighter the wine, the colder it needs to be when serving. But, here are some guidelines that will help you decide what temperature your wine should be served at:

    • Sparkling wine - 45 to 48 degrees F​
    • Light white wine – 45 to 50 degrees F
    • Full-bodied white wine – 50 to 55 degrees F
    • Light red wines – 55 – 60 degrees F
    • Full-bodied red wines – 60 – 65 degrees F

    Why Choose A Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator?

    Wines need to be stored and served at different temperatures. If you are going to be using your wine cooler for both storage and serving, then you should go for dual zone wine cooler.

    However, if you are going to use your wine cooler for exclusively storage or exclusively serving, then you can go for a single temperature unit.

    In a single zone wine cooler, you only have one temperature control and the space inside is not separated. A dual zone wine cooler has two temperature controls and the storage space is divided into two separate sections which can operate independently from each other in terms of temperature.

    A dual zone wine cooler allows you to therefore store and serve red wines and white wines without having to buy two separate coolers. However, dual zone wine coolers tend to have larger storage capacity than single zone coolers.

    You could also use a single zone wine cooler to store both reds and whites if you are struggling with space. Store your reds are the top of the chiller (which is slightly warmer than the bottom of the chiller by about 5-8 degrees F) and the whites at the bottom.

    What Is A Thermoelectric Wine Refrigerator?

    A standard compressor wine cooler works very much like a fridge and uses vapor compression cycle to cool the space inside the cooler. A thermoelectric wine cooler on the other hand uses a different technology (the Peltier effect) to remove heat from the inside of the cooler based on sending an electric current through two pieces of metal.

    Thermoelectric chillers have less moving parts and as a result use less power. However, it is not as powerful as compressor based chillers and this is why thermoelectric coolers tend to have smaller capacity.

    On the other hand, thermoelectric chillers tend to be less noisy because they have less moving parts than compressor based chillers.

    It is important to note that standard compressor based wine chillers make the same amount of noise as a normal fridge. However, if this amount of noise is an issue to you, then you should go for a thermoelectric wine cooler.

    What Size Wine Refrigerator Should I Buy?

    Most wine coolers will stock at least 12 bottles. Most people go for a wine chiller that will fit their current stock of wine. But they fail to realize that once they buy a wine chiller, they end up stocking more wine.

    First, you need to remember that you can store wine for up to a year in a wine cooler. So, it is really up to you. If you drink one bottle of wine a week and do not want to go out every week and buy a bottle of wine, then you could stock up for a year. You will then need a wine cooler with at least a 52 bottle capacity.

    If you like to go out every so often to buy wine to add to your collection, then so you can settle for a smaller capacity wine cooler such as a 28 bottle or a 32 bottle wine chiller.

    You also need to consider how often you entertain guests and how many bottles of wine you get through on those entertaining evenings. If you get through 10 bottles of wine at a time on those evenings, then your chiller need to be able to stock those additional bottles of wine for entertainment on top of your usual consumption.

    I would personally recommend going for a wine chiller with at least a 20 bottle capacity because that would be big enough to stock a decent collection while at the same time not requiring much space in your home.

    How To Choose A Wine Refrigerator?

    You need to buy a wine cooler that will suit your needs. We have already provided some guidance above on the following criteria above:

    • Size
    • Thermoelectric or compressor
    • Dual zone or single zone

    There are a couple of additional things to consider when deciding which wine cooler to buy:

    How Would It Look In My House And How Convenient Is It?

    1. Counter-Top

    If you are short on space, then you can buy a counter-top wine cooler which are usually quite small and can stock up to 24 bottles. This type of cooler will also suit you well if you tend buy wines very often.​

    2. Built-In

    Built-in wine coolers will also suit you if you are short on space. They are quite expensive because they are designed to not require ventilation around them in order to operate. There may also be costs involved in creating a space for it. But the plus side is that they will look quite good once fitted in with the rest of your furniture. You can get these for all bottle capacities.​

    3. Free-Standing

    You should go for this if space is not an issue in your home. You can also pretty much put it anywhere you like in your home and even move it to a different area from time to time. Free standing wine coolers come in all bottle capacities.​

    How Much Do Wine Refrigerators Cost?

    Price is another factor to consider when buying a wine cooler. I tend to believe that you get what you pay for. For a good quality wine cooler, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the capacity and the features you want.

    You should also bear in mind that you will be charged shipping costs by most manufacturers that can go up to hundreds of dollars for large wine coolers.

    Are Wine Refrigerators Noisy?

    As discussed above, thermoelectric wine chillers are very quiet. Compressor based wine coolers make some noise but nothing more than the noise from a fridge.

    Who Makes The Best Wine Refrigerator?

    There are many wine cooler manufacturers out there. My research shows that the most popular and reliable brands that have good reviews from people who have used them are the following:

      What Are The Best Wine Refrigerators?

      There is no one best wine refrigerator because it depends on what features you want and what size you want. We have rated the best wine refrigerators in various categories below to give you an idea of what to go for based on customer reviews.

      What Is The Best Small Wine Refrigerator?

      The Haier 6 bottle wine cooler is the best in this category. It has the following features:

      • ​It can store 6 bottles of wine
      • Compact freestanding installtion, ideal for countertops
      • Thermoelectric which means that it does not make any noise
      • It is single zone which means it can store either whites or reds
      • Soft interior light so you can see your wines and at the same time display them nicely
      • Easy to operate with blue LED temperature controls

      If you are looking for a slightly bigger wine cooler, then you can go for the 12 bottle version of this particular wine refrigerator reviewed here on out site.

      What Is The Best Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator?

      The EdgeStar 36 bottle built-in dual zone French door wine cooler is our top choice in this category.

      The EdgeStar brand dominates the wine cooler market because it offers good quality products at an affordable price making it the perfect choice for most people.

      Check out our detailed review of EdgeStar wine coolers for a detailed description of this specific wine cooler.

      The Kalamera 46 bottle wine refrigerator is our second best option in this category according to use reviews. It has the following features:

      • ​Capacity of 46 bottles
      • Dual zone which means that you can store both your reds and whites
      • Built-in and freestanding installation options which offers additional flexibility
      • State of the art compressor which provides even cooling and is completely silent
      • Integrated with low vibration technology to ensure that wine sediments are not disturbed preserving its unique taste
      • Gray glass doors protect your wine from harmful UV rays
      • Soft blue LED lighting to beautifully showcase your wine

      What Is The Best Thermoelectric Wine Cooler?

      The Whynter 20 bottle wine cooler is the best in this catergory. It has the following features:

      • ​Capacity of 20 bottles
      • Compact freestanding design so that you can put it anywhere in your home
      • Thermoelectric cooling system which means that it is completely quiet and vibration free
      • Single zone which means that you can store either reds or whites but not both
      • Easy to operate soft touch temperature control
      • Tinted doors provide protection from harmful UV rays

      What Is The Best Built-In Wine Refrigerator?

      We have reviewed built-in wine coolers in detail on our website so visit this webpage to find out more about the best built-in wine coolers.

      What Is The Best Large Capacity Wine Refrigerator?

      The NewAir AWR-1160DB Premier Gold Series 160 Bottle wine chiller is the best in this category.

      We have a detailed product description of this wine cooler here on our website. 

      When you are looking at wine coolers of this size, one of your primary concerns is how easy it is to access the wines.

      This wine refrigerator has a three rail sliding shelf system which provides easy access to all your wines.​

      What Is The Best Wine And Beverage Center?

      The EdgeStar 26 bottle and 80 can side by side wine and beverage center is the best in this category according to user reviews. 

      This model actually combines two of EdgeStar's most popular models in one single wine refrigerator.​

      We have a detailed product description of this specific wine and beverage center here on our website where we have reviewed the best EdgeStar wine coolers in various categories.​

      Where Should You Buy Wine Refrigerators From?

      The best place to buy wine refrigerators is online rather than from a local store because you will usually get a better discount online due to the amount of competition.

      The safest online places to buy wine coolers from are the official brand website and Amazon. We would recommend buying from Amazon because they usually offer a lower price than the official brand website. 

      Photo by gosheshe