An advanced wine fridge with ample storage and detailed digital controls.
A 28-bottle wine fridge with LED lights and a reinforced lockable glass door with a smoky finish to minimize UV exposure. Features a circulating fan and digital touch controls for temperature adjustments between 41 and 64 degrees F.
May sound loud when operating.
A slim wine cooler that is easy to use and designed to run quietly.
A 12-bottle wine fridge with a cooling compressor and digital touch controls. Features LED lighting and a reinforced stainless steel door. Temperature is adjustable between 41 and 64 degrees F. Comes with chrome racks for bottles.
May not last as long as some other products.
A compact wine cooler that stores easily and has a thick, reinforced door.
Wine fridge holds 6 bottles and offers digital touch controls for temperatures between 46 and 66 degrees F. Uses circulation to cool. Door is airtight and repels UV light. Includes adjustable legs and 2 metal racks.
Temperature controls may be unreliable.
A wine fridge with a quiet operation and reflective door.
A 12-bottle fridge that features digital touch controls for temperatures between 46 and 66 degrees F. Uses a thermoelectric system. Features adjustable legs, lighting over the bottles, and chrome shelves.
Temperature may not stay at its set level.
A narrow wine fridge with a lockable glass door and 6 removable shelves.
Wine cooler with push-button controls and a door lock. Features a circulating fan to help cool between 41 and 64 degrees F. Has interior lights and a reinforced door with a tight seal and smoky finish. Repels UV rays and moisture.
Wider wine bottles may not fit inside the cooler.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Acting as your own wine sommelier and presenting the perfectly chilled bottle to guests in the comfort of your own home is extremely satisfying. Indeed, the right wine served at the right temperature can make the difference between a good dining experience and a great one.
Serving the perfect glass is a rewarding experience whether you’re sharing a simple romantic dinner for two or hosting a large holiday party for friends and family. Put aside the old image of wine stewards winding their way through cavernous restaurant cellars to select the appropriate Bordeaux or cabernet sauvignon.
You can now easily store and serve your wine at its ideal temperature by taking advantage of a wide variety of affordable wine coolers that either fit under your kitchen counter or stand alone as the stylish focal point for your home bar set.
If you’d like to know more about wine coolers, learn about the criteria that can help you make your decision, as well as some expert advice for storing and serving your wine once you’re ready to host a party that guests will remember for years, in our shopping guide. Or buy now by selecting from our top picks.
When you’re ready to purchase a wine cooler, there are a number of factors to consider. Depending on your needs, these factors might include the following.
More than just dimensions, a wine cooler’s size determines the number of bottles it can hold. Coolers vary from small, four-bottle models in which wine is stored vertically to larger models that accommodate more than 100 bottles stored horizontally.
Keep in mind that the number of bottles a cooler can hold often depends on the size of the bottles you choose to store.
The design of your wine cooler is another important factor to consider. Some wine coolers are freestanding, while others can be installed directly under your kitchen counter. Many newer homes offer wine coolers as a kitchen add-on.
Consider what works best for your needs and your available kitchen space. A typical 24-inch wide, under-counter wine cooler can usually hold as many as 48 bottles. These models tend to be wider than most freestanding models, which are generally taller.
There are two kinds of cooling technologies used in most wine coolers: thermoelectric cooling and compressor cooling. Knowing a bit about each technology can help you decide which is best for you.
Employs cooling technology similar to a traditional refrigerator, with refrigerant distributed via air pressure throughout the appliance
Is a more powerful mode of cooling
Is usually found in larger wine coolers
Employs a ceramic tile cooling node that takes on an electric current, heating one side of the tile while the other side, facing inward, cools
Is generally less noisy than most compressor-based models
Evenly distributes temperature throughout the unit
Is more energy-efficiencient for smaller coolers
The wine varietals you plan to store can help determine which type of zone model would work best for you.
Many coolers are available in single- or dual-temperature zone models, both of which can have significant impact on the storage of your wine.
Single-zone coolers are ideal for storing a single wine varietal. This model keeps the entire appliance cooled at one temperature.
Dual-zone coolers are ideal for multiple varietals requiring different storage temperatures. This model contains two distinct zones that can be set to different temperatures.
If you properly care for your wine cooler, there’s no reason why it won’t last for many years. The best way to ensure your appliance lasts a long time is to keep it clean and minimize its exposure to water.
In addition to that, you can do the following:
Avoid temperature extremes
Setting your wine cooler to a stable temperature of 55°F will allow your wine to age naturally, depending on the varietals you store.
Avoid placing your wine cooler in direct sunlight
Wine coolers with UV tints are a good choice.
Control humidity levels
In addition to stable temperatures, a unit with humidity control will help with the aging of your wines. Ideally, humidity levels should be between 50% and 70%.
In this budget-price range, most standard wine coolers hold about 12 bottles and are available as counter-top models.
Although usually single-zone wine coolers, they have the advantage of thermoelectric cooling technology — resulting in less energy use and less noise output than traditional compressor models.
Increasing your budget presents you with more options. Models in the under-$200 range hold up to about 18 bottles in most cases, with some units able to hold bottles both vertically and horizontally. Depending on the manufacturer, there are single-zone and dual-zone units that are available for under $200, with most units including sophisticated user controls via touchpad.
Wine coolers in this category usually have dual-zone temperature control. Appliances under $300 generally have a capacity of 18 to 24 bottles, UV-tinted windows, and the option of either a thermoelectric or a compressor-based motor
Once you’ve figured out your budget and what you’re looking for, it’s time to get familiar with the right temperatures to store and serve your wine. This may seem daunting at first, but BestReviews is here to help.
While many wine connoisseurs say that only white wine should be served chilled, most experts agee that reds and whites should be stored at the same temperature: 55°F. This temperature prevents the wine from aging prematurely. Some winemakers opt to chill their reds for a short time just before serving to maximize flavor.
Assuming the cooler’s temperature is set to 46°F when a bottle is removed, most wine will reach 62°F in about two minutes – an ideal serving temperature for a pinot noir. At two-and-a-half minutes, the wine usually reaches 64°F, a temperature that works for most cabernets.
Here are some additional guidelines to follow when serving wine:
In general, whites should be served between 35°F and 40°F. After removing your bottle from the wine cooler, you can keep it on ice or decant it in a container specifically designed to keep white wine cold.
Once removed from your wine cooler, reds should be allowed to reach their ideal temperature and balanced flavor by decanting – the process of pouring wine from the bottle into a separate container without disturbing the sediment.
Keep in mind that the ambient temperature of the room and the particular grape will impact and influence when a wine should be served after decanting.
Lighter dry whites, rosés, and sparkling wines should be served between 40°F and 50°F to preserve freshness and fruitiness. At this temperature, sparkling wines keep their bubbles without becoming overly frothy.
Rich chardonnays, full-bodied whites, and light reds should be served between 50°F and 60°F to reveal their complexity and aroma.
Fuller, complex reds should be served between 60°F and 65°F, which is usually slightly cooler than room temperature. This same temperature is ideal for ports. The goal is to make the wine feel rich on the palate and to lessen the bitter taste of the wine’s tannins.
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