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5 Best Wine Coolers & Fridges 2022 [Essential Picks & Guide]
Get the perfect wine fridge to keep your collection in premium condition with our comprehensive guide to what's on offer in 2022.
If you love wine then a wine refrigerator really is an essential purchase.
Wine needs to be stored at a consistent climate that traditional fridges just can't offer.
White wines should be kept chilled at a temperature that's warmer than your average fridge, while room temperature is simply too warm for reds.
In our guide, we recommend the best wine fridges available in 2022.
Large, small, freestanding, built-in, single-zone, dual-zone....we explain what's on offer and recommend the ultimate wine refrigerators for a variety of budgets and situations.
Our Recommended Wine Fridges
These are the 3 wine fridges that we recommend over all others.
They're all big enough to satisfy most wine drinkers but if you need something a bit bigger or indeed a bit smaller then keep reading for the rest of our wine cooler recommendations!
Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle
New Air 29-Bottle
Wine Enthusiast are a bit of a household name when it comes to wine accessories and this 32-bottle wine cooler is their flagship medium sized model.
It's the dual-zone wine fridge that we recommend over all others for a few reasons, but namely because it's reliable and easy to use, and doesn't command an extortionate fee.
As a dual-zone fridge it allows flexibility when it comes to storing your wine collection. Unlike with most dual-zone wine coolers, you can actually use it as a single zone cooler too if you should wish to. Both compartments may be set at the same temperature.
The two temperature zones both allow cooling between the temperatures of 41° - 64°F, which is perfect for both long term storage temperature and serving temperature for whites, reds, and rosés.
A digital touchscreen control panel is easily navigated and allows independent temperatures to be set for the two cooling zones. The two temperatures are clearly visible via the LED display above the door.
At 32 Bordeaux bottles in capacity it's not huge as wine coolers go, but that's a sizeable wine collection for most. If you need something a bit bigger then don't miss the.........
Rather than use a traditional wood shelving, this cooler uses thin chrome wire racks for a more contemporary look. What this does is ensure that more of the bottle is on display and also increase the useable space in the interior.
Cooling-wise it uses a traditional compressor (like your kitchen fridge). This has a couple of huge benefits over thermoelectric systems, that are more energy efficient.
The first benefit is that it provides more powerful cooling. Compressor based cooling is still the most dependable method of keeping your wine collection at a constant temperature. If you live in a warm climate then a compressor based wine cooler is simply essential.
The second benefit is that compressors last longer. Thermoelectric technology is great on a small scale but for a 32-bottle wine fridge it just doesn't cut it.
A drawback of compressors is that they can be noisy (I'm sure you've heard the hum of an old fridge). Thankfully, this Wine Enthusiast cooler only emits 40 dBA of noise at its peak. To put that into perspective, 40 dBA is considered to be the noise level emitted by a library.
At 33.4" (h) x 19.5"(w) x 16.9"(d) and weighing 60 lbs this freestanding wine refrigerator is compact and can be moved without too much hassle if need be.
It also comes with a 1-Year warranty on parts & labor, and a 3-Year warranty on the sealed system. This is a pretty standard warranty for wine coolers across the board.
There's also US-based technical and customer support, which is a rare treat these days!
Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle MAX
Dependable, powerful, and simple cooling.
The Wine Enthusiast 32-bottle MAX is the dual zone-wine cooler that we recommend over the rest.
It's simple functionality allows you to look after your wine collection with ease, while it can be relied upon to last the tests of time.
In the medium-sized range, it just can't be beaten.
Our pick of the single-zone wine coolers is this cracker from Ivation. Besides looking great, it's also more than capable of trusting to look after your wine collection.
It's the contemporary look that grabs the attention but the dark glass is actually a design feature that was chosen for another reason completely.
The double-pane thermopane glass is actually darkened like this to protect wine from harmful UV light. Sunlight can be really damaging to wine and this Ivation wine cooler provides a great line of defence.
The double-paned glass also provides extra insulation for more efficient cooling. Combined with an airtight door seal, this wine fridge keeps the cool air in and the hot air out, more effectively than the competition. This makes it more energy efficient, especially in hot climates.
The temperature is controlled using digital controls above the door. The temperature is clearly visible via a bright LCD display. These buttons also control the interior light and a lock feature. The ability to lock a wine fridge settings is certainly an important one if you have children! On a related note, besides locking the settings, you can also lock the door with a key. Equally important if you have kids!
Being a single zone wine fridge, there's only one temperature setting. With a temperature range of 41º – 64ºF (choose Fahrenheit or Celsius temperature settings), wine can be stored at serving temperature for reds or whites or simply at storage temperature for the long term. It'll even get cool enough for those wonderful sparkling whites in the summer!
The temperature is maintained throughout the interior by a fan system that's unique to Ivation wine coolers. The fan ensures a uniform temperature is achieved for every bottle.
At 24-bottles in capacity it's not a huge wine refrigerator but definitely a good size for the beginner/intermediate collector. There's also a bigger 43-bottle version for those looking for something with a bit more "wiggle room".
With dimensions of 16.93" W x 17.72" D x 29.13" H, it's actually fairly small and doesn't take up much space at all. However, you'll need to provide some clearance at the back and sides to give the venting some room to breathe.
Like pretty much all of the larger wine fridges these days, it uses compressor based cooling. Powerful, reliable, and these days quiet too, compressors aren't the noisy cumbersome devices of the past.
The compressor used for this Ivation wine cooler only emits a maximum of 36 dB of noise, which is really impressive. In the world of wine fridges, that ranks very well when it comes to the quieter models out there.
The compressor is also said by Ivation to be "vibration free". By my understanding of compressors that's pretty much impossible, but the compressor can be insulated or dampened enough that the vibrations can be eliminated. Without taking the cooler apart, I assume that's what's been done here. And in my experience there were no vibrations at all.
Besides reducing noise, eliminating the vibrations also stops sediment from being unsettled in the wine.
Clever cooling designed for hot climates
This Ivation 24-Bottle wine fridge is really popular and it's easy to see why.
Besides looking great (we love that smoked glass!), it's thoughtfully put together with smart design features that your wine is going to love you for!
Of all the small to medium sized sing-zone wine coolers, this is the one that came out on top for us.
Best Built-in Wine Cooler
New Air 29-Bottle (Dual-Zone)
At just 15" wide this built-in wine cooler really makes the most of tight spaces. It fits nicely under counters so your favorite wines are never more than arms length away!
Somewhat surprisingly for something so compact, it still manages to hold up to 29 Bordeaux bottles. That's quite a feat if you ask me!
(If you still need something a bigger then this 46-Bottle New Air model is an amazing upgrade)
This dual-zone cooler comes with all the high end features that make New Air a brand to be trusted when it comes to looking after your wine.
The clean lines that the stainless steel trim offers make it a striking addition to any kitchen. Soft blue LED lighting adds to the wow factor and serves as both an impressive visual display and a convenient light for reading wine labels (the light is controlled by a button on the digital control panel).
The tinted door glass is specially designed to block harmful UV light from penetrating your wine. It's also triple paned for the ultimate in insulation. Only the finest wine fridges come with triple glazing and it serves to keep cold air in and keep warm air out. If you're looking for the most energy efficient wine refrigerator then triple paned insulation is simply a must.
The traditional beechwood shelves are beautiful to look act but are equally functional. They glide smoothly out as to not to disturb wine sediment with unnecessary vibration. They can also be removed to accommodate unusually shaped or large wine bottles.
Being a dual-zone fridge there are two distinct temperature areas. The top zone has a temperature range of 40°-50°F and is perfect for holding white and sparkling wines. The bottom temperature zone varies from 50°-66°F, making it well suited to storing red wines.
The temperatures are uniformly controlled throughout the two zones with the aid of a circulation fan. That means each bottle (from the same zone) should be at exactly the same temperature.
The temperature is controlled with the digital control panel that splits the two temperature zones. Here you can turn the light on or off, change the temperature, and also cycle between degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. The two temperatures are clearly displayed, even in the dark.
A point that's worth mentioning but unlikely to be a dealbreaker is that the control panel is situated inside the fridge. This means to operate it, you need to open the door.
This does mean you don't need a specific button to lock the settings as the door can be locked, therefore keeping prying hands away from the inside. However, it might be considered an inefficient use of energy to open the door (letting cool air out) every time you want to change the temperature. But, it should be said that changing the temperature (in my experience) isn't something done very often.
There are a couple of other functional flourishes with this wine cooler that make it an exceptionally high quality electric wine cellar.
We all know kitchens can be rooms that house strong smells, both good and bad, but how do we stop our wine from taking on these odors?
With a carbon filter, that's how!
The activated carbon filter inside this wine fridge is designed to absorb strong smells from the air and stop your wine from doing the same. The principal is the same as with activated carbon water filters that remove odors from water (among other things).
New Air 29-Bottle
A high-end wine cooler that's small in stature but big on features
New Air make some amazing wine refrigerators and this 29-bottle built-in model is one of our favorites.
Triple paned UV filtering glass, a carbon air filter, and classic design make this the standout built-in wine fridge in our opinion.
Best Large Wine Cooler
Whynter 124-Bottle Freestanding (Single-Zone)
This 124-bottle wine refrigerator is perfect for the serious wine collector.
A wine fridge of this size gives you serious storage capacity but also lots of options when it comes to how you store your wine.
Awkwardly shaped bottles or unusually large bottles are sometimes difficult to fit in wine coolers but you'll never have that problem with this fridge from Whynter.
The black contemporary styling is illuminated by soft LED interior lighting that proudly displays your wine collection. The light can be toggled on or off on the control panel at the top of the unit.
The temperature is also controlled here. This 124-bottle model from Whynter has a temperature range of 40° to 65° Fahrenheit. That's cool enough for sparkling whites and more than capable of storing wines for the long term too. The temperature can be toggled between Fahrenheit and Celsius. There is also a conservation mode for consistent energy efficiency.
A wine cooler of this size needs powerful compressor cooling and the compressor used here is reliable and reasonably quiet despite its size. A nice touch is an interior fan to enforce air circulation throughout the unit. This ensures a consistent temperature is reached from the very top to the very bottom.
As you'd expect from a wine cooler from Whynter, double-paned glass offers extra insulation. This helps to keep the cool air inside and the warmer air out. A special tint on the glass also filters harmful UV light from damaging your precious wine collection.
Like all top quality coolers, an activated carbon air filter protects your wine from taking on odors lingering in the air. This feature is especially important if your wine fridge is installed in a kitchen.
An often overlooked feature for a wine fridge is a reliable key lock. This feature is essential if you have young children. This wine refrigerator comes with two key sets so you'll always have access even if your partner has disappeared with one!
At 55.5" H x 23.5" W x 22.5" D it needs some serious space but Whynter have been careful to keep it quite trim. It's actually pretty compact for something that holds so many bottles of wine. Being a freestanding cooler, just like a regular refrigerator it'll need an inch or two at the back to allow for proper ventilation.
A wine cooler for the serious collector
This giant wine cooler from Whynter is worth serious consideration if you plan on growing a large wine collection.
This small wine refrigerator from Ivation is the perfect choice for those just beginning on their wine journey.
At just 10 inches wide it's also an awesome option for those who are tight on space.
It's also a great 'holding' fridge where you can move bottles from a larger wine fridge (or cellar) ahead of serving, to be kept at optimal serving temperature.
Capable of holding 12 wine bottles at a temperature range of 41- 64°F, this single zone wine fridge can handle bold reds as well as sparkling whites.
The temperature is controlled with a control panel on the top of the door. Options exist to toggle the temperature up or down, change from Celsius to Fahrenheit, and to lock the settings. The temperature is displayed on a bright LCD screen. A quiet fan maintains air circulation and a consistent temperature throughout.
The LED interior light comes on automatically after pressing any button. The choice of LED as a light source is not just an aesthetic one.
Besides being much more energy efficient than conventional light bulbs, it also emits a tiny fraction of the UV light (that's harmful to wine), emits far less heat, and lasts much longer.
There is further protection from ultraviolet light in the tinted glass. The UV resistant glass ensures no harmful rays penetrate the door even on sunny days. The glass is also double paned to offer the ultimate in insulation.
A great starting place on your wine collecting journey
This small wine cooler is an excellent starter model or equally well suited to those who are tight on space.
Buyer's Guide: Which Wine Refrigerator is Right For Me?
Wine fridges can be categorized in a few different ways and before you set out shopping for one you should have which type you need firmly in mind.
Trust us, this will save you a lot of time trawling through the vast options available!
So, what are your choices?
Once you've planned for these outcomes, you'll be able to choose a wine refrigerator fairly quickly.
So, what options do you have?
Step 1: How many bottles do you need to store?
Wine coolers are sized according to the number of bottles they can hold.
The smallest wine fridges actually start out at just 6 bottles which is around the size of a small beer fridge, while the biggest models can hold upwards of 70 bottles.
It's always best to leave a little 'wiggle room' in case you get impulsive and buy a few more bottles than normal.
Step 2: Do you need a single-zone or dual-zone wine fridge?
Wine fridges are available with single-zone or dual-zone temperature zones.
That means you can have one consistent temperature throughout your fridge or two separate temperature compartments.
A single-zone wine fridge is perfect if your only goal is to store wine or if you are only interested in one type of wine (red or white).
All types of wine should be kept at the same storage temperature of between 53.6 °F - 57.2 °F. This makes a single zone wine refrigerator perfect for long-term storage.
It's also really useful if you only plan on keeping one type of wine at service temperature.
A dual-zone wine refrigerator on the other-hand, is great if you plan on keeping both red and white wine at service temperature.
With white wines ideally served at 45-52°F and red wines at 58-65°F (variety dependent), a dual-zone wine cooler also offers the option to store some wine at storage temperature and have some ready at service temperature.
Single temperature zone - choose this if you are only interested in reds or whites. Also, if you only plan on keeping your wines at storage temperature.
Dual temperature zone - choose this if you have a varied wine collection or if you are planning on having one. You can keep both reds and whites ready at serving temperature. If you entertain guests regularly then a dual zone fridge is probably the right choice.
Step 3: Where will you install your wine fridge?
Another distinction that's made with wine coolers is how they are installed.
They're available as:
Built-in units - where they are custom fitted into your kitchen cabinetry.
Freestanding units - where they can be placed wherever there is space.
It's important that you don't try and fit a freestanding unit into a built-in space as they have a vent at the back. Blocking this vent will cause the compressor to work too hard and eventually fail.
Built-in units solve this problem by having the vent at the front. They are the most compact and tight fitting choice because they have the venting at the front and don't require a small gap at the back.
But, not everyone has the luxury of redesigning their kitchen cabinetry.
Freestanding units offer versatility by the fact they can be moved quite easily (depending on the size!).
The great thing about the new wave of wine coolers is that they come in narrow and compact sizes to save as much space as possible.
Some freestanding wine cooler now offer venting at the front too. This is a great option to have if you can't afford that inch or two of wall clearance at the back.
Undercounter wine coolers that slide under built-in counters are also usually front vented.
A couple of points to note when planning where to install your wine cooler:
1. Keep it out of direct sunlight - even though wine fridges have UV filtering glass, direct sunlight is going to heat the fridge unnecessarily. This is going to cause your cooler to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.
2. It should be within 6 feet of a power supply - a powerful appliance like this shouldn't use an extension cord so we want to be within about 6 feet of power.
Wine Turtle Top Tip
An often overlooked factor when shopping for a wine cooler is where to keep unfinished bottles.
Look for a cooler with an upright bottle rack section or a configurable rack so that you can keep unfinished bottles ready at service temperature.
Step 4: How much money are you willing to spend?
Obviously the price increases with the size of a wine cooler but what other factors affect its cost?
Which features are worth paying extra for and are there any that you can do without?
Dual Temperature Zones - we covered this in 'Step 2' of our wine cooler buying guide. A dual zone wine fridge allows two different temperatures to be set.
This allows you to store both reds and whites at serving temperature or to keep wine at both storage temperature and serving temperature.
This versatility in design comes at a price as you have two thermostats that need controlled by two cooling systems.
Low noise/low vibrations - compressors are by their very nature, quite noisy. That buzz that your food fridge makes is made by the compressor doing the cooling.
Thankfully, wine fridge compressors are generally a quiet bunch but they're not silent. The quietest wine coolers usually demand the higher prices.
You're looking at anything below 45 dB as being pretty quiet when it comes to noise output.
In the last few years, thermoelectric wine fridges have been becoming increasingly popular. They are much quieter and more energy efficient than traditional compressors.
However, they have a few drawbacks.
They don't cool as powerfully as compressors so they aren't best suited to very hot climates. They're also not ideal for large wine fridges. Though this is changing as thermoelectric technology improves over time.
One final benefit that thermoelectric coolers have over compressor based systems is that there is no vibration. Compressors tend to do a fair bit of vibrating while they cool (though wine fridge compressors create minimal vibrations).
Vibrations are bad for a few reasons. They unsettle the sediment and spread it throughout the wine. Vibrations can also cause chemical reactions in the wine that affect the flavor and aroma.
Warranty - if you're spending a lot of money on an appliance to keep what could be quite an expensive wine collection safe then you want to have some piece of mind right?
The best wine coolers come with solid warranties that protect your consumer rights incase something should go wrong.
If a solid warranty isn't included in the price then adding an additional policy isn't a bad idea that could well be worth it in the long run.
Is it lockable? - this ones really important if you have kids in the house and also if you have an expensive wine collection that you'd like to offer another layer of protection.
Not all wine fridges are lockable but plenty are. They usually use a key system and most will come with two sets of keys.
Glass thickness - generally the thicker the glass door the more expensive the wine cooler.
The best wine fridges in 2022 use at least double glazed glass but sometimes triple thickness glass. This is to keep the cool air inside and the warm air out and helps with energy efficiency.
UV filtration - Ultra violet light (found in sunlight) can be incredibly harmful to wine. Over time a wine that is exposed to UV light will age prematurely.
Thankfully, most good wine coolers use UV resistant glass coatings so this isn't something you need to worry about.
This is also while wine coolers use LED lighting. LED lights only emit a tiny fraction of the UV light and heat (also damaging to wine) that other light sources do.
Air filter - the really high quality wine coolers come with air filters. If exposed to strong odors in the air for long enough, wines will absorb them through the cork.
To protect your wine collection, some refrigerators come with activated carbon air filters that neutralize strong odors and protect your wine collection.
What are the Advantages of a Wine Cooler?
Is a wine cooler even necessary? Will a regular fridge not be enough?
These are the main reasons you might want to look at upgrading your wine storage.