What Size Wine Fridge Do I Need?
Your wine collection is growing day by day, and the fridge has become too small for your bottles.
Perhaps you’ve even added some value wines to your collection, which would do better in a wine fridge anyway. But what wine fridge depth, height, dimensions, and size do you need?
I remember buying my first dedicated appliance. My collection contained merely six bottles, yet I was already dreaming of buying a full-size wine cellar. The truth is that manufacturers make wine fridges for all needs and budgets.
Not sure which size to look for? Find it out in this article.
Does Size Matter?
The size of the wine fridge matters up to an extent. If you want and can afford it, nobody can stop you from investing in a large 100+ bottles appliance.
But, if you have less than ten bottles in your collection, installing such a big unit in your home is a waste of money and energy.
But, while a big cooler will accommodate all your bottles, a small one might not.
Manufacturers express wine fridge sizes in a number of bottles. For example, you can come across 4-bottle coolers or 32-bottle coolers.
The problem is these sizes are rarely accurate. Or, to be more precise, they often refer to standard Bordeaux bottles arranged in a predetermined pattern.
Any variation regarding bottle size and arrangement will negatively impact the capacity of the cooler, with subsequent consequences if you invest in a unit that matches precisely the number of bottles you want to store.
For this reason, it is essential to understand not only the size - or capacity - but also the wine cooler dimensions
Common Wine Fridge Dimensions & Sizes
In broad terms, wine fridges can be divided into freestanding and built-in. The freestanding category comprises the countertop appliances too, while the integrated units can be built either in a cabinet, under it, or under the countertop.
The easiest way to understand which wine fridge is the best for you is by analyzing your needs and determining the desired capacity. Here are the most common options among wine aficionados.
4-Bottle Wine Fridges
Four-bottle wine fridges are perfect for those who want to preserve a valuable bottle or two, or for the enthusiasts not yet convinced of starting a more extensive wine collection. These coolers come in two styles, vertical and horizontal.
Vertical models are usually arranged on four levels with a capacity of one bottle per shelf. Horizontal coolers can either have two-tiered shelves with a size of two bottles each, or a linear display with all four bottles arranged at the same level.
Units are either freestanding on the countertop or built-in.
The vertical style is the most popular and comes with at the approximate dimensions:
6-Bottle Wine Fridges
A six-bottle wine cooler brings more versatility. These appliances tend to mimic the style of the larger wine coolers as far as design is concerned and usually come with three tiered shelves of two-bottles capacity each.
You can still choose from freestanding and built-in units with a compressor or thermoelectric cooling elements, and the list could go on and on.
Versatile enough to accommodate all needs of the novice, these coolers come with the following approximate dimensions:
8-Bottle Wine Fridges
Doubling the capacity of the 4-bottle variant, the eight-bottle wine fridges come in horizontal and vertical styles too. The most popular units are the freestanding ones, and these coolers are often preferred by the enthusiasts who want to install them into their living room or home office.
Again, it is possible to choose from various technologies and features.
Regarding size, these coolers are perfect for up to 8 Bordeaux style bottles or six larger bottles like those of Pinot or Champagne. Regarding the dimensions, you can expect:
12-Bottle Wine Fridges
The twelve-bottle capacity is perhaps the most popular. It is ideal for beginners but also for the enthusiasts who only want to preserve a few expensive bottles. With this size, you can also enter into the versatile area of the dual zone units.
These coolers are also versatile in terms of interior layout. You can find tiered vertical refrigerators, horizontal models, as well as units with vertical slots for the open bottles.
Due to the differences in construction, thermoelectric units are slightly compacter that their thermoelectric counterparts. However, these wine fridges still maintain rather compact dimensions. Here’s what to expect:
18-Bottle Wine Fridges
I find the eighteen-bottle wine fridges to be the most versatile. They are the right size to start with if you’re serious about wine drinking. Compact enough to fit in your kitchen or living room yet big enough to give you plenty of space to grow into, they bring the best value for money.
Like most wine refrigerators with a decent capacity, the 18-bottle wine cooler comes in all styles and interior configurations. The vast majority are vertical fridges with either wire racks or wooden shelves. I prefer the wooden variant as it looks nicer in my home, but the wire racks are thinner and could be a better option if you want to store larger bottles.
These appliances also come in both thermoelectric and compressor variants. Their dimensions vary from model to model, but in broad terms, you can expect:
32-Bottle Wine Fridges
The 32-bottle models gets on the larger side of wine cooler sizes. This one is for the serious collector who has already exceeded the twelve bottles threshold and wants plenty of space to grow into.
In reality, a larger size is rarely needed for home use. Unless you want to invest in all expensive bottles to preserve for the years to come, it is supposed you’ll consume the wine. A 32-bottle fridge gives you sufficient space to hold a large-enough wine supply. And they even come in the fancy French door style.
This size is also ideal for small wine businesses or wine tasting venues. Anything larger than this is typically suitable for commercial purposes. Here are some common dimensions for this size:
How To Choose?
Now you know which are the most common sizes and dimensions for domestic use wine coolers. But how to choose the best one? Here are a few things to consider:
Do you want to store two or three expensive bottles? Go for the smallest size. Do you want to start your collection? Invest in a wine cooler that can hold at least 12 bottles. Not only it will give you space to grow into, but you can remove some shelves to accommodate larger bottles.
Wine coolers are either thermoelectric or compressor style. The former is perfect if you want to preserve wine. However, they are rarely capable of chilling wines to serving temperature, especially if you drink whites. The compressor models use the same technology as the regular refrigerators; they are loud and less suitable to place in a living room.
Do you drink whites, reds, or both? If the answer is both, or if you want to both preserve and chill wines, consider investing in a dual zone unit.
Getting the right size wine cooler doesn’t have to be complicated, but knowing the capacity and dimensions of the appliance to buy is essential.
From all, the wine fridge depth is perhaps the most important, especially if you want a built-in unit that must integrate seamlessly into your kitchen design.
I hope the sizes and dimensions above will help you decide which model to go for to create an aesthetic environment and, above all, to store your precious goodness.