Unless you are lucky enough to have a large cellar to store your wine, having a wine cooler in your home is the next best option. Designed to store wine at an optimum temperature, a cooler can be a sensible investment if you want to mature wine or just enjoy buying and trying a variety of different wines.Wine coolers are either freestanding or can be in-built into your kitchen and because they are available in a variety of sizes and with different functions, it can be difficult to decide which one would be the best fit for your wine selection and your home. In this article, we take a look at some of the best wine coolers around, as well as some of the things you may want to think about when shopping for a wine cooler.
The Haier 12 bottle dual zone wine cellar with its smoked glass insulated door and dual temperature ranges is our best pick for multiple wine storage needs.
The Avanti 12 bottle counter top wine cooler with its upright storage bottle slot and compact size is our budget pick as a smaller wine storage solution.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Wine Coolers
1. Haier 12 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar
The Haier 12 bottle dual zone wine cellar has an upper zone temperature range of 46°F to 66°F and a lower zone of 54°F to 66°F. Although this has ultra-quiet thermal electric cooling, some users report that it is quite noisy, so you may need to consider where you will be locating the cooler in the home.
The cabinet has a black trim and the dual pane insulated glass door is smoked glass. The chrome shelves are pull out and it has interior soft LED lighting. Controlled by dual touch screen displays, it also comes with a one year limited warranty.Like similar small appliances, there is a risk of receiving this with some cosmetic damage, so you are advised to check it thoroughly for any damage on receipt.
2. Avanti 12 Bottle Counter Top Wine Cooler
The compact Avanti 12 bottle counter top wine cooler is a black cabinet with a curved glass door. Using a thermoelectric cooling system, it is vibration free. This is designed to fit standard sized 750 ml bottles, although you can remove the top shelf to fit larger bottles on the second shelf. It also has a convenient upright bottle storage slot for when you have opened a bottle.Some owners have experienced considerable temperature fluctuations on this cooler and although it does have a one year limited warranty, there can be issues with customer services if trying to make a warranty claim. You may also want to check the warranty in detail as there may be additional exclusions based on your state of residence.
3. Ivation 18 Bottle Wine Cellar
A compact freestanding cellar, the Ivation 18 bottle wine cellar has a thermoelectric non-compressor cooling system and CFC-free insulation to keep its environment stable and free from vibration. This cellar has an adjustable temperature range of 54°F to 64°F that makes it suitable for storing different types of wine. The control is touch button and its display is LED.
This has a soft LED light inside and the glass door is dual pane smoked glass to protect against the room temperature and light. The shelves hold standard 750 ml bottles, and the shelves slide out to give easy access to the bottles. There may be some concerns around fluctuations in temperature when this is running, and although it does come with a one year limited warranty, various owners have experienced issues with customer services when trying to make a warranty claim.
4. Kalamera 30 Bottle Wine Cooler
Suitable as either a freestanding unit, of as a built-in unit, the Kalamera 30 bottle wine cooler is able to take some different sized bottles, although you may need to remove a shelf to accommodate large bottles such as those of Champagne.
It is controlled by compressor cooling and also has vibration reduction technology. The cabinet is stainless steel with a black finish and its tempered glass door is dual layered. The interior racks are beechwood and the interior also contains a carbon filter and soft LED lighting.This has a temperature range of 40°F to 66°F and it also has a memory function so will return to temperature after a power outage. It also has a lock and comes with a one year warranty with the option to buy an extended warranty.
5. Koldfront 18 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler (TWR187ESS)
The stainless steel Koldfront 18 bottle dual zone wine cooler (TWR187ESS) is a freestanding cooler that has a temperature range of 54°F to 66°F in its top zone, and a lower zone range of 46°F to 66°F. Cooled by a thermoelectric cooler that is vibration free, its glass door is tempered.The display is touch button and it has an LCD display, along with an interior LED light. This cooler also has a lock for extra security. Designed to fit 750 ml/2.75" Bordeaux bottles, if you want to store larger bottles you will need to remove a wooden shelf. The shelves do need careful handling in this cooler, as they may slip out of their track, and you may not find them the easiest to slide in or out. This comes with a one year limited warranty.
6. Kalamera 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler
The Kalamera 46 bottle dual zone wine cooler is suitable for use as a freestanding unit, or you can use it as a built-in cooler in the kitchen. This is a black stainless steel cabinet with a glass door that has a minimal vibration compressor. The shelves are a beech finish and its interior light is soft LED. This cooler also comes with a memory function which means it will restore the temperature back to its last setting after a power outage.
It has a temperature range of 40°F to 50°F in the upper zone, and 50°F to 66°F in the lower zone. This cooler is also lockable for extra security. There is a risk that this cooler may arrive with some cosmetic damage to it, and although it comes with a one year warranty, customer services may be less than responsive with malfunctions or warranty claims.
7. Whynter 20 Bottle Wine Cooler
The Whynter 20 bottle wine cooler is a freestanding black cabinet cooler with a black-tinted mirror glass door to help protect the wine from UV. It is cooled by thermoelectric cooling which is low noise and vibration free. Controlled by soft-touch buttons, it has an LCD display.
The temperature range is between 46°F to 65°F, although some owners have experienced differences between the temperature on the display and the temperature in the cooler when checked with a thermometer. It does however come with a one year limited warranty from the manufacturer, and there is the option to buy an extended warranty. There is also a risk of receiving this cooler with cosmetic damage, so it can be useful to check it on arrival.
8. Kalamera 50 Bottle Wine Cooler
The Kalamera 50 bottle wine cooler is a freestanding design with a black finish stainless steel cabinet and a dual pane anti-UV glass door. Its interior light is soft LED and the removeable shelves are a beech finish. Although this is a 50 bottle cooler, you may struggle to reach this maximum capacity depending on the type of 750 ml bottles you have.This operates at a temperature range of between 40°F and 66°F and has a memory function in case of power outages. Its quiet compressor system is vibration free and it also comes with a one year limited warranty.
9. Wine Enthusiast 32 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler
The Wine Enthusiast 32 bottle dual zone wine cooler has an energy-efficient and vibration free thermoelectric CFC-free cooling system. Designed to fit 32 standard Bordeaux bottles in a temperature range of between 54°F to 66°F in the top zone and at 46°F to 66°F in the lower zone. This freestanding cooler has chrome shelves that are removeable so that you can fit non-standard sized bottles into it.The cabinet is stainless steel with a black finish and its door is smoked glass reflective Thermopane. This comes with a one year limited warranty from the manufacturer. Note this cooler cannot be shipped to you if you live in California due to energy regulations.
10. Allavino FlexCount VSWR56-2SSRN - 56 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator
The Allavino Flex Count 56 bottle dual zone wine cooler (right hand hinge) offers flexible storage for up to 56 bottles, including Champagne or Pinot bottles. Although a dual zone cooler (41°F to 61°F in the upper zone and 45°F to 64°F in the lower zone), some owners have experienced considerable fluctuations and even little temperature difference between the two zones.This uses a 25% more energy efficient cooling system with reduced noise. As this has a front vent, you can build it in to your kitchen, or just leave it freestanding. It also comes with a choice of two handles, so you can select the most suitable for your décor. This cooler comes with a one year limited warranty, although some users have experienced customer service issues when trying to make a claim under the warranty. You may also want to consider buying an extended warranty as the lifespan of this cooler outside of its warranty period may be quite short.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Wine Cooler
Storing and Serving Wine at the Correct Temperature
Wine stored and served at the correct temperatures offer improved flavor. Most enthusiasts recommend reds and whites be stored between 45°F and 55°F; with any difference between reds and whites tending to come with their serving temperature.
Depending on the grapes the wine is made from, whites are best served at between 45°F and 55°F to enhance the acidity, crispness and freshness of the wine. This temperature range also makes the most of the organic compounds which give fruity aromas to whites.
If you do prefer to drink your white wine colder than this, then those cooler temperatures will dull its flavor.
Red wines taste better at higher temperatures of 55°F to 65°F due to their higher levels of polyphenols and tannins. Served cooler, a red wine can become acidic and the flavor harsher. If served too warm, including at room temperature, the alcohol can overpower the fruit flavors of the wine.
Difference Between a Wine Cooler and a Wine Cabinet
A wine cooler is designed to keep wine at its serving temperature and although a cooler can store wine long term for maturation purposes, not all coolers have functions such as temperature memory to help keep your wine safe over a longer period of time.
For long term storage, a wine cabinet can be a better solution. Usually storing at around 55°F, they tend to have larger capacity and a much larger price tag than a wine cooler. They often have humidity and UV control and little or no vibration from their cooling system.
What to Think About When Choosing a Wine Cooler
There are a number of things to consider when shopping for a wine cooler, not least its type, UV protection and its capacity.
When you look at capacity, try thinking about how much wine you already have or want and then increase that capacity by 25% or more. If you have a fast turnover of wine, then your capacity will not need to be as much.
It is also worth remembering that the capacity given for a cooler will be based on a ‘standard’ 750 ml wine bottle such as a Bordeaux, which means if you have a range of bottle shapes or sizes, you will not be able to store at the cooler’s full capacity.
Also think about where you will be storing it. If you have room in the kitchen, then an in-built cooler may be the best option, if not, then freestanding units are available in a range of sizes, from a compact 12 bottle cooler to larger 56 bottle or greater.
Like with a refrigerator, a cooler should be placed where the environmental temperature remains relatively stable - a garage or cold basement may not be the best place to house a wine cooler.
Doors that have UV protection can help minimize the risk of UV damage to your wine and if you cannot install a cooler out of direct sunlight, then this is a feature you should always look for. Most wine coolers use thermoelectric cooling mechanisms which usually include an anti-vibration system to help minimize the risk of vibration damage to the body, flavor or color of the wine.
Some coolers also come with humidity control and memory control to restore the correct temperature to the cooler after a power outage. Some coolers may also have an alarm function if the temperature has altered too much.
A charcoal filter is useful as it will prevent odors from affecting the taste of the wine and an air filter will stop a build-up of dust inside the cooler.
The lighting should always be LED as these produce low level UV - higher levels of UV can damage wine. Removeable and/or adjustable shelves are useful, especially if you have non-standard wine bottles, and some coolers may offer upright storage for when a bottle is open.
If you want to store reds and whites, then a dual zone cooler may be helpful, which will allow you to keep your wines in two different temperature ranges. A lock on the cooler will not only help keep your collection secure but will also keep other members of the family out of it.
For those of us who enjoy wine, a wine cooler is the ideal appliance to keep wine at the correct temperature. Depending on how much wine you want to keep and drink, coolers are available with a range of features, from compact 12 bottle counter top models up to large 56+ bottle coolers.Whether you are considering a single zone large in-built cooler for your red collection, or a dual zone smaller cooler for your fast turnover of reds and whites, we hope that this review has helped you to make your selection from the best wine coolers that are currently available.
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