The Ultimate Buyer's Guide For Wine Coolers
If you’re a wine enthusiast but aren't ready to invest in a walk-in wine cellar, a wine cooler is a fantastic alternative for storing wines. Sales of these appliances, which are also known as wine refrigerators or wine chillers, have been growing as Americans drink more reds, whites, and rosés.
We put several under-counter and freestanding wine coolers to test, ranging in capacity from 32 to 54 standard bottles of wine. We were able to discover the most important factors to look for when deciding how to pick a wine fridge that works excellently for wine storage.
What We Found:
Despite their small size—under-counter wine fridges are generally 34 inches high by 24 inches wide; While freestanding and built-in wine coolers are narrower—some cost roughly the same as a full-sized refrigerator.
The majority succeeded at maintaining consistent serving temperatures, which is essential for keeping your favorite tipples in tip-top condition. More companies are producing dual-zone wine coolers, which offer greater flexibility in storing sparkling, rosés, red and white wines at different temperature zones.
"You wouldn't buy an antique car and leave it out in the driveway," Gary Vaynerchuk of the Wine Library, one of the biggest online wine retailers in the country, said. "People are investing more and more money in wine and having the ability to store that wine properly is massively important."
What to Look for in a Wine Refrigerator
Whether you’ve been a wine lover for quite a long time or just starting to hone your palate, the best way to get the most enjoyment out of each bottle of wine is to store it properly to ensure that they stay fresh and age perfectly.
With so many options available today, how can you decide which wine cooler is right for you? There are essential features to consider, which is why we’ve broken them all down in this wine refrigerator buying guide.
Pay Attention to Uniformity
Temperature uniformity is vital for wine storage—wine can get spoiled when stored in a spot with frequent temperature swings. The ideal temperature is determined by the wine's density. Sparkling wines, white wines, and red wines are best stored from 45° F and 65° F (the temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit is frequently cited as being close to perfect)
Single-compartment coolers allow cool air to seep into the container, creating different temperature zones, but many manufacturers are opting for separate compartments within the units, allowing you to store your wine at various temperatures.
The majority of the units did great in maintaining uniform temperatures, based on the thermometers we installed inside.
Take a Close Look at Shelving
We loved how the coated-wire racks on one model lifted fast and effortlessly in comparison to the wooden-faced shelves when fully extended.
As with many other top scorers, they come with adjustable shelves to easily create storage compartments for larger bottles.
Some shelves were not removable or entirely extendable, but they did include oval openings and an extra plastic insert to fit wider wine bottles snugly and protect their labels.
Other coolers feature tightly spaced slats on the shelves, limiting bottle capacities, allowing them to slide and bump into one other and slant upward, blocking the drawer opening.
Factor in the Noise
A noisy wine fridge can be a concern if installed within living areas as it might cause sound vibrations. The level of vibration was nearly too low for our tests to detect, however louder models did generate more vibration. It’s still debatable whether that level is damaging.
Wine is a liquid and vibration can disrupt sediment in the bottle. It can create complex chemical reactions that aren't evident, lowering tartaric and succinic acids, which can dull the flavor of your wines.
Don't Disregard Energy Use
Wine coolers are not particularly energy efficient and they're not included in the Energy Star program run by the federal government. While the temperature setting you select will affect how much energy you consume, some models in our tests utilized nearly as much as an 18-cubic-foot refrigerator.
Types of Wine to Store
A Single Zone Cooler will suffice if you just collect one sort of wine (red or white). If you enjoy both red and white wines equally, a Dual Zone Cooler will benefit you because one zone can be set at a lower temperature than the other. Additionally, dual zone coolers provide you the option of setting one zone for storage and the other for serving.
If you have a wide range and different types of wine collections that need multiple temperature zones, the best option for you is the Multi Zone Wine Cooler.
Check out the best wine coolers according to zone type:
Consider These Other Features
Many models include digital temperature settings that can be accessed without opening the door, making it easier to maintain consistent temperatures.
The red and white wine settings on one model also eliminated some guesswork. Other models included water bins to keep the humidity level high enough to prevent corks and labels from drying out.
Look for integrated locks to keep visitors from pilfering your prize vintages and tilt-up shelves to exhibit your precious bottles.
Also search for tinted glass doors that have UV protection to protect your wines from ageing prematurely. Because fluorescent lights generate a limited amount of UV light, the safest alternative is to use adjustable indoor LED lighting instead.
Some wine coolers feature wooden shelf edges that you can personalize to match your cabinets, while other models can take a custom cabinet frame. Some models allow you to surround the glass door with strips of molding to match your cabinetry.
Wine Coolers Empire provides top-of-the-line wine coolers, equipment, furniture, and accessories at competitive prices.
Here are some of the top-selling brands that offer the best wine coolers:
If you need our help or have any questions/queries, feel free to contact us. Our wine storage specialists will gladly assist you in selecting the best wine coolers and designing the ideal wine cabinet or cellar.