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If you’re serious about wine, investing in a wine fridge is essential for keeping your bottles safe and on display. “Wine needs to have a consistent storage temperature, and most places in your home cannot provide that,” says Holly Berrigan, founder of MYSA Natural Wine, a subscription club and online shop focused on natural wine. “Actual room temperature is far too warm for red wines, as they should be anywhere from 50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit,” she continues. When it comes to whites and other chilled wines, Berrigan says that these should be kept between 42 and 50 degrees, which is warmer than the average temperature of a household refrigerator. And generally speaking, average cellar temperature is around 55 degrees, according to Berrigan—which can be achieved with a fridge designed specifically for storing wine.
Marshal Tilden III, vice president of sales and wine education at Wine Enthusiast, recommends purchasing a fridge with at least twice the capacity of what you own to allow for growth. After size comes temperature: look at whether or not you want a single temperature or dual-zone model. Here are some of the best wine fridges available based on every kind of collector’s needs.
Best Overall: Frigidaire 38-Bottle Wine Cooler
Dual-zone fridges are Berrigan’s go-to, given her preference for consuming wines at serving temperature (meaning, she likes her whites to be cooler than her reds). She recommends Frigidaire’s 38-bottle cooler for its frostless, UV-protected tinted glass window, stainless steel frame, reversible door, LED lighting and display, and energy-efficient fan system. With its seven racks (five of which are sliding), you can store your bottles in one of two temperature zones: either a cooler range for whites of 41 to 54 degrees or a warmer range for reds of 55 to 64 degrees. This wine fridge is freestanding only.
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Best Single-Zone: Kalamera Built-in Wine Cooler
If your collection consists of mostly reds, then a single temperature fridge is your best bet. “Keep in mind that all wine—red, white, sparkling and fortified—ages properly at the 53 to 57 temperature range,” notes Tilden. In other words, if aging is your priority versus serving temperature, then a single temperature fridge will do the job well. Kalamera’s 18-bottle single-zone wine fridge is sleek in design yet highly functional, featuring vibration-reducing advanced cooling technology, smart digital control, a double-pane locking glass door, and six adjustable beech wood shelves that won’t scratch your bottles. The fridge’s minimum temperature is 40 degrees with a maximum of 66 degrees. The front vent also allows you to build it into your counters or keep it as a freestanding fixture.
Best Built-In: Wine Enthusiast Vinotheque Café
A built-in wine fridge, Tilden says, is ideal “if you plan on building the wine cellar into cabinetry.” This type of fridge features a unique vent system: the fan is located at the front, meaning it can be installed under a countertop or table as there’s no need for extra room at the back or sides for heat to escape from the unit. The dual-zone Vinotheque Café model from Wine Enthusiast features a front vent, beechwood racks, a touch screen complete with a hygrometer and much more. It uses a high-performance inverter compressor system to control temperature and can hold up to 46 bottles, protecting them from light, humidity, vibration and heat. This fridge is also energy-efficient, eliminates odors with a charcoal filter, and offers full-cabinet LED lighting as well as a locking stainless steel door with a UV-protected glass pane.
Best Features: Ivation Built-In Wine Cooler
A trusted name in home appliances, Ivation offers a wide variety of smartly-designed wine fridges. This particular built-in model has a range of 40 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit and features a heavyweight double-panel glass door to protect bottles from UV light. It also holds up to 31 bottles in its thermally-insulated single-zone chamber and is equipped with a heavy-duty compressor, chilling wines quickly and efficiently. Control each zone with ease using the digital LCD control panel, and turn the soft interior LED lighting on or off as you please. Though it packs power, this cooler is both energy-efficient and extremely quiet, with vibration-suppressing technology to help minimize sediment inside your bottles. A front-facing vent means you can place it anywhere––because it’s a built-in fridge, you can incorporate it into existing cabinetry to save space or achieve a streamlined appearance.
Best Compact: Nutrichef 15-Bottle Refrigerator
For those working with smaller spaces, this compact, yet well-constructed Nutrichef wine fridge is the perfect solution. It has four chrome wine racks and one bottom standing rack to securely hold up to 15 standard-size bottles. At 17.7 inches long, 13.6 inches wide and 27.2 inches high, its freestanding design lets you place the fridge on your kitchen floor or countertop. It still packs a punch with features, including a compressor cooling technology (allowing you to adjust the temperature between 41 to 64 degrees), an auto-lock for the stainless steel door, and a digital control panel to monitor the unit's temperature and interior LED lights. Better yet, the wine fridge keeps your bottles cool while maintaining a quiet operation, thanks to a vibration-free system.
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Best Slim: EdgeStar Built-In Wine Cooler
Small but mighty, EdgeStar’s 7-bottle single zone wine fridge can live on any surface or tight floor space thanks to its sleek, streamlined design. Plus, the front-facing vent system means that the fridge can be built-in or used as an under-counter fridge. It also features an easy-to-use digital temperature display (with a minimum temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and a max of 65 degrees), six slide-out metal racks, LED lighting to showcase bottles, an integrated lock system and a reversible door to accommodate both left- and right-handed users.
Best Value: Newair 46-Bottle Wine Refrigerator
At under $1,000, this NewAir Built-In Wine Refrigerator has a 46-bottle capacity—more than what similar options in this price range will offer. You can store both red and white wines, as the dual-zone compressor cooler lets you adjust the temperature between 40 to 66 degrees. Even more, the unit is very easy to set up: just slide it between base cabinets or underneath your kitchen counter. Alternatively, this wine fridge can also stand on its own. There are five wood shelves, an LED display screen, and a triple-tempered glass door for more insulation and UV protection.
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Best Large: Whynter 164-Bottle Wine Cellar
Store your ever-growing wine collection with this cellar from Whynter, which can house up to 164 bottles. The dual-zone fridge can fit 86 bottles in the top zone and 78 bottles in the bottom zone, while the powerful compressor cooling offers temperatures from 40 to 65 degrees—perfect for all your red, white and sparkling wines. Along with 15 removable wooden shelves, there is a wire display shelf for up to six bottles to show off or safely store opened wine. This built-in or freestanding fridge is 26.8 inches long, 23.5 inches wide and 69 inches high.
Good to Know:
When it particularly comes to larger fridges, Tilden explains why quality is important: “While all wine cellars keep proper temperature, the higher quality cellars will keep more consistent temps, maintain or control humidity, last longer, and are also quieter and more efficient.”
Why Trust Liquor.com?
While wine doesn’t tend to last too long at Céline Bossart’s home, it never hurts to have smart storage. After spending the last seven years as a beverage writer, she’s seen her fair share of wine fridges.