If you’re serious about wine—whether you're a dedicated collector or just a casual imbiber who likes to drink their wine at peak freshness—investing in a wine fridge is essential for keeping your bottles safe, happy, and tasting great.
“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 stored anywhere from 50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.” The average cellar temperature is around 55 degrees F, Berrigan says, and white wines and other chilled wines should be kept between 42 and 50 degrees F—a bit warmer than the average temperature of a household refrigerator.
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. And it's not just size that matters, but temperature as well: Consider whether you want a single-temp or a dual-zone model. When researching, we looked for both free-standing and built-in wine fridges that vary in size and capacity, as well as their temperature accuracy, efficiency, and noise level.
Frigidaire 38-Bottle Wine Cooler
Dual zones for whites and reds
Price is accessible to new collectors
Excellent for beer cans too
Wood shelves could be more seamless
Stores 26 bottles, not 38
Read Full Review: Frigidaire 38-Bottle Two-Zone Wine Cooler Review
Dual-zone fridges are Berrigan’s go-to, given her preference for storing wines at roughly the temperature at which they'll be consumed (i.e., she likes her reds at cellar temperature and her whites colder than that). 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.
Our tester loved all these features, especially the dual zones, which allowed her to store her bottles at the ideal temperatures (55 to 64 degrees F for reds and 41 to 54 degrees F for whites). She noted that the fridge is also great for storing beer, sodas, and more. While our tester loved the sleek, modern aesthetic, there were slight design flaws: the seven shelves don't slide out super smoothly, and the racks are too narrow to allow for certain broad-shouldered bottles, meaning that the fridge was only able to accommodate 26 bottles out of her collection, not the advertised 38.
Dimensions: 33.875 x 21.5 x 22.375 inches | Capacity: 38 bottles | Temperature Range: 41-54°F and 55-64°F
Price at the time of publish: $599
NutriChef PKCWC150 15-Bottle Wine Chilling Refrigerator
Extremely efficient cooling system
Works well in small spaces
May arrive defective or damaged
Read Full Review: Nutrichef 15 Bottle Refrigerator Review
For those working with smaller spaces, this compact yet well-constructed wine fridge from NutriChef might just be the perfect solution. It has four chrome wine racks and one bottom-standing rack, accommodating up to 15 standard-size bottles. It clocks in at 17.7 inches long, 13.6 inches wide, and 27.2 inches high, and its freestanding design lets you place the fridge anywhere: kitchen floor, countertop, hallway, etc.
Despite its size, it packs a punch with features, including compressor cooling technology (allowing you to adjust the temperature between 41 to 64 degrees F), an auto-lock for the sleek-looking door, and a digital control panel to monitor the unit's temperature and interior LED lights. Best of all, the wine fridge keeps your bottles cool while maintaining quiet operation, thanks to a vibration-free system.
Dimensions: 27.2 x 13.6 x 17.7 inches | Capacity: 15 bottles | Temperature Range: 50-64°F
Price at the time of publish: $258
Wine Enthusiast Vinotheque Café Built-In Wine Cellar
Available with right- or left-hinged door
Front venting system
Only one temperature control panel for both zones
Requires serious space
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.
Dimensions: 34.25 x 24 x 24 inches | Capacity: 46 bottles | Temperature Range: 41-54°F and 54-68°F
Price at the time of publish: $1,499
Kalamera 18-Bottle Single Zone Built-in Wine Refrigerator
Advanced cooling system
Not energy efficient
Limited storage for larger bottles
If your collection consists of mostly reds, then a single-temperature fridge might be 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 long-term aging is your priority—rather than keeping wines at 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 F, with a maximum of 66 degrees F. The front vent also allows you to build it into your counters or keep it as a freestanding fixture.
Dimensions: 33.9 x 11.6 x 22.4 inches | Capacity: 18 bottles | Temperature Range: 40-66°F
Price at the time of publish: $499
EdgeStar 6-Inch 7 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler
Great for storing just a few special bottles
Simple temperature display
Very limited storage
Only fits standard-sized bottles
Small but mighty, EdgeStar’s seven-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 the unit can be built-in and used as an under-counter fridge.
It also features an easy-to-use digital temperature display (with a minimum temperature of 40 degrees F and a max of 65 degrees F), 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.
Dimensions: 34.3 x 20.4 x 5.8 inches | Capacity: 7 bottles | Temperature Range: 40-65°F
Price at the time of publish: $529
VinoTemp 141-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cellar
Backlit with three different color options
Helps to reduce bacteria and mold
Requires ample space
It might seem counterintuitive at first, but according to Michael Kennedy, founder of Vin Fraîche and Gagnon-Kennedy Vineyards, investing in a large single-zone wine fridge is a smart idea for those who intend to grow their collections.
“In my opinion, lean toward the single-zone coolers because, in reality, you can store everything at about 55 degrees,” Kennedy tells Liquor.com. “Most inexpensive dual-zone coolers, in my experience, end up breaking far sooner than single zones—sometimes, the more parts you have, the more opportunity [there is] to break down. Stick with a single-zone until you get into the 300-bottle range."
This single-zone wine cooler from VinoTemp is not only striking looking but also boasts several innovative features. The racks allow the labels to face forward, so you can clearly see which bottle is which. And the backlit display offers three options, one of which helps to reduce mold and bacteria. It also holds up to 141 bottles, so it's great for those with a large collection.
Sommelier Jamie Trott, who works with specialty importer JP Bourgeois, is partial to VinoTemp single zone wine coolers in particular—and, like Kennedy, the one in his home is kept at a steady 55 degrees F. “I would look at it as a long-term investment, like a bed or office furniture,” he says, noting that he’s had a great experience with his VinoTemp for more reasons than one. “It will [also] have great resale value if you decide to buy something bigger down the road.”
Dimensions: 73.875 x 23.875 x 28.75 inches | Capacity: 141 bottles | Temperature Range: 41-64°F
Price at the time of publish: $3,499
Related: The Best Wine Aerators
EuroCave Premiere Double L Wine Cellar
Equipped with locks and alarm systems
Requires serious space
Rear venting only
There’s no shortage of pricey wine fridges to splurge on—in fact, one could spend thousands upon thousands for a top-of-the-line cooler tricked out with tons of fancy features. But where to begin? Vito Palumbo, brand manager for Italian wine brand Tormaresca, says EuroCave’s Premiere line is always a safe bet.
“They are top-quality and [are] great for those collector bottles that you want to keep in perfect condition,” Palumbo says of Eurocave, which is sold stateside exclusively by Wine Enthusiast. If you’re looking for a wine fridge at this level, you’re likely a somewhat advanced enthusiast or collector, in which case the EuroCave Premiere Double L Wine Cellar is an excellent choice. After all, it boasts features such as a sleek, modern design, improved energy efficiency, a digital control panel with temperature alarm systems, an ultra-low noise output, an integrated locking handle, adjustable shelving, a detachable light system, and more. This freestanding, dual-zone cooler holds up to 356 bottles and comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty as well as a five-year sealed parts warranty (parts only).
Dimensions: 71.26 x 53.5 x 28.46 inches | Capacity: 356 bottles | Temperature Range: 48-59°F and 48-59°F
Price at the time of publish: $11,590
Our top pick for most households is Frigidaire's 38-Bottle Wine Cooler, a freestanding dual-zone option that offers enough capacity without being too overwhelming in size. However, if you have the space for a large wine fridge, go for VinoTemp's 141-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cellar, a top-of-the-line model for the serious wine collector.
What to Look For in a Wine Fridge
The nature of your wine collection is the main factor that ought to dictate the type of wine fridge you’ll want to shop for, followed closely by your space’s parameters and personal design preferences. For example, if you have a small kitchen and keep just a few special bottles you’d like to cellar, you’ll want to look into more compact options while also considering whether your wine fridge should live on its own or be built into your cabinetry. For those with extensive and/or expensive collections, factors to consider include bottle capacity, locks, alarm systems, multiple temperature zones, etc. More and more models with energy-efficient systems are becoming available, which is also something to consider, as is noise output—generally speaking, going for a quieter option is always a desirable choice, no matter where your wine fridge will live.
Should you put wine in the regular fridge?
The ideal temperature for storing all wines is around the 55-degree F mark, according to our experts—a good bit warmer than your kitchen fridge. There's no harm in popping a bottle into your regular fridge to chill it down before service, but extended storage in the kitchen fridge isn't recommended, as the vibrations can disturb the wine over time.
How long does wine last in the fridge?
When stored properly, e.g. in a wine fridge, unopened wine bottles can be kept for years. If you’re opening a bottle and plan to store the bottle’s remnants in your wine fridge for later, just be sure you’re using a bottle stopper with a strong seal, as most wine fridges store bottles horizontally. (And don’t wait too long to finish the rest of the wine, as it will lose its freshness over the days that follow.) Alternatively, use a system like Coravin to “tap into” your bottles (literally!) and enjoy them for months to come.
How do you put wine into a wine fridge?
In general, wine bottles should always be stored on their sides and not upright. The point of this is to prevent the cork from drying out by maintaining contact between the cork’s surface and the wine inside the bottle. If a cork is allowed to dry out, this means that oxygen will find its way into the bottle, and this is bad news for the wine (oxidation is one of the main culprits in wine spoilage).
What temperature should a wine fridge be?
Classic "cellar temperature" is around 55 degrees F, which is considerably lower than "room temperature." Reds should be stored around this temperature (although, as Berrigan notes, anywhere between 50 and 68 degrees F is a safe zone) and are ideally served in the mid-60 degrees F range. Whites and other chilled wines are best kept between 42 and 50 degrees F, which is warmer than the average temperature of a normal refrigerator—and many of them can be served at this temperature as well, making additional last-minute chilling unnecessary. If you’re working with a single-zone unit, take Tilden’s advice and store any and all bottles between 53 and 57 degrees F, which is the sweet spot for all wines to age gracefully.
Why Trust Liquor.com?
This roundup was edited by Jesse Porter, who always remembers to check on the wines in his wine fridge before going to bed at night, just to make sure they're sleeping soundly.
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. She also interviewed a few experts for this piece: Holly Berrigan, founder of MYSA Natural Wine, Marshal Tilden III, vice president of sales and wine education at Wine Enthusiast, and Vito Palumbo, brand manager for Italian wine brand Tormaresca.
Read Next: The Best Ice Makers in 2023