Wine coolers do just as the name implies: They cool wine. They are not necessary designed to age wine, and they certainly cannot warm wine in cold environments. Wine refrigerators chill your wine to the ideal serving temperature so it is always ready to serve. Most wine chillers can be adjusted to chill wines to 45-65 F. Dual-zone models can maintain two separate zones, such as one at 45 F for whites and one at 65 F for reds. Some can also chill to the low temperature at which many people enjoy sparkling wines (40-43 F).
The wine fridges we compared are suitable for indoor use, where temperatures are relatively stable. Generally, compressor-style coolers can cool to lower temperatures, but some prefer thermoelectric coolers since they are quieter and do not contain toxins such as Freon. If you live in a warm area or enjoy sparkling wines chilled to under 43 F, you may want to consider a compressor-style cooler. If you would prefer a thermoelectric cooler, many are adequately satisfied with cooling sparkling wines in a regular refrigerator.
If you are looking for a consistently performing, dual-zone wine cooler, consider the EdgeStar CWF340DZ. If you are looking for a unit with solid-wood shelves, consider the Avanti. Those who are considering a thermoelectric wine cooler may want to consider the NewAir AW-321ED. For a compact, dependable tabletop unit see the Sunpentown WC-20TL. If you would like to learn more about wine fridge temperature fluctuations and are curious about what goes on in our test lab, you can read our articles on wine coolers.
Before purchasing a new wine cooler, you will need to consider the type of wine you want to chill, the size of your available space and how many bottles you want to cool. Your geographical location and the temperature of the room where you want the wine fridge may also be important considerations. Additionally, you will want to look at images of the cooler to see if it will fit your aesthetic needs.
When comparing wine coolers, we considered the following:
We compared operating temperatures and applied accepted industry standard serving temperature ranges to determine the best uses for the specific wine coolers. Using this information, you can select a wine refrigerator that most suits your needs. We also considered the type of cooling technology used and features designed to help protect your wine, such as light-protected, insulated glass doors. The best wine coolers protect your wine from temperature fluctuations and light.
Design details for these free-standing wine coolers include information such as size, shelf type and color. If you have a specific location in your home you need to place your new wine cooler, you will benefit from measuring the space to ensure there is adequate room for the unit and for the required ventilation. Some have attractive wood trim on the shelves and blue LED interior lights that you may find appealing. Many have stainless-steel doors, which compliment most modern appliances. Some offer reversible doors that you either install or have installed when you order the wine fridge. We also noted those that include slide-out shelves and the maximum number of standard-sized bottles each unit can hold. Locking doors are a helpful option if you need to secure your bottles from small children.
Exceptional customer service is an important consideration for a purchase such as a $500 wine fridge. For the most part, we found the warranties to be similar, but you will want to check the details of your warranty and register your unit if required. Additionally, since from time to time appliances require repairs, we searched to see how easy it is to acquire replacement parts. The convenience of being able to easily purchase replacements parts online is a nice advantage. All of these appliance companies provide telephone and email customer support.
If you enjoy your wine within a few degrees of optimal serving temperature, a wine cooler can help you achieve this goal. Furthermore, while entertaining you can depend on your wine cooler to make available a variety of wine choices for complementary food pairing or guest preference. For many, a dependable wine cooler is worth the investment.