Best Wine Cooler - Top Reviews and Picks for 2017

Best Wine Cooler Reviews

So after a few years of having taken an interest in wine, and slowly learning more and more about it, you have decided to take your relationship with wine to the next level and invest in a wine cooler.

The question is, what is the best wine refrigerator and perhaps more importantly, which are the coolers that you should avoid in 2017?

Those are certainly the questions I had when I purchased my first wine fridge around 10 years ago, and I have owned various models and brands since then – some which I was happy with, and others which I was less happy with.

The best wine fridge may mean something different to everyone depending on what they’re looking for.

Having said that, if you have an interest in wine, a wine cooler is definitely a very worthwhile investment. Sometimes it can be difficult to wean your way though all the advertisements and commercials and genuinely find which fridge is best for you. That’s why I have decided to share my experiences over the last ten years and compile a review chart of some of the best on the market. Check it out.

Our Top Picks On Wine Coolers

Picture

Name

Type

Size

Price

Our Rating

Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar with Electronic Controls

Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar

Thermoelectric, Single-Zone, and Countertop

6 bottles

$

dual zone

Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Curved Door with Smoked Glass 

Thermoelectric, Dual-Zone, and Free Standing

18 bottles

$$$

NewAir 32 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler

NewAir AW-321ED 32 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Refrigerator

Thermoelectric, Dual-Zone, and Free Standing

32 bottles

$$$$

Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Touchscreen

Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Touchscreen Wine Refrigerator

Thermoelectric, Dual-Zone, and Free Standing

18 bottles

$$$

NewAir AWC-330E 33-Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler

Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Touchscreen Wine Refrigerator Wine Cooler

Thermoelectric, Single-Zone, and Free Standing

18 bottles

$$$

Haier 12-Bottle Dual Zone Curved Door

Thermoelectric, Dual-Zone, and Free Standing

12 bottles

$$

NewAir NewAir Thermoelectric Wine Cooler

NewAir AW-281E 28 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler

Thermoelectric, Single-Zone, and Free Standing

28 bottles

$$$$

Avanti 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Counter Top Wine Cooler - Model EWC1201

Avanti 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Counter Top Wine Cooler

Thermoelectric, Single-Zone, and Counter Top

12

$$$$

NewAir AWC-330E 33-Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler

NewAir AWC-330E 33-Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler

Compressor, Single-Zone, and Free Standing

33 bottles

$$$$

EdgeStar Built-In 30 Bottle Wine Cooler

EdgeStar 30 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler

Compressor, Single-Zone, and Free Standing

30 bottles

$$$$$

What is a Wine Cooler?

A wine cooler, or also known as a wine fridge, is essentially a refrigerator that is specifically made for cooling and storing wine as the name would suggest. Unlike regular refrigerators, however, wine coolers are much better at regulating the temperature and ensuring consistency, which is the best way to store your wine. This allows you to not just preserve but also age your wine in the appropriate conditions allowing the full flavor profile of the wine to come out. This will ultimately give you a much better experience when drinking your wine.

What Factors Should You Consider Before Deciding On a Wine Cooler?

There are a number of different features associated with fridges that you should know about and pay close attention to when deciding on which one to purchase. I’ll go through each of these in more detail later in the article, but the most important facts to consider before buying a wine fridge are:

  • The numbers of bottles you think you'll be storing
  • Whether you're planning to store both red and white wines, or just one kind
  • Whether you want a built-in versus free-standing cooler
  • Where you will put your wine fridge (in the kitchen versus in the garage or basement)

What are the Advantages of a Wine Cooler?

Aside from making you look very classy and like you know what you’re doing (which I’m sure you do!), there are a couple of benefits to using a wine refrigerator.

  • Customization. Ability to customize the temperature of the cooler to one that creates an idea climate for ageing your wine therefore bringing out the true characteristics and full flavor of the wines in the long-term.
  • Temperature stability. Providing a stable temperature in which to store your wine in both the short and long term as compared to the temperature of regular refrigerator which tends to fluctuate.
  • Space. Freeing up space in your regular refrigerator for the storage of other items instead of storing your wine collection.
  • No vibration. Offering a vibration-free environment that provides an idea environment for your wines to age, as opposed to the vibrations of regular refrigerators that can disturb the naturally occurring sediment in wine and therefore interfering with the wine's natural ageing process.
  • Limited sunlight. Limit the amount of natural light that the wines are exposed to by being outfitted with either solid or glass doors with built-in light protection. Prolonged exposure to light can destroy your wines' flavor over time.
  • Consistent humidity. Offer heavy insulation that maintains constant humidity which is essential for ageing your wine properly.

Below is some more useful commentary on what factors to keep in mind when selecting a wine cooler.

How Do I Find the Best Wine Refrigerator for Me?

I mentioned earlier that there are typically four things that I consider before deciding on which is the best wine cooler for me. This is where I go into a little bit more detail.

The amount of wine bottles you will be storing.

Generally speaking, wine fridges will come in a number of different sizes typically measured by the number of bottles that it can store. The smaller ones will store anywhere from 1 to 50 bottles, while for the real collectors you can purchase ones that can store over 200 bottles or more. If you have just started collecting, I would obviously recommend going for somewhat of a smaller cooler (something like an 18 bottle wine cooler or a 6 bottle fridge would probably be fine), but if you are an avid wine lover there’s nothing wrong with buying one that can store in excess of 200 bottles. It’s all up to personal preference on this one.

Single-zone versus dual-zone.

Wine coolers will generally have a number of temperature zones. These zones allow you to set a different temperature for each part of the unit, which is great if you are storing and ageing various types of wine (ie. red and white wine for example). Single zone refrigerators only have one cooling area and one temperature control, which can be a good choice for starters. For those that have a somewhat larger and growing collection of various wine types, I would recommend getting at least a dual zone wine cooler

Built-in versus free-standing.

When buying a wine fridge, you also have the option of getting one that is built-in versus free-standing. The built-in wine cooler is designed to seamlessly integrate with your kitchen cabinets, but may require a bit more work to get installed properly. The free-standing is probably easier to set up and may be a better pick for someone that is just starting out with wine collection. There are even a number of countertop wine coolers to choose from which are perfect for beginners - or you can get a small under the counter cooler instead.

Thermoelectric wine cooler versus compressor-based coolers.

One of the biggest complaints about coolers you will hear is that some make a lot of noise. This is probably less of an issue when you put your fridge in your garage or basement, but when it’s in your kitchen you’ll want one that is as quiet as possible. If you’re looking for one that is quiet, a thermoelectric cooler is the way to go because they lack a compressor and cool through a cooling node instead which is much more quiet. If you don’t mind the noise, or you’ll be putting the wine cooler in the garage, a compressor-based cooler is fine as well.

What are the Best Wine Cooler Brands?

Any of the products I listed above would be great choices when buying a wine cellar. Much of it comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking for.

In addition to the detailed reviews below we have covered a number of the best wine refrigerator brands in more detail as you can see in the pages below:

Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar

Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar with Electronic Controls
The reason that we found this the best wine cooler is because the Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar is really the best value that money can buy. There’s simply no other fridge of out there that offers this level of quality, at this price. It’s a great wine cooler if you’re just started experimenting with wine, but you have gotten to the point where you’re caught for space in your fridge your spouse isn’t happy about it! This cooler will fit 6 bottles comfortably and should free up some space in your regular fridge again. You can even squeeze in the occasional bottle at the bottom if you’re really stuck for space.

This is a single-zone cooler so it’s preferable to only store wine of the same kind (ie. either red or white) due to the fact that you’ll only be able to set it at one temperature. It will allow you to manually adjust the temperature through the blue LED display so that you can set it to a level that is ideal for the types of wine you are storing. To save energy, it will temporarily turn off cooling once the desired temperature is reached.

The advantage of this cooler is that it’s very quiet due to the thermoelectric cooling mechanism, and that it’s very compact so that you can fit it on your kitchen counter-top easily. If you’re stuck for space this is the way to go. The soft interior light, complemented by the black exterior trim will most likely fit most kitchen styles as well. If you’re more serious about wine, however, and intend to collect a larger variety of types, it’s probably better to invest in one of the dual-zone coolers below.

Quick tip: When you place the cooler on your kitchen counter top, make sure you have it at least 1.5 inches removed from the wall so that the unit can vent properly and cool to optimum temperatures.

Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Curved Door with Smoked Glass

Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Curved Door
Compared to its smaller brother above, this cooler is for those that have decided they want to get a bit more serious about wine. It has all the same qualities that make the Haier 6-Bottle Cooler so great, but this bad boy doesn’t only store 18 bottles of goodness, but it also has dual temperature zones allowing you to store different types.

The bottom temperature-zone has a range of 46 to 66 F and holds 8 bottles. This is where you should probably store you whites if you’re planning to have any. The top temperature zone is a little warmer and can be set to 54 to 66 F, making it perfect for storing your reds.

Even though this is a thermoelectric cooler, the unit does have a slight hum as a result of the fan, but it is no louder than any other appliances/devices that you carry in your home. It’s comparable to the sound of a computer. The aesthetics of the unit are also very sleek with the smoked glass doors and the soft interior light and would suit almost any interior. One slight downside is that the unit does not store the temperature setting in case you unplug, or when there is a power out. This may be a bit of an inconvenience when you’re deciding where to set up the unit and may have to unplug a number of times, but shouldn’t be an issue once you have it set up.

NewAir 32 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Refrigerator

NewAir 32 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
Third on the list is a wine cooler from a different manufacturer, and this one is bigger yet than the two above. I would recommend this for those that have started building up a pretty decent collection of wines and are interested in ageing them in order to get maximum flavor and aroma out of them.

This cooler can house up to 32 bottles, and features a dual-zones like the above, with the difference being that the compartments are side by side and have their separate door. This means that when you grab a wine from one compartment, you can do that with minimal disturbance to the other. The temperature for each zone is controlled by an LED display, and can be managed independently for each compartment. The pull-out racks within the compartments are wooden to give that classic feel, with the cooler finished with a stainless-steel trim giving it a sleek appearance.

The unit is quiet as a result of the thermoelectric cooling mechanism, and once the unit is brought to temperature you will only hear the fan go on for about 30-60 seconds every hour to maintain temperature. The only downside of this unit is that some bottles with a larger bottom (Bordeaux style bottles) can be a little tight fitting in which case you may not be able to fully utilize the 32 bottle capacity.

Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Touchscreen Wine Refrigerator

Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Touchscreen
I put a lot of 18-bottle wine coolers in the list simply because I think that size is a great choice to start off with. An wine cooler of this size small enough to make it somewhat affordable, and it is big enough to grow into for a while if you become a little bit more serious about wine and wine collection. This particular cooler is no exception.

The advantage of this cooler is that it’s very slim and will fit into the empty nooks and corners of your kitchen, making it easy to find a home for it. It uses thermoelectric cooling, like the others, but is slightly noisier than the NewAir and Haier wine refrigerators  which according to some is because this unit is able to actually deliver a more consistent cold temperature than the others. I haven’t personally experienced this, but it is something worth considering if you don’t mind the humming sound.

The temperature zones are divided horizontally with the top cabinet holding 10 bottles, and the bottom holding 8 with the temperature range of the top being 54-66 F, and that of the bottom 46-66 F. As a result, the latter can provide optimum serving conditions for most whites.

Quick tip: The shelves of this unit are not meant to hold standard Bordeaux style bottles. If you wish to store larger bottles you can remove any of the shelves, but note that this will reduce total capacity.

NewAir AW-181E Space Saver 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler

Wine Fridge
As another 18-bottle cooler, the NewAir Space Saver is also a good option and is slightly more affordable than the above. This is mostly due to the fact that this is a single-zone wine cooler and is therefore best used when only storing one type of wine (ie. red versus white). The big advantage of this cooler is that this particular cooler is has a slightly higher width, and therefore a slightly lower height in order to accommodate the 18 bottles. This may suit those who wish to put it underneath a bar top or kitchen counter, space permitting.

Again, similar to the others in the top 5, this is also a thermoelectric cooler (starting to see a trend?). I simply prefer this over compressor based coolers because thermoelectric coolers are so much more quiet. This particular unit only cools between 54 – 66 F, so if you’re looking for just a cooler for your red wines, this one will do the trick. If you’re looking to cool whites, you’re better off going for the Haier or Wine Enthuisiast options since this unit will not be able to reach temperatures that are optimum for whites.

From an aesthetic standpoint, this is one of the better looking ones in my opinion. The outside is made of stainless steel and has a black finish, which looks very stylish with the soft blue interior lighting.

Our Verdict on the Best Wine Fridge

I hope that these reviews help you in making the right decision when purchasing your wine refrigerator. If you’re somewhat serious about wine, buying a wine cooler is definitely a worthwhile investment. This is not only because you’ll be able to enjoy your wines so much more when stored and served at the right temperature, but also because it encourages you to keep an eye out for good wines to start collecting knowing that you now have the right place to store them. At least, that’s what happened for me when I bought my first wine fridge.

For more reviews on wine accessories, make sure you check out our wine accessory page here.​

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