You like collecting your favorite wines but have limited space to build your own cellar? Are you not building one because of limited budget? Most of us don’t have that luxury, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have a choice. In fact, this buying guide will help you find the best wine cooler based on your choices.
Then there’s more beyond wine cooler reviews, as you will be guided all the way through:
- Benefits of having a wine cooler in your home,
- Different types of wine coolers (one of them is surely meant for you)
- Things to consider while buying the right equipment
- Step-by-step process of choosing wine cooler
So, let’s get started!
Best Wine Cooler Reviews: Top Picks of 2016
1. Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar
If you have a limited budget and space, Haier 6-Bottle Wine Cellar should be your first choice. The countertop wine cellar is perfect for red wines or white wines. You can adjust the thermostat according to the wine using LCD controls.
The ultra-quiet thermoelectric system combined with manual defrost will keep your wine chilled for as long as you need. Moreover, the double-pane glass doors and chrome wire shelves display your valuable collection in just the right way.
The wine cooler has received highly positive feedback from the customer with most of them appreciating its sleek design and low price. Some customer also mentioned about its lightweight. Although some customers complained about the noise it makes, they also are satisfied with the cooling performance, design and price range.
If you’re looking for a free-standing thermoelectric wine chiller, you can buy Haier 12-Bottle Dual Zone Curved Door Wine Cellar at fairly reasonable price. Haier HVTEC12DABS weighs just 31 pounds, occupies 12 cubic feet and runs on 120 volts.
Featuring LED display with dual touch controls, the wine cooler offers two compartments with independent temperature adjustability. The temperature range of upper compartment is 46 – 66oF while that of the lower compartment is 54 – 66oF. So, you can keep and chill both red wines and white wines at the same time.
Customers think that this model offers good value for money, has a sleek and attractive design, and offers a good 18-inch deep storage space. There may be a little noise earlier, but as the temperature is reached, it goes a lot quieter. A customer also appreciated the smoked glass door which is a noticeable improvement in this model.
If you love to collect wines, but have limited space in your home, you can buy this 20” x 9.9” x 37.5” freestanding wine refrigerator. Wine Enthusiast 18-bottle Wine Refrigerator would make a great interior to your living room or dining room because of its sleek black design.
The wine cooler offers dual temperature zones, with top zone holding 10 Bordeaux size bottles while bottom one can hold up to 8 bottles. Top zone offers a temperature range of 54 – 66oF while bottom zone has a range of 44 – 66oF. The thermoelectric wine cooler is energy efficient as approved by ETL.
The wine cooler has received a majority of positive reviews from customers, and most of them appreciated its cooling system. Customers also liked its sleek and attractive design, but they also pointed towards the tight storage space due flimsy wire racks. Some customers also complained about the noise level when due to temperature fluctuations.
This 28-bottle wine cooler from NewAir consists of a thermoelectric cooling system with attractive stainless steel design. AW-281E is compressor-free, which means there won’t be any noise issues with it.
NewAir AW-281E matches the requirements of those needing extra space to store their growing wine collection. It has everything that you can expect from a freestanding wine chiller, such as cool black finish to match any kind of décor, modern design, large capacity, ease-of-control, and a double-pane glass door to prevent temperature fluctuations.
Response from the customer regarding this wine cooler ranges from moderate to positive. Customers liked its working but raised concerns over energy consumption. On the other hand, many customers said that the wine cooler was a sound investment. However, almost everyone agreed that for large spaces, this chiller is a good investment.
5. Edgestar 34 Bottle Free Standing Dual Zone Wine Cooler – Black/Stainless Steel
For spacious rooms or basement, Edgestar CWF340DZ is the best wine cooler. It has a massive capacity to store and preserve up to 34 standard size bottles. With two separate temperature zones (41 – 54oF in upper zone and 54 – 64oF in lower zone), this wine chiller gives a perfect temperature for both, red and white wines.
Edgestar features a reversible door trimmed with stainless steel, which is quite rare at this price range. It enables you to swing the door either way. The wood-trimmed racks and LED lights give a professional display while built-in lock keeps your collection safe. You can keep the wine cooler anywhere, in your kitchen or wine cellar, according to your requirements.
Customers have given mixed reviews regarding the product. Some of them showed disappointment in the quality and a 90-day warranty on the product while some complained about white wine space. However, some certified buyers appreciated Edgestar’s construction, temperature accuracy, racks, and LED display.
6. EdgeStar 36 Bottle Built-In Dual Zone French Door Wine Cooler – Black/Stainless Steel
EdgeStar wine cooler features 10 full depth, steel-trimmed wood shelves. They can store up to 36 standard-sized wine bottles. The wine cooler is also efficient. It only needs a voltage of 115V/60 Hz.
The steel-trimmed French doors match the wood shelves. They have tinted glass for UV protection. Plus, security locks on the doors make sure you keep your wines safe for months.
EdgeStar wine refrigerator has soft LED interior to keep the interior lighten up. The digital temperature display offers better control. You can control internal temperature between 46oF and 65oF in both zones, with the help of intuitive touch control.
The base has rubber bushings that prevent noise and vibration from the compressor. This means, you can store your red and white wines for a long time.
EdgeStar dual zone wine cooler has a weight of just 110 pounds and dimensions of 34-1/8 inch x 23-1/2 inch x 24-3/8 inch. So, you can place it anywhere in your home.
Most of the EdgeStar wine cooler reviews are positive. Customers appreciate its design, efficiency and performance. All in all, this wine cooler looks like a best choice for wine lovers.
Why is Wine Cooler so Important to You?
You could argue, why should you buy a wine cooler in the first place, since you already have a refrigerator? Regardless of the fact that the wine cooler is specific for wines, its mechanism and other technical aspects make it a must-have item for wine lovers.
1. Your Wine Needs Special Care
Before anything, you should understand what wines need to be preserved for long:
- Ready-to-drink wines, if you take care of them properly, can be stored for up to 12 months.
- They need a temperature between 40oF and 65oF (4oC – 18oC).
- The quality of wine is affected by temperature fluctuations up to 5oF (2-3oC).
- RH (relative humidity) levels beyond 50% also affect the wine quality.
- Wines should not be exposed to sunlight.
Based on all these facts, an ideal place to store wines will be the basement. Since most of us haven’t this luxury, wine coolers are there to keep the bottles safe for a longer duration.
2. The Mechanism of Wine Cooler
Wine cooler mechanism is divided into two categories: thermoelectric coolers and compressor-based coolers.
- The thermoelectric cooler keeps the interior cool by dissipating the heat outside, to the surrounding. The mechanism consumes less energy, produce noise and is suitable for places where the temperature remains cool all around the year.
- Compressor based coolers are similar to refrigerators. They have large space to collect wines, and they can deal with temperature fluctuations in the surrounding. So, your wines remain cool and unaffected.
3. Why are Wine Coolers Better Than Refrigerators?
- Refrigerator doors are opened and closed many times throughout the day, creating temperature fluctuations inside.
You can avoid your wines being affected by frequent fluctuations if you keep them in a wine cooler.
- The compressor used in refrigerators constantly vibrate, which is not good for wines.
The best wine coolers are made to absorb this vibration. Due to controlled noise level and the negligible vibration, the wine goes on to mature slowly.
- Wine stored in a refrigerator may absorb the aroma of other items, affecting its taste. Plus the cork will dry out due to the dryness inside the fridge, which eventually will ruin your wine.
In wine coolers, your wine bottle will get the cool temperature as well as the perfect humidity, to be able to last longer.
Which Type of Wine Cooler is Right for You
Here are some common wine coolers used around the world. The real purpose is to help you choose one according to the budget and space you have.
- Countertop Wine Coolers
If you don’t have enough floor space, or you’re more a drinker than a collector, you can have one to keep on your counter-top. There is a large variety when it comes to storage capacity, as you can store between 4 – 24 wine bottles.
Buying decision depends upon the space you have and how often you have wines. Counter-top wine coolers need proper ventilation. So make necessary arrangements before purchase.
- Free-Standing Wine Coolers
These coolers are quite common and most of the time, they’ll match your budget.
Think about the space to utilize. Free-standing cooler needs 2- to 4-inch space at either side to prevent overheating. Size and storage capacity is not a problem as these machines are available in a large variety.
Free-standing wine coolers can be placed anywhere. If you choose a basement, that will be an added benefit. But you can keep them in your living room as well.Other features may include safety lock and auto defrost.
Free-standing coolers normally come with single temperature zone or dual temperature zones. It is a debatable point.
- Built-in Wine Coolers
You may opt for built-in coolers if you have specific floor space, not more than that. But they’re the most expensive coolers. Obviously, the design will be according to your requirements, and they don’t need extra ventilation space.
Built-in coolers can be installed in a bar area or kitchen. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions if you want to have it in a cabinet space, or else you’re likely to be dealing with more problems than just the poor wine quality.
Built-in wine coolers offer a capacity, ranging from 15 to 150 bottles.They are available in different materials, such as stainless steel, wooden trims, and have doors that will match the surrounding décor.
4 Tips on Buying a Good Wine Cooler
To buy the best wine cooler, you need to keep several different things in mind, such as space, the budget and the number of people with various tastes. Here are few tips tricks will help you get the cheapest yet high-quality wine cooler.
- Check online: Always check online and find the best and cheap wine coolers. Look for deals and discounts on different e-commerce stores.
- Consumer rating: Pay attention to the consumer rating and reviews, instead of making up your mind by manufacturer’s information. Always check wine cooler reviews online before purchasing a particular brand, and go through the analysis and price comparison charts shared by experts.
- Look for discounts: E-commerce stores often issue discounted coupons and special deals to attract customers. Sometimes, manufacturers tend to provide discounts on their products. So, always search more than one e-commerce site and compare prices of wine coolers.
- Think about Warranties: Don’t forget to see the warranty instruction available with the product, especially when you’re buying online. Warranty makes your investment a lot safer.
How to Choose the Best Wine Cooler
Still having problem in choosing the right wine refrigerator for your home? Here are few simple steps to pick your wine cooler.
Step 1: Determine the Size
You can choose small or large chiller depending upon the intended space. A larger wine cooler or a cellar can occupy a space up to 150 cubic feet. But that may be too expensive to have. If you have limited space, choose a compact wine cooler that can accommodate 15 to 18 bottles. In this way, you will always have extra bottles for occasional guests.
Step 2: Understand Temperature Requirements
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’d know that a red wine needs a storage temperature of 55oF to 60oF (12.5oC – 15.5oC), and white wines must be stored at 49oF – 56oF (9 – 13.5oC). If you love both, go for a dual zone thermoelectric cooler. Or if you like just one specific quality, you can save your money by having a single zone wine cooler.
Why consider single or dual temperature zones?
- Single Zone Coolers
- They are perfect for one wine quality; either red or white.
- They are much cheaper than dual zone coolers, but they can accommodate wines with specific cooling requirements.
- If you like only one brand of wine, or are not a wine collector, or prefer to drink wines rather than storing them for long, this option works best for you.
- Dual Zone Coolers
- If there are more than one people in your home with different tastes for wines, this option is for you.
- These coolers can preserve both red and white wines at the same time.
The best dual zone wine coolers may be expensive, but they give you an option to store a large variety of wines for a long time.
Step 3: Choose Material Wisely
Material (stainless steel or Bordeaux), extra features (such as defrosting) and glass doors (double pane) help maintain the internal temperature. They are also helpful in reducing the noise level and vibration inside.
Step 4: Protect from Light and UV Rays
In the long run, you need to keep your wines away from ultra violet rays. You can opt for wine coolers with solid doors, or tinted glass doors to prevent UV rays and light. The cooler should be placed at a location where there is minimum light.
Step 5: Consider Price Range
Wine coolers are available in a variety of prices. For example, you can buy a single bottle thermoelectric cooler in the range of $100. It can accommodate at least 8 wine bottles. Or you can look for better capacity (15 to 20 bottles) within $250. If money is not a problem, you can invest in high-end wine coolers with dual temperatures, accommodating 40 or more bottles at a time.
Step 6: Buy from Reliable Manufacturers
Look for the brands that speak for themselves. Popular models are always discussed by review sites. Wine cooler reviews highlight the pros and cons of each model and base their verdict on the customers’ experiences. So, always pay attention to them before making your decision.
Finally, you’ve come to make your decision. These wine cooler reviews and other valuable information have surely helped you narrow down your choices and go for the right wine cooler for your home. All you need is, assess each of these wine coolers on the basis of space and budget you have, then hit that “Purchase” button.