For many people serving wine is both a source of enjoyment and a way to entertain guests. As your collection grows, proper storage of your wine becomes more important. Unfortunately, for many city dwellers, it is hard to get access to a cool, dry cellar. The answer for those of us that fall in that scenario is the use of a wine fridge.
The best way to get the most out of a bottle of wine is to make sure that you store it at its optimal. Red and white wines should be stored at specific but different temperatures, so using our kitchen fridge is usually not the best choice. Instead, the easiest way to make sure you’re getting it right is by keeping your favorite bottles in a wine fridge.
As there are enough options out there to fill every possible use choice, it is important to keep in mind your specifications when choosing the right one for you. Looking for a huge capacity cooler to store your whole collection? There’s a go to option for that. Looking for a great wine fridge that is friendly on the wallet? There are more than a few options for that. Whatever your need, we will help you choose the right one for you based on price, size, and functionality.
For those who want to skip the preamble – the Kalamera 24″ Wine Refrigerator is our favorite wine fridge. A great choice for those with large wine collections to store – this unit comes stocked with every feature you could desire in a great wine storage unit. The only draw back I can find is that it isn’t amazing for under the counter placement – although it is an option.
Wine Fridge Buying Guide
Before you pick out the perfect wine fridge to complete you man cave, basement, or kitchen, you will want to make sure that have taken into consideration the most important factors in picking out your equipment.
The first thing you will want to think about is how many bottles of wine you want to hold. While the majority of wine fridges are typically smaller than the fridge in your kitchen, they can vary in size between countertop units which hold a dozen bottles to tall standing units which can hold hundreds of bottles of wine. You also need to think about where you can put your unit that will give you at least 180 degrees to open the door for easy loading. Always make sure there is a bit of extra room in your chosen space to make sure you don’t regret it once you get your unit home.
Freestanding vs. Built-in
This refers to the two primary options on the market: free standing units vs. under the counter built in wine fridges. Like size, the right choice is going to be based on the space you have to dedicate to your wine fridge and the number of bottles you want to store. If you are going for a built-in cooler, keep in mind that they be front vented to release heat.
Single Zone vs. Dual Zone
Single zone vs. Dual Zone. A single zone wine cooler means there is one temperature zone throughout the cooler. Since not all wines can be stored at the same temperature, it means that you are either locked into having only one kind of wine in your fridge or you are locked into storing one at a sub-optimal temperature.
Dual zone coolers on the other hand give you much more versatile storage options, especially if you are the kind of connoisseur who has taken the time to know the differences between your reds and whites and how to optimize the experience of each.
While single zone coolers are somewhat simpler for newbies, I find the versatility of the dual zone to be the only way to go when buying a wine fridge. Nearly everyone who makes an investment in a wine fridge eventually moves to using a dual zone – it makes sense to start off with one.
Wine Fridge Reviews
Best Overall: Kalamera 24" Wine Refrigerator 46 Bottle
Our top choice for serious wine drinkers and collectors who want a large, freestanding wine refrigerator. With storage of up to 46 bottles, you have the space to stock with your favorites or keep a variety of bottles on chill to suit a variety of guest preferences.
A great looking unit that is designed for quiet operation and also has dual zones for separately storing white and red wines at the proper temperature. One of my favorite things about the unit is the fog proof triple layered glass door, which lets you see the bottles without losing the chill.
Most Versatile: Kalamera 24" Beverage and Wine Cooler Dual Zone
Kalamera delivers with another quality wine fridge. This unit is a split option that allows for storage of up to 20 bottles of wine and 60+ drinks. This unit only commands 23”X24” of floor space while delivering top notch temperature control. This unit is perfect for spaces where there will be a lot of entertaining, as the configuration of the wine fridge allows for a great degree of versatility of what you can keep on chill.
best on a Budget: KoldFront TWR181ES 18 Bottle Dual Zone Freestanding
While there is always room to spend $3000+ on a quality built in wine fridge, the ability to find a high-quality unit without breaking the bank is a much more difficult task. Luckily for those on budget, Koldfront delivers a product with high quality reviews despite a very reasonable price point. The combination of price point, quality, and ease of use make this a great choice for someone just getting started.
Best Countertop Option: Antarctic Star 26 Bottle Wine Cooler
Great things come in small packages! While most of the units I recommend are free standing floor units, some spaces will only work with a Counter Top units. If that is the situation you find yourself in, then the Antarctic Star is the unit for you. Compact, great looking, and effective – this is the unit for people who are conscious of both size and cost. One bit of warning – several people have complained that the thermostat isn’t as responsive as it should be. While this is a theme common to many of the smaller units on the lower price end, you want to keep an eye on a digital thermostat the first week or two you own the unit to make sure it is working properly.
Best for High Capacity: Whynter BWR-1642DZ
Capacity for 164 bottles of wine? Check!
Dual Zone Compressor? Check!
Activated carbon filter to optimize the air quality? Check!
The bottom line is there is a lot to like about the Whynter 1642DZ. This unit appeals most to those who have an extensive wine collection that they will be drinking from frequently. The unit is configurable to allows for either maximization of storage or showing off of a selected portion of your collection. The only downside to this unit is that it demands a large investment of space – only for those who are willing to dedicate a significant portion of their space to a high quality wine fridge.
Best Amazon Reviews: Ivation Premium Stainless 24 Bottle Dual Zone
One of the best values on the market – the Ivation delivers great quality in terms of value for the money, quiet operations, and temperature control. The only real draw back of the options offered by Ivation is the lack of high-volume options for wine storage. While some may prefer an all-black option to better blend in with the décor of their space, the stainless-steel offering by Ivation is still attractive. You can also tell that the Ivation paid attention to the small things: this unit comes decked out with value packed features that prove this is a great offering. From tempered smoked glass to ensure darkness and maintain the proper humidity of the storage space to the ultra-quiet operations. This is a premium option!
Given the number of options on the market and how technically different they can be, it can be hard to pick the wine fridge. Fortunately, we have been able to comb through the offerings out there and reach out consensus favorite option, the Kalamera 24″ Dual Zone. This unit has the size, features, and quality to be the right choice for those who are looking to optimize storage of their wine collections.