Best Wine Cooler of 2020 Complete Reviews With Comparisons
There are many excellent wine coolers on the market, but often the similarity in their features and performance can confuse those trying to make a choice. Wine coolers come in small and large sizes with single or multiple cooling chambers, and in terms of locating them, they can be kept on the floor of a room or inside a kitchen cabinet.
These options all need to be considered, and a choice can be more easily made, with all the facts in front of you. To assist you with that we bring you reviews of the best wine cooler options of 2019 with a buyer’s guide and FAQs that will help you further decide the best one for your needs.
Best Wine Cooler Reviews
Thermal Electric 8 Bottle Wine Cellar
Our first review looks at an ultra-compact wine cooler from Thermal Electric, which is suitable for those who need or require a countertop option.
The Thermal Electric 8 Bottle Wine Cellar might be small, but for many that will be its biggest appeal. It is only 20 inches in height and 20 lbs. in weight, which makes it ideal for positioning on top of counters or tables. It has a capacity of 8 bottles, which is perfect if you are just starting your hobby of collecting wine, or just want a piece of equipment to provide chilled wine when required.
The temperature sensitivity on this cooler is high, which means the cooling chamber temperature inside should always match the number you set on the controller. The temperature control setting is easy to operate with a knob hidden conveniently inside the door. Setting the correct temperature between 46° and 66° Fahrenheit is as simple as rotating the controller to the desired level.
In keeping with compact design, the door handle is recessed but remains easy to hold and pull to gain access inside. Once the door is open, an interior light makes your task easier when looking for the right bottle of wine.
What's to like about the Thermal Electric 8 Bottle Wine Cellar
The small dimensions make the wine cooler fit almost anywhere. It can be used on your countertop, meaning you can select your wine at eye level.
What's not to like about the Thermal Electric 8 Bottle Wine Cellar
Having the controller inside the cooler, rather on the exterior, makes this cooler less convenient than most other coolers which normally have theirs on a panel on the outside of the door.
Ivation 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
The Ivation 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler is another quality product, this time with a bigger capacity. It has a digital display and operates very quietly.
This wine cooler from Ivation can store 18 bottles at once, and its single zone allows them all to be at the same temperature. This works very well if you want to store a large number of the same type of wine. Its dual-pane smoked glass looks top-quality as well as provides superior insulation. The tightly sealed door contributes to keeping the temperature stable, and not affected by outside temperature changes.
There is a soft LED light in the interior of the cooler which displays your wine bottles well. The wine bottles are well lit when you open the door, but it is only slightly visible through the smoked glass. The light can be turned on and off using a button next to the display. The temperature control has up and down buttons, which are also very simple to operate. They can be used to select or adjust to any temperature in the range between 55° and 66° Fahrenheit
There are 5 chrome shelves on the inside with a wave-like structure that hold your wine bottles in place and prevents them from rolling. These shelves are removable for cleaning or when you need to store large bottles. The working of this wine cooler, based on thermoelectric principles, and is very efficient and noiseless. Part of the reason for this is it does not use a compressor which is usually the most noise-creating part of a refrigerator.
What's to like about the Ivation 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
The wine cooler has more than enough storage for a large party where you would require up to 18 bottles of a single kind of wine.
What's not to like about the Ivation 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
Though the wine cooler can hold 18 bottles at once, they all would be at the same temperature due to its single zone. This is not ideal if you wish to cool different types of wines.
Kalamera 30 Bottle Built-in or Freestanding Wine Cooler
Now we go even bigger with the Kalamera 30 Bottle Built-in or Freestanding Wine Cooler, which is a high-quality single zone wine cooler with a huge capacity.
The 30 Bottle Built-in or Freestanding Wine Cooler from Kalamera is a unique product with a high capacity. It is great for those who want to store a large number of similar bottles. As well as those with large wine collections at home, it will also appeal to professional users such as hotels and bars.
The amount of space it takes up with such a large capacity is surprising low. It is 33.4 inches in height but only 22.4 inches at its maximum horizontal dimension. The shelves are designed to hold not only the regular 750 ml bottles but also larger ones.
It is very versatile because it can be used anywhere on the floor but can also be placed inside a kitchen cabinet. This is possible due to the ideal positioning of its vents in the front side. Though visible, the vents are designed to be unobtrusive.
The LED has a bright display to view the temperature easily. The buttons allow you to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius as well as set the temperature within a range between 40° and 66° or the Celsius equivalent.
This cooler uses a double-layer tempered glass door to keep the interior cool even when the outside temperature is high. The temperature memory function restores the last temperature in case of power outages, so you don’t have to worry about your wine been warm if you were out when the outage happened.
What's to like about the Kalamera 30 Bottle Built-in or Freestanding Wine Cooler
The best part about this cooler is its versatile shelf size. You can store any size of wine bottles without having to remove shelves due to the large capacity available.
What's not to like about the Kalamera 30 Bottle Built-in or Freestanding Wine Cooler
All 30 bottles would be at the same temperature due to the single zone. This works well if you have a single type of wine but not so much if you want to store a variety of wines together.
NewAir 116 Bottle Wine Cooler
The NewAir 116 Bottle Wine Cooler is a massive full-scale cooler with two zones and plenty of room to store different sizes of wine bottles.
The premium NewAir 116 Bottle Wine Cooler is a product which has the ability to cool more than 100 wine bottles at once. It is perfect for storing a large number of red and white wine bottles simultaneously in its two zones. The size of this cooler is suited perfectly for professional use in restaurants and bars or for domestic users who wish to store a vast array of different wines.
The storage system consists of 11 sliding beechwood shelves, which can be removed for cleaning. The sliding function also allows for easy loading and unloading of wine bottles. Moreover, one of the shelves can be removed when storing extra-large bottles on the shelf underneath it.
The interior of this cooler is lit by premium gold-colored LED lights which present your wine bottles in the best possible way. This makes any wine collection look particularly special when the cooler is completely filled with bottles.
The digital display in the middle is at an ergonomic height and allows you to conveniently set temperatures at the push of a button. The upper zone can be adjusted between 40° and 50° Fahrenheit, whereas the lower zone can be set between 50° and 66° Fahrenheit.
What's to like about the NewAir 116 Bottle Wine Cooler
The storage features are excellent with 11 fully adjustable wooden shelves sit on rails, which means they can be easily removed if you need more space for larger bottles. The gliding is also very helpful in loading bottles into the cooler.
What's not to like about the NewAir 116 Bottle Wine Cooler
Some might consider this a nice problem, but it may take you some time to determine the best shelf height for each wine type in terms of keeping each specific bottle at its optimum temperature.
Magic Chef 6-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cooler
Our final review sees us going small again to a 6-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cooler from Magic Chef which may be diminutive, but it still packs a punch when it comes to keeping wine cool.
The Magic Chef 6-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cooler is a tiny cooler designed for cooling up to 6 of your wine bottles at once. The small capacity makes it suitable for specialized use for your most favorite bottles. The capacity is ideal if you are a lover of wine but not big on collecting lots of different wines. Its smaller volume means you can also rely on this cooler to get your wine to serving temperatures in a very short time.
The black door and body of this cooler are apt for use on any kitchen platform as it matches most decors. It can obviously be used on a countertop and being as small as it is, it could also be set up on larger dining room sideboard for easy access to dinner wine. The interior consists of sculpted chrome shelves with a wave-like structure which holds your bottles perfectly in place.
The thermoelectric cooling technology used in this cooler is very efficient due to the low volume that needs to be cooled. Moreover, the amount of hot air that is vented outside the cooler is a lot less compared to bigger coolers. This helps to keep the room environment stable even if the wine cooler is on all day. The temperature range of this cooler is from 46° to 64° Fahrenheit, which should take care of many kinds of red and white wines.
What's to like about the Magic Chef 6-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cooler
The size of this cooler is perfect if you want to store a few bottles of wine for yourself or for small parties and it doesn’t take up much space either.
What's not to like about the Magic Chef 6-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cooler
Although it is ideal for tabletop use the fact that the fan inside makes more noise than many other coolers somewhat puts a dampener on that as it can be distracting.
When buying a wine cooler, there are several factors to be kept in mind. If you have choices for all these factors, it will get much easier to decide on a wine cooler out of all the options available.
Apart from your envisioned location for the wine cooler, be that at home or in a professional environment, you also want to think about how many bottles of wine you would like to store, and if your taste in wine is uniform or diverse. The following are some of the main options to consider.
Type of Wine Cooler
The type of wine cooler is obviously going to be one of the foremost variables you will have to decide upon. There are two commonly known types of wine cooler, with the most common being freestanding coolers. These are the wine coolers that can be placed anywhere except inside enclosed cabinets. They are usually kept on top of kitchen counters or on the floor.
The second type are the built-in wine coolers, which are fixed inside kitchen cabinets. They have vents on the front side, which allow hot air to escape so that they do not overheat in a closed area. Another point is that freestanding coolers are more portable and can be moved around anytime whereas built-in wine coolers are fixed inside a cabinet, therefore, the more permanent of the two.
Number of Zones
The number of zones in a wine cooler is the number of separate cooling chambers in it. Usually, one or two zones are found in a wine cooler. This is the case both for freestanding and built-in coolers. If you are starting your wine collection or want to store a few bottles without spending too much money, a single-zone wine cooler should be alright for you.
If you are a lover of different kinds of wines and want to store them together, opt for a dual-zone wine cooler. A dual-zone wine cooler can potentially require more space for the same total capacity; therefore, it is important to keep this in mind in terms of the available space you have for its location.
Wine coolers have a wide range of bottle capacities available. They can be just enough room to store around 6 to 8 bottles on one end of the scale and on the other end, they can be a huge cooler that can store over 100 bottles. Of course, there are lots of different capacities in-between those two extremes.
The bottle capacity you require naturally depends on how large a collection you wish to have. Our advice would be to go for a bigger capacity cooler than what you currently need, so that if you wish to increase the range of wines you have, you can do so, without having to buy another, or bigger wine cooler, later on.
The dimensions of a wine cooler should be chosen according to the space you have to keep it. When you are looking for a wine cooler, check their width, depth, and height. If you wish to put the cooler on a kitchen counter, the depth is usually the most important factor. The depth of the counter should be at least a few inches more than that of the cooler to make sure the does not tip over the edge.
The height of the cooler needs to be checked to ensure that it will not collide with wall cupboards or shelves. For built-in coolers, the cabinet would need to be designed by keeping some clearance around the given dimensions of the wine cooler.
Interface and Advanced Functions
The user interface of most wine coolers is very simple, with an ‘up’ and ‘down’ button to control the temperature and a ‘set’ button. This is usually repeated for dual zone coolers. The interface also consists of an LCD or LED display, which shows the current temperature setting.
If you are looking for advanced functionality, the temperature memory function might be of interest. With this feature, the cooler stores the last stored temperature in its memory.
This way, even when the power is off, the temperatures for all its zones are stored and recalled right after the power comes back. This is a handy feature to ensure that no wine goes bad even when you are on vacation and thus not able to manually reset to the correct temperatures after a power failure.
What are the types of wine coolers?
There are two major types of wine coolers – freestanding and built-in. Freestanding coolers can be placed on the floor or on a countertop, if they small enough. Built-in wine coolers have vents located in specific locations so hot air can escape when the cooler is inside a cabinet.
How many bottles can fit in a wine cooler?
As wine coolers come in different sizes, the number of bottles they can fit depends on their capacity. Mini wine coolers, which are the size of a bedside table, can fit around 8 to 10 bottles. Average-sized dual zone wine coolers can usually fit 18 to 30 bottles. Large refrigerator-sized wine coolers are also available which can store over 100 bottles.
How do wine coolers work?
Wine coolers work based on the principles of thermoelectricity. When an electric current is passed through a semiconductor metal, which is a component inside the cooling chamber, one side of the metal cools down, and the other side heats up. The cold side is directed inward to cool down the chamber while letting the air around the hot side be vented so that no overheating occurs.
Where can wine coolers be placed?
Freestanding wine coolers can be placed in any open location within any room, although in most homes this will be the kitchen. Small wine coolers can be placed on top of kitchen counters or on tables. Built-in wine coolers are fixed into kitchen cabinets, made according to the required size.
Why are there multiple zones in some wine coolers?
Multiple zones in wine coolers are provided so that you can set a different temperature for each individual zone. This is necessary to cool wine bottles optimally, especially when they are of different types. Red, white, sparkling, and other wines, all have a specific temperature range that is the best for their storage.
We have reviewed quite a diverse array of wine coolers in this article, and as we always do, we must now select which one we believe is No. 1. In this case, we choose the Ivation 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler as it provides the most all-round performance with a decent capacity of 18 bottles.
It is elegant in its looks with a smoked glass door and soft LED lights while also delivering high performance and temperature maintenance. The wine cooler is perfect for anyone with a medium-sized collection and a growing affinity for wine.