FREE SHIPPING for Refrigerators/Coolers in 48 states - Ask us about HI, AK & International shipping - Have a Question? or call us at (844) 368-9463
FREE SHIPPING in 48 states - Ask us about HI, AK & International shipping
Skip to content
What to look for in a wine fridge

What to look for in a wine fridge

If you've decided you're the type of wine drinker that needs a wine fridge, there are a few things to consider. First, of course, is price. Wine coolers can run as low as $100 and as much as a used car depending on the make, size, and features.

5 Wine Opening Gadgets Tested By Design Expert

“If I’m looking for a wine fridge for everyday wine such as Picpoul, Albariño or Soave, cold is the key. Sure, these are fine at proper temp, but they are super refreshing summer crushers when icy cold,” says sommelier Aaron Thompson of Osteria Stella in Knoxville, TN. If that’s your style, then you don’t need to spend a lot. You’re essentially purchasing a more elegant version of the drink fridge your friend’s parents had in the garage. It’s a dedicated wine fridge that holds bottles at a drink-ready temperature. “With that in mind,” Thompson says, “I’d keep the red wine out of cheap fridges and just set the temp to 45-50 degrees for rosè, white, and sparkling.”

If, on the other hand, you want to keep red wines at a cellar-appropriate temperature, then, you’ll want a dual temperature zones as opposed to a single-zone fridge. “People who are a little more than casual drinkers should look into dual-zone fridges, which allow you to set one part at 45 degrees and another at 55,” says Slover. “Keep your red at the higher temperature and your white at the colder temperature so they are ready to serve.”

Jordan Salcito, founder of Drink Ramona, Inc., thinks that the most important thing to look for in a wine fridge actually isn’t to do with temperature, but with humidity. She’s willing to store all of her wines at the same temperature in order to score a humidity controlled fridge. Then, when you are ready to drink the wine, you can bring it down or up to serving temperature. “If you want your Champagne or a bottle of white to be more chilled before you drink it, place it in an ice bucket 30 minutes before you're ready to open the bottle,” she says.

Along with humidity control or temperature settings, the other thing to keep in mind when looking at wine fridges is shelving. “One common mistake people make with wine fridges is trading functionality for bells and whistles. You can have a wine fridge that has three different temperature zones and a satellite dish but if you forget that your taste in wine lends itself to wider bottles, then the shelves will scrape the labels off all your bottles when you try to jam them in,” says Drew Brady director of operations and wine director of Overthrow Hospitality. Consider, “whether [the shelves] can be altered and moved to accommodate the different shapes and sizes of wine and sparkling bottles,” Cronk advises.

Slover agrees that the best wine coolers will have adjustable shelves for different bottle sizes. His favorite brand, Eurocave, makes shelves that can be moved around to accommodate Slover's collection of larger Burgundy bottles. “They have a mix of static shelves and rolling shelves, with the flexibility to add more rolling shelves. So you can make a shelf for wider Burgundy bottles and fat Champagne bottles to avoid scratching up labels and jamming shelves." The other side of that coin though, is that Eurocave is one of the most expensive brands on the market.

In addition to having a flexible layout, though, you'll also want to consider just how much storage space there actually is in the fridge. Slove thinks the best option for most people would be a 40- to 50-bottle wine fridge that fits under a kitchen counter. That’s big enough for a few cases, but small enough not to impose. More storage space, of course, will also increase the price: At 100–120 bottles, wine fridges tend to go over $1,000. That number can be a little eye-popping, but $1000 is probably a reasonable investment if you actually intend to acquire 100 plus bottles of wine. If you do go that route a freestanding option will make more sense than an under-the-counter one.

Finally: Unless you know you can keep it in a basement or garage, be sure to search for a unit that advertises quiet or silent operation as many tend to be quite loud.
Previous article What temperature should red wine fridge be?