If you like to stock a variety of wines in your home but don’t want to invest a lot in a walk-in wine cellar, getting a wine chiller or refrigerator is way to go for you. The main problem with buying a wine chiller is that it is not cheap and when you look at them online, they all pretty much look the same. But when you are investing your hard-earned money on a new home application, you want to make sure that you get the right one.
For this purpose, we have put together helpful information in this guide that will help you buy the perfect wine chiller according to your requirements and budget. Let’s get started.
Benefits of Owning a Wine Refrigerator
A standard refrigerator isn’t suitable for storing your wine collection because it isn’t designed that way. A wine refrigerator is made to store all your expensive wine collections in the most mannerly way. Here are some advantages of owning one:
- It stores wine at an ideal temperature, stability, and humidity. This means that your wine collection can mature pretty well without getting destroyed.
- A wine chiller may accommodate other beverages as well without spoiling them or your wines. Drinks such as lemonade, plain water, soda water, and other non-alcoholic beverages can be stored easily as well. However, one thing to keep in mind is that wine refrigerators, unlike standard ones, maintain a warmer temperature, making them not a suitable choice to place perishables inside.
- Wine chillers or refrigerators are budget-friendly, and they cost way less than a wine cellar, standard refrigerator, or a wine cabinet.
- Wine chillers are available in a variety of sizes/bottles capacities. Both freestanding and built-in designs can easily fit into different spaces in your house without any problem.
- Wine refrigerators use a simple system that costs less to maintain, unlike standard refrigerators and wine cellars that need repairing of motor and other parts.
Types of Wine Chillers
1. Countertop Wine Chillers
These wine chillers are compact and an ideal choice if you don’t have much space in your house or kitchen. They save the floor space as they are designed to be placed on the countertops. Depending on the size of the unit and bottles, countertop wine chillers can store anywhere between 4-24 wine bottles.
This type of wine chiller is suitable for people who like to drink their wine occasionally instead of collecting them. Hence, they make an excellent appliance to accommodate an ample amount of red and white wine.
2. Free-Standing Wine Chillers
As the name suggests, free-standing wine chillers can be placed anywhere in your home, depending on their size. You can place it on the countertop of your kitchen, in your office, or wherever you want. They are available abundantly in the market in a variety of designs and sizes. What makes them popular among many wine lovers and collectors is that they can purchase it in any size according to their requirements.
3. Single Zone Wine Chillers
If you only drink and collect one type of wine (either red or white), then you are good to go with a single zone wine chiller. They come with a single compartment for accommodating all your wine bottles. The temperature inside is uniform, which means all the compartments inside have the same temperature, and all the wine bottles are chilled at the same temperature as well.
However, since various kinds of wines require to be stored at different temperatures, you cannot store all the types in this single zone wine chiller due to its single temperature feature. Although they are less expensive compared to dual-zone wine chillers, you will need to buy a few more of them to collect more than one kind of wine.
4. Dual Zone Wine Chillers
Dual-zone wine chillers have two separate storage compartments that have a partition between them. You can store different types of wines at different temperatures in two compartments at the same time. Hence, this type of wine chiller is an excellent choice to store both red and white wines in one chiller. Dual-zone wine chillers can have either a vertical or horizontal partition in the middle.
Compressor-based dual-zone wine chillers have two separate mechanisms to maintain two different temperatures in one single unit. On the other hand, thermoelectric units have only one mechanism to do the same job. However, dual-zone wine chillers are quite expensive compared to their single-zone counterparts.
How to Choose the Right Wine Chiller?
Choosing a wine chiller doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task. Here are some things that you should keep in mind to make an informed buying decision:
- Pay Attention to Uniformity
This is an essential feature to consider when buying a wine chiller. Due to wide temperature swings, wine can degrade when stored in a single spot. The ideal temperature depends on the density and kind of wine. White, red, and sparkling wines are best stored from 45° to 60°F.
If a wine chiller has a uniform temperature inside, you don’t have to worry about ruining your favorite wine.
As we discussed above the kinds of wine chillers available in the market, you should choose one according to your requirements. If you love drinking wine, but not collecting them, then a countertop wine chiller would be good for you. You can also opt for a freestanding unit that comes with sufficient storage capacity.
On the other hand, if you like to collect only a single type of wine (either red or white), you can go ahead and buy a single zone wine chiller without thinking twice. While for those who love collecting more than one kind of wine, a dual-zone chiller is a feasible option.
- Storage Capacity
Selecting a wine chiller based on its size is essential. It should have a storage capacity of about 12 to 18 bottles, so you can have an ample amount of chilled wine to serve to your friends and family when required. On the other hand, if you don’t want to collect a lot of them and want to store 4 to 8 bottles only, a compact wine chiller is best suited for you.
- Quiet Operation
A noisy wine chiller will quickly become a headache if it is placed near living areas. Ensure that you get one with the ultra-smooth operation. It should have a low level of vibration.
- Adjustable Temperature Control
If you are choosing a single zone wine chiller, ensure that it features adjustable temperature control that ranges between 50° to 60° F.
- Control Panel Type
The control panel should be user-friendly and come with a touch screen digital display, so you can conveniently adjust the temperature of the chiller as per your requirement.
- Integrated Lock
This one is an added feature (optional), you can either have it or leave it, according to your budget. An integrated lock will help prevent visitors from stealing your favorite wine bottles.
Our Top Picks
If you are a wine enthusiast, you will know the importance of keeping your reds and whites maintained at the right temperature to ensure a bold flavor. NutriChef PKTEWC120 is a single zone 12-bottle thermoelectric wine cooler that can keep either red or white wine at the perfect temperature. It features precision Temperature Control with Superior Ventilation, allowing you to set the right temperature according to your requirement.
This elegant wine cooler has all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a high-end commercial wine refrigerator and that too, with the comforts of your home. It has a freestanding design that features an integrated LED, built-in circulation fan that operates quietly, and ventilation grill. It is backed by a 1-year warranty.
- Precision Cooling System
- Quiet, Stylish Design
- Temperature Control Display
- Sustainable Shelving System
- Airtight Glass Door Seal
If you are looking for a compact, freestanding wine chiller that doesn’t take much space and operates quietly, Ivation 12-bottle thermoelectric wine chiller is an excellent choice for you. It is super easy to set up, and once you plug it in, it will reach 50°F within 20 minutes only. As it’s a single zone unit, it can only accommodate either your reds or whites at one time. You can also customize the temperature according to your requirement.
This chiller is insulated with CFC-free Solid polyurethane heavy foam and tempered-soaked Thermopane doors that maintain a constant humidity. Its Energy-efficient thermoelectric cooling system won’t skyrocket your electricity bill. Additionally, it has a door lock that prevents others from getting their hands on to your wine.
- Exterior digital Touch controls
- Vibration-free, super-quiet operation
- Adjustable temperature control
- Excellent insulation
This one is another freestanding wine chiller by Danby, and it has room for storing up to 36 bottles of your favorite wine. Your bottles are all showcased by the blue LED interior lighting that looks pretty cool at night. Your wine remains protected inside from UV rays, thanks to its tempered glass door. Whether you are a right-handed person or left, this is suitable for both as it has reversible door swing.
Moreover, it has a temperature range of 6°C – 14°C (43°F – 57°F).
- Blue LED interior lighting
- Holds up to 36 Bottles
- Reversible door hinges
- Tempered glass door
This single zone wine refrigerator by Kalamera has a capacity of accommodating up to 50 bottles. It has a freestanding design, which means you can place it anywhere in your house and grab a bottle of wine whenever you want. It is equipped with advanced cooling technology that keeps the compressor super quiet, so you don’t get disturbed.
Also, this compressor-based refrigerator has a touch control display screen that shows temperature from 40° to 66° F, which you can also adjust according to your requirement.
- Quiet Compressor
- Cools Evenly Due To Interior Fan and Slat-Style Shelves
- Touch Control Panel
- Has a Capacity of Storing 50 Bottles
Want to keep about 28 bottles of your favorite wine at the ideal temperature so they can get mature with perfect taste? This wine refrigerator by NewAir is a great choice. It will look great in your house, office, kitchen, and wet bar. It is equipped with a thermostatic cooling system that allows you to change the temperature according to your requirement.
Additionally, the working of NewAir wine chiller is quiet and vibration-free. This stylish machine features chrome-plated wine racks and LED lighting for better viewing at night.
- Quiet and vibration-Free Thermoelectric Cooling System
- Interior LED Lighting:
- Adjustable Shelves and Temperature Control
- Digital Display
- Available in three different capacities: 12 Bottle, 18 Bottle, And 28 Bottle
Set-Up and Installation
Setting up and installing your wine chiller is not a difficult task either. Here are some points that you should keep in mind before and while installing your new wine refrigerator:
- Place your wine chiller on a flat and even location.
- Keep it away from heat and sunlight.
- Before plugging the unit in, allow it to rest upright with the door open and unplugged for about 24 hours. This will remove any odors from fresh plastic and painted metal from your wine chiller.
- Avoid placing the unit in a location that is easily accessible by pets or children.
- Avoid placing the unit over the carpet as any spills or leakage can cause molds or odors. However, if the place where you want to install it is carpeted, make sure to place a plastic mat underneath the unit first.
- Read through the instruction manual to learn your new unit’s specs, features, and controls.
- Follow the clearance guides carefully to ensure that your new unit can exhaust properly.
- Pay close attention to the size of your new wine chiller and install it in the space where it can fit well without any problem.
- Check the legs of the unit to ensure they are stable.
Maintenance and Cleaning
- After using the unit for quite some time, you might need to replace the internal lights and wirings.
- Never use a flammable cleaning agent to clean the machine as this may cause a fire. Use non-abrasive cleaning agents and cleaners.
- Before you clean the unit, turn it off and remove the wine bottles.
- After cleaning it, allow the unit to sit idle for some time before loading with wine.
- If there are any spills in the chiller, clean them right away.
- Check the exhaust periodically to ensure that it doesn’t have dust or debris.
A wine chiller is an excellent alternative to a costly walk-in wine cellar. If you can’t afford one, you can always go for a wine chiller. However, there are a few things you should consider before buying one that we have already discussed above, so there shouldn’t be any problem for you to find the right wine chiller as per your needs.