Store your wine in style with the best wine refrigerators of 2016.
If you’re a fan of fine wine (or just wine in general), a wine refrigerator—often referred to as a “wine cooler”—is a must-have for your home. Unlike a regular refrigerator, a wine refrigerator doesn’t force you to store your wine in the same box as last night’s leftovers, nor do the temperature and humidity levels fluctuate throughout the day (a major no-no when it comes to wine storage).
Likewise, standard refrigerators tend to vibrate—a lot—which is less than ideal when you’re trying to age wine. Wine refrigerators actually account for this issue and tend to absorb as much of the vibration as they can to create a preferred storage environment. In fact, some wine refrigerators don’t vibrate at all!
Of course, when choosing the best wine refrigerator, you don’t just want any old metallic box that keeps your wine cold—you want the crème de la crème. Finding the best of anything tends to take some time; that’s why we’ve done most of the legwork for you, this way you can spend less time looking and more time enjoying your wine anytime, always served at the perfect temperature.
So before we dive in and list our picks for the best wine refrigerators of 2016, let’s first define just what it is we’re looking for when shopping for a top-tier wine cooler. (Of course, if you want to skip straight to the list, just click here.)
What do we look for in the best wine refrigerators?
There’s a lot to account for when it comes to properly storing and chilling your wine. Before you make your purchase, be sure to consider the following:
Single vs multi-zone control – Zone control grants greater control over the temperature inside your wine cooler. Generally, you’ll find single-zone, dual-zone, and triple-zone wine refrigerators. This is important, because not all wines are stored the same way, and different varieties are best stored at different temperatures. Multiple zones allow you to store a greater selection of wine at the ideal temperature within the same unit. For our list, we’ve selected the best single-, dual-, and triple-zone wine coolers available.
Thermoelectric vs compressor – While there are advantages to both technologies, it’s important to consider the differences when looking at the best wine refrigerator for your needs. Thermoelectric is incredibly quiet and highly efficient, but tends to work better in cooler environments and can’t be installed in a cabinet. Compressor-powered units may be slightly heavier and louder, but can be installed in cabinets and can reach very low internal temps.
Adjustable shelves – As a wine enthusiast, you likely already know that not all wine bottles are created equal. When you want to store larger or uniquely shaped bottles, you’ll be glad you went with a wine cooler that has adjustable shelves.
UV (ultraviolet) rays – Overexposure to UV light can ruin even the best bottles of wine. We accounted for UV protection—either wine coolers with tinted glass doors or solid doors—when making this list.
Customer reviews – What better way to gauge quality than with the opinion of people who actually own the product in question? While not the defining factor, we absolutely took customer feedback into account for this list of the year’s best wine refrigerators.
Aesthetics – Perhaps the way your wine cooler looks isn’t the most important thing about it, but you still want it to look good. We chose wine refrigerators that are as visually appealing as they are functional.
Pricing – Finally, we made sure to account for the value you’re getting versus what you’re spending on each of the products on this list. Rest assured that the wine coolers on this list will undoubtedly give you the best bang for your buck.
This beauty of a wine cooler gives you top-shelf features in an affordable, compact package. With a capacity for 28 bottles and easy-to-use digital controls, the NewAir AW-280E single-zone wine cooler is just perfect for nearly any room.
The thermoelectric design keeps it incredibly silent and eliminates vibrations, creating an optimal environment to allow your wine to mature. Each of this unit’s six racks can be pulled out for easy access to any bottle, and the internal lighting is about more than just looks—LEDs run cool to the touch and won’t inadvertently heat your wine while they’re on. A true gem!
Featuring enough space for as many as 32 bottles of wine, the NewAir AW-320ED is one of the best dual-zone wine refrigerators we’ve ever laid eyes on. In addition to its sophisticated design, this wine cooler features eco-friendly thermoelectric cooling (meaning no moving parts and no unwanted vibrations).
Likewise, with a compact design and easily adjustable digital thermostat, you’ll have no trouble configuring this unit for your favorite bottles of red and white. Whether you’re a life-long wine connoisseur or just discovering the wonderful world of wine collection, this is one wine refrigerator that’s well worth a look.
This one goes out to the serious wine enthusiast—any man or woman with the heart and soul of a true sommelier. This triple-zone wine refrigerator makes no compromises, boasting a capacity for 265 bottles of your favorite wines.
The double-pane glass door on the front of the unit allows you to see every last bottle while providing UV protection. Likewise, the digital control panel shows you temperature and humidity within the unit at a glance. It even has a locking door!
When wine is your world and your world is wine, this is the wine refrigerator you need for your home.
Although it’s not exclusive to wine, many shoppers don’t realize that there really are some great wine and beverage refrigerators out there that give you the best of both worlds. Keep your beer and soda frosty in one zone while your wine ages gracefully in the other.
The NewAir AWB-360DB has an 18 bottle and 60 can capacity, digital control panels for each zone, and can operate both as a built-in unit or a freestanding unit. It’s worth noting that the NewAir AWB-360DB is compressor powered, meaning it can be a bit louder and heavier than the other coolers on this list (which are thermoelectric), but is also capable of reaching lower internal temperatures (perfect for beer and soda).