How To Choose A Wine Fridge For Your Home

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Are you a wine enthusiast? Can you tell the difference between a zinfandel and a pinot noir? Then it’s time to get yourself a wine cooler. In this article, we’ll help you buy the perfect wine cooler for your wine collection.

What Are Wine Coolers?

What Are Wine Coolers?

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Wine coolers are fridges specifically designed to keep your wine at the ideal serving temperature. 

Storing wines and serving them is considered an art. It might take a while to master, but it is worth it! If you’re a wine enthusiast that loves to buy and try a variety of different wines, then what is better than experiencing them all at their very best?

Critical Considerations For Choosing A Wine Fridge

Critical Considerations For Choosing A Wine Fridge

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I want you to ignore your budget for a moment and ask yourself these questions: 

1) How Much Wine You Want To Store

This question will be vital in identifying the bottle capacity you’re looking for. If you aim to build a wine collection, you’ll probably need something with 30-50% more storage capacity than the number of wine bottles you currently own. However, if you don’t collect bottles and generally have a high bottle turnover, storage capacity isn’t something you need to concern yourself with. It’s better to have space and not use it than need space and not have it.

2) Extra Accessories

You can look for extra accessories on wine fridges like LED lights, digital temperature control, alarms, and more.

3) Locks

If you have minors in the house, wine should be out of their reach. Wine coolers with locks can secure wine from children.

4) Where You Will Put Your Wine Cooler

The location of your wine cooler will determine the type you choose, so it’s essential to decide this in advance. I will go over this later in the article, but in summary:

    • Integrated wine cooler – can be fully integrated into kitchen cabinetry, the neatest solution.

    • Built-in wine coolers – partially integrated but with a vent at the front. Cheaper and easier to install than integrated.

    • Freestanding wine coolers – designed to be located with space on either side, not to be integrated. 

5) Single Or Dual-Temperature Zones

According to Expert Wine Storage, if you’re generally more into red or white wine, you should go for the single temperature zone type (as the same type uses the same temperature). 

But if you want to have some bottles at the ideal serving temperature and some at storage temperature, or you want to serve adequately chilled red and white wine, you’ll need to get a dual or triple temperature zone module.

6) Size

A smaller wine cooler can fit into more spaces, corners, rooms, and cabinets, and you can also keep it in the bedroom. The size will determine how many bottles the fridge will take.

7) Price

Your budget will determine what fridges you will go for.

8) Design

You can look at the kitchen interior design and get a wine fridge that matches the design. Getting a color that appeals to you will add to the general vibe of your home and impress your friends.

9) Installation

Most fridges require a simple socket to get power. However, there are options that you can build into already existing kitchen areas to blend with the interior design of the house.

Types Of Wine Coolers 

Types Of Wine Coolers 

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The wine cooler can come in three types: Built-in bar cabinet with a fridge, integrated, or freestanding. Depending on where you’ll keep your cooler and how much storage space you need will be the critical factor in determining the type you need.

The width of wine coolers ranges from 15 to 70 cm. But the majority of models are typically 60 cm wide.

a) Freestanding Wine Coolers

Freestanding Wine Coolers

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The freestanding wine coolers are the most common and cheapest on the market. Since they practically have no requirements, you can find one with more significant dimensions than the built-in models, which means you can store up to 150 bottles! They can be placed anywhere in your house.

If you decide on the freestanding wine cooler, keep it in a room where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate much. So, avoid placing it in a garage.

b) Built-In Wine Coolers

Built-In Wine Coolers

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Built-in wine coolers give your kitchen a more elegant look. Built-in wine coolers are more expensive than the freestanding models. They come in fixed dimensions, so the number of bottles you can store in them is generally lower than in freestanding models. So, if you’ve got your eyes set on building a wine collection, this type is not for you.

c) Integrated Wine Coolers

Integrated Wine Coolers

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These coolers are harder to install since they are fitted into a unit, so you might need to refurbish your kitchen just to accommodate one. In addition, they don’t have a large bottle capacity, so they won’t be suitable if you’re building a wine collection.

d) Countertop Wine Coolers

Countertop Wine Coolers

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I’d recommend getting a countertop wine cooler if you have limited space. It’s the same as a freestanding fridge, but with a smaller capacity. It holds 6 to 8 bottles, but it’ll do the trick.

Pros of a Wine Fridge Over a Regular Fridge

Pros of a Wine Fridge Over a Regular Fridge

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For proper wine storage, most wine lovers agree on a set of conditions, and the regular refrigerator can not provide an optimum environment to store bottles of wine.

Here are some advantages of wine fridges over regular fridges.

    • Wine fridges maintain a level of humidity that is ideal for wine, a regular feature fridges can not have. The wine fridge has a constant temperature, which is suitable for the wine, unlike the regular fridge, whose temperatures fluctuate rapidly to keep away humidity.

    • Many wine fridges have glass doors, which are better for displaying wine bottles, unlike standard fridges, which you must open to see the contents.

    • Wine coolers come in different sizes and can fit into smaller spaces than regular fridges. Most wine fridges are slender and can fit in tight corners.

    • You can get a dual-zone fridge to keep the wine in optimal condition.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wine Fridges

frequently Asked Questions About Wine Fridges

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i) What is the difference between a wine refrigerator and a wine cooler?

Wine coolers have different temperature zones, while a dedicated wine fridge keeps a temperature constant to avoid temperature fluctuations. You can find triple or dual-zone wine cooler options, a rare feature in wine fridges.

While the terms are often interchanged, the specifications between wine coolers differ from wine refrigerators.

Since red wines are often served warmer than white wines, having zoned coolers is convenient. Wine fridges tend to have a uniform temperature.

ii) What is the best temperature for storing wine in a fridge?

The wine fridge should have a constant temperature between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures need to be constant without fluctuating too much.

iii) Is it worth getting a wine fridge?

Wine storage is one factor that interferes with the taste of the wine. Since storing wine needs to be at a constant temperature, a wine fridge is designed to keep the temperature range optimum for wine. Getting a wine fridge is worth it because it further adds to the ambiance of your bar by displaying the wine bottles.

iv) Do wine fridges use lots of electricity?

Wine refrigerators use equal or less electricity than the regular kitchen fridge. The size of the fridge will likely determine how much electricity it uses. A fridge’s size depends on how many bottles of wine it can take.

v) How big should the wine fridge be?

A standard wine fridge can take between 50 and 100 bottles. Wine collectors can have fridges with more bottles or even an entire wine cellar.

vi) Why do wine fridges have glass doors?

Apart from looking aesthetically pleasing, wine collectors like showing off their collection; a glass door does a great job of that. In most drink fridges, the glass doors give you a chance to take enough time to choose what drink you would like to have without having the door open the whole time.

vii) What is a lifespan of a wine fridge?

Your unique habits will determine how long your fridge will serve you. However, a refrigerator has a lifespan of about 10-15 years.

Getting accessories like surge protectors will prevent your fridge from getting damaged in case of a power surge.

viii) Can I leave the light on in my wine fridge?

The lighting in the fridge should be primarily to find the drink you need. Otherwise, it is better to leave the lights off. The lights can stay on for ambiance and display if you have guests around.

ix) Is the wine fridge cold enough for food?

While you can store food in a wine cooler, it is not recommended. A regular fridge fluctuates in temperature often, while a wine cooler does not. Furthermore, mixing foods with wine might interfere with the quality of the wine as the gases emitted by the food might seep into the cork, affecting the taste of the wine.

Conclusion on How To Choose A Wine Fridge


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If you are a wine enthusiast, then choosing the best wine fridge is crucial for preserving your cherished collection. Consider factors like capacity, temperature control, and aesthetics to find the ideal fit. Additionally, don’t forget the importance of wine bottle bags for safe transport and gifting. Choose wisely, and elevate your wine experience with the perfect storage solution.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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