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Whether you're partial to white wine, red wine, or rosé, one truth applies to wine drinkers of all stripes: you need to keep your wine stored and chilled outside of your regular too-cold fridge. This is why you need to invest in a wine refrigerator, which will extend the life of even the most delicate bottles, and keep your growing collection of bottles safe and organized.
But knowing which wine refrigerator to buy can feel like a fraught task. There are large and small options, expensive and affordable models, and even features that may seem unnecessary (and, depending on whether you're a casual drinker or a serious collector, some of them might not be for you). No matter what kind of wine you love and what your personal persuasion is regarding collecting wine, there’s a fridge out there for you.
Here are the best wine refrigerators for every lifestyle.
Best Overall, Single Zone: Frigidaire FGWC5233TS 24-Inch 52-Bottle Single Zone Wine Cooler
What We Like: Well priced, good capacity, adjustable shelves
What We Don't Like: Single-zone
This 52-capacity, single-zone fridge from Frigidaire can be installed either as a free-standing or as a built-in refrigerator. The fridge can fit both cans and bottles, with a variety of sizes of each, over its six adjustable shelves. With 5.3 cubic feet of space, it’s a roomy fridge with great benefits to the average wine drinker.
An LED digital display helps you set the fridge at an exact temperature between 41 and 64 degrees. The reversible door is slightly tinted to protect your wine from light but is transparent enough to see the wood fronts of the wire racks. One setback is that this fridge is a single-zone unit, meaning that whites and reds will be kept at the same temperature. But considering the capacity, this fridge is a great value.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 23.4 x 23.4 x 34.25 inches | Capacity: 52 bottles | Temperature Range: 41 to 64 degrees
Best Overall, Dual Zone: KitchenAid KUWR314KSS 46-Bottle Stainless Steel Dual Zone Built-In Wine Chiller
What We Like: Custom look, wooden shelving, high-tech extras
What We Don't Like: Expensive
This luxurious KitchenAid fridge holds up to 46 standard Bordeaux-sized bottles and offers a number of bells and whistles, to boot. Two temperature-controlled zones allow for a differentiation between storage temperature and serving temperature, and a motion-activated LED lighting system turns on upon approach.
The hidden hinges on this undercounter 5-cubic-foot model offer a more customized look for your kitchen, which also will sit flush with your cabinets. Racks are made from wood, offering a luxurious aesthetic. A temperature monitoring system will activate if the fridge reaches 70 degrees for more than four hours, making sure that wines are well protected.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 25.6 x 23.9 x 34.2 inches | Capacity: 46 bottles | Temperature Range: 41 to 64 degrees
Best Budget: Frigidaire FRWW2432AV 24-Bottle Black Freestanding Wine Chiller
What We Like: Affordable, nice aesthetic
What We Don't Like: Only holds 24 bottles, single-zone
This affordably priced 24-bottle freestanding wine cooler has an adjustable temperature control with a single-zone range of 41 to 64 degrees. The unit’s see-through door and LED interior lighting make finding what you’re looking for much easier, especially if it's your one bottle of white wine among 23 bottles of red. Seven shelves help to keep the space organized.
A mid-sized model, this 2.3-cubic-foot fridge is a good fit for people with smaller homes or who are just starting their wine collection, although it’s a flexible unit overall. A couple of drawbacks is that door isn't reversible for the left-handed and it's missing a high-temperature alarm.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 17.25 x 19.1 x 25.4 inches | Capacity: 24 bottles | Temperature Range: 41 to 64 degrees
Related: The Best Mini Fridges
Best for Small Spaces: Black+Decker BD60016 9.7-Inch 6-Bottle Capacity Wine Cellar
What We Like: Sleek, space-saving, low noise
What We Don't Like: Small, single-zone
Even if you live in a New York City apartment with a truly tiny kitchen, you can still own a wine fridge, so say the clever inventors at Black+Decker. This six-bottle unit fits right on the countertop and since it only weighs 17.6 pounds, you can easily move it around when needed. Because it’s a stylish option, you can even display this fridge in other parts of the house, like the living room.
Two slide-out racks make organizing a breeze, and the fridge has an adjustable setting with a range of 46 to 65 degrees. Instead of having a refrigerant or compressor, it uses a thermoelectric cooling system that's always quiet. The six-bottle capacity is measured by standard Bordeaux bottles, so you might be able to fit more if you use smaller bottles or canned wine.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 19.8 x 9.7 x 14.9 inches | Capacity: 6 bottles | Temperature Range: 46 to 65 degrees
Best Large Capacity: Vinotemp EL-300COMM 188-Bottle Capacity Black Wine Chiller
What We Like: Massive capacity, lighting options, can be built into a kitchen
What We Don't Like: Single-zone, expensive
A serious wine collection requires a serious wine fridge, and this Vinotemp model is nothing if not serious. Holding an astounding 188 bottles, this single-zone fridge ranges in temperature from 41 to 64 degrees. It can be used as a freestanding fridge or installed as part of a built-in kitchen. The fridge’s patent-pending lighting has three settings: soft white, amber, and Vinotemp BioBlu, a trademarked light that helps reduce the growth of bacteria and mold.
The 21.2-cubic-foot wine fridge also stands out with its racking, which differs in aesthetic from most other fridges. It holds the bottles so that they are front-facing and visible from the outside. Both the top rack and bottom storage section can be used to hold larger wine bottles like Champagne and magnums. The temperature controls are part of an LED display that is easy to use and easy to read.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 27.1 x 29.5 x 74 inches | Capacity: 188 bottles | Temperature Range: 41 to 64 degrees
Related: The Best Place to Buy Appliances
The Frigidaire FGWC5233TS 24-Inch 52-Bottle Single Zone Wine Cooler (view at AJ Madison) checks many important boxes: it holds 52 bottles, can be installed either as a freestanding or undercounter fridge, and has adjustable shelving for flexible storage. If you need something with dual zones, consider the KitchenAid KUWR314KSS 46-Bottle Stainless Steel Dual Zone Built-In Wine Chiller (view at Lowe's).
What to Look for in a Wine Fridge
There are two kinds of installations when it comes to wine refrigerators: freestanding and built-in. What you buy will matter when it comes to installing it in your actual home. For a custom look, go with a built-in, which will fit into cabinetry and look like part of your kitchen’s design. Freestanding fridges, on the other hand, may not blend seamlessly into your layout, but they have more flexibility when it comes to placement.
One of the most important “extra” features to a wine fridge is dual-zone cooling. In models with a dual-zone, you can cool two separate sections separately, keeping white and sparkling wines at a colder temperature, which is preferable for serving, and red wine a little warmer. Typically, the colder section of a dual-zone fridge ranges from 40 to 50 degrees, while the warmer section runs from 50 to 65. Other features include LED lighting, digital interfaces, and adjustable shelves.
Shelving can differ greatly from wine fridge to wine fridge. The most common materials used are wood and metal. Metal shelves, which are curved to accommodate bottles, can be tricky when it comes to large-format bottles, so if you have a lot of large bottles in your collection, wooden shelving may be a better fit for you. Some wine fridges do not have adjustable shelving, which makes it difficult to maximize the fridge’s space. Adjustable shelving is definitely a quality to look for when shopping.
How should I organize my wine fridge?
The best way to organize your wine fridge is by designated use. Bottles that you intend to save for special occasions (or that you’re in the process of cellaring, even) need not be as accessible as everyday bottles, so consider placing them in areas that are less convenient to reach. Separate whites, reds, and sparkling wines and keep like wines and grape varieties together so that you can access them quickly when you need them. Sparkling wines, white wines, and rosés should be kept in the cooler section of the dual-zone, should you opt for one, while reds can remain in the warmer section, along with fortified wines.
How long does wine last in a fridge?
Wine fridges can extend the life of average bottles and keep exceptional bottles alive for a very long time. As long as the bottle is not opened, has not ever been kept in a warm environment, and has always been kept horizontal and in a space with neither too much moisture nor too much aridity, it can be held for pretty much as long as you need it. Opened wines, on the other hand, typically oxidize after a few days.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Hannah Selinger has written about food and drinks for local and national publications since 2015. A former sommelier, Hannah has worked for some of New York’s top restaurant groups, including Laurent Tourondel’s BLT group and David Chang’s Momofuku group. Her work has appeared in Eater, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, and more. Hannah is also a graduate of the International Culinary Center.
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