Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or planning for a home bar, a wine cooler or a beverage refrigerator will bring pizzazz and efficiency to your space.
Wine coolers come in various styles, layout and configuration options. There are over a hundred cooling brands on the market today. It can be overwhelming to find the wine fridge that’s right for you among the myriad of refrigeration options.
As interior designers, we can honestly tell you that – there isn’t just one that’s “BEST” for every space. There are always options – beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, agree?
What we can offer you here is a short-listed reputable and trusted brands, about 10% of the manufacturers out of the hundred plus on the market. Our recommendations are based on the feedback and sales information from:
- Our design firm.
- Our Amazon affiliate store.
- Our interviews with fellow interior designers for various home styles including mid-century modern, transitional, eclectic and traditional.
- Our conversations with wine experts, wine brand manufacturers, and repair technicians.
We will include featured models in each top-ranked brand. Show you the comparison of key features. And, where possible, show you examples of placement in various spaces settings. You may also want to read our in-depth review for each model before your make your final selection.
You are the best person to decide which model looks best in your space – we’re here to help you to make an informed decision.
Zephyr is the most premium brand on this top-rated list. Their Presrv series is impeccably designed and feature rich – it is our preferred choice of wine and beverage center when money is no object.
Budget: Zephyr models run from $1000 to $3000. Why is Zephyr so pricey you ask?
Besides winning many prestigious awards for the most beautiful design, this brand has the most complete set of high-end features including (but not limited to):
- Multiple internal sensors to provide the most accurate temperatures.
- An on-brand computer to maintain temperature stability and even cooling.
- Door alarm, Sabbath mode, 3-color LED interior lighting.
- Most quiet wine cooler with noise level below 40 decibels.
Featured models: French-door wine and beverage center, full-size single-zone wine cooler, black stainless-steel beverage fridge, and an outdoor beverage refrigerator.
Comparison of the most popular Zephyr wine and beverage models, including both indoors and outdoors:
If you are one who appreciates history and world famous, then consider Vinotemp. They are in the million plus family worldwide. And, they have been around since the 80’s.
Budget: Vinotemp appliance units run from $800 to $2000.
Featured capacity: 165, 155, 154, 110, and 7 bottles.
Their multi-zone wine refrigerators are popular with our clients looking for the 100-plus bottle wine stock storage solution. Their mirror-door 7-bottle is trendy and fashionable.
With their long history in cabinet manufacturing, it’s easy to see why their wine racks have the most attractive styling.
Vinotemp also makes cooling unit for a wine room. If you’re building a wine cellar room, consider their cooling system – their units are self-contained (no copper tubing and drain line are required), customizable and optimized for long term storage.
If you like gold interior light and you appreciate the convenience of in-home warranty, go for the Gold Series by NewAir. If you are looking for 100-bottle unit, consider the 116-bottle and 160-bottle models – they get perfect scores from our customers three years in a row.
The NewAir 46-bottle model is our runner-up in the 40-50 bottle capacity. This model has three versions of kickplates: stainless steel standard, black standard and stainless steel recess plate. You have the option to purchase the version that complements the décor and color scheme you want.
The NewAir brand manufactures some of the most durable appliances – yes, 10-year life expectancy for the compressor!
Budget: NewAir wine fridge models run from $300 to $2000.
Featured capacity: 160, 116, 52, 46, 29, 28, 21, 18, 12, and 7 bottles.
NewAir brand is well-known for their beautiful style, energy efficient, reversible doors and excellent warranty.
Comparison of the most popular NewAir wine and beverage models:
Kalamera wins in our under-cabinet category including the 12-inch, 15-inch and 24-inch wide wine fridge.
Kalamera also wins in our single-zone cooling units sold including the 30-bottle, 46-bottle, 50-bottle and 157-bottle.
Budget: Kalamera wine coolers price range from $500 to $2000.
Featured capacity: 157, 50, 46, 40, 30, and 18 bottles.
Kalamera brand offers high-caliber product lines, super quiet compressor, temperature memory function, premium double-layer and triple-layer tempered glass doors and beautiful design.
Comparison of the most popular Kalamera wine and beverage appliances:
Haier is famous for their smoked glass door. This is another good candidate to consider for 12-18 bottle small collection.
Budget: Haier cooling models range from $400 to $1000.
Featured capacity: 12, 18 and 44 bottles.
Specialized in small foot-print models for limited space, beautiful smoke-glass doors, and all black exterior finishes (including black door frames).
We want to give an honorable shout-out to Frigidaire for building the first self-contained fridge back in 1918. It’s paying respect to the company who invented the home fridge, including wine coolers.
Notable Frigidaire features:
- Reversible door swing option – allows you to configure the door to open to the right or left.
- Precision electronic. They are famous to keep wine fridge cooling system consistent without temperature fluctuation.
- Contemporary handle design – they are one of the three brands in the market that offers top-mounting door handles.
- Natural stained wood shelves.
- Frost free technology.
Budget: Frigidaire cooler units run from $250 to $1000.
Featured capacity: 38-bottle and 52-bottle wine coolers.
If you are seeking for side-by-side large capacity wine fridge, EdgeStar is worth your consideration. Edgestar has been our top seller for 332-bottle capacity the past four years.
Their French-door units in the 30″ and 24″ are among the most popular models with our customers.
Budget: EdgeStar models price from $600 to $4000.
Featured capacity: 332, 242, 143, 110, 46, 38 and 26 bottles.
EdgeStar brand represents quality construction, reliability, steady temperature with minimum temperature fluctuation, and options of beverage refrigerators for indoors or outdoors.
Comparison of the most popular EdgeStar wine and beverage models, including indoors and outdoors:
Allavino wins in our 36-bottle, 56-bottle, 172-bottle and 305 capacity – based on the large number of units sold the last three years.
Allavino also wins in our dual-zone cooling units, and commercial grade wine cellars (Allavino Vite series).
Many of their models include stainless steel in silver and classic black.
Whether your taste is modern clean-line or timeless classic, we are confident that you will find a premium Allavino model that suits your fancy.
This much is true, and impressive about owning an Allavino wine fridge:
- They have the most innovative shelving aka FlexCount series – durable and having the largest clearance between shelves on the market.
- Their patented Tru-Vino technology enables near zero interior temperature fluctuation.
Budget: Allavino cooler units run from $500 to $3000.
Featured capacity: 305, 172, 128, 112, 99, 56, 36, 34, 30, 29, and 16 bottles.
Allavino brand represents quality built, innovative flexible shelving, advanced vibration dampening system, near-perfect constant interior temperature, and elegant designs.
Comparison of the most popular popular Allavino wine fridge models:
If you are looking for a small wine cooler, AKDY brand is a good candidate. Most AKDY units are powered by thermoelectric cooling system – very quiet and with minimum vibration.
Featured capacity: 32, 28, 21, and 18 bottles.
AKDY specialized in small space units using thermoeletric cooling systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
During our course of design projects, we have installed, on an average, either a wine cooler or a beverage cooler for seven out of ten kitchen floor plans. It is true that not every household needs a wine cooler.
So, do you need one? Here are some of the most frequently-asked questions we get from our clients, along with our answers.
Are wine coolers worth it?
Absolutely for anyone who collects vintages for future enjoyment and investment. You want a temperature-controlled environment for your bottles of wine to age gracefully.
Now, if you don’t plan to keep any wine in your house. Or, you intend to occasionally buy just one bottle of wine, and enjoy it at dinner that evening, then a wine cooler is not a necessity for you. In this case, you want to chill your champagne and white wine in an ice-bucket before serving.
For most of us, our wine collection justifies owning a wine cooler. From a design perspective, a beautiful wine cooler adds both form and function to an entertaining space as well.
How do I choose the best wine cooler?
We believe there isn’t one cooler fits all. It depends on the size of your wine collection, the installation space (and dimension) available, and what kind of style looks best to you. Here are some general guidelines to use in your evaluation:
- If you plan to have a collection between 18-bottle to 56-bottle, an under-counter unit is a great choice. You can also install a built-in as a free-standing appliance if all sides are finished.
- If you plan to have a small collection of 4-bottle to a dozen, then consider a compact counter-top wine cooler.
- If you are planning for 100+ bottles, note that a large capacity cooler is typically 56 inches or taller in height. If you prefer a shorter height, consider a side-by-side 33-inch tall with a 56-bottle capacity in each side.
- Installation location. Do you have the space available for a medium or large cellar? Always measure twice to confirm the height, width and depth of your space. Do you have enough clearing space when the door is opened?
- Right or left hinge. Do you prefer to open your door to the right or left? Order the model with the correct hinge or look for a reversible-door unit.
- Do you need a dual-zone? The answer depends on the type of vintages you collect. Do your assortments consist of both red and white? Then you want a cellar with dual temperature zones. If you collect just red or just white, then opt for a single-zone.
- Easy to use. First check the temperature control panel – is it inside the door or outside the door? How easy it is to set or change the interior temperature? Are there other control features you need, for example, door alarm, or Sabbath mode? Do you need adjustable shelves?
- Noise level. Do you plan to have gatherings and conversations in front of the fridge? If so, you want a quiet cooler at 36-38 dBA (decibel).
- Style is equally as important as functionalities. Consider the color and material of other appliances in your space. Do you prefer a seamless stainless steel door frame or one with seams? Clear glass or smoke glass door? Do you prefer a single door or French doors? What about the door handle (s) – side, top or recess? Wooden shelves or metal racks? Blue or gold or white interior light?
- Budget. In general, a bigger capacity cooler costs more than a small size cooler. A built-in (front-vent facing) typically costs more than a free-standing-only unit. A French-doors unit usually costs more than a single-door. Plan for $200-$400 for a small counter-top unit, $1000 for an under-counter 40-50 bottle, and $1500 for a 100-bottle, $2500 for a 200+ bottle model.
How do you measure a wine fridge?
Let’s go and measure a built-in installation here, including the suggested built-in dimension, and the cooler’s measurement spec.
We are using a Kalamera 15-inch wide 30-bottle wine cooler in this illustration. Assuming that you have an old-trash compacter space under your kitchen counter. And, you are wondering whether you can adopt this design layout:
These are the measuring steps to take:
- Measure the width, depth and height of your space available. In this case, you get 15.3” W x 22.4” D x 34.1” H for the space dimension available for your built-in.
- Next check out the width, depth and height of the 30-bottle fridge. In this example, you see 14.9” W x 22.4” D x 33.9” H for the 15-inch unit.
- Excellent! You have the perfect suggested built-in measurement for this unit. You have 0.4” (15.3” – 14.9”) space to use 0.2”on the left and 0.2” on the right side of this unit. You also get 0.2” (34.1” – 33.9”) to level the height. And, your cooler can be flush-mount (22.4” – 22.4”) with the exact depth dimension!
- Installation Tip: Before you choose your installation location, check out the location of your power outlet, and the length of the power cord.
Where should I place my wine cooler?
If it is a free-standing unit only, and it has a rear vent, you want to house it in an open area where there is 2 to 3 inches around the sides, 5 inches at the back for proper ventilation. You can place it in your home bar, dining room, kitchen or any entertaining space as you see fit.
If it is a built-in, and it has front-facing vent, then you can install it either as an under counter or a free-standing appliance. A built-in requires less space (sides and back) to ventilate – why? Because it has a front-vent.
Design Tip: Take into consideration of the appearance and color finishes of other appliances in your kitchen. You may prefer a stainless-steel frame unit versus a classic black or vice versa.
Typically you would install a built-in under a counter in your home bar or kitchen. If the unit is beautifully finished on all sides, you go ahead and house it indoors anywhere you like.
Different wine fridge brands for different requirements and preference. The best choice is the one that meets your needs and sense of styles. Yes, always get the best money can buy.