The Best Under-Counter Wine Cooler for True Enthusiasts
Because there’s nothing worse than tepid chardonnay.
With great wine comes great responsibility—and that means proper storage. Whether you’re saving some cellar-worthy bottles for future enjoyment or working your way through your favorite case of rosé, investing in a quality fridge can make all the difference in your drinking experience. A cooler does more than just bring wines to their ideal serving temperature. It also provides stability: Exposure to extreme hot and cold (and fluctuations between the two) can adversely affect a wine’s flavor, and most are best kept between 50 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit— warmer than a standard fridge and cooler than the average room. Most bottles also benefit from being stored on their sides. This prevents the cork from drying out, which can introduce oxygen into the bottle and render a wine undrinkable.
Choosing the perfect wine fridge might seem overwhelming, but you can easily narrow down your choices by opting for an under-counter model. These feature a front-facing vent which directs heat away from the unit, and can be seamlessly installed underneath bars or kitchen counters. Many are also attractive enough to keep out in the open, giving you the freedom to choose where and how yours will be placed in your space. Shop our top picks for the best built-in wine coolers on the market today.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Kalamera 30-Bottle Wine Cooler
- Best Value: Magic Chef 50-Bottle Wine Cooler
- Best Large: Lanbo 149-Bottle Triple-Zone Built-In Wine Cooler
- Best Splurge: EuroCave Performance 59 Built-In Wine Cellar
- Best Single-Zone: Hisense 54-Bottle Wine Chiller
- Best Dual-Zone: Smith & Hanks 32-Bottle Wine Refrigerator
- Best Compact: Antarctic Star 18-Bottle Wine Cooler
Best Overall: Kalamera 30-Bottle Wine Cooler, $599
The Kalamera 30-bottle wine cooler is Amazon’s number one top-selling wine fridge, and for good reason: Its smart use of space allows up to 30 bottles to be stored inside the compact, single-zone unit, and it comes with a host of features, including LED controls and a temperature memory function. It’s a compressor system, but is designed to run quietly with minimal vibration. The temperature zone ranges from 40 degrees to 66 degrees Fahrenheit, and the unit includes a carbon filter to minimize any possible odors, plus two interior fans for even air circulation. This counter-height cooler is just 14.9 inches wide, making it a great choice for compact kitchen spaces. A one-year warranty is included.
Best Value: Magic Chef 50-Bottle Wine Cooler, $449
At an appealing price point for its size, Magic Chef’s 50-bottle wine fridge offers serious bang for your buck. This budget-friendly wine fridge has plenty of space for all of your most prized bottles—and then some. Complete with a digital thermostat, LED interior lighting, see-through door, and flat-back design, it’s easy to incorporate this single-zone wine fridge into your kitchen or bar setup, and the shelves are both adjustable and removable, making it easy to accommodate any irregularly shaped bottles in your stable. The temperature can be set anywhere between 41 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit. With all the bells and whistles of a professional wine fridge, this affordable model is the perfect pick for the savvy shopper with a modest yet growing collection.
Best Large: Lanbo 149-Bottle Triple Zone Built-In Wine Cooler, $1,071
With a 149-bottle capacity, this ultra-spacious high-efficiency Lanbo wine cooler won’t actually fit under your standard kitchen counter, but it is equipped with a front vent, so it can be built into any existing kitchen configuration. For those with larger collections, this unit features three programmable zones: The upper zone ranges from 41 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, with the middle zone at 41 to 54 degrees, and the lower zone at 54 to 71 degrees. Additional features include a double-layered tinted glass door, removable burrless beechwood shelves, a powerful internal fan, digital controls, and a low-vibration compressor system. At 71.3 inches high and 23.4 inches wide, it’s about the size of your average kitchen fridge. A one-year warranty is included.
Best Splurge: EuroCave Performance 59 38-Bottle Wine Cellar, from $2,795
Sold exclusively by Wine Enthusiast, the EuroCave is a top choice among wine industry professionals, and this 38-bottle unit is worth every cent. Serious wine connoisseurs can customize their own model with unique door configurations and styles, as well as single or multiple zones. Each EuroCave wine cooler is made by hand, and while this one comes with a one-year warranty for parts and labor and a five-year sealed system warranty, it should last for many years to come. The beechwood shelves are adjustable, and the unit as a whole measures 23.3 inches wide by 33 inches high.
5. Best Single-Zone: Hisense 54-Bottle Wine Chiller, $499
I personally own this single-zone wine fridge, and I absolutely love it—the Hisense 54-bottle cooler is sleek in appearance, and it’s the perfect size for storing my special bottles safely in the long term while keeping several sparkling wines chilled for impromptu cork-popping. With six soft-close shelves, a digital display, low energy output, and a UV-blocking reversible glass door, this compressor-run wine cooler offers everything I look for in one neat package at a surprisingly affordable price. It even comes with a built-in alarm system to alert you if you’ve accidentally left the door ajar. The temperature can be set anywhere from 41 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and the unit measures 23.4 inches wide by 33.9 inches high. It comes with a two-year parts warranty and a five-year compressor warranty.
Best Dual Zone: Smith & Hanks 32-Bottle Wine Refrigerator, $599
The Smith & Hanks 32-bottle under-counter wine refrigerator is a prime example of compact size and dual-zone wine storage coming together in perfect harmony. Equipped with a compressor system, this high-efficiency wine fridge measures 34 inches high by just 15 inches wide, and can easily fit into snug spaces within your cabinetry. The upper temperature zone’s range is 41 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit while the lower zone ranges from 46 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Other features include a reversible locking door, a vibration reduction system to ensure minimal sediment disturbance, digital displays, and six removable shelves.
Best Compact: Antarctic Star 18-Bottle Wine Cooler, $490
Small yet mighty, the Antarctic Star 12-inch wine cooler is extremely compact, yet still offers enough space to accommodate a surprising amount of wine bottles (18, to be exact). Clocking in at just 11.6 inches wide, this built-in mini wine fridge would fit easily into even the most cramped kitchen spaces. It features a stainless steel door with double-layer glass, adjustable feet, and a safety lock, as well as a quiet, low-vibration compressor system. A one-year warranty is included.
What To Consider When Buying A Wine Cooler
Not all wine fridges are created equally. Here are some features to keep in mind while you shop for your ideal under-counter option.
Thermoelectric vs. Compressor Systems
Most wine coolers fall into one of these two categories. Compressor systems will cycle on and off to maintain the temperature of the unit, while thermoelectric systems run continuously. Wine coolers with thermoelectric systems are quieter, but they can translate to higher energy consumption, and they also tend to break down sooner than those with compressors. If you live in a relatively hot climate, you might want to consider a compressor system to save on energy costs.
The capacity of your future wine fridge depends entirely on the size of your collection, including bottles you’d like to safely store for a period of time and ones you’d like to have on hand for immediate consumption. For example, if you have around 15 cellar-worthy bottles and a small handful that you plan to drink lightly chilled in the near future, you’ll want to look for a wine fridge that holds around 28 bottles, especially if you plan to expand your collection.
If you’re opting for a built-in model, think of it as any other kitchen appliance, and be sure to carefully check the measurements before purchasing. There’s more variation in counter heights than you might think, and the last thing you want is an appliance that won’t fit in the space.
Single-Zone vs. Dual-Zone
Some coolers can maintain more than one temperature zone. Generally speaking, if your collection is under 300 bottles or so, you can get away with having a single-zone wine cooler. When you’re working with larger collections, multiple temperature zones can come in handy to preserve a wider variety of bottles.
Ask the Experts
How long should a wine cooler last?
A quality wine cooler should last at least 10 years. Most wine coolers come with warranties for both parts and labor and are offered for anywhere between one and five years.
How long does it take for wine to reach the ideal temperature in a cooler?
This depends on many factors, such as the size of your wine cooler, the temperature at which it’s set, the temperature of the wine, the ambient temperature of the room, and so on. All in all, if you put a bottle of wine in any cooler, it’s safe to say that it will come to your desired temperature after eight to 10 hours or so. If you wish to chill a bottle quickly, simply wrap it in a wet paper towel and stick it in your freezer for about 20 minutes—this usually does the trick!
What’s the best way to clean or maintain it?
Your wine fridge won’t require too much interior upkeep, especially if your model features an odor-minimizing carbon filter, but when you do decide to give it a wipe-down, simply unplug the cooler and use a mild soap to clean any metal or plastic surfaces. If your shelves are made with wood components, use a gentle wood cleaner.
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