6 Best Wine Fridges
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You spent all that money on the vino, at least store it properly.
So you brought a bottle of Brunello all the way back from Italy just to store it out in the open on your bar? No no no. That won't do. You take every precaution to make sure your single malts, Japanese whiskies, and every other manner of spirits are handled properly. You should do the same with your wine. Be it an exotic label brought home from abroad or a case you had shipped to your doorstep.
Kitchen refrigerators run too cold for storing wine long term. The rule "10 minutes in the fridge for red, 10 minutes out of the fridge for white," works in a pinch, but any fan of the grape should consider a proper wine cooler. Wine coolers have a specific range (around 40°F to 60°F) that is ideal for long-term storage. Plus, they have low-impact interior lights and UV-resistant doors to keep sunlight from altering the taste of your wine. Some—honestly any that are worth spending serious money on—have multiple zones that can be set to specific temperatures for whatever wines you are storing at the time.
Wine snobbery can get a bit overwhelming, but a wine fridge is a really simple, generally unfussy way to protect the wines you're spending money on. They're small, quiet appliances that'll make a world of difference when you pour out that Brunello, and it tastes exactly how the wine maker intended.
Everything you want in a wine cooler from one of the most established names in the category. You've got: A dual zone cellar that holds up to 46 bottles, easy to use touchscreen controls, and light-blocking glass. It looks sleek, and the beechwood shelves offer a nice touch on the interior.
It's also juuuust a hair over 34-inches tall. So if you're wanting it as a built-in, it's the absolute perfect size.
In function, KitchenAid's model is almost indistinguishable from the Wine Enthusiast one above. It holds 46 bottles, has a top and bottom dual zone cellar, and touchscreen controls.
Where this wine cooler distinguishes itself is in its finishes. First, it's got wider temperature ranges for a bit more flexibility. The top zone runs from 42°F - 54°F and the bottom from 42°F - 64°F. Then, you've got the panel-ready option, which sends you an unbranded cooler, ready to be be matched to your cabinetry. Finally, we also just much prefer seeing the wood-front racks, opposed to the typical stainless steel. Small touches, but ones which any home sommelier will come to care deeply about.
If you're restricted on space, a countertop wine cooler is a great compromise. First and foremost, this one is inexpensive. But it's also really well made. It's black with black glass, so it stops light from hitting your bottles and creates a sleek exterior. It's got an easy-to-use digital control panel, and a nice LED interior lighting system.
The best wine cooler we've used? No. But it's certainly the best for those in a tiny city apartment.
If you're looking for the cheapest cooler you can find that's still a good option, settle on Antarctic Star's 24 bottle wine cooler. It does what you'd need, and it doesn't look too bad either. It has simple digital controls, plenty of space, and it's perfectly quiet. For $250, you can't find much better.
The real downsides are that for one, it can't be used as a built in, freestanding only. And two, there's only the one temperature zone.
Ivation's 28 Bottle cooler is our best value buy. At just $100 more expensive than the budget option, it feels a whole world more premium. For one, the UV-resistant glass is tinted. Not that it offers much more protection to clear double-paned glass, but it would allow you to be more flexible about where you place this wine cooler.
Additionally, it's a little bit taller, so it'll fit more flush if you choose to have it as an under-counter option. Plus, with that size comes four extra bottles worth of capacity.
You gotta assume that even the world's greatest sommeliers break down and have an ice cold Coca-Cola every now and then, no? This wine cooler makes it possible with a temperature range of 38°F to 50°F on its second side. (Which would also make that second side ideal for storing your bubbly, BTW.)
The storage is incredible, fitting 20 bottles and 78 cans at once. The size fits under a countertop, and the look is nice and sleek.
Luke Guillory is the Associate Commerce Editor at Esquire.
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