Looking for a way to store your wines at the proper temperature while making the best use of the limited space in your kitchen?
Previously, we have introduced you to some of the top under-counter refrigerators on the market. But today, we are going to focus specifically on the best wine fridges. Let’s dive in.
Our Top Picks
- Best Freestanding Ultra-Compact Wine Cooler for Under-Counter Installation: NutriChef PKCWC150
- Best Under-Counter 15-Inch Wine Cooler: BODEGA 15 Inch Wine Cooler
- Best Under-Counter 18-Inch Wine Cooler: Summit Appliance SWC1840B Commercial 18″ Wide Wine Cellar
- Best 24-Inch Dual Zone Built-In Wine Cooler/Soda Cooler: Kalamera Beverage and Wine Cooler 24-Inch with Seamless Steel Door
- Best 24-Inch Dual Zone Built-In Wine Cooler (Wine Only): STAIGIS Wine Refrigerator – 24 Inch Wine Cooler with Stainless Steel Frame Glass Front Door
- Best 30-Inch Dual Zone Built-In Wine Cooler (Wine Only): EdgeStar CWR5631FD 30-Inch 56 Bottle Built-In Dual Zone French Door Wine Cooler
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Reviews: The 6 Top Picks for Under-Counter Wine Coolers in 2021
1. NutriChef PKCWC150
If you are looking for a compact, freestanding wine fridge that you can install successfully underneath your countertop, the NutriChef PKCWC150 is worth a look.
Just how compact is it? The dimensions are 13.6 in. wide x 35.4 in. high x 20 in. deep. Most quality wine cooler products measure 15 inches or wider, so this product is ideal for a very small kitchen.
With the right installation, you can get the unit flush against your cabinets so that it appears no different from a regular built-in wine cooler. That is true for some other units on this list as well, though some require extra space around them for venting.
This small wine cooler with its attractive glass door provides you with space for up to 15 bottles on its polished chrome racks.
You can adjust the temperature anywhere between 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
One more thing we like about this wine cooler is that it comes back with excellent customer support from NutriChef.
This company has a solid reputation for rapidly and amicably resolving customer disputes.
2. BODEGA 15 Inch Wine Cooler
Are you in search of slim built-in wine coolers? This product can be installed either under your counter or as a free standing unit. It measures 15.3 x 23.1 x 34.3 and is cooled by a quiet compressor. You can set the temperature anywhere between 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is a lot to love about this 31-bottle wine cooler. We appreciate its just-above-average capacity, its sleek appearance, and its many convenient features for ease-of-use.
One thing we do want to clarify about it is that the product is manufactured in China and is in no way associated with Bodega Living, a brand known for premium wine fridges.
So far as we can tell, the manufacturer is a company called Foshan Shunde Qingzhou Electric Appliances Co, LTD.
Despite the potentially confusing marketing, the product is high in quality and well worth considering if you are in search of a narrow 31-bottle wine cooler.
3. Summit Appliance SWC1840B Commercial 18" Wide Wine Cellar
We have noticed that quite a few people are looking for the best under-counter wine cooler measuring 18 inches. Alas, this is not a common measurement for wine coolers, so there are not a whole lot of options on the market.
But one quality product we did identify is the Summit Appliance SWC1840B Commercial 18″ Wide Wine Cooler. With its 17.75″ width, this small wine cooler has enough space to accommodate up to 34 bottles.
It has a single temperature zone. You can set the temperature anywhere between 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, it is ideal for the wine enthusiast who prefers mainly reds or whites, but not both.
4. Kalamera Beverage and Wine Cooler 24-Inch with Seamless Steel Door
Some customers might be looking for a dual zone product that not only can store their wines, but also is suitable for beers, sodas, and other beverages.
One such product is the Kalamera Beverage and Wine Cooler 24-Inch with Seamless Steel Door. Its exact dimensions are W23.4” x H33.9” x D22.4”.
In one zone, you can store 20 wine bottles, and on the other side, there is space for 60 cans. You can get the temperature for the wines down to 40-66 degrees Fahrenheit, while the section for the other beverages can cool down to 38-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
This dual wine and beverage cooler is quiet, attractive, and runs reliably.
Plus, if your area experiences regular power outages, you will appreciate it handy temperature memory function.
5. STAIGIS Wine Refrigerator 24 Inch Wine Cooler with Stainless Steel Frame Glass Front Door
If you are looking for a dual zone 24-inch cooler for wine only, you may like the high-capacity STAIGIS Wine Refrigerator 24 Inch Wine Cooler with Stainless Steel Frame Glass Front Door.
This product measures D22.4″ x W23.4″ x H33.1″, and offers space for 46 bottles of wine.
The top zone features two shelves for storing whites, with the temperature adjustable between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bottom zone gives you three shelves for red wines, and you can adjust the temperature between 50 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you prefer, there is also a version of this product that allows you to store 20 wine bottles and 60 cans of other beverages.
6. EdgeStar CWR5631FD 30-Inch 56 Bottle Built-In Dual Zone French Door Wine Cooler
If you are looking for a 30-inch dual zone cooler, we suggest the EdgeStar CWR5631FD 30-Inch 56 Bottle Built-In Dual Zone French Door Wine Cooler.
You can set the temperature on either side between 40 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you get to decide whether to put your reds on the left or the right, and vice versa.
While designed to be installed under your cabinet or as a freestanding unit, it vents to the front, making for convenient, easy installation regardless.
Why Do You Need an Under-Counter Wine Cooler?
Above, you can check out reviews for the best under-counter wine cooler options on the market this year. But we realize you may still have some questions about shopping for an under-counter wine fridge. So, let’s talk a bit about why you might need this type of wine cooler.
1. Save Space
If you have a small kitchen, it makes sense to do what you can to conserve space. By getting a wine cooler that goes under your counter, you can conserve as much space as possible while still finding a spot to store your wine collection.
2. Organize Your Wine Collection
Under-counter wine fridges provide you with a way to organize all of your wine bottles, making it easy to locate your favorite red and white wines.
3. Preserve Your Wines
By keeping your wines chilled to optimal temperatures, you can preserve their flavors and aromas to the fullest extent.
4. Serve Wine at the Perfect Temperature
Just as there is an ideal temperature at which to preserve your wines, there is also an ideal temperature at which to serve them.
When you keep your wine collection in a fridge under your counter, each one will always be at just the right temperature to offer you the best experience.
Top Considerations for Choosing an Under-Counter Wine Cooler
Let’s go over important factors to consider when choosing the wine fridge that will fit your needs.
1. Compressor System vs. Thermoelectric System
Two different types of cooling systems are used in wine coolers. Some products use a thermoelectric system. Others (most) use a compressor system. What is the difference between the two?
- A thermoelectric system involves two different pieces of metal. Each one is made from a different substance. When they are joined to form a cooling device, heat is absorbed from one side, transfers through the device to the other, and then disperses through a heat sink.
- A compressor, on the other hand, utilizes a system consisting of a compressor, a condenser, an expansion valve, and an evaporator. Your refrigerator uses the same type of system.
With a compressor cooling system, you can cool down the interior of a wine fridge more than you would be able to using a thermoelectric system.
That means that in warm climates in particular, a compressor-based cooler would serve your needs better.
Additionally, compressor systems are more energy-efficient than thermoelectric systems, and thus are also more cost-effective.
This may leave you wondering whether thermoelectric systems have any benefits at all. One advantage they possess over compressor systems is that they do operate with very little noise. Not only that, but they are essentially free of vibrations , unlike compressor systems.
Plus, from an environmental standpoint, thermoelectric cooling is superior . Emissions are nonexistent, and there are no harmful refrigerants to deal with when it comes time to recycle.
Most of the units we see these days feature compressor technology, but you can find a few options with thermoelectric cooling. Ultimately, you will need to assess the pros and cons and decide which one better fits your priorities.
2. Built-In vs. Freestanding
Another consideration is whether you want a freestanding or “built-in” wine cooler. If you want to install your under-counter unit directly into your cabinetry with no open space around the cooler, then it is a “built-in” model. The vent is in front.
Indeed, the term “under-counter” tends to be synonymous with “built-in” for wine coolers.
Freestanding units, on the other hand, are designed to go wherever you want to put them. They could go next to your counter, on top of your counter, or even across the room. Such a unit vents to the back.
But that means that technically, if you desire, you can even put a freestanding wine cooler underneath your counter. For example, you might do this if your counter includes a bar with extra space underneath it.
In fact, quite a few units are marketed as free standing or built-in wine coolers, depending on your choice of installation. There is no firm division between the two categories.
3. Single-Zone vs. Dual-Zone
Something else you will notice as you are shopping for the right product is that some coolers include a single cooling zone, while others include two cooling zones.
Not everybody is clear on the purpose of the dual zones. It is not so that you can store your red and white wines separately at optimal temperatures for the purposes of preservation. In actuality, you only need a single zone for that with the temperature between 53-57 degrees Fahrenheit.
But wine connoisseurs do like to serve their favorite wines at different temperatures. 45-52 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for whites whereas 58-65 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature range for reds.
So, if you want to be able to enjoy your growing wine collection at the most suitable temperatures, it pays off to have one temperature zone for your whites and a separate one for your reds.
There are a number of additional considerations with respect to dual temperature zones. These include:
- The bottle capacity of each of the dual temperature zones. Is one side bigger than the other? Which is it?
- The temperature range for each of the zones. Is one side intended for reds, and the other for whites? Or is there a wide enough range with each side that you can choose which is which, setting the optimum temperature for reds or whites as you prefer?
- The placement of the zones. Is there a zone on the left and one on the right? Or is there an upper zone along with a lower zone?
- Are the two sides intended for red white and white wine respectively? Or is one side equipped with wine racks while the other is intended for the storage of other beverages?
- How many wooden shelves are in both zones? Are they removable?
Indeed, you will discover that while many wine refrigerators are solely for wine storage, quite a few are targeted toward wine collectors who also want to keep other beverages chilled.
With these products, the temperature zone for wines is on one side, while the temperature zone on the other is intended for beers, sodas, and other drinks you might want to keep colder.
4. Dimensions and Storage Capacity
The next consideration is the size of the wine fridge you are thinking of purchasing. You need to consider the exterior dimensions as well as the interior dimensions.
The exterior dimensions determine whether the unit will fit underneath your cabinet. Clearly, if it will not, it is not the right cooler for your needs.
How many bottles do you want to be able to store? The interior dimensions will determine how much wine storage is available to you.
If you have some flexibility in terms of the space available under your counter, consider going with a unit that includes a little more room than you think you might use.
Novice wine collectors are sometimes surprised by how many bottles they end up wanting to store at one time. If you err on the size of larger storage capacity, you will probably end up being grateful later down the road that you can fit more bottles inside.
If the volume level of a wine cooler is important to you, make sure that you are purchasing a unit that operates quietly, if not silently.
The kitchen tends to be a noisy environment when you are at work. But if you also eat supper in there, you might want it to be quiet when you are sitting down for a meal with a glass of your favorite wine.
6. Air Vent Positioning
As we discussed earlier, freestanding wine coolers tend to feature back venting. Built-in coolers, on the other hand, vent heat to the front.
You will need to decide based on the configuration of your kitchen and the exact spot where you want to install the unit which type of wine cooler is more appropriate. If the unit cannot vent properly, it will overheat.
7. Convenience Features
Finally, while you are shopping for a wine cooler, you will notice that there are a variety of other features for convenience that some units may include.
For example, if you have children, you might want to invest in a wine cooler that includes child safety locks.
Wine fridges may also come with an internal blue LED light that makes it easy to see at a glance inside.
Another example of a useful feature would be shelves you can remove or reconfigure as needed. Many customers appreciate wooden shelves as they are sturdy and stylish.
One more helpful feature in areas with frequent outages is a temperature memory function.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a number of brands worth considering for your under-counter wine cooler, including NutriChef, Kalamera, STAIGIS and others.
Of the brands we have recommended in this list, the one that has impressed us the most with respect to customer service is NutriChef.
So, if you are specifically wondering about which brand stands behind its products most, that is the one we would suggest.
Do you want to preserve your wines at a steady temperature? Do you want to store them in a way that saves space and is energy-efficient?
If you answered yes to those questions, then yes, a wine fridge is worth the investment.
Whether or not you will benefit from a dual zone wine cooler depends on the types of wines you enjoy and how important ideal serving temperatures are to you.
If almost all the wines you drink are either reds or whites, you are not really going to benefit much from having more than one temperature zone.
But if you are looking to store a collection of red and white wines and you want to be able to serve each of them at the best possible temperature for full enjoyment, a dual zone wine cooler is right for you.
There is no way to offer a one-size-fits all answer to this question because it all depends on how much space is available in your kitchen and what exact features you are looking for.
That being said, our vote would probably go to the STAIGIS 24 Inch Wine Cooler with Stainless Steel Frame Glass Front Door. We love its modern look, its high bottle capacity, its removable shelves, its blue interior LED lighting, and its other great features.
As with products that feature two cooling zones, the product that is best in this category is the one that offers the bottle capacity, dimensions, and features that you want.
But if we had to pick just one single zone wine cooler to recommend, the single zone product of our choice would be the NutriChef PKCWC150.
Why this one? Despite its small size and low bottle capacity, this single zone product impresses us with its beautiful design, ease-of-use, consistent temperature, and attractive LED lights.
So, if one temperature zone and a 15-bottle capacity are all you need, think about giving it a try.
Yes, it is possible to use a cooler that was designed with the countertop in mind under your counter instead. You just need to install it.
The bottle capacity for this type of cooler usually ranges somewhere between 15 and 60. That should provide you with plenty of space for white, red, and sparkling wines.
Can you find larger coolers out there in which you can store more bottles on removable shelves? Yes, but above the capacity range we just listed, it will be hard to find units that are designed to fit under your counter. They tend to feature vertical builds, and are just too tall for any kitchen counter. Of course, you could always just install a pair of smaller coolers.
Enjoy the Perfect Glass of Wine Every Time With the Right Under-Counter Wine Cooler
You have had a chance to check out a full list of recommended under-counter wine coolers now.
Additionally, you have learned what features are important to look for when evaluating under-counter wine coolers.
Think about the storage capacity you need, the space you have available to install the fridge under your counter, whether you need dual zones or not, and what features for convenience are essential to you.
If you are ready to pick out the ideal under-counter wine fridge for your home now, click on any of the links in this article.
Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.