You want to buy a wine cooler, but you're not sure which size the wine bottle fits. Wine coolers come in all shapes and sizes, but so do wine bottles. Knowing which one will fit into your new wine fridge can be hard. The bottle size can also determine if you need standard wine racks or a magnum wine bottle rack.
We've got you covered. This guide will show you the different sizes of wine bottles and how they fit into different wine coolers. Plus, we'll give you some tips on how to pick the perfect wine cooler for your needs.
Factors to Consider to Find the Right Bottle Capacity in Your Wine Refrigerator
Consider Your Bottle Types
There are many different types of wine bottles, from the standard size to magnums. The size of the wine bottle will affect the capacity and type of wine fridge you need. Depending on the type of your wine, the shape of your bottle could be completely different.
For example, Cabernet Sauvignon bottles have high shoulders, while Chardonnay and Pinot Noir bottles have low, sloping shoulders and a wider base. The bottle capacity of most wine refrigerators is determined using Bordeaux style 750ml wine bottles. However, Rhone bottles, Burgundy bottles and Champagne bottles tend to present capacity issues.
If your wine collection consists of larger bottles, purchase a wine fridge with a larger capacity than the quantity you're looking to store. You must research what size of wine bottle fits in a wine cooler before making a purchase.
Consider the Shelving Materials
The shelves in your wine fridge should be made of a sturdy material that will not easily scratch or dent your wine bottles. Wire racks are a popular choice because they allow the wine to breathe, but they can be harsh on the bottle's surface. Glass shelving is a luxurious option, but it can be dangerous if someone bumps into it and sends your wine flying.
To accommodate larger bottles in your wine fridge, make sure the shelves are removable and anticipate having to remove at least one shelf. This will lower the stated capacity and easily accommodate bottles of all sizes.
Consider Zone Capacities
When looking at wine fridges, you'll notice that they are typically divided into zones. This is because red and white wines should be stored at different temperatures. Most wine fridges have a section for white wines and red wines, with a few having an additional zone for sparkling wines. If you're looking to store both reds and whites, consider dual zone wine refrigerators as they have separate temperature zones for each type of wine.
Consider the Bottle Configuration
You'll also want to prefer both your preferred and the suggested configuration style of your bottles. If you only want to load your wine in a certain direction, make sure that the unit's owner's manual suggests the loading style.
If the manual suggests you load the bottles end to end and you only load them in one direction, the bottle capacity will be smaller than stated. The best way to ensure full capacity is to load them both ways, alternating the direction of each bottle.
Does the Size Matter?
Yes, the size of the wine fridge matters to some extent. If you can afford the best wine coolers and fridges on the market, nobody should stop you from investing in a large 100+ bottle appliance. If you have less than ten bottles in your collection, installing a big unit in your home is a waste of money.
Also, a big wine cooler will accommodate all your bottles, while a small unit might not. Manufactures express fridge sizes in a number of bottles. For instance, you can come across four bottle coolers or thirty two bottle coolers. On the downside, these sizes are rarely accurate, and they often refer to standard Bordeaux bottles arranged in a predetermined pattern.
Any variation in the bottle size and arrangement will negatively impact the capacity of the wine cooler, leading to subsequent consequences if you invest in a unit that matches precisely the number of bottles you're storing. This is why it's important to understand the size and the wine's cooler dimensions.
Common Wine Fridge Dimensions and Sizes
Wine fridges can be divided into freestanding and built in. The freestanding wine fridge comprises the countertop appliances, too, while the integrated units can be built in a cabinet, under it, or on the countertop. Here are some of the most common options among wine lovers:
Four Bottle Wine Fridges
This is the most popular size for wine fridges and is great for small kitchens or wine enthusiasts who don't drink a lot of wine and are not convinced of starting a more extensive wine collection. These coolers come in two styles, vertical and horizontal.
Six Bottle Wine Fridges
This size is good for people who want to store a moderate amount of wine. They tend to mimic the style of larger wine coolers and usually come with three tiered shelves of two bottles capacity each. You can choose from freestanding or built in with a compressor or thermoelectric cooling elements.
Eight Bottle Wine Fridges
These wine fridges come in horizontal and vertical styles. Freestanding wine coolers are the most popular, and they're often preferred by wine enthusiasts looking to install them in the living room or home office. These wine coolers are perfect for up to 8 Bordeaux style bottles or six larger bottles like those of Pinot noir and champagne.
Twelve Bottle Wine Fridges
The next size up, these wine fridges can store up to 12 bottles. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, but typically they're larger than the 8-bottle wine coolers. This size is great for dinner parties or a large collection of wine that you want to keep at the perfect temperature. With this size, you can enter into the versatile area of the dual zone units.
They're also versatile in terms of interior layout. You can find tiered vertical refrigerators, horizontal models, and units with vertical slots for the open bottles. Due to their construction difference, thermoelectric units are slightly more compactor than their thermoelectric counterparts.
Eighteen Bottle Wine Fridges
If you're serious about wine drinking, then start here. They are compact enough to fit your kitchen or living room yet big enough to give you plenty of space to grow into. This makes them great for the money. Like most wine refrigerators with a decent capacity, the 18 bottle wine cooler comes in all styles and interior configurations.
The vast majority are vertical fridges with either wire racks or wooden shelves. They also come in both thermoelectric and compressor variants.
Thirty Two Bottle Wine Fridges
A step up from the eighteen bottle wine fridge, a thirty two bottle wine refrigerator can hold twice as many bottles. This will give you a little more breathing room when stocking up for a party or just trying to keep a few extra bottles on hand.
These fridges come in both compressor and thermoelectric variants with various capacities and styles. They are often a little wider and taller than the eighteen-bottle models but will still fit comfortably on a countertop or pantry.
Wine Bottle Sizes
Split or Piccolo
187ml equals 1/4 of a standard bottle of wine or a single glass of wine. Split bottles are about 7 1/2 inches tall and 2 3/8 inches in diameter.
Demi or Half
375 ml equals half a standard bottle of wine or about two glasses. Demi bottles are about 9 1/2 and 2 1/4 to 2 3/8 inches in diameter.
750ml is the standard size of a wine bottle. A standard bottle contains about five glasses of wine. There are several different shapes of standard wine bottles, often relating to what's contained within them or the wine's region. These include Bordeaux bottles, Cabernet, small Champagne, Red Burgundy, and Pinot noir.
1.5L is equal to two standard wine bottles and is usually about 14 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter. They're also called Turley or Champagne bottles which are the names that relate to the vineyard or the contents.
Large Wine Bottle Sizes and Names
As the volume in the bottle gets bigger, the names of the wine bottles also get bigger. The bottles beyond a magnum are named for some of the Biblical kings of Israel. This naming began in the Champagne region of France, and wine experts couldn't agree why they were named as such.
When it comes to wine storage, you want to choose a wine rack that can accommodate the size of your largest bottle. This will ensure that you have enough storage for all of your wine and that you can display the full range of sizes on your rack. Below are the wine type and the wine bottle size:
- Dessert wines and splits 350ml
- Bordeaux, Cabernet, most whites and reds, and small champagne 750ml
- Magnums, large Champagnes, Turley, and other wider bottles 1.5L
- Double Magnum, Jeroboam 4 to 6L
FAQs on the Size Wine Bottle that Fits in a Wine Cooler
What size bottle will fit in my wine cooler?
Your wine cooler will likely accommodate most standard 750ml wine bottles, magnums, and larger bottles. If you have a particularly large wine cooler, it may be able to hold up to 6L bottles. However, if you have a small or compact cooler, your options will be more limited to standard-sized bottles.
How to make a half bottle insert for a wine cooler?
If you only have a small wine cooler and want to be able to store half bottles, you can make an insert out of wood or foam that will fit in the cooler and hold the bottles in place. This is a great way to maximize your storage capacity without upgrading your cooler.
What is the benefit of knowing the sizes of a wine fridge?
Knowing the size and dimensions of a wine fridge will help you know how to organize a wine cooler without feeling too much pressure.
Final Thought on the Size Wine Bottle that Fits in a Wine Cooler
Getting the right size wine refrigerator doesn't have to be complicated, but knowing the capacity and dimensions of your appliance to buy is very important. The wine fridge size that will fit your needs depends on the type of cooler, how much wine you want to store, and if you want to store larger bottles.