It’s been years since I gave up the grunge band in the garage (along with the beer fridge). I’m sure you’ve noticed, since moving out of the garage and into the house, your friends and mine have picked up bits and pieces of sophistication along the way. Those bits make for a lovely mosaic, but sometimes there is too much blank space yet to fill. Like: what do I need to know to buy the best types of wine coolers?
We are now budding wine enthusiasts with a couple of true connoisseurs thrown in to help us navigate these new liquids. But no one to help in the purchase of the best types of wine coolers for our needs.
Recently, while shopping for a wine cooler, I felt intimidated by all the choices. I was ignorant of all the terms. I couldn’t even piece together an intelligent question.
Since I didn’t want to appear stupid in front of my friends, I didn’t say anything (it seems we never outgrow this).
If you’ve ever experienced this, or if you are in the throes of it now, this article is for you! After many hours of investigation, I’ve designed this piece to guide you toward the best types of wine coolers for YOU.
I can’t tell you which one you should buy. But I can give you the information you need to make an informed decision. (Or to impress your friends at the next wine tasting and poetry reading excursion.)
- 1 Consider These Things Before You Buy The Best Types of Wine Cooler:
- 2 What Types Of Wine Coolers Are There?
- 3 What Types of Wine Coolers are Thermoelectric Coolers?
- 4 What Types of Wine Coolers Are Compressor-Cooled?
- 5 What Is A Single Zone Wine Cooler?
- 6 What Does ‘Dual Zone’ Mean?
- 7 What Does Free Standing Mean?
- 8 What Are Built In Wine Coolers?
- 9 What does Capacity mean?
(Have a question we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments below.)
Consider These Things Before You Buy The Best Types of Wine Cooler:
Choose the Location
Where you choose to place your wine cooler in your home will be a huge factor in deciding between the types of wine coolers.
How Many Bottles do You Want to Store?
Did you know, wine refrigerators can accommodate six, eight, 18 or over 100 standard-sized Bordeaux 750mL wine bottles? How large is your collection? Are all the bottles standard-sized?
Do You Live in a Cooler Climate?
The best wine refrigerator for you may be a thermoelectric cooler. These coolers are also eco-friendly, in that they do not use any refrigerants.
What is With the Doors?
(I’m sorry, I had to use that picture!) How many panes of glass should there be? Tinted or clear? Left or right swing? What style of door handle do I want?
Single Zone or Double Zone…
…That is the question. Oenophiles (great word, isn’t it?) who like chardonnay as much as cabernet might want to invest in a cooler which has dual zones.
What Types Of Wine Coolers Are There?
There are several types of wine coolers. In order to know which one is the perfect cooler for you, you need to know something about the general types. Let’s begin by listing them here:
- Thermoelectric wine coolers
- Compressor cooled wine refrigerators.
- Single zone wine fridge
- Double zone wine fridge
- Free standing wine coolers
- Built in wine coolers.
You’re really missing that beer fridge right about now, aren’t you? Your head is spinning and you haven’t even enjoyed a glass of wine, yet? It’s ok. Breathe. I’ll help you through the vineyard.
What Types of Wine Coolers are Thermoelectric Coolers?
These types of wine coolers use a process to remove heat from the inside of a space (see Peltier effect) by using an electrical current running between two different kinds of metal. This causes a heat flux where heat flows to the outside while cold flows to the inside. This type of wine cooler pleases our eco-friendly set, as it has no refrigerants.
These types of wine coolers are extremely quiet and do not vibrate. Often called ‘silent’ coolers, because the only moving parts are the fans used for air circulation. If you want a wine cooler for your bedroom, this may be the best wine refrigerator for you.
Thermoelectric coolers are less expensive to purchase but can be more expensive to use than the compressor coolers. This is because these little reefers have to run continuously in order to maintain temperature stability.
These types of wine coolers are generally smaller (tabletop or countertop wine coolers) with a capacity of 100 bottles or less. Of course, the 50+ bottle capacity coolers may have to sit on the floor. Some of them are just the right height for an end table at the end of the sofa in your man cave.
If you dwell in cooler climes, these might be the best types of wine coolers for your home. But typically, they only cool to about 20 degrees below ambient room temperatures.
A good example of a counter top thermoelectric cooler is the Wine Enthusiast 272 02 13 Silent 12-Bottle Wine Cooler.
The NewAir AW-280E 28 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler is a terrific model of a larger thermoelectric cooler.
What Types of Wine Coolers Are Compressor-Cooled?
Compressor cooled wine refrigerators are merely tiny refrigerators which use refrigerant like a regular kitchen appliance.
These types of wine coolers can reach much lower temperatures than the thermoelectric coolers and are not subject to room temperature fluctuations like the thermoelectric refrigerators. They can also be used to store other drinks if you’re still living in the garage.
A wine fridge is going to be a bit noisier, but they are also going to be cheaper to operate. They go through on and off cycles, just like the side-by-side your wife just had to have for the kitchen.
These types of wine coolers also have capacities which vary. They come in all styles to suit almost every decorating need. This is important to know because your wife will want something nice for the den. If you’re considering storage for a large collection this may be the best wine refrigerator to suit your needs.
Kalamera 24” 46-bottle Wine Refrigerator, a fantastic mid-sized model (#KRC-46DZB-TGD).
What Is A Single Zone Wine Cooler?
Now we’re getting into the really friend-impressing stuff. Just as a state with one time zone has everyone in it on the same time, so a single zone cooler has only one temperature!
A single zone wine cooler maintains one constant temperature throughout the entire unit.
These wine refrigerators can be used for either storage or serving, but not both options at the same time. I’m sure you can see how this option would be the best wine refrigerator for storing your vast wine collection.
But it has its drawbacks where gatherings are concerned because white wine and red wine should be served at different temperatures.
What Does ‘Dual Zone’ Mean?
Dual zone wine centers are designed to have two temperature “zones.” Now we’re talkin’!
These zones provide the exact serving temperatures of both red and white wines. Or the zones can be set so that one zone is for storage temperature and one for serving temperature.
Having a couple of these around are sure to impress the former grunge band members. And if you think this is impressive, just wait until you read the rest of this section.
All wines (no matter the type) should be stored between 53 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit in order for them to age as the winery intended.
But when serving wine, reds should be served between 55-63 degrees F and whites should be served between 45-52 degrees F depending upon varieties.
So, if you want to have your wine and drink it too, this may be the best wine refrigerator for you!
A stylish example of the dual zone cooler, the EdgeStar 110 bottle dual-zone wine cooler is a very good choice.
What Does Free Standing Mean?
A free-standing wine refrigerator is one that is NOT meant to be built into a wall or cabinet. They are not designed to be enclosed.
As a matter of fact, it will likely void your product warranty if you use a free standing unit in a built-in situation.
They can be either thermoelectric or a compressor-cooled unit.
This information is vital for when your father in law swears he can put that under your cabinet next Saturday afternoon. (Because that’s where his baby girl – your wife – wants it.)
Which leads us to the next section of this space-filling tile placement mosaic.
What Are Built In Wine Coolers?
Built-in wine refrigerators (also called a zero clearance or an under-counter wine cooler) are those units designed to be used under cabinets or built into the wall. They have been specially designed to vent the heat they generate out into the room. If you’re doing a kitchen remodel, then this option may be the best wine refrigerator for you.
There are many design options for these wine refrigerators, too, so when you and the wife go shopping for one, wear comfortable shoes.
I have chosen to showcase the Frigidaire 38-bottle capacity wine cooler ( FFWC3822QS) because it is a model which may be used either as a freestanding or a built in unit. (Always consult the manufacturer directly when a product claims both options, just to be sure.)
What does Capacity mean?
When wine refrigerator manufacturers speak of “capacity” they are generally referring to how many “standard Bordeaux bottles” the unit will accommodate.
Inserting bottles of sizes which vary from the standard will affect how many bottles your unit will be able to hold.
If you want to store bottles which are larger than the standard, be sure to look for coolers which have adjustable or removable shelves. Also, if you’re wanting to store 100 bottles of wine in bottles of varying sizes, then you need to consider buying a unit which can store up to 150 bottles (or more). Otherwise, you’re going to be disappointed with your choice, and we don’t want that to happen!
Most of the negative reviews I’ve read by consumers are in regards to bottle size and shelf space. Personally, I don’t believe this is the fault of the manufacturers but rather, to the customer not taking this information into account beforehand. But unless someone points it out to you, you may not know this. That’s why I’m here!
Now that you know a lot more about wine coolers, I know you’ll find the best wine refrigerator for your needs. And now, allow me to raise my glass slowly, and offer this toast:
To Your Health and Wealth!