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You have wine, right? If not, go pick up a few bottles. Something that should be chilled. OK great, so how are you going to keep that wine cold? Your main fridge is great, but it’s not always the optimal temperature for wine. Plus if you want to keep a few chilled bottles on hand then there won’t be as much room in there for cheese. What do you do? Here’s how to choose a wine refrigerator to solve these problems, and more! 

Tips for Choosing a Wine Refrigerator for Your Home

Besides making you look sophisticated and rich, having a dedicated wine fridge is actually a practical choice for most wine lovers. Not only can they chill multiple bottles of wine without taking up fridge space, it’s also important to keep your wine temperature and climate controlled. This usually differs from a standard fridge.

The other advantage to having a wine refrigerator is when you have a home bar, or place other than your kitchen where you tend to do your wine drinking. That might be your dining room, study, living room, den, or even the back patio!

Who Should Own a Wine Fridge?

  • Anyone who wants their wine chilled to the optimal temperature
  • People who want to serve chilled wine in a space other than the kitchen
  • Those wanting to preserve the quality of red and white wine, but don’t have access to a cellar
  • Wine aficionados who want to add a wine fridge to their home or cellar
  • Entertainers or those who appreciate the aesthetic

What Size of Wine Refrigerator do you Choose?

That depends on what you normally stock (or would like to stock) in your house. If you’re an occasional wine drinker, a 6 bottle wine fridge will be just fine. For those who want to save space, but still want to keep several bottles chilled, the small 12 bottle fridges work great.

If you want something larger to keep in your home bar or cellar, though, then they come in sizes of 34 bottles up to over 100. Some even have dual climate controls so you can chill everything to the optimal temperature.

What is Stored in a Wine Fridge?

Don’t forget to store wine on its side to avoid oxidation.

  • Uncorked white wine that you’re planning to drink in the next couple of days
  • Champagne
  • Unopened red wines at a temperature between 50 and 65 degrees (Farenheit)
  • Unopened white wines at a temperature between 45 and 50 degrees  (Farenheit)
  • Wine is stored on its side in a wine fridge to preserve quality and avoid oxidization

How Wine Fridge Climate Control Works

Wine is stored in a cellar to maintain its quality. Some wines are more sensitive to temperature changes than others, but generally speaking you want them in a cool, dark place. That goes for both red and white wines.

When proper cellaring is unavailable, a temperature controlled wine fridge will help maintain the quality of your wine while in storage. Wine doesn’t like sudden changes of temperature, either, so a wine fridge can be really helpful if you live somewhere that has large temperature or humidity changes indoors.

Unlike your home refrigerator, though, a wine fridge chills your wine between 45 and 60 degrees (depending on what you’re chilling). This is a lot warmer than a home refrigerator’s safe temperatures! 

Single VS Dual Climate Controls

If you choose a wine refrigerator with single climate controls you’ll only be able to set it to a single temperature. If you want to chill red and white wine, for example, then you probably should opt for a dual climate controlled fridge instead since they have different temperature needs. The other option would be to buy two wine fridges.

Dual climate controlled wine fridges let you set the two sections to different temperatures. That way you can cool red and white wine within the same unit. Usually this feature is only in the larger wine fridges.

How to Choose a Wine Refrigerator image of a wine fridge in a kitchen

Choosing a Wine Fridge Style for Your Home

Choices are great, especially when it comes to something that’ll be a major appliance in your home. Here’s the common types of wine fridge styles, and why they might work for you.

Mini wine fridge: These compact options are great if you’re limited for space, or just an occasional wine drinker. They sit on countertops and usually hold about 6 bottles of wine. They’d also be a great addition to a small home bar. 

Small wine fridge: Kind of like a regular mini fridge, these are a bit bigger than the countertop models but still work well as a space saving and budget-friendly option. Holding about 12 bottles, they’re an ideal choice for to put under your home bar or built into your kitchen design.

Larger wine fridge: Standing upright, these hold about 24-36 bottles of wine. You can find them in single or dual climate control options. These are great for avid wine drinkers who want to keep all their bottles climate controlled, and at optimal serving temperature. 

Industrial wine fridge: The largest option, these can hold over 100 bottles of wine. Unlike the ones made for standard home use, these wine fridges are usually meant as a long term storage solution for your bottles. That means that some of your wine might not be easily accessible while in storage.

Other Things to Consider You Choose a Wine Refrigerator

Style – If the fridge is going somewhere in your home where people will see it, you probably want the style to match your decor. Some wine fridges have trendy wooden shelves and clear glass doors so you can see what’s inside.

Quality – For those looking to buy a wine fridge to just keep wine at a nice temperature for drinking, then a lower quality model is probably fine. If you’re a collector who cares about preserving the quality of wine long term, though, then look for a better wine fridge. A sudden change of temperature (like if your fridge shuts off) can harm the wine.

Climate – Both temperature and humidity are important when storing wine. Look for a wine fridge that controls both for best results.

Other uses – if you’re planning to keep your wine fridge for casual use in a home bar you might want one that does double duty. Some wine fridges can also be used to chill beer or cocktail mixers alongside your wine.

How to Choose a Wine Refrigerator – Our Favourites

If you’re still stumped when it comes to choosing a wine fridge here are some of our favourite options to get you started.

The Compact Option: A Countertop Wine Fridge

This mini wine refrigerator is perfect if you’re short on space. It holds 8 bottles, which is perfect for most casual wine drinkers or collectors. The glass front makes it easy to see what’s inside, and you can control the temperature and light from the outside too. Stock it with wine for a great housewarming gift idea!

The Standard: Small Undermount Wine Refrigerator

When most people think about buying a wine fridge this is what comes to mind. These little square fridges fit perfectly underneath home bars or mounted in your kitchen. It holds 18 bottles of wine, but can also be used to chill other beverages like beer or wine coolers. With no noise and low vibration, this fridge is ideal for most wine drinkers to enjoy, and preserve their wine.

If You Want to Display Your Wine

Wine fridges can do more than just store your bottles; you can also use them as a display piece. This large wine fridge not only stores 34 bottles in optimal, climate controlled conditions, it also has wooden display shelving on the bottom so you can show off your favourite labels or store open bottles without them tipping.

Dual Zone Wine Fridge

Dual temperature wine refrigerators are perfect for people wanting to store both red and white wine in the same unit, but at different temperatures. Each section holds 9 bottles, so you can store up to 18 safely long term.

For Large Collections

If you have a bigger collection that you want to store safely, but don’t always need to access easily, then a more industrial wine fridge might be for you. This one is solid state, which means there’s no moving parts other than the fan to cause vibrations. With dual temperature control, you can dedicate one half to white and the other to red so everything can be stored safely. A wine fridge like this is a great solution for collectors who don’t have a wine cellar at their disposal.

For the Wine Enthusiast

If you prefer the look of wooden shelves in your wine fridge (most have wire racks), this is a great choice. Plus it holds an amazing 160 bottles of wine. Not only is it dual zone (although they aren’t even, one holds more than the other), there’s also space on the bottom for larger bottles that don’t fit on the shelves. 

Conclusion: AKA Why You Need a Wine Fridge

To be perfectly honest, anyone who enjoys chilled wine should consider picking up a dedicated wine fridge. Even if it’s a small one. A standard fridge doesn’t chill white wines to the optimal drinking temperature. If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep a bottle of Champagne (or sparkling wine) in the fridge for special occasions, then you’d be better off keeping that in a wine fridge too.

Now that you know how to choose a wine refrigerator it’s time to seriously think about picking one up! Or at least dream of adding one to your kitchen reno wish list. 

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