If you are a wine lover struggling to fit your groceries between stacks of bottles into your fridge; or thinking of getting serious with your wine collection; or simply wanting to impress your friends with a nice glass of wine when they come over, it is time you get yourself one of the best under counter wine refrigerators.
Wine coolers are not cheap, but they can come very handy when purchased properly. The problem is how to choose a wine cooler among hundreds of different models yet look significantly similar? We have consulted with wine specialists, refrigerator experts, restaurant owners and even tested it out ourselves and finally came up with a list of the best under counter wine refrigerators in 2020 that actually works and looks fashionable as a part of your home. Let’s jump right in and stick until the end for some essential buying tips for beginners!
Best Under Counter Wine Refrigerators Comparison 2020
Best for beginners
Best for tight places
Best for large collections
** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best Under Counter Wine Refrigerators, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Top 15 Best Under Counter Wine Refrigerators Reviews 2020
Kalamera 15” (#1 Best seller in the UK)
This wine refrigerator works both as a built-in unit for your kitchen or free-standing item in your entertaining area. It has a modern, simple look (stainless frame with black exterior) that can go with any color scheme you may have in your house.
It comes with a digital control panel with LCD temperature display and touch control. It also memorizes your settings even after the power is cut off.
It has a security lock, which is awesome if you have children or you have a vintage collection you would love to secure. Child-proof locks will keep your kids away from your wine bottles as the unit is usually placed where children have access.
Stainless steel and black exterior design
Capacity up to 30 bottles, suitable for average usage
Work as both a built-in and free-standing unit
Quiet and does not vibrate too much
- Single temperature zone
This free-standing unit can fill up to 12 bottles, and it surely is an utilized choice for smaller apartments. Its tall and thin design helps it fit right any corner you have to spare. It is a great buy if you are newly into wine and do not have a lot of space in your house.
It is affordable and highly functional with a thermoelectric cooling system and digital control panel. Thanks to the thermoelectric cooling system, this unit is so quiet you will not even notice it is there!
Can be placed in multiple spots around the house
- Small capacity
The Kalamera 24’’ is a sturdy built-in unit with a capacity of 46 bottles (yes, it is huge!). This unit is popular among professional wine enthusiasts for its capacity and its dual-temperature zones: the upper zone has the temperature of 40 to 50 Fahrenheit and the bottom zone stays slightly warmer (55 - 60 Fahrenheit).
It also has a lock to protect your collection. It is all stainless steel on the outside with black interior for a modern, professional look.
Sturdy built-in unit that can last you a very long time
Dual temperature zones
Operates quietly and smooth
- Can be a little pricey
This unit is designed for an under counter built-in wine refrigerator. It is compact and has a uniformity appearance with stainless steel and double layered glass.
Great gifts from MOOSOO when purchasing this unit: a wine opener and two wine stoppers.
Dual temperature zones that can be adjusted easily and separately. The US Department of Energy certified this unit for constant temperature control for wine refrigerators.
Great gifts from brand
Dual temperature zones
- Unstable temperature control
Sleek wine refrigerator with adjustable racks and great capacity of up to 36 bottles. Showcase lighting with Energy-efficient blue LEDs makes it look great as part of your entertaining area.
The tempered glass door keeps your wine safe from UV rays.
This unit is suitable for both left-handed and right-handed consumers because the door swing is reversible.
Reversible door swing
UV rays protected glass
- Single temperature zone
Stainless steel frame and double tempered glass door make this unit classy and a perfect match for any home decoration.
Can contain up to 30 bottles and can work as both built-in and free-stand unit for flexible placement in your house.
Runs quietly and low vibrations
Dual temperature zones
Not accurate temperatures
Bottom shelf not angled
This affordable unit is not so heavy but you would want an extra helping hand to move it around because it is made out of stainless steel, both exterior and interior.
The NewAir NBC126SS02 has great capacity and all of your wine will be stored at a temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Can not adjust temperature
Ivation Premium Stainless Steel 12
Sleek and smooth stainless-less design makes it look attractive and elegant as a part of your home. It is durable and sturdy for your long-term usage.
This unit can store up to 18 bottle and adjustable temperature, allowing you to preserve your wine in the best condition.
Sleek stainless steel design
LCD temperature design
Runs quietly and smoothly
- Small capacity
Phiestina 15’’ Dual Zone
If you are looking for spacious and sleek wine cooler, this unit is the one! It can store up to 29 bottles. Its sturdy built-in design is made out of stainless steel and can be set up as a free-standing unit anywhere you like.
Easily adjustable dual temperature zones is a huge plus of this unit. It also has a vent kick plate which allows the redundant heat to escape. This helps to reduce maintenance cost.
The best feature about this wine refrigerator is that it has a slip-proof handle, which is a crucial thing since it its made of stainless steel.
Dual temperature zone
Has a slip-proof handle and stainless door
Easy to relocate
- Not as quiet as other thermoelectric cooling system products
NutriChef PKWY DS1802
Cooling technology and door design are the two highlights of this unit. Thermoelectric cooling system keeps your wine cooler from making too much noise, disturbing your relaxing time in the entertaining areas of your house. The door was a thoroughly-thought-out design: reinforced glass and airtight seal prevents the air from getting inside the unit.
Compact dual zone wine cooler that is affordable and works great for beginners.
Affordable price for a dual-temperature-zone cooler
External temperature control
The light may be too bright
Not so spacious
This model is affordable with a huge capacity: it can store up to 50 bottles!
Even Though it is designed to be a free-standing wine cooler, do not think that it is not sturdy and modern for your home. You can effortlessly move it around as you like.
It also has wooden shelves inside, which certainly makes the whole unit look a lot more expensive than it actually is. These racks are removable so the cleaning process will be more efficient.
Easy to relocate
- Single temperature zone
Wine Enthusiast Silent
This product is stylish despites its budget range price. Its minimal design will not clash with any color scheme you may have in your home, feel free to put it anywhere you want since it is a free-standing unit.
The temperature is accurately adjustable and able to maintain the same temperature regardless of the surrounding environment.
Dual temperature zones optimal for storing both red and white wine
Easy to relocate
May be a little bit noisy
Whynter 20 Bottle (currently unavailable)
One year warranty is pretty reassuring for buyers. This unit has a tinted glass door to utilize its UV rays protected ability.
Accurate and intuitive temperature control is achieved through the use of the digital control panel with touchscreen.
It is a lightweight thermoelectric wine cooler that will surely fulfil your need as a wine enthusiast while remaining energy-saving.
Tinted glass door offers better UV rays protection
Impressively wide temperature range
One year warranty
Accurate temperature control
Does not have locks
Ivation 12 Bottle Compressor (Small but mighty)
This unit maintains a stable and consistent temperature.
All black design makes it appealing to loads of buyers. For an additional amount of fees, you can get the exact same model with the capacity of 18.
It is built with an energy-efficient thermoelectric cooling system. This cooling method is also known for its noise and vibration minimizing ability.
Operates quietly and smoothly
Temperature and humidity control
- Temperature range not ideal for white wine
Wine Enthusiast 18 Bottle
This is a dual temperature wine cooler, so you can chill more than one type of wine at a time with each zone programmed for a separate temperature.
This unit is a free-standing model and the black stainless steel and modern digital display give off a sleek and elegant look that increases the value of your living room.
The top part of the refrigerator is made of glass for a better showcase purpose.
Dual-zone wine cooler
Runs tranquilly and save energy
- May not be delivered to California
Best Under Counter Wine Refrigerators Take away: Essential buying tips for Beginners
There are 3 key elements that might affect the quality of your wines: UV light, Temperature and Vibrations. Look out for these three “deathly hallows” when choosing a wine refrigerator, folks! Too much sunlight exposure can damage the delicate compounds in your wine, altering the flavor you love. Maintaining a stable temperature is essential to preserve your wine. Humidity and heat may spoil your wine faster.
Although it is not a widely-known fact, keeping your wine completely still plays an important role to retain the quality of your wine. There is a small amount of sediment in your wine. If you constantly move your bottle, those sediment can mix with your wine, which will cause a chemical reaction that changes the wine’s flavor.
Sounds complicated, right? Buying any household appliances is never a picnic in the park, especially when you are a newbie. But do not worry, we got your back! Besides considering all of the best under counter wine refrigerators we listed above, you need to ask yourself these questions before deciding to purchase an under counter wine cooler:
What do you actually need?
The very first thing to do is deciding your usage purpose. If you are planning to showcase your favorite wines to your guests, a “flashier”, more eye-catching model might be your preference. In that case, you probably would look for models with LED lighting and special design. A gorgeous wine cooler display in your living room makes a great impression for your guests.
If you are getting serious with your wine collection, you might look for those with professional temperature control and greater capacity. You should estimate the number of bottles you have and consider adding around 20% more capacity just so your collection has room to grow.
Know your needs! It will make the buying process much easier!
What is your budget?
Under counter wine refrigerators come with a wide price range ($$-$$$$). You can easily find one that meets your personal requirements with a suitable price depending on capacity, designs and additional features. Once you decide your budget, focus on models under that range but keep in mind that price may come with quality.
Where will you place it?
Will you place it under the counter in your kitchen or elsewhere? Wherever it is, ideally, you should measure the space you plan to place your wine cooler before purchasing in order to make sure that it will fit. Of course, the more capacity, the larger your wine refrigerator will be.
A built-in wine refrigerator is the optimal space-saving and modern option. You might consider different designs if you are placing your wine cooler outside the kitchen. There are more furniture-like models or even encased in wood for a more classic look in your entertaining area.
Wherever you plan to place your unit, you should avoid the carpet area. But if you must place your cooler on a carpet, make sure that the carpet is made of easy-cleaning material to catch any leakage. Sunlight is the enemy! Do not put your wine cooler where there is direct sunlight exposure to help it operate efficiently.
What about temperature?
According to wine experts, the ideal temperature to preserve wine is between 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (7-12 degrees Celsius), regardless of red or white wine. On the other hand, the temperature of a standard refrigerator is around 37-41 degrees F (2-5 degrees C), much colder than your wine needs. So maybe an under counter wine refrigerator is not an option, but a MUST-HAVE for wine lovers!
Although storing temperature is the same for both red and white wine, their serving temperatures are slightly different (white wines are usually served chilled whereas red is more roomtemped). If this is your concern, a dual temperature zone model should be on the top of your list. You can use one zone for serving only and one for storing purposes. This method will save up a lot of chilling/cooling time before you can enjoy your drink.
You also need to consider the cooling method of the wine refrigerator. Some units use a thermoelectric cooling system, which is believed to cause more vibrations than the traditional cooling method used in normal refrigerators. However, the upside of this method is that it is often quieter than other compressor models.
What else do you want?
There are tons of additional features when it comes to wine coolers. Depending on your budget and desires, you can experience special lighting effects, digital temperature displays, safety sensors or even alarms and locks for better protecting your lovely wines. Specific rack material and frames will certainly amp up your space.
These features are not compulsory for a wine cooler to work, but they are sure nice to have if you are willing to pay some extra bucks.
Maintaining your wine refrigerator
The next step is to put your wine cooler in use efficiently and long-term. Maintaining your wine cooler might sound tedious but it is easier than you think!
The best way to keep your wine refrigerator working properly is keeping it clean. You should clean it not only on the outside but also the interior. You may not have the time to thoroughly clean your unit on a daily basis, but you should do the following steps at least once a year to keep your wine refrigerator sparkling clean and well-functioned:
Although a free-standing under counter wine refrigerator can be set up anywhere you want, it is best to be located indoors, especially places like your kitchen, your home bar and your dining room for easier access. Plan wisely when placing your wine cooler outdoors or in the garage.
If you must put your wine refrigerator outside, consider a spot that does not get direct sunlight during the day and make sure it has enough cover in case of rain or snow. The garage might be a perfect place to store your cold beverages, but the abnormal temperature may affect your machine.
For anyone who is in need to install an under counter wine refrigerator, check out this video for special instruction!
Our Top Picks
There are loads of elements that can affect your decision in buying an under counter wine refrigerator but it surely is an exciting experience. With a suitable wine cooler, you can impress your guests with your collection and at the same time preserve your wine properly to maintain their unique, exquisite flavors.
Based on your personal needs, you can pick an affordable wine cooler with small capacity and limited functions if you are just starting to be a wine enthusiast. But if you are an experienced wine collector or wishing to expand your collection in the future, a wine refrigerator with larger capacity and additional features and designs might be a worthwhile investment.
Among the aforementioned models, we have selected our top 3 best under counter wine refrigerators: