Wine Chillers are also known as wine cellars, wine coolers or simply, wine storage. There are a three key differences between wine chillers, beverage centers and standard refrigerators. First, wine chillers nearly always have a glass door so you can view the contents. Secondly, wine chillers have storage shelves or racks optimized for wine bottles. Finally, unlike a refrigerator, a good wine chiller will maintain a steady temperature and proper humidity level.
While wine can be stored in racks, either in the open or in cabinets; without proper temperature and humidity regulation, wine quality can suffer. Storing wine in a kitchen, as is often done, is really quite a poor way to store wine. The temperature fluctuations in a kitchen, while cooking, can quickly damage quality wines. Wine chillers keep the temperature stable and in the proper range for storage and serving.
Wine chillers allow temperature settings in the range of 38 to 60 degrees, or so. White wines are served cooler than red wines, so if you will store both, choose a chiller with a dual zone feature. The ideal cellaring temperature is 55 degrees. Instead of a dual zone unit, you could store wine at 55 degrees then add a little chill to whites in the kitchen refrigerator before serving. Otherwise, you will have to split the difference between too cool for the reds and and too warm for the whites.
Look for a wine storage unit with sufficient capacity for your needs. Capacities range from a few bottles in a countertop chiller to hundreds of bottles in wine closet. Inspect the shelf configuration to make sure it will handle your bottle sizes. Pull out shelves are most convenient. Make sure the shelves are sturdy and will not accidentally come out and spill your bottles on the ground.
The manufacturer list below reflects those companies known to produce wine chiller refrigerators at the time of writing or recent update.
Refrigerator Buying Guides
|Refrigerators by Manufacturer
||Refrigerators by Type
*All prices are MSRP
|Counter depth $1,379 - $4,239
Built-in $5,719 - $13,489
Side-by-side $999 - $4,239
Freezer on top $388 - $2,199
Freezer on bottom $807 - $3,080
French door $1,099 - $8,199
Cabinet panel refrigerator $2,349 - $13,489
Refrigerated Drawers $2,099 - $3,399
Compact fridge $89 - $324
Beverage center $159 - $2,059
Wine storage $349 - $6,995
Professional Style $1,399 - $13,489
Commercial $1,099 - $16,999