Last updated: October 15, 2021

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You feel you can get even more out of your favourite wines? Would you like to finally experience a taste explosion even with not so expensive wines? Then you should think about not just putting the wine on a shelf or storing it in the cellar, but getting a wine cabinet.

Because storage after purchase also plays a considerable role in how the wine develops. The wine in the bottle continues to work on its maturity and taste. Only through optimal storage can it fully develop its flavour and last for a long time.

To find out what makes sense for you, we provide you with the wine cabinet test 2021. We have also compiled a lot of important background information to answer all your questions thoroughly and show you the advantages and disadvantages of various products. In addition, you will find answers to questions you may still have on this topic.

In this way, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the most suitable product for you.




Summary

  • Wine refrigerators can be roughly divided into non-air-conditioned wine refrigerators and wine refrigerators. The wine refrigerators, in turn, are divided into wine climate control refrigerators with usually only one temperature zone and wine temperature control refrigerators with two or more climate zones.
  • In addition to the cooling factor, many other attributes also play an important role when buying a wine cabinet, such as the purpose for which you want to buy it, the style you desire, the temperature zones you need, the size it may have, how much money you have available, etc.
  • Wine cabinets are not only available as prefabricated free-standing units, but you can also have them custom-built, built into other cabinets, furniture or corners, or purchase them already integrated into kitchens, for example.

The Best Wine Cabinet: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Wine Cabinet

What is a wine cabinet and who is it for?

Simply put, a wine cabinet is a storage facility for wine bottles over the short or long term. The aim is usually to store the bottles horizontally and in a cool environment. Of course, you can also store other drinks in this cabinet, but it is designed to be filled with wine bottles. You can also store glasses, such as your white wine glasses, in it.

It is not only attributes such as weather, grape variety, growing region and winemaker that significantly influence a wine, but also its storage.

It is therefore best suited for wine drinkers, whether laymen or wine connoisseurs, whether occasionally or regularly. A wine cabinet presents your wines in a stylish way and cools them directly, depending on the type of cabinet. In addition, storage is an important issue for the maturation and enjoyability of the wine. There is an individual cabinet for everyone according to their taste and needs.

Wine cabinets come in a wide variety of shapes, colours and styles. You can choose between refrigerated and non-refrigerated cabinets, as well as between an endless number of manufacturer brands. The choice is not limited to free-standing cabinets, but also includes special shelves, built-in, under-cabinet and wall cabinets and many other temperature-controlled storage spaces for wine bottles.

What types of wine cabinets are there?

Basically, wine cabinets can be divided into two categories: Unrefrigerated wine cabinets and wine refrigerators.

  1. Unrefrigerated wine cabinet: These wine cabinets are unrefrigerated cabinets or shelves for storing any wine bottles, but they are usually simply known as wine cabinets. Here, however, we use the addition "non-refrigerated" to make a distinction, if this is necessary for explanation. It is more about the storage of the bottles and the decorative function. Before drinking, you must then store the wine extra chilled, with the exception of red wine.
  2. Wine refrigerator: Wine refrigerators are air-conditioned storage facilities for wine or beverage bottles, but here again a distinction is made between a wine climate control cabinet and a wine temperature control cabinet. The former is a single piece of air-conditioned furniture, which thus has a constant temperature and is best suited for a uniform type of wine. It is also known as a storage cabinet because it is suitable for allowing wines to mature further. The temperature control cabinet, on the other hand, has two or more temperature zones and can therefore also be used for two or more types of wine, for example white wine and red wine. This is practical, but also has its price due to the complex technology involved.

Of course, you can also store sparkling wine and champagne in these cabinets. If you drink a lot of this in your household, it makes sense to look for a refrigerated version. The same applies if you value good quality and the full development of your wine, as this allows you to meet the individual storage requirements of your wine variety.

What materials are available for buying a wine cabinet?

Both types of wine cabinet can be purchased in a wide variety of materials or material mixes.

However, wine fridges are usually made of stainless steel or metal. If an individual refrigerator is commissioned, depending on the size and type, wood can also be used or the cabinet can be built into wooden furniture.

Possible materials are, for example:

  • Wooden pallets
  • Iron
  • Wood (beech, oak, solid oak, beech heartwood, pine, pine, wild oak,...)
  • Steel
  • Aluminium
  • Glass

Again, traditional and fancy non-refrigerated wine cabinets are usually made of wood, which gives them a special charm. However, there are no limits to the imagination with these cabinets and they can be made of any material imaginable.

What sizes are wine cabinets available in?

When it comes to the sizes of wine cabinets, you can look at the external dimension in cm, the internal dimension, which is usually given in number of bottles or volume, or both, depending on your preference.

The focus is usually on the internal dimensions, which are based on standard 0.75-litre wine bottles. It should be noted, however, that in most cases the compartments and surfaces for smaller or larger bottles can be individually offset. This also changes the capacity.

The approximate dimensions are:

Small wine cabinet Medium - Large wine cabinet Very large wine cabinet
Private households Private households and smaller restaurants Gastronomy or large wine collection
6-12 bottles 12-100 bottles from 100 to well over 200 bottles
Often rather wide than high, e. g..E.g.: 50 x 41 x 27 cm Rectangular, often built into existing cabinets, e.g.: 58 x 59.5 x 102 cm Large fridge-like wine cabinets or larger areas: from 180 x 60 x 68 cm

Finally, there are of course walk-in wine cabinets. These are to be distinguished from the widely known wine cellar, for they are actually constructed like a large cupboard. Two large glazed wing doors or a sliding door open the way to the chamber.

This is then either in front of you in the form of shelves or you can enter a rectangular room in which shelves and brackets line the wall all around. Here, of course, the size is determined by the available space and the dimensions of the room. You can see a series of photos of different walk-in wine cabinets below:

What are the most popular brands for wine cabinets?

There are countless manufacturers offering wine cabinets of all kinds. In addition to no-name products, you will also find private labels from furniture shops or other shops, or you can fall back on well-known manufacturers who are already highly regarded for other furniture or electrical appliances.

A small selection of the most popular brands can be found here in alphabetical order:

  • Bosch
  • CASO
  • Cave
  • Chambrair
  • Dutchbone
  • Falstaff
  • Gaggenau
  • Kalamera
  • Klarstein
  • La Sommelière
  • Liebherr
  • Medion
  • Miele
  • Nordcap
  • Nordfrost
  • Rosewood
  • Samsung
  • Siemens
  • Swisscave
  • V-Zug
  • and many more.

What alternatives are there to wine cabinets?

A wine cabinet is of course not the only and perfect way to store wine, there are also alternatives with different features.

Shelves or sideboards

In private households as well as in restaurants, wines are often stored in simple wooden shelves, cupboards or on sideboards, sometimes lying down.

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A nice alternative for presenting wine and adding atmosphere to the home, but a poor one for advancing the wine's maturation and storing it for the long term. (Unsplash.com / Alain)

The problem here is that the wine is exposed to all external influences completely unprotected. Odours, dirt, light, changing temperatures and air circulation have an uninhibited effect on the wine bottles and their contents. In addition, cooling is missing here as well.

Mostly, however, these storage options look very good, as they present the bottles very nicely. There are also special wine racks for this purpose.

However, you should not place your wine bottles on shelves, as this exposes the cork and without moisture it becomes porous and smaller, opening the way for oxygen.

Normal fridge

A normal fridge is, of course, always a possibility for storing wine bottles and may have a similar effect to a wine fridge.

However, there are significant differences here. In the refrigerator, too, you should refrain from placing the wine bottles. Moreover, there is only one climate zone here and it is usually very cold, so it is unsuitable for most wines.

In the fridge there are also many different smells from food, which can adulterate the wine. Longer storage in the refrigerator is also rather impossible.

Wine cellar

The old-fashioned and best way to store wine is, of course, in a wine cellar, such as those owned by wineries and winegrowers. Here, the wines are protected from all external influences, such as vibrations, UV radiation, various smells and warm temperatures.

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A properly designed wine cellar creates the perfect environment to store wine bottles, and it also looks very noble and exudes a certain charm. (Unsplash.com / Matt Twyman)

But not everyone has the space, the money or the opportunity to build a wine cellar, and for occasional wine drinkers it doesn't make much sense either. Ideally, the bottles stored in the wine cellar should have contact with the ground, but this is no longer possible in many new buildings.

What Types of Wine Cabinets are there and which are the right ones for you?

What distinguishes an uncooled wine cabinet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A definite advantage of a wine cabinet over built-in and free-standing wine refrigerators is that it presents the wine bottles in a more beautiful and charming way. Due to the variety of models and designs, everyone can find a suitable piece of furniture and the cabinet serves not only as functional furniture, but also as decorative furniture and adds special flair to a room.

It can also be used as storage space. Since you can be very flexible with the design and placement, you can also buy a wine cabinet or have it custom-made for very special places. In this way, other forms of shelves or furniture can also be incorporated into the design.

Advantages
  • Variety of shapes and designs
  • Blends in well with surroundings
  • Easy to customise for special places
  • Accessories
  • Presentation
Disadvantages
  • Often exposed to light
  • Changing humidity
  • Vibration
  • Not odourless

One disadvantage, however, is that the humidity varies, for example. If the wine cabinet is in the cellar, this is a minor problem, but usually these types of cabinets are located somewhere in the house or flat.

The wine bottles are not equally protected from external influences, but are massively exposed to them; the outer walls of the cabinet can at most provide some protection from light or UV radiation, but not completely.

What distinguishes a wine climate control cabinet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With a wine storage cabinet, you should make sure that the humidity is adjustable, it should normally be 70-80% for perfect storage. However, if you plan to store the wine for a longer period of time, which is possible in a wine climate control cabinet, then it needs to be a little less.

Usually you can easily adjust both the humidity and the temperature in such a cabinet, which is a plus. However, pay attention to the manufacturer's specifications as to which temperature ranges are covered and whether it is suitable for your wine selection.

Advantages
  • Prevents exposure to sunlight and light
  • constant humidity
  • protects against shocks
  • odourless
  • air circulation
Disadvantages
  • Only suitable for one type of wine, depending on the temperature
  • Power consumption
  • More time-consuming cleaning
  • Noise level
  • Power failure

Once set, wine cabinets maintain their temperature permanently, fluctuating by up to one degree at most. In the event of a power failure, however, you must remember to reset the cabinet. Depending on the model, the power consumption should not be underestimated either, as it has to run continuously.

External influences can be averted by built-in functions such as insulated glass or filters for odours.

What distinguishes a wine-temperature control cabinet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The wine temperature control cabinet is very similar to the wine climate control cabinet, the only differences are as follows: Storage time, price and number of types of wine.

What makes the wine temperature control cabinet unique is the possibility of storing several types of wine in the cabinet at the same time. You can therefore set two or more climate zones differently and thus store red and white wines at the same time.

Of course, this is partly reflected in the price, as much more sophisticated technology is built in. However, there are now so many models and brands of temperature control and climate control cabinets that the prices no longer differ too much.

Advantages
  • Avoidable exposure to sunlight and light
  • Constant humidity
  • Suitable for several types of wine
  • Protects against shock
  • Odourless
  • Air circulation
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Power consumption
  • More time-consuming cleaning
  • Noise

Otherwise, a wine temperature control cabinet offers the same functions as a wine climate control cabinet. Insulation, activated carbon filters, protection against shocks, etc. allow the wine to mature and be stored in peace. With both cabinets, cleaning is a little more complicated, as all parts must be cleaned well so that the technology continues to function well and no odours form in the closed cabinet.

Buying Criteria: You can compare and evaluate Wine Cabinets based on these Factors

Purpose

First of all, you should be clear about the purpose for which you want to buy a wine cabinet so that you can choose from the various options.

The question here is why and for what? Do you need the cabinet for private use, for product presentations, for gastronomy? Then you can decide whether you need refrigeration or not, what size it should be, etc.

Then it's a question of which wines you want to buy it for. If you drink many different wines with different temperature requirements, a wine temperature control cabinet makes the most sense or a normal wine cabinet.

Ask yourself these questions first and then cross off the cabinets that you get less use out of and then go through all the other criteria.

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In the catering industry, where many different wines are used and these are often of high quality and have to be stored exactly according to their needs, such huge wine refrigerators are often used. (Unsplash.com / Nick Fewings)

Temperature and humidity

To develop optimally and release their flavour, you need to serve wines at the right temperature. Depending on which wines you drink or want to store at home, this can therefore be an important indicator of which wine cabinet you should get.

The following table lists approximate degrees for different wines - however, if the manufacturer has other information on the wine bottle, it is better to follow it:

wine characteristics temperature
white wine young, dry 9 to 11 degrees Celsius
spicy, aromatic (Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer) 10 to 12 degrees Celsius
mature (from 5 years) 10 to 12 degrees Celsius
semi-dry or a lot of residual sweetness 12 to 14 degrees Celsius
sparkling wine if no other indication on the label 6 to 7 degrees Celsius
red wine powerful, heavy (more expensive red wines) 18 degrees Celsius
everyday wines, medium-bodied 16 to 18 degrees Celsius
young and light 14-16 degrees Celsius
very fruity, very young Beaujolais, light Vernatsch 12-14 degrees Celsius

Also important for the quality of the wine is a constant suitable humidity. Wine bottles should be exposed to about 70-80% humidity, for long-term storage rather a little less. If the environment around the bottles has more humidity, the cork can mould. If the humidity is too low, the cork can dry out, contract and the wine absorbs oxygen, eventually altering or spoiling it.

Size

This point depends largely on the criterion of purpose. If you need a wine cabinet for gastronomic ventures, the choice always falls on large to very large refrigerated objects or large stylish non-refrigerated wine cabinets, which visually make quite an impression in the pub or shop.

If you are buying it for private use, however, we recommend going for small to medium-sized cabinets of whatever type. This also depends on where you want to put it and whether it can stand there because of its size and the resulting weight.

If the wardrobe is to be built in, the size depends on the dimensions of the existing furniture.

Wine cabinets are often advertised as flat, jumbo, xxl, low, mini or narrow. Due to the many sizes and volumes in which they are available, these specifications do not say much and you should always check the exact specifications.

Shape and style

The shape and style of your wine cabinet will depend on your existing décor and taste. There are an infinite number of choices, and what is not yet available, you can certainly make (or have made) yourself as a unique piece.

A few examples of common models are:

  1. Shape: Bar cabinet, fridge, chest of drawers, trunk, phone box (mostly London style), barrel, glass cabinet, shelf, chest, sideboard, etc.
  2. Style: Antique, Modern, Industrial, Country style, Vintage, Rustic, Colonial, Shabby Chic, Black, White, Colourful, etc.

If you need a wine climate control or wine temperature control cabinet, the choices are usually limited again, because almost all models look like standard refrigerators with opaque doors or glazing. Here you can usually only choose between the other criteria.

Brand

Here it depends on whether you are fixated on a particular brand, in which case you can search directly with the manufacturer for your desired product. It is impossible to say which brand is the best, as there are countless of them and many of them have similar products in function or style.

You can find a concise list of different brands in the guide section. Other brands include, for example:

  • Casa Padrino
  • Climadiff
  • Dunavox
  • Neff
  • Refugio
  • SMEG
  • Vincasa

For special requests and custom-made products, you may have to resort to very large or niche manufacturers. Technology companies are particularly suitable for air-conditioned cabinets, while furniture manufacturers are more suitable for non-refrigerated cabinets.

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