Last updated: August 10, 2021

Are you a real wine lover? Then you should remember to store your wine properly. So that you don't have to waste a single drop, you should get yourself a wine refrigerator. With a wine refrigerator you can store your wine professionally and under the best conditions.

The variety of wine fridges is a great advantage, as you can find a fridge that perfectly suits your needs. However, it is often difficult to keep track of all the models. We make your buying decision easier with our guide. Here in our large wine fridge test 2021 we present wine fridges from different manufacturers, different models and designs. Our buying criteria will make it easier for you to make a decision.




The most important facts

  • Basically, a distinction is made between wine refrigerators (wine temperature cabinets) and wine storage cabinets (wine climate cabinets). Apart from that, each of these appliances can be a freestanding wine cooler, built-in or under-counter wine cooler.
  • Important decision factors when choosing a suitable wine refrigerator include the design, bottle capacity, temperature zones and range, humidity control and energy consumption.
  • When storing different types of wine, such as red and white wine, different storage temperatures must be taken into account. With optimal storage, you are able to avoid white wines that are too cold and red wines that are too warm.

The Best Wine Refrigerator: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a wine fridge

What are the advantages of a wine fridge?

Wine can also be stored in an ordinary shelf or cupboard and can be brought to the desired temperature in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple.

Real wine lovers therefore store their wine in a wine refrigerator. In summary, a wine refrigerator offers you the following advantages and disadvantages compared to a normal refrigerator, shelf or cupboard:

Advantages
  • Constant and individually adjustable temperature
  • Multiple climate zones
  • Protection against shocks
  • Optimal humidity
  • Longer shelf life of the wines and visually appealing presentation
Disadvantages
  • Acquisition costs
  • Additional energy consumption
  • Additional space required

It is difficult to find the right drinking temperature in a normal refrigerator. For white and red wines, the standard refrigerator is too cold. Refrigeration is only an acceptable solution for various sparkling wines and ice wines.

A wine refrigerator offers the possibility of constantly adjusting the temperature to individual needs. With several climate zones, it is possible to temper different types of wine, such as red and white wine, in parallel.

Furthermore, the wines in the separate wine cabinet are optimally protected from taste and odour transfer. Many wine refrigerators additionally filter the air with activated charcoal filters to ensure optimal air quality.

What does a wine refrigerator cost to buy?

Wine refrigerators are already available at low entry-level prices of around €100. Depending on size, features and functions, there are almost no upper limits. If you have the necessary small change, you can easily pay several thousand euros for your perfect wine temperer.

The better the features and functions, the higher the price. Simply constructed devices with one climate zone start at around 100 euros and are an inexpensive way for every beginner to devote themselves more intensively and professionally to the subject of wine.

For high-quality wine cabinets with several climate zones and a larger capacity, ambitious wine lovers have to reckon with several hundred euros or even four-digit sums. But also bear in mind that the contents are often worth many times that amount and should be stored in the best possible way. I always keep in mind the paradoxical image of the €800 Weber grill with four 60-cent sausages on it.

Are there different designs for wine refrigerators?

The visual factor also plays a decisive role. The wine connoisseur and wine lover does not see wine merely as fermented grape juice. Wine is a hobby. A very emotional product. The presentation of one's own "babies" should therefore be in keeping with one's status. And that works best in a noble wine refrigerator.

Did you know that wine coolers are also available in natural materials? If you don't want to use plastic or stainless steel and want to live sustainably, you can use wine coolers made of concrete or terracotta. These natural materials absorb heat as well as cold and release it evenly into the environment.

Many wine lovers have a soft spot for nostalgia or noble design. Manufacturers have responded to this and therefore offer particularly pretty appliances. Almost all wine refrigerators are equipped with a glass door and are decoratively illuminated from the inside.

Everything is possible, from a fine wooden shelf inside the wine refrigerator to a visually attractive stainless steel cabinet. Interchangeable door hinges on wine refrigerators are an additional useful feature and offer a certain degree of flexibility.

Before buying, it is best to consider where the wine refrigerator is to be placed so that a wine refrigerator can be purchased that matches the overall room furnishings.

What is the energy efficiency class of wine refrigerators?

Wine refrigerators have their own EU energy label, which is mandatory. The following factors are marked on the label:

  • Manufacturer
  • Model designation
  • Energy efficiency class
  • Energy consumption in kWh/annum
  • Maximum capacity
  • Maximum noise level in dB

The energy label or energy consumption label must be clearly visible on the packaging of the wine refrigerator. The EU wants to achieve transparency and promote energy-saving products.

Energy efficiency class Power consumption measured on a fictitious reference appliance
A+++ max. 21%
A++ max. 32%
A+ max. 41%
A max. 55%
B max. 74%
C max. 94%
D max. 110%
E max. 124%
F max. 149%
G from 150%

Since the energy consumption is always considered in relation to the usable capacity for a classification, wine refrigerators with better energy efficiency classes do not automatically consume less electricity. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the absolute consumption value in kWh/annum.

Is it possible to buy a wine refrigerator second-hand?

Yes, you can buy a used wine refrigerator if you want to. Often, the prices for used appliances are significantly lower. However, when buying used products, you must be aware that you usually no longer have any guarantee or warranty claims. This means that there is a certain risk associated with the lower purchase price.

A wine refrigerator offers the possibility of constantly adjusting the temperature to individual needs. Through several climate zones, it is possible to temper different types of wine, such as red and white wine, in parallel. (Image source: Nick Karvounis / unsplash.com)

Where should the wine refrigerator be installed and what are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a location?

The location of your wine fridge needs to be well thought out before you buy it. Not only the design but also the noise level is of decisive importance. A free-standing wine refrigerator looks good and serves as an elegant eye-catcher in any room.

But there are also built-in and undercounter wine refrigerators that take up much less space. Perfect for the chic fitted kitchen or in a special wine rack. Which version you prefer is up to you. However, you should definitely check the volume of the fridge before buying.

Items that are placed in the cellar can be somewhat louder. The visually appealing stainless steel wine refrigerator for the living room should be rather quiet. It doesn't matter whether it is freestanding or built-in.

To choose the right size of wine refrigerator, it is advisable to measure the space where it will be placed beforehand.

What capacity should your wine refrigerator have?

A wine refrigerator with a capacity of 6 bottles, 12 bottles, 24 bottles or over 100 bottles? Our recommendation is quite clear: better too much space than too little! At the beginning of your purchase decision, you should already think about your future wine collection.

Experience shows that your wine collection will tend to grow. How annoying it would be if you can't store your special wines in the ideal place because the wine fridge is already bursting at the seams.

If you only want to keep your 6 bottles of Mosel Riesling at the right temperature, you should probably go for a small and narrow wine fridge. The power consumption should also play a role when choosing the size. After all, unused space is also cooled.

Decision: What types of wine refrigerators are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two different types of wine refrigerators:

  • Wine refrigerators and wine temperature cabinets
  • Wine storage cabinets and wine climate cabinets

There are also other distinguishing features:

  • Free-standing wine coolers
  • Built-in or under-counter wine coolers
  • Number of climate zones
  • Maximum capacity
  • Energy consumption

Each of these types has a slightly different texture, which brings with it individual advantages and disadvantages. Depending on how you prefer to enjoy your wine and what you value most, different types of wine refrigerators and wine cabinets are best for you.

In the following section, we will help you find out which type of wine cooler is best suited to your needs. To give you a good overview, we present all the above-mentioned types or combinations and clearly outline their advantages and disadvantages.

What is the difference between a wine refrigerator/wine temperature control cabinet and a wine storage cabinet/wine climate control cabinet?

The four terms wine refrigerator, wine temperature control cabinet, wine storage cabinet and wine climate control cabinet are not only used synonymously by laypeople, but are also often not clearly stated and defined by experts, manufacturers and dealers of these products.

Wine refrigerators and wine temperature control cabinets, are primarily suitable for storing wines that are to be enjoyed in the foreseeable future. Wine storage cabinets and wine climate cabinets provide excellent conditions for long storage periods over several years.

The crucial difference lies in the way they work. No matter what the wine refrigerators are now called or described as, if they have the following functions, storage over several years is possible:

  • Constant temperature zones
  • Humidity and ventilation
  • Activated carbon filter
  • Minimisation of vibrations
  • UV light protection

Since all wine refrigerators have at least the cooling function, the terms wine refrigerator, wine temperature control cabinet and wine climate control cabinet are also used synonymously here, but in order to clear up any possible misunderstandings, it is pointed out when a wine refrigerator is suitable for the long-term storage of wines.

How many climate zones do you need in your wine refrigerator?

The climate zones in a wine refrigerator are usually individually adjustable from 5 - 22 degrees Celsius and ensure your preferred drinking temperature! Choose between one, two or three climate zones.

Wine refrigerator with one climate zone

Every wine refrigerator has at least one temperature zone. If you prefer only one type of wine and, for example, only drink young, dry white wines with a crisp acidity, one climate zone is probably sufficient.

Products with only one zone are usually inexpensive wine refrigerators and are particularly suitable for beginners. But even ambitious wine lovers who have their own wine cellar for fine red wines often use a climate zone to set their wines to the right drinking temperature.

It is also possible to combine several small wine refrigerators, each with one zone, instead of purchasing a large wine refrigerator.

Wine refrigerator with two climate zones

This is the first choice when both white and red wines need to be brought to the optimum (drinking) temperature. In more than nine out of ten cases, white wines are tasted at lower temperatures than their red representatives. This is why the parallel storage of red and white wine in a wine cabinet with 2 zones is ideal.

Are you a fan of white wines aged in wooden barrels? If so, it is even nicer to have a separate climate zone for these exceptional wines and to store their younger, crisp white wine brothers at somewhat cooler temperatures directly below in their own zone. You will definitely leave a lasting impression on your guests with such a wine temperature control cabinet.

Wine refrigerator with three climate zones

Are 2 zones still not enough for you? No problem. Three differently adjustable climate zones leave nothing to be desired. In addition to red and white wine, various sparkling wines also find a well-tempered place here.

Whether champagne, prosecco or traditional sparkling wine, you can be sure that all your sparkling delicacies will be at exactly the desired temperature.

The choice can be made according to the number of climate zones of the wine cooling tank, depending on how many types of wine are to be stored.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate wine refrigerators

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate wine refrigerators. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Design
  • Bottle capacity
  • Temperature zones
  • Temperature range
  • Digital temperature display
  • Humidity control
  • Long-term storage
  • Lighting
  • Energy efficiency class
  • Annual energy consumption
  • Maximum volume
  • Dimensions
  • Design

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Design and dimensions

The choice of design and size basically depends on the location of the wine refrigerator. You can choose between a free-standing wine refrigerator or an under-counter or built-in wine refrigerator in different sizes.

A large free-standing wine refrigerator is advisable for large flats or rooms with sufficient space. The free-standing version always looks a little more luxurious and is definitely seen as a status symbol. For this reason, the freestanding wine cooler is often placed as a decorative eye-catcher in the living or dining room.

There are also smaller or narrow freestanding units. These still cut a fine figure in less space. But the built-in versions also make quite an impression. Perfectly integrated into a visually appealing fitted kitchen, the wine storage cabinet is not only useful but also a visual highlight.

On a sufficiently large work surface, a small, narrow and free-standing wine refrigerator is also ideal. This should definitely be included in the shortlist as an alternative to a built-in wine cooler. For the exact dimensions, take a look at our respective product features.

A large freestanding wine refrigerator is advisable for large flats or rooms with sufficient space. (Image source: Todd Diemer /unsplash.com)

Bottle capacity

Probably the most important selection criterion with regard to the purchase decision is the capacity or bottle capacity. More precisely, how many bottles will fit in my wine cooler? You should not only think about how many bottles of wine you would like to cool at the moment and store for years, but also how many bottles you might want to add in the future.

Once the wine climate control cabinet has been purchased, one becomes even more intensively involved with one's passion and treats oneself to two or three more bottles. Thanks to the new wine refrigerator, friends and acquaintances will also suddenly recognise your passion as a wine lover and give you plenty of new wines.

So in the end, think carefully about which capacity of the wine cabinet is the right one for the future. We think: it's better to opt for too much space than too little.

Temperature zones

At least as important as the right capacity is the number of temperature zones. Up to three different climate or temperature zones are possible. A

re you only interested in a certain type of wine? Or do you prefer to drink your red wines at today's average room temperature of more than 21 degrees? Then you probably need exactly one temperature zone in your wine refrigerator. Or perhaps you decide on two smaller wine cabinets to store red and white wines separately.

In that case, too, it's best to use one temperature range. For the vast majority of wine lovers and hobby sommeliers, two temperature zones are the right choice. The advantage is obvious. You can perfectly temper two different types of wine at the same time. This is primarily intended for the parallel storage of white wines and red wines in a single wine refrigerator.

Temperature range

The vast majority of wine coolers operate within a cooling range of 5° Celsius to 22° Celsius. Within this temperature range, there are slight differences from manufacturer to manufacturer, which you should take into account before buying. As a rule, the wine refrigerators on offer should reach the optimal temperatures for you.

However, there are refrigerators that are designed from the outset for white wine and red wine. Such a cabinet would not be recommended for the parallel storage of sparkling and white wines. However, it is ideal for white and red wines. You can find out which wine refrigerator is best for you by looking at the temperature ranges, which differ from climate zone to climate zone.

Both white and red wine are best stored at a temperature of 10-12 degrees Celsius. With sparkling wines, it is important to ensure that there are no sudden temperature fluctuations.

Digital temperature display

All the products we present have a digital temperature display. Therefore, you do not need to consider this point on our page.

Did you know that white wine and red wine require a different drinking temperature? Red wines should be drunk at a temperature between 12 °C and 18 °C, whereas white wines are enjoyed between 6 °C and 14 °C, depending on their maturity, freshness and humidity. Since there is a change in temperature of up to 2°C when pouring into the glass, this should be taken into account in any case.

If you explicitly do not want a digital temperature display or want to look for other wine refrigerators on your own, you must pay special attention to the manufacturer's specifications.

Humidity regulation and long-term storage

A very decisive factor if you want to store, mature and temper your wines over a longer period of time. As mentioned above, humidity is one of the key factors for long-term storage over several years. If you are looking for a wine storage cabinet that is suitable for this purpose, pay attention to our information in the product description.

Wine storage cabinets designed for long-term wine storage take into account not only the temperature but also the humidity. The lower limit is 60%. The upper limit should not exceed 90%, as mould growth on labels and decomposition of the corks is very likely at these conditions.

To store wine in the best possible way, a constant humidity of 70-85% should be achieved. The wine coolers presented here meet these requirements, provided they are suitable for long-term storage. Whether this humidity is achieved by simple built-in water canisters or complex humidity-regulating systems is of secondary importance.

Energy efficiency class and annual energy consumption

As with all electronic products, you should consider the energy consumption of these appliances before buying. The energy efficiency class is rather negligible compared to the annual energy consumption.

In terms of price and the ongoing variable costs associated with energy consumption, you can also save a few euros by choosing a low-energy wine refrigerator. The energy efficiency classes introduced by the European Union are certainly a useful benchmark for comparison.

However, you should also pay attention to the indicated annual energy consumption. The energy efficiency class is not only based on absolute consumption, but is also subject to other variables. For example, the size of the wine refrigerator.

Therefore, a "lower" energy class rating can still have a lower annual consumption. In our tables on product characteristics you will always find both data. That is, the energy efficiency class and the annual energy consumption.

Maximum volume

Also listed in our product features: The maximum volume of the wine refrigerator. As already mentioned for the installation location, the volume of the wine refrigerator should also be taken into account. The maximum noise level is given in decibels (dB).

The lower the number, the quieter the wine refrigerator. If you are looking for a stylish wine fridge for the living room or even bedroom, the wine fridge should be particularly quiet.

If, on the other hand, the wine refrigerator is to be placed in the cellar, the volume will play a subordinate role for you. Which wine fridge you choose is therefore inevitably also linked to the place of installation.

Facts worth knowing about wine refrigerators

What is the right drinking temperature for wine?

Optimal wine enjoyment is strongly related to the ideal drinking temperature. The full aroma of the bouquet and the best taste can only be achieved through the temperature. White wines are often served and drunk too cold, red wines mostly too warm.

To avoid this, it is worth buying a wine refrigerator. But what is the right temperature? Basically, there are standard values that have become established among wine connoisseurs and wine experts. However, subjective taste and personal preferences also play a role.

The following temperatures are recommended guidelines and can be minimally adjusted for subjective sensations:

  • 5-8 °C: Simple non-vintage sparkling wine and simple, young white wines
  • 9-11 °C: Vintage sparkling wines, all types of champagne and full-bodied white and rosé wines
  • 12-14 °C: heavy, complex white wines, old champagnes and young, light red wines
  • 15-17 °C: young, full-bodied, complex red wines
  • 18-19 °C: mature, heavy and complex red wines

Maintaining the ideal drinking temperature over time is difficult. Therefore, it is better to set your wine fridge a little colder (approx. 1°C) than the drinking temperature, because all wines have one thing in common: they get warmer over time.

Wine Recommended storage temperature
Liqueur wine 16 - 20 °C
Full-bodied red wine 16 - 20 °C
Medium-bodied red wine 13 - 16 °C
Light-bodied red wine 13 - 16 °C
Rosé 7 - 13 °C
Aromatic white wine 7 - 13 °C
Full-bodied white wine 7 - 13 °C
Light-bodied white wine 3 - 7 °C
Sparkling wine 3 - 7 °C

What is the optimal storage of wine?

Nothing is more exciting for wine lovers and wine enthusiasts than accompanying their wines as they mature. Here are a few basic tips to ensure that the noble drops find optimal conditions during their maturation:

  • Avoid temperature fluctuations
  • Avoid sunlight
  • Constant high humidity of 70 - 90%
  • Always store bottles horizontally

Basically, wine is more robust than generally assumed. One year of suboptimal storage should not usually be a problem. Nevertheless, high and frequent temperature fluctuations are poison for wine in storage. The temperature differences cause the wine to expand and contract again.

This changes the pressure conditions in the bottle and leads to gas leakage of the closure. The wine oxidises and ages rapidly. This is the most serious factor in wine storage and should be avoided at all costs.

Sunlight and the UV light it contains are also harmful to wine, which is why many wine refrigerators have glass doors with UV filters. If you want to store your wine for longer than 12 months, you either need your own wine cellar or a wine storage cabinet that creates optimal conditions for the wine.

If you want to store your wine for less than a year, I recommend storing it in your bedroom under your bed, as this is the coolest place in the house and is also protected from direct sunlight. However, this is not the best solution in terms of appearance.

Wine bottles must be stored lying down, but why? By storing them lying down, the cork is kept wet from the inside. This prevents the cork from drying out and prevents some of the wine from evaporating or oxidising too quickly.

Image source: 123rf.com / delcreations

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