I clearly remember when we started shopping for our first wine refrigerator. There was so much to research and so much to learn. I assumed that all I needed to think about was size and budget, but that only really scratches the surface. For wine lovers looking to take this same step from random wine storage options (in the closet, under the bed, sound familiar?) we are here to help. Here, we share our tips and reviews on how to purchase the best small wine fridge for your home.
In this post, we help budding wine aficionados first answer the question of whether a wine fridge is a good purchase for the home. I cover various wine storage options and how to properly store wine to keep it at its best. Then, I include everything you need to think about before purchasing a small wine refrigerator. This includes all of the features you might see when shopping for a new wine fridge.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
3 Best Small Wine Fridges
Is It Time To Buy A Wine Fridge?
It’s pretty easy to tell if it’s time to buy a wine fridge. Perhaps you started with a wine rack, but find it is filled to the brim. Maybe you are finding yourself storing wine under the bed or in a closet. Then, there’s the possibility that you want to keep more than one bottle of wine cold at a time and can’t give up the kitchen refrigerator space.
For us, it was a combination of all of these issues. Plus, we started to collect wine that we wanted to lay down or store for future years. When storing wine long term it is best to find a way to properly store it. This means taking into consideration issues like temperature, light, and humidity.
If any of these issues apply to you it might be time to consider purchasing a wine cooler or refrigerator.
The Best Small Wine Coolers
All of our recommendations for the best small wine refrigerator can be purchased on Amazon. We like Amazon for home appliance purchases for a few reasons.
First, they have one of the largest selections of quality home appliances, including wine refrigerators. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.) For larger home appliances, it is possible that Prime members might still be charged shipping. In some cases, there is often free shipping but it might take a little longer than what many Amazon Prime members are used to.
If you are short on time, feel free to use the handy chart below to find our top recommendations and where to purchase them. Included below in this buying guide are full reviews for each of these listed wine coolers. The list below is organized by size, from smallest to largest.
What Is A Small Wine Fridge
There are loads of ways to store wine. Many people find a simple wooden or metal wine rack is enough. Other people become instant collectors and find ways to install entire wine cellars in their homes. A wine fridge falls somewhere in between these two options. There are a few types of wine refrigerators, though, and a lot of features to consider before purchasing. The first and most important is probably the size of the fridge. With a variety of wine, cooler sizes on the market knowing what you need can be a challenge.
Wine Fridge Capacity
We define a small wine cooler or fridge as one that holds between six and 36 bottles of wine. There are mini wine coolers that chill two or four bottles of wine. For us, these mini wine fridges are a little too small and don’t do much more than store bottles of wine in your fridge. A 4 bottle wine cooler is just a little too small. As for two bottles, that falls within the category of a small wine chiller, which is a little bit of a different product.
There are some amazing wine refrigerators on the market that hold 50, 75, 100, or even more bottles of wine. Those are pretty big. We feel that a 36 bottle is a good size. It can hold a good number of bottles without taking up too much space. If space is an issue, a smaller six bottle wine fridge or eight bottle wine cooler might do the trick. They provide enough storage space for regular use and storage without taking up too much physical space.
The Best Small Wine Fridge Reviews
With all of this in mind, here is our list of the best small wine coolers and cabinets, ranging from six to 20 bottles.
SIX THROUGH EIGHT BOTTLE WINE COOLERS
Kooltron’s freestanding 6 bottle small wine cooler is the perfect small wine cooler for wine lovers with limited space.
Measuring 10 x 20 x 14.5 inches, the unit is ideal for small kitchens and living spaces. Built-in digital temperature controls, allows you to store red or white wines at their ideal temperatures. Its thermoelectric cooling system chills wine quickly, quietly, and efficiently without vibrations.
The unit comes with a double-paned insulated glass door that keeps cool air in and hot air out. Its protective coating blocks harmful UV rays from damaging your wine. Removable wire racks allow you to adjust the storage layout to accommodate larger wine bottles.
I am starting with a truly unique option that many wine drinkers might not be aware of. Vinotemp is a brand that specializes in wine refrigerators and wine cellars. They have some of the best products on the market, many of them larger and more complex. The Vinotemp Romanzo 6-Bottle Open Wine Cooler is a good alternative to a typical small countertop wine cooler.
This Vinotemp wine cooler is considered an “open wine cooler.” This means you can store open bottles, upright while keeping them cold. Once this was solely an option for bars or restaurants. This is a more artistic way to store bottles because you can actually see them. It’s essentially a horizontal wine fridge that chills upright bottles. It also would make a great wine gift.
This Vinotemp 7-Bottle Mini Wine Cooler Fridge is another option on the smaller side, but entirely unique. This narrow wine fridge stacks the bottles one on top of another to create its slim shape. A tall thin wine fridge has many advantages. It can be used as a built-in, under the cabinet wine fridge or can be used freestanding. This thin wine fridge fits within tight, narrow spaces making it ideal for smaller apartments.
Again, Vinotemp knows its stuff when it comes to small wine chillers as well as larger models. This space-saving version has dual-pane glass windows with a reflective, mirror finish. There is no handle, making it blend into the furniture more. It’s simple and elegant.
If you are short on space but big on wine, the Kooltron Urban Series 8 bottle countertop wine cooler, is a perfect choice.
The unit uses thermoelectric cooling to efficiently and quietly chill red and white wines to their recommended temperatures. This system of cooling eliminates vibrations which can be damaging to wine. Measuring 21.5 x 12 x 19 inches and weighing just over 19 lbs, the unit, like most small wine fridges, fits conveniently on kitchen countertops and bars. Its three wire racks can be removed or adjusted to fit larger bottles of wine, including champagne bottles.
Easy-to-set digital temperature controls allow you to adjust the inside temperature to match the wine you are storing. Its stylish and mirrored glass door not only looks great but protects wine from external heat and harmful UV rays.
12 BOTTLE WINE COOLERS & LARGER
Nutrichef’s 12 bottle mini wine fridge has the capacity to lay down a few bottles of wine while maintaining space for regular use.
Five wire racks and one standing rack are fully adjustable to make room for wine bottles of varying sizes. Built-in compressor technology keeps wine cooled to the recommended temperature (41-64° degrees Fahrenheit). Easy-to-use digital controls make changing temperature a breeze.
The unit features a child-safe auto-lock feature to prevent unwanted access to your wine. The unit comes with a handsome reinforced glass door. The door keeps cool air in while preventing hot air and harmful UV rays from entering.
Our Pick For The Best Small Wine Cooler – Based on Capacity & Value
We are huge fans of Danby as that was the brand of our large wine cooler and we never had problems with it. The Danby 17-Bottle Counter-Top Wine Cooler is a great way to have Danby technology at a much lower price point. This is actually a great value wine cooler making it one of the best small wine fridges.
This wine cooler holds up to 17 bottles in a really unique way. Rather than having all shelves set in the same way to hold the same size bottles, this fridge includes a variety of shelving options to hold normal-sized bottles as well as larger Champagne or Bordeaux bottles. The temperature settings range from 43 to 57 degrees, making it great for chilling white wine.
There is a tempered glass door with a reversible door hinge. This means the door can open to the left or the right giving greater flexibility on where it can be placed in the home. It’s perfect for the countertop because it also has a scratch-resistant top meaning it’s more durable for the kitchen environment. There is an 18-month warranty.
Our Pick for the Best Mini Wine Fridge Based on Storage Capacity and Reliability
Koolatron’s 20 Bottle Wine Cooler is the perfect blend of state-of-the-art thermoelectric cooling with a contemporary design. Its tempered mirror glass doors protect wine from harmful UV light and heat while adding a bit of elegance to the room it’s in. Easy-to-use touch controls and LED display make setting the right temperature a breeze. The cooler’s adjustable shelves can hold up to 20 standard sized wine bottles. More with smaller bottles. The Koolatron comes equipped with a large capacity dual thermoelectric unit for enhanced cooling.
Wine Cooler Brands
The wine fridge marketplace is loaded with a number of high-quality brands. Major appliance brands like LG, GE, and KitchenAir all offer their own wine coolers. Their wine fridges are built with the reliability you’d expect from some of the biggest names in home appliances. However, manufacturing wine fridges is not their specialty.
When it comes to brands that specialize in wine (beverage) coolers there are few that stand out. Danby, Vinotemp, and Newair are some of the top brands in the wine cooler space. We are a bit partial to Danby as they were the maker of our very first wine cooler. Regardless of the brand, if you are looking for the best wine storage and are opting for a wine cooler, we recommend going with one of the brands that specialize in wine or beverage coolers.
Why Worry About Properly Storing Wine
There are three natural enemies when it comes to wine storage – temperature, light, and humidity. In order for a wine to stay at its best, all three of these factors need to be monitored closely. If wine is stored at too high a temperature, it can suffer from oxidation and can sour. The same is true for wine that is exposed to too much light. It can change the color and even the flavor of the wine.
If wine is stored in an environment that is too dry, then the cork can become dry and brittle. This can lead to a cork breaking when it is removed, but also can lead to oxidation. The same can happen when storing a bottle of wine upright. The cork can dry out. This is why all small wine coolers and fridges store most wine horizontally.
Any one of these issues can make wine go bad, or become “corked.” This can lead to a wine that tastes more like vinegar (yuck) or that smells like old library books (also yuk).
What Type Of Wine Refrigerators Are There
There are a few different types of wine refrigerators. Some of these, like tabletop or built-in, are more likely to be smaller wine coolers. Freestanding can be small or large.
Freestanding Wine Coolers
A freestanding wine fridge is one that can be placed anywhere in your home. They do not need to be installed. This makes them a little easier to purchase. All that is needed is space and an electric outlet. A freestanding wine refrigerator can hold as little as six bottles to way more than 100 bottles, and everything in between. They can be a more slim wine cooler or a wide, double-door wine fridge.
Tabletop or Countertop Wine Cooler
One particular type of freestanding wine refrigerator is one that sits on top of a kitchen counter, bar counter, or on another kind of tabletop. Due to their location, these tend to be some of the most compact wine coolers on the market. These also tend to be less expensive. That said, they often can only hold about six or eight bottles.
These appliances are often the best wine refrigerators for wine drinkers who just want to keep bottles cold, rather than lay them down for a long time. They can be shorter in size, but many are horizontal wine fridges to fit underneath a cabinet. Many of the best small wine coolers on our list are of the tabletop or countertop wine fridge variety.
Built-In Wine Fridges And Wine Cooler Cabinets
The opposite of a freestanding wine fridge is one that is built into a cabinet. These are normally installed in a kitchen or a bar. Although many times an under counter wine fridge is installed during a kitchen build or renovation, that is not always the case.
There is a lot more that goes into purchasing a built-in model, which we cover here. All of our recommendations for small wine fridges are made to be freestanding, although a few can also be built-in.
Other Considerations And Other Features
In addition to the type of wine fridge and the cooling zones, there are other things to consider when looking for the best small wine cooler.
When it come to buying a small wine refrigerator, size does matter. Whether this is due to budget or due to the amount of space available, size is a concern. A horizontal wine fridge isn’t ideal for a short, narrow space. Nor should you put a taller wine cooler where there’s not enough clearance. Make sure to measure the space you have available before purchasing to ensure the fridge will fit your space.
If you have a lot of wine bottles to store, perhaps you need something a little bigger. In this case, go bigger, and perhaps taller, to fit more bottles in a smaller footprint. Also, if you think your collection might grow or you see yourself wanting to store more bottles in the future, then go bigger. In this case, we recommend the Danby 75 Bottle Wine Fridge. That is the fridge we owned for years and we loved it.
Style And Design
At first glance, most wine fridges look the same. They are often black or stainless steel or a combination of the two. But, you want to ensure that your wine fridge will match your kitchen or home decor. Pay attention to the color of the lighting inside and the color of the shelving to determine what kind of small wine cooler will fit best.
Security And Locks
This is becoming a lot more common on both wine fridges and even on some wine rack systems. Some wine coolers will have a locking mechanism, normally with a key. This can serve two purposes. First, it can keep pricey wines secure if there is a home break-in. More commonly they are used to keep curious underage children away.
Wine Storage Pro Tip
Sure you can just pop a bottle of wine in the fridge to chill. If you leave a bottle of wine in there too long, though, it can actually take on the odor and aroma of the fridge – and the food in it. Plus, every time you open the door it affects the temperature inside the fridge. This can lead to inconsistent temperature changes.
Wine Fridge Cooling Zones
It’s best to store wine at a consistent temperature. The ideal temperature depends on whether you are storing red wine or white wine. For red wine, it’s between 50 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for a white wine that is being stored is slightly cooler. Most people recommend between 49 and 55 degrees. This poses a conundrum when using a wine fridge to store both red and white wine – which temperature do you choose?
Single Zone Wine Cooler
A single zone wine fridge is just like it sounds. All of the wine in the refrigerator is stored at the same temperature. You can store both white wine and red wine at the same temperature, but it might not be the ideal temperature for both types of wine. Our 75 bottle wine fridge was single zone and that was fine for us. We stored white wine and sparkling wine at a slightly warmer temperature, which was ideal for red wine. When we wanted to drink the white or sparkling we would use a rapid wine chiller to get the wine to our personal ideal drinking temperature.
Dual Zone Wine Cooler
A dual zone wine fridge is one that has separate compartments that can each be set to different temperatures. This is the best way to store both white and red wine at different temps. Many of the smallest wine fridges including eight bottle wine fridges are single zone. Once they get a little bigger they are often dual zone. Read more about dual zone wine fridges here.
FAQS – BUYING A SMALL WINE REFRIGERATOR
There really is no “standard” size. A wine fridge can hold between six bottles or hundreds of bottles. A good size, though, is between 24 and 36 bottles. This is a good size for small wine collectors and people who want to have a good number of bottles kept cold.
We recommend refrigerators from a variety of brands above. We particularly like Vinotemp and Wine Enthusiast for smaller options. Both Koldfront and Danby make some of the best wine fridges on the market, but they tend to be larger in size. Check out our post on the best dual zone refrigerators for more recommendations from these top brands.
There are a lot of benefits to buying a thermoelectric wine fridge because they reduce noise and vibration. But, if looking for a small or mini wine fridge, it is not as important to purchase a thermoelectric. A compressor fridge might be sufficient.
Because of its size, a small wine fridge is highly versatile and adaptable. Even in smaller kitchens, a mini wine cooler that holds six bottles can be placed on a kitchen counter. They can also be placed on top of a bar or entertaining space.
If you entertain often or collect wine then yes, a wine fridge is worth it. For entertaining, a separate wine fridge frees up space in your normal kitchen refrigerator. If you collect wine, a wine refrigerator is an ideal space to store and protect your wine.
This is a great question. With proper use, you can expect to get at least 10 years out of a mini wine refrigerator. Now, this will depend greatly on the quality of small wine refrigerator you purchase. If you invest in a top quality brand, odds are you’ll get good use from it. If you purchase a lessor, cheaper brand, well, there’s a reason why there’s an expression, “you get what you pay for”.
How We Review And Rate Products ⭐️
We only recommend brands we trust. We try to recommend kitchen products we’ve owned or used personally and we offer alternatives. We choose these alternative products based on recommendations from other food bloggers and chefs, sommeliers, and winemakers.
We conduct thorough research on the company, how the products are made, and whether they are a good value for home chefs. This allows us to offer competitive analysis, provide pros and cons of various products, and ensure you are purchasing quality products for your home.
- Some of the kitchen brands we love the most include 360 Cookware, UnoCasa, Calphalon, Ninja, and Instant Pot.
- For wine and drink products, we love Wine Enthusiast, VinGarde, and Danby.
- We often recommend purchasing products from Amazon because of the variety of kitchen and homeware brands they carry.
- Sometimes, we recommend buying a product directly from the manufacturer when we know it’s a brand we trust.
Learn more here.