Best Small Wine Fridge Reviews For 2020
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 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.See the Top Rated Small Wine Coolers And Fridges on Amazon
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.See more Amazon Wine Fridge Reviews Here
Why Worry About Properly Storing Wine
There are three natural enemies when it comes to wine storage – temperature, light, and humidity. In order for 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 from 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 a 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).
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.
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 are those that sit 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 on the shorter size, but many are horizontal wine fridges to fit under neath a cabinet.
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.See our reviews of the Best Under Counter Wine Cooler
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. The ideal temperature for red wine is between 50 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for 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 are single zone, but once they get a little bigger they are often dual zone. Read more about dual zone wine fridges here.See our Top Dual Zone Wine Fridge Reviews here
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 the homes. A wine fridge falls somewhere in between these two options. There are 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.
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 storing 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 than 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.
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.
In this case, size does matter. Whether this is due to budget or due to the amount of space available, size is a concern. Don’t forget to measure the space you have available before purchasing to ensure your 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 common they are used to keep curious underage children away.
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 36 bottles.
Six Through Eight Bottle Wine Coolers
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 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 Magic Chef Wine Cooler is a great starter wine refrigerator for the home. It fits the definition of a mini wine refrigerator as I would not recommend purchasing anything smaller. It also makes a great wine gift.
The Magic Chef 6 Bottle Wine Cooler is compact and fits on a countertop in a kitchen or bar space. There is a thermoelectric cooling system but try not too keep it in a super hot space as the ambient temperature will affect the cooling because it is so small. The sliding chrome racks give easy access to the wine bottles. This is a single zone wine cooler, which means it is best for keeping bottles chilled and ready to drink more than laying down bottles for long term wine storage.
One step up from this is the Magic Chef 12 Bottle Wine Fridge.
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. It can be used as a built-in, under the cabinet wine fridge or can be used freestanding and fit within small spaces or in small 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.
Another great option for a countertop small wine cooler is the Ivation Premium Stainless Steel 8 Bottle Horizontal Wine Cooler. This countertop wine fridge is a good step up from the Magic Chef in both size and function. It’s about the size of a large microwave and can fit easily underneath a top kitchen cabinet.
This Ivation countertop wine refrigerator is single zone with a temperature range of 46-64 degrees making it good for storing both white and red wine. It uses Theromelectric cooling, which means it is more energy-efficient with no compressor that is normally found in a typical kitchen refrigerator. This also makes it more quiet.
It also comes in a vertical version with dark black finish.
Similar to the Ivation, it holds eight bottles of red or white wine in a single zone wine cooler. The wine fridge has a temperature range between 46 and 64 degrees. It has LED lights, an adjustable temperature control, and built-in circulation fan and ventillation grill. It uses Thermoelectric cooling technology, which is more energy efficient and is more quiet.
Between the NutriChef and Ivation wine coolers, the main difference is really the design and what fits within your home. The NutriChef, though, comes with a one year warranty.
12 Bottle Wine Coolers
The Avanti 12 Bottle Wine Cooler offers a very good value with a slightly larger capacity. It’s a relatively slim wine fridge offering single zone cooling.
This wine cooler also uses Thermoelectric cooling meaning it is quiet with little vibration. This means less disruption to the sediment in any red wine you are laying down. It holds eight bottles horizontally with the remainder standing upright. This is good for chilling, but not storing, white wine as well as sparkling wine.
The curved glass door also brings a touch of elegance. Although it is sold as a countertop model, make sure to measure whether it is too tall to fit under a kitchen cabinet.
This NewAir 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Small Wine Cooler is another good value option. This version holds 12 bottles, but they also sell 18 bottle and 28 bottle wine coolers, also both single zone coolers, and not that much more expensive.
The NewAir also uses Thermoelectric Cooling, which reduces vibration, noise, and is more energy efficient than a compressor cooling system. There is a low level LED lighting system so you can see the wine without having light affect the quality of the wine inside. The touch-screen temperature controls range from 54 to 66 degrees, which is a little higher than some of the other models. This means it might be better for storing red wines or you might need to rapid chill a bottle of white before drinking it.
Wine Enthusiast has a reputation for being one of the top sellers of wine-related accessories and their wine fridges also have a good reputation to match. This Wine Enthusiast Wine Fridge holds 12 bottles in a sleek stainless steel design with wooden shelves.
This wine cooler also uses Thermoelectric cooling in a single zone unit with a temperature range between 50 and 66 degrees. It promises virtually silent cooling technology (virtually, not completely). Again, this might not be cool enough to keep white wine ready to drink. Although horizontal like a few others in our list, this compact design takes up a little less countertop space without being too high to fit underneath a top kitchen cabinet.
I think this is the best 12 bottle wine cooler on our list, in part because of the design. It just looks more elegant than the others on the list, but is slightly more expensive.
18 Bottle Wine Coolers And Larger
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.
This is where our reviews of small wine fridges turn more professional. But you don’t need to be a wine pro to own a small wine fridge in your home. The Haier Wine Fridge holds up to 18 bottles of wine and really takes things up a notch from the Danby above.
This tall wine fridge is also the first on the list to incorporate dual zone cooling. You can independently adjust the temperature in each zone. The upper unit can cool from 46-66 degrees and the lower from 54-66. This makes it a perfect small wine chiller for both red and white wine.
It uses vibration free Thermoelectric cooling and has nine chrome storage racks. And it is super narrow meaning it can fit anywhere in the home.
The Koldfront 18 Bottle Freestanding Wine Refrigerator takes up a slightly larger foot print than the 12 bottle wine coolers, but it is worth it. It holds up to 18 wine bottles, even larger Bordeaux size making it pretty unique within this list. They are stored on sliding shelves so you can see the labels.
This is a dual zone stand alone wine fridge. The two zones regulate temperatures between 46 and 66 degrees below and 54 to 66 degrees above. The LCD temperature controls regulate both zones. It offers Thermoelectric cooling and a safety lock on the door.
One note about the door. The door opens to 180 degrees (full out) in order to allow the shelves to be removed, so keep this in mind when determining where it can be placed.
The Wine Enthusiast Slimline Wine Cooler packs a lot into a small footprint. It’s a tall and narrow wine fridge with the ability to hold up to 18 bottles both horizontally and vertically.
It is a dual zone wine refrigerator with top zone cooling to 54-66 degrees and the bottom cooling to 46-66 degrees. There are seven pull out shelves, which allow you to store regular size bottles as well as larger ones.
The Wine Enthusiast fridge uses Thermoelectric cooling, which is energy efficient with virtually silent cooling. This type of cooling also reduces vibration.
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 on the larger 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.
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How To Choose The Best Small Fridge For Wine For Your Home
Not ready to take the leap? We will be updating this post as we find new recommendations for the home. Pin this post to your favorite Pinterest board to save our tips.
Check out these related posts:
Best Single Bottle Wine Chiller: Rapid Chilling Options For Wine – for rapid cooling of single wine bottles
Best Dual Zone Wine Fridge Reviews – for something larger
Best Under Counter Wine Fridge And Cooler – for more built-in fridge options