Best Under Counter Wine Fridge And Cooler For 2020
Have you ever walked into someone’s kitchen and were a little jealous? That’s happened to me before and usually it is because of a gleaming stainless steel wine refrigerator that is built in to the cabinets. There’s just something a little luxurious about it. Why be jealous when you can have your own built in under counter wine cooler in your home. In this post we share our tips on how to find the best under counter wine fridge.
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The Best Under Counter Wine Refrigerator For 2020
All of our recommendations for the best under counter wine fridge 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, including wine coolers, 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 chart below includes built-in wine fridges from smallest to largest.
What Types Of Wine Refrigerators Are There
There are a few types of wine refrigerators. First, freestanding units can range from six bottles to more than a hundred bottles. These are the most convenient wine fridges because they can be placed anywhere in the home. This can be a living room, dining room, basement, or next to a kitchen counter. These wine fridges tend to be less expensive than built-in wine fridges.
Built-in wine refrigerators can be smaller and are made to fit under a kitchen or bar counter top. This would be a built-in under-counter wine cooler. Some of the built-in wine fridges are taller, like the size of a kitchen refrigerator.
Built-In Versus Freestanding
Built-ins are often more expensive than freestanding. This is because it takes a little more to keep the fridge cool while ensuring proper ventilation within the kitchen cabinets. Depending on the refrigerator and your kitchen cabinets, you might need to have an expert install the unit. If you tend to be pretty handy around the house, this might not be necessary. It’s not as complicated to install an under counter wine cellar as it is a dishwasher, for example. In this post we focus on this type of wine fridge.
Where Will You Place Your Wine Fridge – Location Location Location
Before purchasing a wine fridge it’s important to consider the location of that appliance in your home.
Many people prefer having their wine cooler in the kitchen because it is easily accessible during meal prep. This also keeps all of the appliances in one location in the home. Within the kitchen, a wine fridge can either be a countertop wine fridge, where a small wine cooler is placed on top of the counter. This does take up space that could be used for kitchen prep or other appliances.
An alternative is to place the wine fridge under the kitchen counter. This is what is called an under-counter wine fridge. This takes up less countertop space and also allows for the possibility of more wine bottle storage.
I like the idea of keeping a wine fridge in the dining room if there is enough space. First, this allows you to open wine before or during a meal. Second, you might have more space available than in the kitchen. Lastly, it can be a nice point of conversation while entertaining.
In-Home Bar Or Wet Bar
If you have an in-home bar, or a wet bar, then this is the ideal place to keep your wine fridge. In this case, a large freestanding fridge can be placed next to or near the bar. Or, you can place a wine fridge under the counter just like you would in the kitchen.
If you have a basement, either finished or unfinished, you can place your wine refrigerator there. This is where we had our 75 bottle wine fridge. In our finished basement. Often this means you have a lot more space to work with and can purchase a much larger appliance.
This also means you can purchase a freestanding wine fridge, which can be a little less expensive. If your basement is unfinished, though, just be careful about excess moisture or water that could damage your fridge.
How Do Under Counter Wine Coolers Work
There are few features that are important to understand when using any built-in fridge. It’s important to take into consideration cooling zones and cooling systems.
Wine coolers are either single zone or dual zone. In a single zone wine cooler, all wine is stored at the same temperature. In a dual zone, it’s possible to store white wine and red wine at different temperatures. An under counter wine fridge can be dual zone or single zone. Learn more about Dual Zone Wine Fridges here.
There are two types of cooling systems used in wine refrigerators. A compressor is a cooling system that is used in regular kitchen fridges. A Thermoelectric cooling system works differently, without pushing cold air out. This can reduce vibration, which reduces the disturbance of the sediment in wine as it ages.
The thing is that with built-in wine fridges there needs to be a way for the cooling element to properly release the heat. This is why you can only buy a wine fridge that specifically states it is a built-in wine refrigerator.
A freestanding fridge might not have the right specs to allow the fridge to properly cool. This can lead to the fridge overheating and can cause damage to your cabinets. This is super important! Most under-counter units have a front venting mechanism to allow the fridge to breathe without affecting the cabinets.
Why Use An Under The Counter Wine Cooler
A built-in wine fridge that is under the counter is the perfect addition to a wine enthusiast’s kitchen. Whether you are in the process of designing or renovating your kitchen or want to install one into your existing kitchen, either way it’s possible to add the perfect fridge. A built-in wine fridge will fit seamlessly into your decor.
When we had out 75 bottle wine fridge it was freestanding. We could do that because we had plenty of space in our finished basement. We kept it in the back of our basement, surrounded by bookshelves and wine racks.
I loved that wine cooler, but it didn’t really fit with our decor. That was fine because it was in the basement. For people who are short on household space or don’t want a freestanding wine fridge, an under counter wine refrigerator is the perfect option.
A Wine Cooler As Kitchen Decor
What I like about under cabinet wine coolers are that they fit the mold of being functional as well as being part of the kitchen decor. As for function, it’s convenient to keep your wine chilled where you serve it – in the kitchen or close to the dining room.
When the right wine fridge is chosen, it can melt into the kitchen perfectly. It also can be beautiful to look at, particularly with some of the lighting elements inside. Lastly, an under counter wine fridge saves space.
What Features Are In The Best Under Counter Wine Coolers
There are a few other things to consider when choosing the best wine fridge for your kitchen or bar.
This is the most important part of the purchasing process. Unlike freestanding models, an under counter fridge needs to fit snugly into an existing space. It’s important to measure the width, height and depth. This includes how tall your cabinets are. Generally, most under-counter units are made to fit into cabinets that are 36” high.
Also look at which way the fridge door opens. Some open to the left, some to the right, and some actually can open both ways. Just ensure you have enough space to open the door and are not blocked by a wall or corner space. If you think you might move the fridge in the future, perhaps look at one that has a reversible door hinge.
The capacity of a wine fridge refers to the number of bottles you can store. Many undercounter wine coolers average between 18 and 36 bottles. There are some that are larger, which might have French doors and two rows of shelving. The larger the fridge, the more likely it will be a dual zone fridge.
Quietness And Vibration
Look for wine coolers that are on the quiet side. There is often enough humming in a kitchen without adding to the background noise. More importantly, look for wine fridges that minimize vibration. This is more important if you are purchasing a wine fridge to lay down the wine for long term storage. It is less important if you goal is to keep wine chilled.
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 underage children at bay.
Style And Design
Just like purchasing any other kitchen appliance, style and design are important. If you have stainless steel or black appliances in your kitchen, then a wine fridge will fit nicely. If you have a more traditional looking kitchen, perhaps look at wood shelves inside the fridge to match this look.
Some of the other features you might see are a touchscreen temperature display so you know exactly what temperature the fridge is set to. Also look at the shelves and whether they pull out. If the shelves pull out, then it is easier to see the labels on the wine bottles. Lastly, look for doors that are darker or have some sort of UV protection to avoid direct sunlight on the bottles.
The Best Under Counter Wine Fridge Reviews
With freestanding refrigerators, most products are labeled based on the number of bottles of wine it can hold. With an under counter wine chiller, most products are labeled by the width of the fridge. This is because often you know how much space you have to deal with and can choose a wine fridge that fits for you. We’ve tried to organize our reviews based on size, from smallest to largest.
15 Inch Under Counter Wine Fridges
Wine Enthusiast produces some of the top wine accessories. The Wine Enthusiast Classic 15 Inch Under Counter Wine Refrigerator holds 30 bottles of wine on six pull out wooden shelves. It merges a sleek look with state-of-the-art performance. It’s a compact single zone wine fridge that is narrow enough to fit the space often allocated to a trash compactor.
The wine cooler’s Thermoelectric cooling system is energy-efficient and CFC-free. It provides silent cooling technology while maintaining wines at the ideal temperature, within the range of 41-72 degrees. This model features tinted double paned glass door to protect wine from harmful UV rays and sunlight. The door also provides thermal protecting, keep cool air in and warm air out. A digital touchscreen thermostat panel is user friendly and easy to use. Added features include locking doors to secure wine and LED lighting. The sliding shelves also leave space for larger than normal wine bottles.
The NewAir 15 Inch Dual Zone Built-In Wine Cooler and Refrigerator features dual zone technology allowing red and white wines to be cooled to the perfect temperature. Using the easy-to-adjust thermostat the upper and lower zones can be set independently of one another. The upper zone can be set between 40-50 degrees and the lower can be set between 50 and 66 degrees.
At only 15 inches in width, the NewAir fits nicely under the counter or freestanding. The cooler holds 29 bottles of wine on three easily accessible sliding, adjustable beech wood shelves. A triple layer tempered glass door keeps out damaging heat, UV rays, and sunlight. It’s also reversible making it even easier to install anywhere in the kitchen. The built-in locking mechanism keeps the door shut tight adding an extra layer of protection. NewAir’s compressor is quiet and minimizes vibrations to ensure smooth operation and little disruption to the aging wine.
Lanbo is a pioneer in wine and beverage coolers. Their Lanbo 15 Wine Fridge Under Counter holds up to 28 bottles in a compact dual zone wine fridge (41-54° in the upper zone; 54-64° in the lower).
The wine fridge has touch controls and a digital display that make setting the temperatures easy. To keep wine cool, it uses a combination of compressor and compressor fan. Internal circulation of air prevents hot spots due to uneven heat distribution. The refrigerator has front venting which allows it to be either installed built-in to a cabinet or bar as well as freestanding. The compressor has zero vibration aiding in the aging and storing of the wine.
To protect wine, the Lanbo’s glass door keeps out harmful UV rays and sunlight. A built-in carbon filter protects the wine by acting as a natural barrier against harmful odors. The sliding shelves can be removed to make room for larger bottles as well. This unit comes with a 12 months warranty for labor, 36 months for the compressor.
Kalamera is one of our favorite manufacturers of wine refrigerators. The Kalamera 15” Undercounter Wine Fridge holds 30 bottles is no exception. It offers single zone under counter wine storage in an elegant design.
The 15-inch wide cooler uses advanced-technologies like a low noise and vibration compressor to properly maintain and protect the wine. The Kalamera 30 is equipped with a temperature memory function, which restores the cooler’s temperature after a power loss. It’s an elegant unit that features a gleaming stainless steel frame and dual-layer tempered glass door. The tempered glass door is not only stylish but protects the wine from harmful sunlight and UV rays. The interior soft blue LED lighting showcases wine while ensuring no damage is done to the wine. This unit is equipped with six sliding beech wood racks that aid in the circulation of cooling air and a carbon filter embedded inside to protect against odors.
24 Inch Under Counter Wine Coolers
This is a step up from the last Kalamera in terms of size, function, and certainly style. The Kalamera 24 Inch Undercounter Wine Refrigerator holds 40 bottles. It is ideal both as a freestanding unit or built-in.
The Kalamera 40 is also a dual zone undercounter wine fridge, which packs a lot into its relatively compact size. The cooler’s dual zone temperature controls allow for red and white wines to be stored at their ideal temperatures.
This unit has stainless steel French doors that open in the center for easy access to the wine. It’s two-layered transparent glass doors protect the wine from damaging UV rays and sunlight. Blue LED lighting illuminates the bottles while adding an extra layer of protection. The control panel display is user-friendly, allowing you to easily adjust temperatures and turn on and off the interior lighting. A built-in alarm notifies if the door was closed improperly or left open. The Kalamera 24 inch comes equipped with 14 sliding beech wood shelves to aid in air circulation to evenly chill the wine.
Ideal for under the counter or freestanding, the Phiestina 24 Inch Under Counter Wine Cooler holds up to 46 wine bottles. Tall and sleek, this stylish wine cooler looks great anywhere.
Its advanced compressor cooling and air circulation system is energy efficient, quiet, and maintains both red and white wines at optimal temperatures. The Phiestina works in both Fahrenheit and Celsius in a dual zone design. Included in the design is a polished front vent and kick plate. The vent removes compressor heat while adding style to the wine cooler. A reversible door hinge allows for left or right side opening making installation a breeze.
There are five removable shelves, which allow for customization to accommodate larger bottles such as champagne and cava. The cooler comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Allavino FlexCount 56 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator uses a lot of cutting edge technology. This makes it one of the best built-in wine coolers for wine drinkers who take their collecting seriously. Allavino FlexCount Series wine coolers merge sophisticated elegance and cutting-edge technology. The result is a 25% more energy efficient advanced cooling system that reduces noise and vibration.
The cooler’s digital display is user-friendly with push button controls. This makes it easy to adjust temperatures in each zone. Each zone has white wine, red wine, or sparkling wine indicator lights. This allows red and white wines to be stored at their ideal temperatures.
It holds 56 bottles of wine with Allavino’s new cutting edge shelves, which are thinner and allow additional space between shelves. These spaces easily accommodates larger bottles without sacrificing bottle capacity. Constructed of durable metal, the shelves are designed to provide reliable stability and prevent harmful vibration. Front-venting, the refrigerator can be built into a kitchen or bar cabinet or used as a stylish freestanding unit.
The Whynter Elite 24 Inch Dual Zone Built Wine Refrigerator is both stylish and functional. Made from seamless stainless steel, the unit keeps both red and white wines at their optimum temperatures. The dual zone wine cooler holds 20 bottles in the left zone and 20 in the right zone, each with adjustable temperature settings using the easy to operate touch controls.
Using a double-paned glass French door and sliding shelves this wine refrigerator is as functional as it is reliable. There is an alarm system if the doors are left ajar. The glass door protects wine from damaging sunlight and UV rays. Its insulating feature keeps the cooling air inside each zone. Soft interior lighting also protects the wine while putting it on display. With its front ventilation design, this unit is intended for built-in installation or simply as a free-standing unit. It’s one of the most contemporary looking wine fridges on our list because of the stainless steel shelving.
Larger Built-In Under Counter Wine Cabinets
I promise this is the last Kalamera. They just do such great work, particular with built-in wine coolers. This is the Kalamera 30” Wine Cooler, which not only is slightly larger than the last two, but adds a little bit more flare. A large part of the decision among these three is obviously size.
The Kalamera 30 inch wine cooler can store up to 66 bottles of wine in a dual temperature zone set up. The dual zones allow for red and white wines to be chilled separately, each at the optimal temperature. Kalamera has included center opening stainless steel French doors that are not only stylish but ultra functional.As an added layer of protection, Kalamera has installed an alarm that signals when either door is left ajar or closed improperly. The doors also have a security lock at the bottom.
With two-layered transparent glass inserts the wine remains insulated and protected from damaging sunlight and UV rays. Inside a blue LED light illuminates the wine with an ambient glow. Perfect as a freestanding or under the counter unit, the cooler is equipped with 14 sliding beech wood shelves to maximize air circulates. The easy to use control panel adjusts the LED lighting and dual temperature zones.
This Allavino sets the standard for luxury wine coolers. If building or remodeling a kitchen from scratch – make room! The Allavino Flexcount Three-Zone Side by Side Under Cabinet Wine Refrigerator holds 112 bottles in a unique three zone system.
This wine cooler consists of one single zone 56 bottle unit and a dual zone 56 bottle unit. The left unit temperature range is between 41-64 degrees. On the right, the upper zone can be set between 41-61 and the lower between 45-64. This allows for the most precise temperature storage options for various wine varietals. Each of the three zones can be individually adjusted using two, easy to operate, digital displays with push button controls.
Displayed on thin, metal shelves even larger bottles can be more easily stored compared to other wine coolers. The sliding shelves are specially designed to hold the weight of heavy bottles without sagging. Red, wine, and sparkling wine indicator lights ensure that the wines are being stored properly. The front-venting design and finished top allows this refrigerator to be used as a built-in or freestanding unit. This is a simply stunning under cabinet wine fridge.
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The Best Built-In And Under Counter Wine Storage Systems
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 Small Wine Fridge Reviews – for something smaller
FAQs - How To Choose the best built-in wine fridge
Yes and no. Of course, you can put anything you want in your fridge. The ideal temperature for wine might not be the same for sodas or beers. Plus, the shelves in a wine fridge are also made to fit wine. That said, Lanbo makes a great wine and beverage cooler that is double wide. It holds up to 18 bottles and 55 cans. This makes a lot of sense for a kitchen wine fridge to have both wine and other beverages cold and easily accessible.
Absolutely. There needs to be a way for the heat created by the fridge to properly escape. Normally this ventilation is in the front of the fridge, at the top or bottom.
No. It’s important to purchase wine fridge that is meant to be built-in so that it has the proper cooling and ventilation system. Without proper ventilation, a fridge can overheat, cause damage to your cabinets, and in the worst case, cause a fire. This is very important.