For anyone who wants to keep wine for regular consumption or long-term storage, built-in wine coolers provide a space-saving solution.
You should avoid storing wine in a regular refrigerator. The temperature and humidity levels are both unsuitable for wine storage, Additionally, storing bottles of wine upright means the cork will not be in contact with the liquid. Resultantly, the cork can dry out, leading to problems uncorking.
Now for the good news – you don’t need a dedicated wine cellar or acres of space to accommodate a built-in wine cooler. These units are intended to be installed under the counter in existing cabinets, enabling you to make the most out of your space while still keeping your favorite wine at its best.
Before we review all the best built-in wine coolers to help you choose the right one, some things to consider before whipping out your credit card:
- Type of wine cooler: There are three main types of wine cooler. A built-in cooler is designed to slot under a kitchen counter. You can accommodate built-in coolers in existing units or build new units for them. Built-in wine coolers are typically equipped with vents. This means the unit won’t overheat, preventing a potential fire hazard. The focus of our reviews today is on built-in coolers. A freestanding cooler, by contrast, can be installed almost anywhere. Many of the coolers on our shortlist allow you to take advantage of either built-in or freestanding installation. We draw your attention to this throughout the reviews below.
- A small countertop cooler: is only useful for a handful of bottles of wine. We do not include any countertop units below. Come back soon for a separate rundown on these compact and convenient countertop wine coolers.
- Capacity: First, think about how many bottles of wine you intend to store right now. Also, think about how you envisage your wine collection over time. If you plan to grow the collection, it is worth opting for a larger cooler than you first consider. Remember, too, that the quoted maximum capacities on wine coolers should be viewed as an absolute maximum. In some cases, you may even struggle to achieve the stated maximum. If in doubt, size up (assuming you are not limited by space constraints).
- Cooling zones: Do you drink exclusively red wine or exclusively white wine? If so, a single zone wine cooler is more than fit for purpose. A dual zone cooler, on the other hand, provides you with independently controlled cooling zones. This allows you to chill your white wines more aggressively, while storing red wines at a more moderate temperature, but without requiring two separate coolers. Both types of wine will be at serving temperature, although you’ll need to aerate red wine before serving for best results. Pop back soon for our breakdown of the best wine aerators to help you shortcut that process. A triple zone wine cooler includes a tertiary cooling compartment intended for chilling champagne.
- Thermoelectric cooling or compressor-based cooling: Built-in wine coolers with compressor-based cooling deliver a much quieter experience. There is also less vibration, preventing the sediment in red wine bottles from being disturbed.
- Door: A tempered finish to the glass door will stop UV rays from penetrating your wine bottles. Sustained exposure to UV rays can impair both the flavor and aroma of your wine over time.
- Safety features: A temperature reset function ensures the cooler boots up again after a power outage using the same temperature settings. Lockable doors are a must if you have kids or teens in the house with prying fingers. Keep your children and your wine collection safe!
- LED lights: Most of the best wine coolers are equipped with LED lights. This provides your wine with muted light rather than harsh light, cuts down your power bills, and allows you to monitor your collection at a glance without opening the door and disturbing the cooling environment.
If you keep these pointers in mind, you should have no problems navigating our showcase of the best models in this crowded market segment.
The 11 Best Built-in Wine Coolers
1. Our Pick: Kalamera Dual Zone Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 46 bottles
- Width: 24 inches
- Dimensions: 33 x 23.4 x 22.4 inches
Our favorite built-in wine cooler comes from industry star Kalamera. Ideal for commercial or residential use, what do you get for your money here?
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the requisite size for your requirements. This model has the capacity for 46 bottles of red or white wine inside. You can also opt for bigger or smaller models, and for one offering the space for bottles and cans.
The 46-bottle unit offers a great compromise between capacity and footprint. Although the cooler measures 24 inches across, it’s reasonably squat and won’t eat up too much space in the kitchen.
Designed to left freestanding or built into existing kitchen cabinetry, the Kalamera is one of the most flexible wine storage solutions.
Flexibility extends to the twin cooling zones. The independently controlled zones allow you to store both red and white wine at their optimum temperatures. Whether you’re planning to keep your wines long-term or drink them on the regular, you don’t need to mess around with temperatures.
Having said that, temperature maintenance is one of the few areas in which we could find any gripes about this unit, so do your due diligence here.
The stainless steel frame and tempered glass door are purely functional, while the beech shelves inside are also highly effective. The wood won’t scrape or scuff the labels on your wine bottles and the shelving is removable. This allows you to pop larger bottles of champagne or similar inside.
Blue LEDs ensure you can see your wine collection without opening the door, and the light is energy-efficient and won’t impair your wine.
Not only is this one of the very best built-in wine coolers, but you could also pop it under a counter or leave it freestanding.
2. AAOBOSI Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 46 bottles
- Width: 24 inches
- Dimensions: 34.2 x 22.7 x 23.5 inches
This understated built-in wine cooler from AAOBOSI is broadly similar to the cooler reviewed above.
Wine coolers with a 46-bottle capacity allow you to house a small to medium-sized collection of wine without requiring too much space for installation. You’ll need a reasonable amount of room to accommodate this 24-inch cooler, but it certainly won’t take over the kitchen or man cave.
If you feel it’s slightly too large for your needs, AAOBOSI also offers a 15-inch cooler – we’ll review that model below.
Twin-zone cooling gives you the ability to chill white wine at temperatures from 41F to 54F up above and red wines at a milder 54F to 68F down below. If you’re a champagne lover, you’ll appreciate this uprated version of the AAOBOSI, which gives you the space to stash these inside.
A neat memory function means the temperature settings are restored when the power is on again after an outage.
Overall build is solid. You get the stainless steel frame common to most wine coolers, along with a tempered glass door. This is designed to keep the sun’s harsh UV rays from penetrating the cooler and spoiling your wine.
Interior LED lighting is an energy-efficient solution that allows you to monitor your wine collection without breaching the storage environment.
Venting means this cooler is expressly intended for built-in use. Pop it under the counter with no concerns about overheating.
We couldn’t find many complaints concerning the cooler itself, but a few disgruntled consumers report experiencing issues with returns and with warranty coverage. Setting this aside, the cooler combines form and function at an affordable price – what’s not to love?
3. Bodega Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 31 bottles
- Width: 15 inches
- Dimensions: 34.1 x 15 x 23 inches
Next up comes a smaller wine cooler that makes a good fit for anyone with the intention of keeping fewer than 30 bottles on hand for regular consumption.
Although the quoted maximum capacity is 31 bottles, all wine cooler manufacturers state the absolute maximum which does not reflect a comfortable working capacity. Even 30 bottles make for a fairly tight fit. It is worth considering your future plans for wine collecting when choosing a cooler. If you feel your collection is likely to grow over time, opt for a larger unit.
There is a shelf designed to accommodate large bottles like champagne bottles so you can keep more than just regular 750ml bottles of Bordeaux inside this cooler.
Ideal for mixed wine collections, the twin cooling zones can be manipulated from 41F to 68F. White wine needs chilling more aggressively than red wine, and with the Bodega, you can keep all types of wine at its very best.
Smart controls take the sting out of operation, and we found no complaints about temperature maintenance, something we can’t say for all the built-in wine coolers we review today.
In terms of installation, choose to leave this unit freestanding or to build it into existing cabinets in your kitchen or man cave.
Almost every manufacturer claims their wine coolers are whisper-quiet, but few live up to these claims. The Bodega is especially noisy, so avoid this model if you are locating your cooler near a living room or communal area.
For a slender built-in wine cooler with a moderate capacity, you can’t go wrong with this offering from Bodega.
4. Kalamera Beverage Cooler
- Capacity: 20 bottles and 60 cans
- Width: 24 inches
- Dimensions: 34 x 23.4 x 22.4 inches
Another excellent built-in wine cooler from Kalamera up next with this mixed use unit at a reasonable price point.
If you intend to store only wine in your cooler, this is probably not the most suitable model for you. You’ll be limited to just 20 bottles, so this cooler is better for those with very small wine collections.
In return for this reduced capacity for bottles, you’ll benefit from an area capable of housing up to 60 canned beverages. If you’re looking for a cooler to go in your man cave, this Kalamera will ensure you have all the beer, soda, wine, and champagne you want on demand.
Twin cooling zones have independently controlled temperatures. The left-hand zone is for red or white wines, allowing you to chill your bottles at anywhere from 40F to 66F. The right-hand zone gives you a temperature band of 38F to 50F, perfect for canned beverages or white wines.
If you want a cooler for storing both red and white wines for regular consumption, this model is not the best option.
The compressor-based cooling is efficient and relatively quiet. There is a faint background noise from this unit, but not at a volume high enough to disturb you.
The general build quality is impressive as you would expect from a reputable brand like Kalamera. That said, we encountered a few customer complaints concerning the volatile nature of this unit. Stainless steel and tempered glass combined with wooden shelving gives you everything you need in a built-in cooler and nothing you don’t.
5. Phiestina Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 33 bottles and 100 cans
- Width: 30 inches
- Dimensions: 34 x 22.4 x 31 inches
Phiestina has a hard-won reputation for producing quality appliances at pocket-friendly prices. This mixed use built-in wine cooler and beverage cooler continues that tradition.
The first thing to flag is a few reported issues with quality control. Check the contents of your package closely upon receipt.
If you’re hunting for a wine cooler with capacity uppermost in mind, you won’t be disappointed with this model. The left zone is intended for bottles and there is space for over 30 inside. The inbuilt benefit of this unit is the right zone with space for 100 canned beverages.
So, whether you’re looking to kit out your man cave, cater for the family and guests, or store both beer and wine for regular consumption, the Phiestina is a smooth fit.
One of the drawbacks stemming from this impressive capacity is the substantial footprint of the cooler. Measuring 30 inches across, make sure you have space at home before committing to purchase.
While the cooler is designed for home use, you could also easily use this cooler in a small commercial outlet.
Enjoy flexibility with installation with a choice of either freestanding or built-in installation.
Not only is the overall capacity generous, but you’ll also enjoy the freedom of twelve shelves, more than double that offered by much of the opposition. The result is an extremely flexible beverage cooler ideal for many applications.
The interior is illuminated by LED lights. The lights won’t harm your wine and allow you to see inside the cooler without compromising the temperature.
Overall, this is one of the best larger built-in wine coolers we can recommend.
6. Antarctic Star Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 28 bottles
- Width: 15 inches
- Dimensions: 34.3 x 22.75 x 23.4 inches
Antarctic Star is a brand you can rely on when it comes to wine and beverage coolers. When you’re shopping for these, you’ll first need to decide between freestanding and built-in coolers. Fortunately, the Antarctic Star allows you complete freedom with both options.
Although there is a faint thrum coming from the cooler in operation, noise is minimal. There is no vibration either, meaning the sediment in your red wine bottles won’t get disturbed and you can enjoy your wines at their best.
You can accommodate a maximum of 28 bottles of mixed wine in this cooler. You can chill your wine at temperatures from 41F to 68F, so you can keep red wine, white wine, and champagne at the optimum serving temperature in one sleek cooler. You could also store your wines long-term in this cooler if you don’t have a cellar.
Despite the powerful twin-zone cooling, we found some isolated gripes about temperature maintenance, with consistency issues flagged in a few otherwise positive reviews.
If you store older bottles of wine with fragile labels, the beech shelving shouldn’t scuff them or scrape them. Mounted on slide rails, the shelves allow you to access your wine collection with ease.
The tempered glass doors inhibit frost from forming and also keep harmful UV rays out. The storage environment is tightly sealed, and you can enjoy your wine at its finest rather than drying out the corks on bottles by storing it in the kitchen refrigerator at the wrong temperature and humidity levels.
While you might not think you need a wine cooler, it makes a sound investment if you plan to build up a modest collection at home, either for regular consumption or for long-term storage. Compare the cost of a cooler with a case of your favorite wine and it suddenly doesn’t seem so expensive.
7. NewAir Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 29 bottles
- Width: 15 inches
- Dimensions: 33.4 x 15 x 22.5 inches
NewAir has a deep bench of efficient and cost-effective wine coolers, so how does this compact model stand and fall?
Perhaps the first thing that strikes you is the good looks. While you are probably not choosing wine coolers based primarily on aesthetics, it doesn’t hurt when they are designed to enhance your kitchen. The black and silver finish contrasts stainless steel with glass, all bathed in blue LED light. Whether you have a traditional or modern kitchen, this cooler would be an asset.
Luckily, it’s not a case of style over substance. Capacity is reasonable with space for up to 29 bottles inside. As with all wine coolers, this should be considered an absolute maximum. If you don’t feel this offers you enough leeway, NewAir offers a wide variety of larger coolers, many also allowing you to store canned beverages.
While most wine cooler manufacturers claim their appliances are super-quiet, very few deliver on that promise. This model, on the other hand, kicks out very little noise and almost no vibration for the ideal combo.
If you feel you can get away with a smaller cooler like this when it comes to capacity, you’ll benefit in terms of the space-saving footprint. This slender unit is compact enough to put in an apartment or kitchen with limited space. The built-in installation allows you to integrate the cooler into your existing cabinets, saving even more space.
We found no meaningful complaints about this cooler from NewAir, but we can’t say the same for customers’ experience with the warranty coverage on this model.
Overall, this wine cooler works best for the style-conscious and for those operating with space constraints.
8. AAOBOSI Wine Cooler and Refrigerator
- Capacity: 30 bottles
- Width: 15 inches
- Dimensions: 38 x 27 x 19 inches
When you’re shopping for wine coolers, you can’t escape the AAOBOSI brand. They produce reliable and versatile coolers without breaking the bank. This model is no exception.
Like many of the beverage coolers we review today, this model works best for those looking to build up a smaller wine collection. With a flat maximum capacity of 30 bottles, think closely about whether this offers you enough latitude, both now and in the future. If in doubt, choose a bigger cooler. Get this wrong and you could end up needing to invest in a second cooler over time.
Choose from leaving this cooler freestanding or building it into the cabinets in your kitchen. Either way, you’ll have space inside to store your red and white wines separately. The highly chilled upper zone is perfect for keeping white wines from 41F to 54F. Below, chill your red wines more mildly from 55F to 64F.
As with all the best built-in wine coolers, the wooden shelves offer your wine bottles a sturdy and secure home with no risk of scraping off the labels.
The shelves are also removable, allowing you to make room for bigger bottle of champagne and similar. Having said that, a few consumers complain about the sliding rail not performing as smoothly as expected. Setting this minor drawback aside, most user reviews sing the praises of this versatile dual-zone wine cooler from AAOBOSI.
9. Smith & Hanks Under Counter Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 32 bottles
- Width: 15 inches
- Dimensions: 34 x 15 x 23 inches
This under-counter wine cooler from Smith & Hanks gives you a decent capacity in a compact form, perfect for anyone with limited space in the kitchen.
Installation couldn’t be easier. You also get the choice of building this cooler into your kitchen cabinets to save more space or to leave it freestanding. Everything you need for installation comes included and you can get going right out the box.
There is room for up to 32 bottles of wine inside this cooler. This makes it a good fit for anyone with less ambitious wine collections.
Twin cooling zones offer you the flexibility to store mixed wines, both for regular consumption and long-term storage. With each zone offering independent controls, you can keep your white wine aggressively chilled and your red wine more mildly chilled.
Although you benefit from an acceptable capacity, this cooler measures just 15 inches across, meaning it’s a good fit for cramped kitchens.
While the majority of user reviews for this built-in cooler are positive, we found some scattered complaints about problems maintaining a consistent cooling environment.
The compressor and the sealing systems are warrantied for three years. The whole cooler is backed by a one-year warranty, so you can buy with complete confidence.
If you haven’t heard of Smith & Hanks before, take a chance on a smaller business and treat yourself to one of the best built-in wine coolers out there.
10.Bodega Wine Cooler
- Capacity: 19 bottles and 57 cans
- Width: 24 inches
- Dimensions: 34.3 x 23 x 23.4 inches
Bodega offers a wide selection of highly effective wine coolers, including this mixed use cooler perfect for lovers of beer, wine, and soda.
Unlike many split-zone coolers, this model lets you keep canned beverages on one side and bottles of wine on the other. Whether you need the cooler for residential or commercial use, the generous capacity means you should never run out of refreshments.
This iteration of the cooler gives you space for 19 bottles and 57 cans, making it better for those who lean more heavily to canned beverages than wine.
Installation is straightforward. Choose whether to leave the cooler freestanding or to build it into kitchen units for a more seamless and space-saving look.
If you choose the built-in option, the plate at the front of the cooler ensures there is adequate ventilation and no risk of the cooler overheating.
Inside, energy-efficient LED lights keep costs down without drowning your wine in too much bright light.
Not only is this cooler well-made and reliable, but you’ll also benefit from robust warranty coverage and responsive after-service. This efficient built-in cooler shows why Bodega is one of the most reputable names in this vertical. Does it make the right fit for you?
11. Staigis Wine Refrigerator
- Capacity: 30 bottles
- Width: 15 inches
- Dimensions: 34 x 15 x 22.4 inches
Last but not least in our collection of the best built-in wine coolers comes from Staigis, so what do you get for your money?
Firstly, the combination of compact build and mid-sized capacity means this cooler would work well for anyone with a modest collection and limited space for installation.
If you don’t feel this affords you enough capacity for your collection or future collection, Staigis also offers a 46-bottle cooler you may want to consider instead.
The built-in option means you can save still more space by popping the refrigerator under the counter in an existing unit. Alternatively, leave the cooler freestanding in your man cave with your wine collection proudly displayed.
One of the key selling points of this unit is the twin-zone cooling. For anyone who wants to enjoy both red and white wine served at the optimum temperature, a dual zone cooler allows you to achieve this in a single efficient cooler.
Among the few reported drawbacks is the noise factor. We found multiple complaints from consumers complaining about excessive noise. Think closely if you plan to install this cooler near a communal space or living area. Setting this aside, the vast bulk of customer feedback concerning this cooler is positive.
1) What’s the optimum temperature for storing mixed wine long-term?
If you are storing both red and white wines long-term, a consistent temperature of 55F is a good working baseline. When you want to drink the wine, adjust the temperature accordingly.
2) What’s the optimum temperature for storing white wine in preparation for serving?
Chill white wines at temperatures from 50F to 60F to taste.
3) What’s the optimum temperature for storing red wine in preparation for serving?
Red wine responds favorably to serving at room temperature. As such, chill red wine at temperatures from 60F to 65F to taste and depending on the type of red wine.
4) What is the purpose of a dual zone wine cooler?
As outlined above, red and white wines need chilling at different temperatures. With a single zone cooler, you’ll end up with one type of wine being chilled at temperatures sub-optimal for serving. To avoid needing to bring wines up to temperature, consider a dual zone cooler. Twin zones are independently controlled so you can sidestep manipulating temperatures and chill all types of wine at serving temperature.
5) What is the problem with storing wine in a regular refrigerator?
If you store wine bottles upright, this causes the corks to dry out. Additionally, the humidity levels are unsuitable for wine storage, and the temperature is too cold, even for white wines and champagnes. Beyond this, opening and closing the door too often will not provide your wine with a consistent storage temperature.
6) Do built-in wine coolers require professional installation?
No. If you can cope with small DIY jobs, you’ll have no problem placing a wine cooler under a counter. If you need to call in a contractor, the job should be quick, easy, and inexpensive.
7) Why are LED lights important in a wine cooler?
You want to protect your wine from harsh light and LEDs – usually muted blue – provide just enough light, but not too much. LEDs mean you can see your wine bottles clearly without opening the doors and breaching the storage environment. While not essential, LED interior lights are a valuable extra.
Built-in wine coolers are a great solution for anyone looking for a clean look in the kitchen, or for anyone with limited space who is unwilling to compromise on wine storage.
Whether you want a cooler intended for storing red wine, white wine, mixed wine, or wine and beer, our reviews above offer something for everyone.
It is advisable to consider your future goals concerning wine collection when you’re shopping for coolers. If you are deciding between a larger and smaller cooler and you feel you may grow your wine collection over time, opt for the larger cooler (assuming you have the space).
Stick with any of the coolers above and you can proceed with a clear idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
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