Key facts about wine fridge:
- Designed to keep your wines in ideal conditions for long-term storage, wine fridges ensure that the taste and value of your collection are preserved.
- Whether you're a wine connoisseur or simply someone who appreciates a nice glass of wine at the end of the day, a wine fridge could be a useful investment.
Compare some of the best wine fridges
Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Why buy a wine fridge?
Why bother spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a wine fridge when you've got an ordinary fridge that works just fine? One reason might be that you don't have enough space for all those bottles in the family fridge, but there's a much more important point to be aware of: your kitchen fridge is set to the wrong temperature.
Red and white wine need to be stored between 12℃ and 18℃. Wine fridges, which are also known as wine coolers and wine cabinets, will maintain a steady temperature in this all-important zone. They also maintain humidity at around 70% (to keep corks in place and stop air penetrating the bottle) and protect your bottles from UV rays.
In a perfect world, you'd probably have a cavernous walk-in wine cellar stocked with hundreds of bottles. In real life, a wine fridge offers a practical compromise, providing optimum storage conditions for your wine collection but without taking up too much space.
Why shouldn't I buy a wine fridge?
Are you only an occasional wine drinker? Are you happy enough shopping for bottles from the bargain bin rather than buying expensive drops and then ageing them to perfection? If so, a wine fridge will simply be a waste of money and space.
Like a lot of other appliances, a wine fridge is something we may want, but that few of us actually need. They take up precious space, they can be expensive and they're often energy intensive. If you're not a bona-fide wine enthusiast, or if you simply don't have enough room in your home, you're better off saving your money.
What types are available?
When buying a wine fridge, you'll need to compare fridges from the following:
- Specialist wine cooler manufacturers, such as Vintec
- Refrigeration specialists, such as Liebherr and Husky
- General appliance manufacturers, such as Hisense and DeLonghi
One way to distinguish between the many products available is to take a look at their bottle capacity. The smallest countertop models hold just 6 or 12 bottles, while fridges at the other end of the spectrum can store more than 200. The quoted bottle capacity for a wine fridge is calculated using the size and shape of a 750mL Bordeaux bottle.
Consider the size of your current collection and how much it's likely to grow in the coming months and years. Do you just want somewhere to store a couple of dozen special bottles, or are you a serious connoisseur with a sizable collection on your hands? Also consider whether you'll be able to easily store oddly-shaped bottles of sparkling, Burgundy or even magnums.
If you're looking to build a bigger wine collection, check out our guide to where to buy alcohol online or where to buy Penfolds online.
How to compare wine fridges
Not all wine fridges are created equal. Prices range anywhere from $150 for small, entry-level options right up to more than $5,000 for state-of-the-art coolers capable of holding more than 200 bottles. How much you pay will depend on the size of the fridge, the number of temperature zones you want, and whether you require advanced or basic features. Of course, the quality and value of the wine you want to store will also play a part.
Here are the key factors you need to consider when comparing your options:
Which wine fridge is best for me?
The perfect wine fridge for you depends on the type of wine you want to store, the space available in your home and your budget.
Once you know the key features you need and a rough price limit, you can start shopping around for a suitable fridge. To help make the buying process easier, we've compared the pros and cons of five popular fridges in the table below:
- 2 cooling zones
- Adjustable shelving and digital temperature display
- Not cheap
- Noticeable motor noise
|Liebherr WKb 4611|
- Huge capacity
- Reliable and user-friendly
- May be too large for some homes
|Magic Chef MCWC12B|
- Simple design and good performance
- Only holds 12 bottles
- No safety lock
- Stylish design
- Easy to use and can be adjusted to suit your needs
- A little noisy
- No temperature indicator
- 2 cooling zones
- Touch-control operation