You don’t need to have a priceless collection of rare wines to appreciate a wine fridge. These days, wine fridges (or wine coolers, as they’re often referred to) come in all shapes and sizes and are designed not only to store your reds, whites and roses at optimal temperatures, but to protect them from light, vibrations and humidity.
Features such as UV-resistant glass, ultra-quiet compressors and dual temperature zones will all help to keep your vino in tip-top condition. However, this doesn’t mean that a decent wine fridge will cost a fortune. Although built-in and integrated models tend to be more expensive than freestanding ones (we’ll explain why shortly), advances in tech have generally made wine fridges much more affordable.
The first decision you’ll have to make is which type of wine fridge you’re after, and we roped in Elite Fridges’ Cherry Yung to give us the lowdown on the three main types.
“Freestanding units are very similar to normal fridge freezers, which require ventilation space around them,” says Cherry. “They come in various sizes from around 16-bottle capacity right up to 294, so can be used for pre-serving or long-term storage of wine.”
“Built-in wine coolers are designed to be installed under a counter top with kitchen cabinets wrapped around them,” says Cherry. “They are front-venting and have their own built-in ventilation system which allows them to breathe with kitchen cabinets around them. They are a great design feature, come in a range of sizes and are primarily designed for the maintenance of serving temperatures.”
“Integrated wine coolers are designed to be installed into a tower unit, so they will be off the floor, at eye level,” says Cherry. “They come in various sizes but will have similar depths, to match standard kitchen units.”
Shop the best wine fridges here
Swisscave 39 Bottle Single Temperature Zone Wine Cooler
Bottle capacity: 39
Swiss Cave’s wine coolers look a little different to most, and that’s why we love them. This particular single-zone option, which holds up to 39 bottles and is freestanding, is a great example – it’s less boxy and more curvaceous than most wine fridges, and comes in a wide range of colours (the cherry-red hue is our favourite). The telescopic shelves put your favourite tipples within easy reach, and the combination of an active charcoal filter, UV-protected glass and low-vibration compressor ensures that your wine stays in top condition.
CDA FWC153SS 15cm Wide Wine Cooler
Bottle capacity: seven
Style: freestanding/under counter
This totem pole-like wine fridge, which will hold seven standard-sized bottles of wine, is ideal for smaller houses and apartments. But don’t make the mistake of thinking its petite size means sacrifices when it comes to functionality – it’s extremely quiet and has all the features needed to keep your wine in great condition, including a UV-protecting, smoked glass door to provide light protection, and a handy memory function which allows it to maintain optimal temperature conditions.
Russell Hobbs RH8WC1 Wine Cooler
Bottle capacity: eight
Proof that the best things really do come in small packages, the Russell Hobbs RH8WC1 Wine Cooler will store eight bottles of wine, and has a temperature range of between eight and 18 degrees. Although other wine fridges have larger temperature ranges, this is a fridge designed to store bottles prior to serving, and it does that perfectly well. The LED display is incredibly easy to read, and the fridge’s interior light does a fantastic job of lighting the entire fridge.
Candy CCVB 15 UK Wine Cooler
Bottle capacity: seven
Candy’s freestanding wine fridge holds seven bottles of wine, and its six adjustable shelves make it easy to accommodate bottles all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re chilling seven bottles of Merlot or four magnums of champagne, this may be the cooler for you. Features include UV-protecting glass and anti-vibration technology, as well as adjustable feet which can alter the height of the fridge – an incredibly useful option for those with limited space.
Sub-Zero ICBIW-30R Wine Storage with Refrigerated Drawers
Bottle capacity: 86
Sub-Zero Wolf are known for taking the art of customisation to a whole new level. Fancy a wine cooler with a bespoke humidor, pre-printed inventory tiles or a separate dessert wine rack? No problem. Even without the add-ons, this is the perfect wine fridge for grape geeks everywhere. The fridge’s microprocessor control maintains even temperatures to within 0.5ºC of your pre-set temperatures (there are three separate temperature zones), while dual evaporators moderates the humidity required to prevent premature ageing. The combination of an ultra-quiet compressor and the smoothest-sliding drawers we’ve come across prevent the vibrations which can damage delicate wines such as Pinot Grigios.
Hoover HWCB 30 UK Single Zone Built In Wine Cooler
Bottle capacity: 19
Style: freestanding or built-in
You don’t have to have a cavernous wine cellar to make use of a wine cooler, and this is a brilliant, budget-friendly option for chilling relatively small quantities of wine in a single temperature zone. You’ll fit 19 bottles in Hoover’s wine fridge, and an ultra-bright LED display makes it easy to check on their chill levels.
Russell Hobbs 12 Bottle Lockable Wine Cooler
Bottle capacity: 12
Being short on space shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy perfectly-chilled wine, proof of which is Russell Hobbs’ newest wine fridge. It also prompted us to wonder why more wine fridges don’t come with a lock – there can’t be many of us who didn’t raid our parents’ drinks cabinet at one point or another, after all. It’s extremely quiet (producing just 40 dB) and although there’s just one temperature zone, the range (between 5-18°C) is more than sufficient. We also loved its versatility - there’s a traditional curved wine rack at the top, above a flat rack, and the roomier bottom section is perfect for storing larger bottles, such as magnums of champagne. Dreamy.
LG Wine Cellar LSR200W
Bottle capacity: 65
You’ll fit 65 bottles of wine in this all-singing, all-dancing, three-zone wine fridge (or cellar, to use its proper name). Our favourite feature? Knock twice on the glass and the interior will illuminate, allowing you to stock check your stash without letting in any warm air. We also love the sensor under the door. Juggling multiple bottles of priceless plonk? Avoid a disaster by activating the sensor with your foot, and the door will automatically open. And then there’s LG’s legendary Optimal Preservation Technology, which keeps your wine in top condition by reducing vibrations and locks in humidity.
Dunavox Integrated Dual Zone Wine Fridge
Bottle capacity: 25
The fact that this integrated, 25-bottle wine cooler comes with a choice of white, orange or blue internal LED lighting and a funky blue temperature display won’t improve your wine’s aroma or enhance its taste, but it will turn it into the star of the show. We loved how the beech shelves in this dual-zone cooler can be easily removed to make room for larger bottles. We were impressed by its environmental credentials, too – it’s rated A for energy efficiency, and will only use 140kWh/annum.
Teca Vino Built in Wine Wall
Bottle capacity: 120
Do you ever look at the art-like displays of wine in posh restaurants or bars and dream of creating something similar at home? Look no further than Teca Vino’s Built in Wine Wall, which will hold up to 120 bottles. It’s a fridge with plenty of bells and whistles, including an automatic evaporation system to ensure optimum correct storage conditions, UV-treated glass doors to prevent light-related damage, and hi-tech fans which reduce temperature fluctuations by distributing the air more evenly.
Also available at Elite Fridges
Swisscave’s 39 Bottle Single Temperature Zone Wine Cooler is a hi-tech compact wine fridge packed with tech which will keep your wines in top-notch condition - from the charcoal filter, to the so-called winter system that means you can place the unit in colder areas such as basements without risking damage to your wines. We also love CDA’s FWC153SS 15cm Wide Wine Cooler, which is a fantastic example of a wallet-friendly wine cooler which looks stylish and will still do a great job of caring for your wines. Finally, if you’ve got cash to splash, the Sub-Zero ICBIW-30R Wine Storage with Refrigerated Drawers is truly worthy of your wine. It’s a brilliantly hi-tech wine fridge which has three separate wine zones and makes maintaining a varied selection of wines a breeze.