Bottles of wine on shelf at store, closeup
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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Wine FridgeFor wine lovers, keeping your collection at the right temperature is critical to fully preserving its properties. A wine fridge will be the ideal complement to entertain your guests and enjoy all the nuances of your wine at the ideal temperature.

The following guide will introduce you to the intricacies of wine coolers, which are basically specialized refrigerators to safeguard your wine. You’ll learn about the different types of wine fridges, including models that feature different temperature zones for all your wine.

Key Facts

  • Wine fridges are technologically advanced refrigerators designed to preserve wines.
  • Various types of wine fridges are available on the market, with two main categories of products: thermoelectric or compressor-based.
  • Wine should always be kept at a suitable temperature and humidity appropriate for their preservation.
  • Key aspects to consider before buying a wine fridge include the bottle capacity of the model as well as its energy efficiency.

The best wine fridges on the Canadian market

The Canadian market has a very wide range of wine fridges on offer with a broad price range. In the following ranking, you will discover our own selection of the best wine coolers available, all of which offer excellent value.

Danby Wine Cooler, 35 Bottle

The Danby Wine Cooler is our top choice, both for the quality of this product and the reasonable price point. It is a free-standing and elegant wine cooler. It comes with a 3.2 Cubic foot-capacity which can easily handle up to 35 wine bottles. The bright led interior-light display is ideal for showmanship and making sure you can easily find the bottle you’re looking for. Your wines will always be at the proper temperature as you can set the temperature from anywhere between 6-degree c and 14-degree c.

The Danby includes a shatter-resistant tempered-glass door, to protect your collection.  Additionally, it has a convenient automatic-defrosting system and comes with five removable black wire shelves. The reversible door hinge means you can adjust the cooler to open from either the left or right-hand side. This popular wine cooler also offers in-home service on its 12-month parts and labor warranty.

Koolatron KWT10B 10 Bottle Digital Temperature Control Wine Cellar

The Koolatron KWT10B is an excellent option.  It includes a removable stainless steel wine rack that allows you to customize the cellar. Its appearance is elegant with a built-in soft lighting that makes the cellar a good looking show piece your home. The fridge comes with thermoelectric cooling and is energy efficient, silent and vibration free.

The Kooltron wine fridge is suitable for red or white wines. It comes with an easy to use exterior led glass touch temperature controls with temperature readout. The electronic temperature control makes it easy for you to keep your wines at the perfect temperature. No assembly required.

Ivation 18 Bottle Red and White wine

The Ivation Wine Cooler maintains your wine at correct and consistent temperatures as well as protecting it from exterior lights and elements. Follow the fridge specifications to maintain the ideal temperature for red and white wines.  Ivation features include efficient thermoelectric cooling with low noise and low vibrations to preserve sediment. The touch controls and LCD display are east to use.

The fridge has soft interior lighting and a smoked glass door. The materials include CFC-free polyurethane foam insulation The fridge weighs approximately 16 kilos. It is important not to store this fridge in your garage. The big temperature ranges of a garage will make the cooler run too often, shortening it’s life.

NewAir AW-281E 28 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler

The NewAir AW-281E 28 bottle thermoelectric wine cooler has a freestanding, compact design that fits in small spaces easily and requires only 4 inch of clearance on all sides. It features a large capacity design that’s fully adjustable for personalized use. It has soft illuminating LED lighting for optimal viewing and insulated, double-paned glass doors to maintain proper temperature levels. Its 6 sliding shelves make selecting wine easy.

Thermoelectric cooling technology operates quietly and is vibration free. The easy push button controls and digital thermostat maximizes temperature accuracy. The heavy duty glass door is insulated to help maintain interior temperature. The handsome black and stainless steel finish add to the overall design.

Aobosi 15 28 Bottle Wine Cooler

The Aobosi 28 Bottle Wine Cooler is a dual zone wine refrigerator with an elegant design to showcase your favorite wines. The freestanding wine has a capacity of 28 bottles. The dual cooling zones allow you to keep both red and white wines at optimal temperatures.  The Aobosi built in wine cellar also features a safety lock, to prevent cold air leaking in when the door is opened by children or others.

The fridge is digitally controlled, featuring a smart control panel. You can set the temperature for both zones with the touch of a button. The blue LED interior lighting, makes your wine collection look amazing. Additionally, the fridge features beechwood shelves that look great as well as protect wine bottles from moisture and odors. The shelves are strong enough to hold your bottles without scratches and are individually removable for maintenance.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about wine fridges

Until recently, wine coolers were exclusively designed for the wealthiest. The emergence of the Internet has broadened access to wine fridges, and you can now find models for your home at very affordable prices. In the following section, we’ll have a look at the most frequently asked questions by past users to help you make the right decision.

Woman getting bottle of wine from cooler

Woman getting bottle of wine from cooler

What is a wine fridge exactly?

Also called a wine cooler, it is a small, refrigerator designed to preserve wines at the ideal temperature. These appliances let you control humidity and isolate the wine from light sources so you can keep the properties intact.

Wine fridges also include a thermostat to regulate the temperature to the ideal level. Certain models even integrate shelves with different temperature levels to welcome both white and red wines in the same device.

Victor HugoPoet & Novelist

“God made only water, but man made wine.”

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a wine fridge at home?

These small wine coolers offer various advantages but they also have a couple of weaknesses. In the table below, we’ve listed the main benefits of have your very own wine fridge at home, as well as its potential inconveniences:

Advantages
  • They prevent bad odours by having specifically designed filters.
  • They maintain the relative humidity of the wine.
  • They protect the wine from light sources in your home, be it ultraviolet radiation or artificial light.
  • They keep the cork moist by holding the bottles horizontally.
  • They regulate the temperature of the wine according to its needs.
  • They let you optimise the storage of your wine bottles.
  • Some wine fridges allow the wine to age in the best conditions.
Disadvantages
  • They require a small investment, the most affordable costing around 150 dollars.
  • These devices need to be left on permanently, increasing your electricity bill.
  • If it contains filters, you”ll need to change them once a year.
  • Models integrated into your furniture require an installation.

Is it necessary to put wine bottles horizontally?

Yes, your bottles should never be placed in an upright position. The cork of the wine must remain moist at all times to keep the properties of the drink intact. Placing them in this position also protects your bottles from other potential problems such as light or temperature.

Dispenser and refrigerators with bottles of wine in cellar

Until recently, enjoying wine in optimal conditions was still a luxury that few could afford. (Source: Belchonock: 92270639/ 123rf.com)

What sizes and types of wine fridges are there on the market?

If you’re looking a  domestic wine fridge, you should opt for a small model, with a capacity ranging from 6 to 20 bottles.  In the table below, you’ll discover the different types of wine coolers by size, operation and design. This should help you choose the one most tailored to your needs.

By size Small Medium Large
Size Capacity ranging from 6 to 20 bottles Capacity ranging from 24 to 50 bottles Capacity of 50 bottles and up
By operation Thermoelectric Compressor-based Mixed
They cool the wine via a chip placed on one side. They use a coolant in a closed circuit. They combine both systems but are more expensive. They are designed for professional use.
By design Counter-top Built-in Wall-mounted
Domestic or counter-top wine fridges are small and ideal to preserve your bottles at the same temperature. They are generally slotted into a space in your living room or kitchen to naturally blend in with your home decor. They can be compressor-based or thermoelectric, but their ventilation needs to be located in the front end. These models are like cabinets used to exhibit your wines. They take up a lot of space and are commonly found in places designed for wine tasting.
By temperature Single temperature Multi-temperature
Single temperature wine cabinets keep all bottles at the same temperature. These models features different zones for each temperature, ideal for preserving both red and white wine.

Are thermoelectric or compressor-based models better?

Thermoelectric wine fridges are your best option if you want to keep your red wines at an even temperature. This is because these appliances tend to have set temperatures.  There are other factors to take into account when choosing a wine cooler for your home. You can find out the main advantages and disadvantages of each option in the following table:

Type Price Functions Temperature
Thermoelectric wine fridges They are generally small and affordable. They are more specifically tailored for red wines, improving their quality. They may overheat if they do have a space to ventilate at the back. They are silent. The temperature ranges from 12 to 18 degrees. They do not require refrigerant gas.
Type Price Functions Temperature
Compressor-based wine fridges They are more expensive as they require greater power and feature a larger storage capacity. They maintain and preserve all types of wines due to their greater range of temperatures. Their refrigerant gas circulates in a closed circuit. They can make noise and produce vibrations like traditional refrigerators. They are precise and usually feature a thermostat. Unlike thermoelectric models, the external temperature has no influence as there is no direct dependence.

What is the ideal humidity level for a wine cellar?

You should maintain the humidity between 65°C and 70°C. A lower humidity level may lead to the corks of the bottles drying out and the liquid deteriorating. If the humidity level is too high, on the other hand, mold may appear and the labels will dry out.

It is recommended to always choose 75°C over 60°C if you have to. Finally, you are encouraged to purchase a hygrometer to assess the relative humidity in the event that your wine fridge doesn’t count with a humidity sensor. This will facilitate your use of your new appliance.

Young woman in the wine cella

Remember to follow the basic rules in order for your wine to remain intact. (Source: Goran Bogicevic: 49275506/ 123rf.com)

Where should I place my wine fridge?

You should strategically pick the place where you’ll set your wine cooler so that temperature changes do not affect your bottles. Remember to follow the basic rules in order to keep your wine intact. Below are several important points to keep in mind:

  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight: It is essential to keep your bottles away from the sun, as well as high temperatures. This would irreversibly affect the wine’s properties.
  • Do not place it next to other appliances: In particularly those that produce vibrations, such as refrigerators. This could generate overheating and waste more energy.
  • Avoid placing it in bedrooms: While the manufacturer may promise that your wine cooler doesn’t make any noise, there is always a little bit. This can be annoying when you’re trying to sleep.
  • Well ventilated rooms away from the heat: Wine fridges are best placed in ventilated rooms, which should never exceed 30 degrees.

What is the best temperature for a single temperature wine fridge?

Bottles placed in single temperature wine coolers should be kept within a range of 12 to 15ºC.  Multi-temperature wine fridges are ideal to accommodate white, rosé and red wine.

Latin Proverb

In vino veritas (In wine lies the truth).”

What care does my wine fridge require?

You need to regularly clean your wine cooler. In the list below, we introduce you to several guidelines to increase the life of your appliance.

  • Ventilation space: Make sure to give a space of at least twenty centimeters between the wine fridge and the wall to provide enough ventilation.
  • Location: We mentioned this point earlier already – focus on dark cool areas.
  • Filter: If your appliance has a carbon filter, it needs to be regularly checked and changed once a year.
  • Unplugging for cleaning: Make sure to disconnect your wine fridge and remove its shelves before cleaning it.
  • Water, mild soap and baking soda for the interior: In a container, mix water, mild soap and two spoonfuls of baking soda per liter of water. Use this to clean the interior of your wine fridge.
  • Water and detergent for the exterior: When cleaning the shelves and exterior of your wine cooler, use a blend of water and mild detergent to wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Removing the water from the evaporation tray: Compressor-based wine fridges feature a tray that collects defrost water. Wipe and clean with a damp cloth, before drying with a wrung cloth.

Shopping Criteria

You should already know a great deal about the key aspects of wine fridges by now. That being said, there are still a series of essential criteria that you’ll need to consider when the time comes to buy the perfect model for your home. In the following section, we have a look at these factors to help you make an informed decision:

Wine bottles on wooden background

Make sure that your wine is always stored horizontally so that the cork is always in contact with the wine. (Source: Victor69: 49101159/ 123rf.com)

Type of wine

Remember that single temperature wine fridges will do just fine if you only plan on keeping only red wine bottles. However, you will need a multi-temperature model if you also want to keep white wines as well. While these wine coolers may be slightly less affordable, you’ll be thankful for your decision in the long run as these appliances tend to have a greater useful life.

Make sure that your wine is always stored horizontally so that the cork is always in contact with the wine. (Source: Victor69: 49101159/ 123rf.com)

Capacity

Consider how many bottles you want to store before choosing a model. If you simply want to store a selection of wines to entertain your guests, a small wine cooler should suffice. You’ll want to buy a larger model if you’re a true wine lover and want to build a large collection.

Galileo GalileiItalian Philosopher, Engineer & Astronomer

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”

Energy efficiency

Your wine cooler will be using energy continuously. Make sure that your wine cooler has an energy efficiency between A and B. Otherwise, you may face expensive electricity bills.

Thermoelectric or compressor-based

We have already discussed the main differences between these two types of wine fridges. Caterers generally use the latter models, as they are suitable for all types of wine and are efficient even in the hottest of places. These wine coolers are slightly more expensive, although you can now find some with more affordable prices.

Sommelier examining wine. Cropped image of confident male sommelier examining wine while smelling it and leaning at the wooden table with wine shelf in the background

Storing your bottles in a wine fridge will keep your wine intact and in good condition. (Source: Gstockstudio: 36586758/123rf.com)

Reviews and ratings

It is always recommend to have a look at ratings of the products that interest you. Reading user comments will also help you make your decision. They may discuss interesting technical aspects that you were not aware of regarding the model you want to buy.

Summary

Wine fridges are ideal to preserve wine. If you are passionate about wine and have never had your own wine cooler at home, now is the time. You can find very affordable models and will surprise your guests with your knowledge.

Until recently, few could afford the luxury of drinking their wine in just the right conditions. Now, you no longer need to be a great wine producer or go to a specific place to taste perfectly stored wine. All you need is your own wine fridge, and you’ll always have your favorite wines on hand.

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(Source of featured image: Belchonock: 92271543/ 123rf.com)

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