A refrigerator is a major investment no matter how complex or how simple of a unit you purchase. For one, refrigerators are not cheap. On the low end, a refrigerator can run anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to a thousand dollars.
Cost aside, a refrigerator is one of those investments that most people keep for years—as in, 15 to 20 years. If it's your goal to keep your refrigerator for a good portion of your life, you want to make sure you purchase a quality unit.
For many people, this may mean spending slightly more than what they had budgeted, but it's typically worth the extra spend when a single unit is there for both the birth of a child and the high-school graduation of that same child.
For the most part, refrigerators are a necessity. However, there are some refrigerators that are not so much a necessity as they are a luxury. Wine refrigerators fall into that latter category.
Wine Refrigerators: An Unnecessary Necessity
Typically, people only invest in wine refrigerators when they have all of life's major, necessary purchases out of the way.
They own a home, a double door refrigerator from Samsung, a slide-in electric range with self-cleaning capabilities from GE and an over-the-range, low-profile microwave from Whirlpool.
Now they have a bit of money to invest in some of the finer things in life, such as a Delonghi wine cooler.
FAQs Regarding Wine Coolers
For most people, the most pressing question regarding wine coolers is, "Why invest in one?" The answer to that question isn't as simple as, "To keep your wine cold."
Wine fridges are not for everyone, but if you're constantly running out of space in your refrigerator for milk, cheese and condiments because your wine collection takes up the majority of your shelf space, of if your counterspace is being eaten up by wine racks, it may be time to consider a simpler, more sophisticated option: the wine cooler.
Below are just a few FAQs regarding wine coolers and how to purchase one.
1. Why Do I Need a Wine Fridge?
Space aside, a wine fridge can help you store your vinos at an optimal temperature and aid in the aging process.
In short, a wine cooler will keep your wines drinkable for a much longer period of time and, in many cases, even improve the taste of your wines.
2. Why Can't I Just Store My Wine in My Regular Fridge?
A standard refrigerator is designed to remove humidity from the air while a wine cooler is designed to maintain a certain level of moisture.
Humidity keeps corks wet and therefore slows down the aging process.
3. How Big of a Wine Fridge Should I Buy?
This really depends on how many bottles you plan on storing at any given period of time. Delonghi offers options for 22, 54, 155 and 166 bottles.
However, other manufacturers sell wine coolers that store hundreds of bottles at any given time.
That said, if you have hundreds of bottles, you may want to invest in a wine cellar over a wine cooler—especially if you plan to keep collecting and not drinking.
4. Do I Need a Wine Fridge With Dual Zones?
Some wine fridges allow for wine connoisseurs to keep wines within their coolers at different temperatures. This is possible due to zoning within the unit.
Some of the best dual zone units allow for a full range of temperatures within the unit, allowing users to set the temperature from 45 to 65 degrees in one section, 55 to 65 in another section and 40 to 55 in yet another compartment.
Typically, dual zone fridges are best for those who store both whites and reds. However, dual zone capabilities come at a cost, and if your budget doesn't allow for a range in temperatures, you can always store your whites at the bottom, where temperatures are lowest.
5. How Much Can I Expect To Pay for a Wine Cooler?
Like standard, household refrigerators, wine coolers range significantly in price and can cost anywhere from $250 to $2,300.
Price is affected by design, capabilities, storage capacity and, of course, brand name.
6. What Factors Should I Consider When Buying a Wine Fridge?
When it comes to shopping for a wine cooler, keep your needs, budget and space in mind. If you know these three things, everything else will fall into place.
How We Reviewed the Products Featured in This Guide
Before creating this article, we performed an in-depth review of the various makes and models of this particular product. Our review process consisted of reading through countless customer testimonies, reviewing product specs and capabilities, evaluating product data and appraising brand reputation.
We used each of these factors to come up with our overall ratings. Our goal is to help you and other wine connoisseurs select the best wine fridge for your needs and budget.
We do not have loyalty to any one particular manufacturer, nor do we receive any royalties from any brands featured in this list.
Overall Price Range of Wine Coolers
As mentioned above, wine coolers have a huge price range and can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand grand.
As with most things in life, the more expensive the cooler, the more things it can do for you. For instance, the cheapest model on the market is even less than $250.
The Koldfront TWR181ES is 14 inches wide and holds just 18 bottles. Though this is not the ideal fridge for an actual wine connoisseur, it is perfect for that person who likes to hold weekend get-togethers in which a good amount of wine is consumed on a regular basis.
This product features an upper zone and a lower zone, which can be set to anywhere between 45 and 54 degrees in the upper zone and 54 to 64 degrees in the lower zone.
It is quiet and vibration-free, features automatic defrost, has four removable shelves and features an LED backlit display.
It comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty for parts and a 90-day warranty for labor.
The Delonghi DEWC155D is the most expensive option on the market. Then again, it has a storage capacity of up to 155 bottles, ideal for someone who wishes to hold on to bottles for long periods of time.
It features electronic temperature control, dual zones, a stainless steel beveled door frame and adjustable door hinges for reversing the door depending on location within the home.
The door locks, ensuring that no child can break in and destroy a vintage wine collection. It also features an LCD display and control panel.
This fridge has telescopic shelves with ball bearing runners, internal blue LED lighting and a triple glazed, UV tinted tempered glass door. It also creates constant air circulation and has a front venting system and an active carbon filter.
You can set and maintain humidity levels at anywhere between 55 and 75 percent. The legs, which boast of vibration absorption pads, can be adjusted up or down to a custom height. It comes with a three-year warranty for both labor and parts.
Top 5 Models
As mentioned above, this is the priciest wine cooler on the market, but it is also one of the most comprehensive.
It is ideal for the true wine connoisseur who has an extensive collection but who is not quite at "wine cellar collector" status.
This unit features all of the same features as the above Delonghi model. The only two differences are storage capacity and price.
This particular model stores 54 bottles, making it a perfect solution for someone who dabbles in wine but who has not quite reached connoisseur status.
This fridge can hold 166 bottles on flat shelves, is 24 inches wide and looks sleek when installed flesh with the cabinets.
Morvan Built-In Dual Zone 40-Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler
This cooler is ideal for the occasional wine collector and frequent party-thrower. It has the capacity to cool up to 40 bottles at a time in two separate zones.
Temperatures can be controlled via the integrated touchpad, which is set into the stainless-steel doors. This option is particularly attractive because of its double-door front with sleek handlebars. Ten beechwood shelves lie within.
Ultimately, how serious of a collector you are will determine what type of wine cooler you get and from which manufacturer. Delonghi is definitely an industry leader, with more quality, durable and comprehensive options.
However, Delonghi wine coolers are designed with the avid connoisseur in mind, which is evident by the prices of its products.
If you just collect wine for fun or like to stock up on bottles well in advance of when you actually plan to drink them, you may be satisfied with a cheaper option, such as the Morvan 40-bottle cooler.
Whatever option you chose from those featured on this list, however, you can count on gaining a quality cooler that will keep your wine fresh for years to come.