Best Undercounter Wine Coolers: Reviews & Buying Guide

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under counter wine cooler

Shopping for an Undercounter Wine Cooler?

You’ve come to the right place.

Undercounter wine coolers, also called built-in wine coolers, provide a temperature and humidity-controlled place to store and age wine without degrading its taste, aroma, and quality.

Who Needs an Undercounter Wine Cooler?

If you only buy a bottle of wine occasionally, you can store it in your regular kitchen fridge for a few days.

But if you like having a few bottles of wine in your home all the time, then you need a wine cooler.

Your kitchen fridge is terrible for wine. It’s too cold, has vibrations that can degrade the wine, and you risk the wine picking up odors from foods in the refrigerator.

If you are a wine collector, a proper wine cooler or refrigerator is even more important for the safe long-term storage of wine.

A wine cooler maintains a precise temperature and humidity range and is designed to minimize vibrations from the compressor.

If aesthetics matter to you, a dedicated wine refrigerator also looks pretty cool.

We especially love undercounter/built-in wine coolers. They are sleek, take up minimal space in the kitchen or bar, and blend really well into the room.


What’s in This Buying Guide?

In this 15-minute buying guide, we recommend the best under-counter wine coolers/refrigerators for different types of needs and situations.

We also explain how wine coolers work, and how to choose the best one for your home.

If you prefer a standalone/freestanding wine cooler, see our reviews of the best standalone wine coolers (NOTE: some of our top picks below also work great as free-standing coolers).


Best Undercounter Wine Coolers

  1. Best Overall: Kalamera 15″ 30 Bottle
  2. Best Budget: SMETA 19 Bottles
  3. Best Dual Temperature Zones: Smith & Hanks 32 Bottle
  4. Best 12” Wine Cooler: MOOSOO 18 Bottle
  5. Best for Small Spaces: EdgeStar CWR70SZ 6-Inch 7 Bottle
  6. Best Large Capacity: Colzer Premium 24-Inch 51 Bottle
  7. Best for Bars and Restaurants: Whynter BWR-1662SD 166 Bottle
  8. Best 2-in-1: Phiestina Wine and Beverage Refrigerator
Undercounter Wine CoolersBest ForCapacity SizeCooling rangeZoneLockableWarranty
Kalamera
built in wine cooler

link goes to Amazon

Best overall30 bottles14.9W x 33.9H x 24.2D in40-66FSingle zoneYes1yr
SMETA
undercounter wine refrigerator

link goes to Amazon

Best budget19 bottles17.1W x 25.6H x 18.7D in39.2-64.4FSingle zoneNo1yr
Smith & Hanks
under counter wine cooler

link goes to Amazon

Best dual zone32 bottles15”W x 34”H x 23”D41-54F/46-66FDual zoneYes1yr warranty/3yrs on compressor
MOOSOO
under counter wine cooler
Best 12”18 bottles11.6”W x 34.3”H x 22.6”D41-71.6FSingle zoneYes2yr
EdgeStar CWR70SZ
best built in wine cooler

link goes to Amazon

Best slim7 bottles5.9”W x 34.4”H x 18.6”D40-65FSingle zoneNo1yr
Colzer Premium
best wine fridge under counter

link goes to Amazon

Best large capacity51 bottles23.4”W x 34”H x 22.6”D41-78FSingle zoneYes1yr warranty/3yrs on compressor
Whynter BWR-1662SD
under counter wine fridge

link goes to Amazon

Best for bars & restaurants166 bottles23.5”W x 69”H x 28.5”D40-65FSingle zoneYes1yr
Phiestina
under counter wine fridge

link goes to Amazon

Best 2-in-1 for wine & beverages30 bottles/100 cans30.5”W x 33.9”H x 22.4”D40-66F/38-50FDual zoneYes1yr

1. Best Overall: Kalamera 15″ 30 Bottle

built in wine cooler

The Kalamera 30-bottle built-in wine cooler is the best choice for most homes. It holds enough bottles of wine to meet the needs of both casual wine enthusiasts as well as serious collectors, and its slim design fits easily in most kitchens.

Pros

  • Adequate capacity for most homes.
  • Slim design.
  • Wide temperature range to suit your storage needs.
  • Beautiful interior & exterior.
  • Easy to use control panel.
  • Lockable door and carbon filter.

Cons

  • Single zone temperature control.

Our Review
best under counter wine cooler

Cooling Performance

Similar to other wine fridges, the Kalamera wine cooler does not go down into the 30s. Its temperature range is 40 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit, which is adequate for wines.

Interior fans distribute cool air throughout the cooler, ensuring all bottles stay at a constant temperature and humidity.

A tempered double-layer glass door provides insulation and keeps harmful UV radiation out of the cooler.

Though this is not connected to cooling performance, the Kalamera wine fridge also comes with a built-in carbon filter that prevents exterior odors from contaminating your wine.

Capacity & Build Quality

As mentioned, the Kalamera wine cooler holds 30 standard-size (750ml) bottles of wine. This is plenty for most households.

But if you want something bigger, Kalamera has 45 and 46 bottle dual zone coolers as well.

You can rearrange the shelves to organize the cooler to your needs. For instance, you can remove some shelves to fit large bottles of Champagne or some other wine.

The cooler is well-built and looks great. The double-layer glass door has a stainless-steel frameand is lockable (great if you have kids or teens in the house).

We love the wooden shelves, and the interior blue LED lighting. They transform the cooler into a cool wine display.

Installation

One advantage of getting the 30-bottle Kalamera wine cooler is that it’s the perfect size for most kitchens.

Unlike the 24” wide larger capacity coolers, this one is just 15” wide. It’ll fit perfectly in a narrow under counter space.

You can also use it as a freestanding wine cooler.

The digital controls are easy to use. A couple of buttons let you adjust the temperature up or down, another switch to temperature display between C and F, and another turns the interior light on and off.

Issues and Limitations

If you are looking for a wine cooler with two temperature zones, this is not it. It’s a single zone cooler, meaning you have to keep all your wine at the same temperature.

However, we have a dual zone recommendation further below, and Kalamera’s 45 and 46 bottle coolers are dual zone.

Bottom Line

The Kalamera 15” wine cooler is a great choice if you are looking for a single-zone cooler that looks great, is well-built, and has a large capacity.


2. Best Budget: SMETA 19 Bottles

undercounter wine refrigerator

Shopping on a budget? We recommend the SMETA 19 bottle wine cooler. It is designed primarily for freestanding installation (hence the low price), but also works as an undercounter cooler as long as you leave a 5” clearance at the back and sides.

Pros

  • Low price.
  • Decent capacity for most families.
  • Wide cooling range.
  • Easy to use digital controls.
  • Beautiful style.

Cons

  • Not suitable for those looking for a large capacity wine cooler.
  • Requires a wide under counter space because of clearance requirements.

Our Review

wine cooler cabinet

Cooling Performance

SMETA’s cooling range is between 39.2F and 64.4F, wide enough to suit the chilling requirements of any type of wine.

It has an easy-to-use digital thermostat, so you simply press a button to set a precise temperature. Customers who’ve measured interior temperature with a thermometer say it actually maintains the set temperature from top to bottom.

The compressor is a bit noisy compared to other wine coolers, though it’s quieter if you install it under the counter instead of freestanding.

Capacity & Build Quality

The 19-bottle capacity is plenty for most families. You can move the removable shelves around to store wine bottles however you want, or to fit larger bottles.

Build warranty seems pretty good. The metal wire racks are sturdy and don’t bend or bow when you store wine on them.

The glass door is see-through, though the manufacturer doesn’t specify whether it is double-paned (for insulation) or UV-blocking.

The cooler comes with a soft interior LED light that you can turn off on the control panel.

Installation

As we mentioned, the SMETA wine fridge is primarily designed for freestanding installation. But you can still install it under the counter as long you leave a 5” clearance on the back and sides.

It won’t be the cleanest of installations, but it’ll work if you really need an undercounter cooler.

For installation purposes, the cooler measures 17.1W x 18.7D x 25.6H inches. Add the required clearance to determine how much undercounter space you need.

Note that the cooler doesn’t have a lockable door.

Issues and Limitations

If you are looking for a large capacity wine cooler that can hold 30 bottles or more of wine, this is not it. SMETA has a bigger 33-bottle option, but it is strictly freestanding only.

This is also not the right cooler if you want dual zone cooling.

Another issue with the SMETA 19 bottle wine cooler is installation. While it’s compact, the 5” clearance requirements mean it needs a wide under counter space.

Adding 5” for each side (10” total), the recommended under counter width is 28.7”. That’s wider than the space of the 51-bottle Colzer Premium cooler below needs.

So, unless it’s the low price of the SMETA cooler you are after, a proper undercounter cooler with front venting is a better choice. It’ll take up less space, and will fit cleanly under the counter without leaving any clearance gaps.

Bottom Line

If you have the undercounter space and don’t mind side gaps, the SMETA 19 bottle wine cooler is the most affordable undercounter wine fridge.


3. Best Dual Temperature Zones: Smith & Hanks 32 Bottle

under counter wine cooler

If you have different types of wine that store under different temperatures, a dual zone wine cooler is the best choice. We recommend the Smith & Hanks 32 bottle undercounter wine cooler.

It comes with two separate zones, complete with individual temperature controls for each.

The best part is that it costs about as much as a single zone wine cooler of a similar capacity. So, you don’t have to spend extra to enjoy dual temperature zones.

Pros

  • Dual zone temperature control.
  • Good value for money.
  • Large capacity.
  • Narrow 15” installation.

Cons

  • A bit noisy.

Our Review

Cooling Performance

The two zones have different cooling ranges. The upper one cools between 41 and 54F. This cooler temperature zone is suitable for sparkling wine and light dry white wines.

The lower zone cools between 46 and 66F, making it ideal for full-bodied white and red wines.

Each zone has its own digital temperature control panel, letting you set a precise temperature in each zone.

The control panels also feature an on/off button, and a light button to turn the interior lighting on/off. There’s also a setting to switch between F and C temperature units.

An air circulating fan and a double pane insulated glass door prevents temperature fluctuations.

The Smith & Hanks cooler has auto-defrost, so you don’t need to worry about removing ice buildup.

Capacity & Build Quality

The overall capacity of the Smith & Hanks wine fridge is 32 standard-size wine bottles. If you are only storing champagne bottles, capacity drops to 23 bottles.

The upper zone is smaller; it has just two shelves. The lower zone has four shelves. You can remove and adjust the shelves to accommodate different bottle sizes and storage configurations.

Build quality is excellent. The metal shelves with wood accents not only look great; they are strong, too. The glass door (stainless steel frame) is double paned for insulation and has a UV-blocking coating. It’s also lockable.

The Smith & Hanks cooler has a dedicated vibration-reducing system to ensure your wines age properly.

For peace of mind regarding reliability and durability, the manufacturer offers a 1-year general warranty and a 3-year compressor warranty.

Installation

The Smith & Hanks dual zone wine cooler has front venting, so you don’t need any side or rear clearance. The 15” wide cooler fits perfectly in compact undercounter spaces.

To suit your specific installation needs, the door is reversible.

Issues and Limitations

Some customers complain that the Smith & Hanks wine cooler is noisier than they expected. That could be because the compressor works harder to control the temperature of two separate zones.

However, only customers who installed the cooler freestanding have an issue with the noise level. Install it under the counter and it’s practically silent.

Bottom Line

The Smith & Hanks wine cooler is a great choice if you are looking for a large capacity wine fridge with two temperature control zones.


4. Best 12” Wine Cooler: MOOSOO 18 Bottle

wine cooler cabinet

See Price on imoosoo.com

The widest undercounter wine coolers are usually 24”, while compact ones are 15”. If 15” is still not narrow enough for the space available, the 12” MOOSOO 18 bottle wine cooler may be a better fit.

You have to give up significant capacity for the narrower fit, but 18 bottles are still plenty enough for most families.

Pros

  • Compact 12” wide fit – great for small kitchens.
  • Decent capacity.
  • Vibration-reducing and UV-blocking glass door.
  • Temperature memory.

Cons

  • Reduced capacity compared to 15” and wider coolers.

Our Review

wine cooler cabinet

Cooling Performance

The MOOSOO 18 bottle wine cooler has one of the widest temperature ranges we’ve seen in a wine fridge. It can chill wine to between 41F and 71.6F.

This gives you the versatility to set the exact temperature that suits the type of wine you want to keep in the cooler.

But keep in mind that you are limited by the cooler’s single zone design. So, unless you have the same wine variety (e.g. dry whites, or full-bodied reds), you have to select a nice compromise temperature that will suit different wines.

The digital temperature controls are easy to use, and you can even switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Capacity & Build Quality

The 18-bottle capacity is lower than what you get with a cooler that’s 3-inches wider. But it should still be adequate for most families and wine lovers.

You place bottles on the all-wood beechwood racks. There are six racks, but you can remove and reorganize them to fit bigger bottles or store some bottles upright.

The glass door has a stainless-steel frame and is double paned to protect the wine against vibration, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations.

A built-in carbon filter keeps out odors that may contaminate the wine.

Installation

The MOOSOO wine cooler needs a 12” wide under counter space. It doesn’t need any side clearances, so it should fit cleanly into the space.

The cooler’s height is 34.3” and depth is 22.6”,

Bottom Line

If you don’t have space for a 15” wine cooler, the MOOSOO 12” is a great alternative as long as you don’t mind losing about a dozen wine bottles worth of storage capacity.

5. Best for Small Spaces: EdgeStar CWR70SZ 6-Inch 7 Bottle

best built in wine cooler

12” still too wide for your kitchen? How about this extra-slim 6” EdgeStar wine cooler. It’s designed to fit into compact undercounter spaces. It’s perfect for small kitchens, apartments, RVs, boats, and tiny homes.

The only downside is that it holds only 7 bottles of wine.

Pros

  • Slim Fit installation.
  • Looks pretty cool.
  • Wide temperature range.
  • Easy temperature control.

Cons

  • Small capacity.
  • Pricey, considering the capacity.

Our Review

best undercounter wine coolers

Cooling Performance

The EdgeStar CWR70SZ cooler can keep your wine anywhere between 40 and 65F. Thanks to the smaller interior, it’s more efficient and cools faster than bigger coolers. It also has no trouble maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the inside.

Controls are digital, so you can set a precise temperature. There’s also a button to turn the interior LED lamp on or off.

Capacity & Build Quality

If you are the kind of wine lover who keeps only a few bottles of wine around, the EdgeStar CWR70SZ cooler is perfect for you.

It holds 7 bottles of wine in a single neat column. The full capacity works only with standard-size bottles, but you can remove shelves to fit fewer larger bottles.

Build quality is really good. The EdgeStar CWR70SZ is essentially a miniature wine fridge, with the same styling and quality materials as larger coolers. This includes a stainless-steel frame and a thick UV-resistant glass door.

That said, we’d feel better if the manufacturer offered a longer warranty than the 1-year coverage.

Installation

Beyond the convenient fitting into a narrow space, the slimfit design of the EdgeStar CWR70SZ looks pretty cool as well.

Combined with the soft interior lighting and steel finish, it’s a beautiful addition to any kitchen or home bar.

With a width of 5.88-inches, the EdgeStar CWR70SZ cooler fits into an undercounter space measuring just 6-inches across. Height is 34.38” and depth is 18.63”.

Note that the cooler is not lockable.

Issues and Limitations

The obvious limitation of the EdgeStar CWR70SZ is capacity. If you want to store a decent collection of wine, this is probably not the cooler for you.

For its small capacity, the EdgeStar CWR70SZ is pricey. Don’t think you’ll save much money over a bigger cooler.

So, if you have the space, a larger 18 bottle or 30 bottle cooler will be better value for your money.

Bottom Line

If all you have is a narrow space under your counter, the 6-inch EdgeStar CWR70SZ wine cooler is a great choice. It’s pricey, but it is the only slim fit wine fridge we found.


6. Best Large Capacity : Colzer Premium 24- Inch 51 Bottle

best wine fridge under counter

On the opposite end of the scale is the 51 bottle Colzer Premium wine cooler. It’s perfect for avid wine collectors, large families, and people who host lots of home parties and events.

Pros

  • Extra-large capacity.
  • Wide cooling range.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Control panel + door lock.
  • Comes with a carbon filter.

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Requires a wider under counter space.

Our Review

best under counter wine refrigerators

Cooling Performance

The Colzer Premium wine fridge can maintain a temperature between 41F and 78F, the widest cooling range we’ve seen so far in a wine cooler. It’s more than enough for any type of wine.

Colzer’s air cooling technology keeps every part of the cooler at the same temperature and prevents temperature fluctuations.

For added temperature stability, the glass door has double-layers with an insulative layer in between.

The glass is also tinted to prevent UV radiation from getting in and damaging the wine.

Controls are easy to use. You can set a precise temperature, turn the interior light on/off, and lock the control panel to prevent someone else from tampering with the settings.

Capacity & Build Quality

Six wide racks allow you to store up to 51 standard-size wine bottles. You have to arrange the bottles the right way to enjoy the full capacity.

Check the images on the Amazon page or read the manual to figure out the proper arrangement.

Of course, you can adjust and remove the racks to store bottles upright or store bigger bottles.

The racks themselves are solid oak, similar to high-end wine cellars. Each rack is strong enough to hold more than two dozen bottles stacked on top of each other.

The racks slide out smoothly, with a lip at the front ensuring bottles don’t fall out.

The thick double pane glass door comes with a stainless-steel frame and is lockable.

Installation

The Colzer Premium cooler requires a 24” wide space under the counter. It’s 34” high and 22.6” deep. The feet are adjustable, allowing you to set it perfectly flush with the countertop.

Vents are at the front, so you don’t need any clearance on the sides and rear.

Issues and Limitations

As expected for a cooler this big, the Colzer Premium wine fridge is expensive. If you are shopping on a budget, consider getting a lower capacity wine cooler.

Another downside of the large capacity is that the Colzer Premium cooler requires a wider under counter space.

If you don’t have 24” of width to spare, consider the 15”, 12”, or the slim 6” cooler we’ve already reviewed.

Bottom Line

The Colzer Premium wine fridge is the best wine cooler if you have lots of wine to store, and plenty of undercounter space to spare.


7. Best for Bars and Restaurants: Whynter BWR-1662SD 166 Bottle

under counter wine fridge

The Whynter BWR-1662SD is technically not an undercounter wine cooler. It’s too tall (69” high) to fit under a counter. But you can still install it in a cabinet, the same way you would a built-in fridge.

The extra-large capacity is suitable for serious wine collectors as well as bars and restaurants.

Pros

  • Extra-large capacity – perfect for bars & restaurants.
  • Easy temperature control.
  • Carbon filter.
  • Lockable door.
  • Reversible door.

Cons

  • Cannot be installed under the counter.
  • The interior is a tight fit if you want the full 166 bottle capacity.

Our Review

under counter wine cooler

Cooling Performance

The Whynter BWR-1662SD cools wine to between 40 and 65F, which is adequate for most types of wine.

Despite its large size, the fridge does an impressive job maintaining a consistent temperature from top to bottom. A fan forced cool air around the cooler, ensuring it cools down fast and evenly.

Temperature controls are straightforward – a couple of buttons that let you increase or decrease temperature.

This is a single zone wine cooler. If you prefer a dual zone cooler get the 164-bottle Whynter BWR-1642DZ.

Capacity & Build Quality

The 166-bottle capacity of the Whynter BWR-1662SD is probably more than most people need in their homes. It’s more suited to restaurants and bars.

But if you have a large wine collection, or plan to build one, then this is the best extra-large capacity wine cooler.

The cooler consists of 16 flat wire racks with wood lips at the front.

The top rack is inclined and is designed to be a display shelf for showcasing your special bottles. It’s conveniently placed right under the LED lamp. You can also use this rack to store opened bottles.

Overall build quality is good. The racks are sturdy, and the door is made from double pane tempered glass. It’s coated to prevent UV radiation from getting in.

We just wish the warranty was longer than 1 year, or at least provide a longer warranty on the compressor.

Note: If the 166-bottle cooler is too big for your needs, Whynter also has smaller (and cheaper) 92 and 100 bottle options.

Installation

As we mentioned, the Whynter BWR-1662SD cannot go under the counter. You install it in a wall cabinet. It measures 69” high, 23.5” wide, and 26.7” deep.

The door is reversible. It’s also lockable.

Issues and Limitations

If you are looking for a wine fridge that will fit under your counter, this is not it. The Whynter BWR-1662SD is as tall as a kitchen refrigerator. It’s a great choice if you want an extra-large capacity built-in wine cooler.

Because of its large size, light from the LED lamp doesn’t quite spread far down the cooler. You may have trouble reading the labels of bottles in lower racks.

Another issue customers have raised is that it’s difficult to fit exactly 166 bottles. You have to squeeze in bottles more tightly than you may be comfortable with, especially if you have expensive wine.

Bottom Line

The Whynter BWR-1662SD’s spacious interior is perfect for people with large wine collections, as well as bars and restaurants.


8. Best 2-in-1: Phiestina Wine and Beverage Refrigerator

built in wine fridge

If you want to chill beer and other beverages, as well as wine, getting a 2-in-1 undercounter beverage and wine cooler is cheaper and more convenient than buying two separate appliances.

The best combined beverage and wine cooler is the double door Phiestina Wine and Beverage Refrigerator. It has two side-by-side compartments, one for wine and another for beverage cans.

Pros

  • 2 in 1 beverage and wine cooler.
  • Individual temperature controls for each zone.
  • Lockable doors.
  • Easy temperature controls.
  • Adjustable shelves.

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Requires a wide under counter space.

Our Review

Cooling Performance

The wine compartment goes from 40 to 66F, good enough for most types of wine. The beverage compartment goes from 38 to 50F, cold enough to keep your drinks nicely chilled.

Each compartment has its own control panel, so you can set individual temperatures for each. You can also turn individual compartments on/off, and switch the interior light on/off.

The Phiestina cooler has temperature memory, so you won’t lose your settings in case there’s a power loss.

Capacity & Build Quality

The Phiestina Wine and Beverage Refrigerator holds 33 bottles of wine and 100 beverage cans, both standard-sizes. That’s plenty of drinks for most families.

You can move the racks around on each side to make room for bigger bottles and can sizes, or to place beverages upright.

Build quality is good. The racks are sturdy, the door thick enough to keep the cooler insulated, and the stainless-steel frame looks great. Oh, and both doors are lockable.

Installation

Being a side-by-side cooler, the Phiestina wine and beverage refrigerator is unsurprisingly wide.

At 30”, it’s one of the biggest undercounter wine coolers you’ll find. So, make sure you have adequate space for it.

Height is 33.9” and depth is 22.4”.

Issues and Limitations

The Phiestina wine and beverage cooler is pricey. It’s probably not the best choice if you are shopping on a budget.

You can get a slightly smaller, lower capacity 2-in-1 cooler, but they are all generally expensive ($700 and over).

The most pocket-friendly option is to get a wine-only cooler like the ones we’ve reviewed, and then adjust the racks to store both wine bottles and beverage racks.

The other issue with the Phiestina cooler is its size. The widest wine coolers are typically 24” wide.

The Phiestina 2-in-1 cooler is 30” wide. If you have limited under counter space, this is not a suitable cooler.

But you can get a narrower alternative like this 24” Kalamera wine and beverage refrigerator.

Bottom Line

The Phiestina Wine and Beverage Refrigerator is a great choice if you are looking for a large cooler with dual zones for wine and beverages.


Buying Guide

What is An Undercounter Wine Cooler and How Does It Work?

best under counter wine cooler

An undercounter wine cooler is a built-in refrigerator for wine. Similar to your kitchen refrigerator, a wine cooler uses a compressor to keep the interior cold.

However, a wine cooler doesn’t get as cold as a refrigerator – wine doesn’t age well at very low temperatures. That’s why you shouldn’t store wine in your regular kitchen refrigerator. It’s also why you shouldn’t keep food in a wine cooler – it’s not cold enough to preserve it properly.

Unlike a kitchen fridge, a wine cooler is organized to store wine only. It consists of flat or slanted racks that hold wine bottles.

Why Buy an Undercounter Wine Cooler?

A kitchen refrigerator is suitable for storing wine if you have only one or two bottles at a time that you keep around for just a few days.

But if you have a decent collection of wine, even if it is just a few bottles of premium wine, a wine cooler is the best place to store it. Here are several reasons why.

  • You can set the wine cooler to maintain a precise temperature that’s safe for the wine.
  • Wine coolers maintain a tight humidity range to prevent the cork from letting in air.
  • You can store more bottles in a wine cooler than you can in a regular fridge. This is handy if you have a large collection of wine.
  • In a wine cooler, there’s no risk of odor contamination from other food items. Many wine coolers even come with a carbon filter to keep out any external odors.
  • A wine cooler provides a cool display for your wine. Most wine coolers have glass doors, with soft LED interior lighting.

Whether you buy a freestanding or an undercounter cooler comes down to the space you have and whether you care about the cooler blending seamlessly into the room.

Undercounter wine coolers tuck nicely out of the way and generally have a cleaner look that matches other built-in appliances.

Undercounter wine coolers also tend to be less noisy as sound from the compressor is absorbed by the surrounding cabinetry.


What to Look for in an Undercounter Wine Cooler

When you are shopping for an undercounter wine cooler, they all look the same. But there are big differences in cooling performance, capacity, installation, and overall quality.

Here’s what to look for when comparing various undercounter wine coolers.

Note: Make sure you are comparing undercounter wine coolers only. You’ll know them by their design; they’ll have vents at the front, on the bottom of the cooler. Front-vented coolers don’t need any clearances on the sides or rear.

1. Capacity

The first thing you need to decide is how big a cooler you need. This depends on how much wine you plan to keep in it.

Capacities range from the 7-bottle EdgeStar CWR70SZ to the 166-bottle Whynter BWR-1662SD.

The three most common capacities for home undercounter wine coolers are 18 or 19 bottles, 30 to 32 bottles, and 45 to 51 bottles.

Keep in mind that a larger capacity cooler will take up more under counter space.

2. Size

Before you even check the cooling range and features of a wine cooler, make sure that it’ll fit in the space you have.

The smallest undercounter wine coolers are 12” wide. These store between 17 and 19 standard-size 750ml bottles of wine.

Medium size undercounter wine coolers are 15” wide. These store 30 to 32 bottles of wine.

Large undercounter wine coolers are 24” wideand can store between 45 and 51 bottles of wine.

You’ll also find double door 2-in-1 wine and beverage coolers that are 30” wide. These can hold about 30 bottles of wine and about a hundred beverage cans.

3. Organization

Next, check how the inside is organized. The racks shouldn’t be so close together that you scrape the labels of your bottles as you remove them.

It should also be easy to pack the cooler with the maximum number of bottles stated by the manufacturer without storing them too tightly. Note, however, that using non-standard-size bottles like those champagne comes in will reduce the cooler’s capacity.

Obviously, the racks should be removable for easy reorganization.

4. Cooling Range & Temperature Controls

The cooling range is not a big deal for compressor wine coolers. Most undercounter wine coolers you come across will have a sufficient range for whatever type of wine you have.

The standard range is usually 40F to 65F or 66F. A few coolers can go as high as 78 degrees.

Check the kind of temperature controls the cooler has. Avoid dial thermostats where you can’t set a precise temperature. Digital controls with a temperature display are the best.

Check if the cooler has temperature memory. This feature retains temperature settings if power temporarily goes away. You don’t want to come to wine that’s too cold.

5. Single Zone or Dual Zone

Most of the undercounter wine coolers you’ll find are single zone. That means the entire cooler maintains the same temperature from top to bottom.

If all your wines store well under the same temperature, a single zone cooler is perfect.

But if you have different wines that need different temperatures, get a dual zone undercounter wine cooler.

These have separate top and bottom zones with individual temperature controls for each.

Some dual zone coolers are side-by-side. One side is for wine, and the other for beverages. The beverage side will typically have a lower minimum temperature in the 30s.

6. Build Quality

Finally, assess the build quality of the cooler. Of course, this is hard to do until you buy it and use it for a while. Some features that will tell you a cooler is well-built.

  • Stainless steel door frame – looks cool and lasts a long time.
  • Double pane glass door with UV tinting – provides insulation (to prevent temperature fluctuations), and keeps out wine-damaging UV radiation.
  • Door lock to keep your collection safe and out of the hands of kids and teens.
  • Long warranty – at least 1yr general warranty, and 3yrs warranty on the compressor.

Installation

best under counter wine cooler

First, make sure you’ve bought the right size cooler for the space you have. Take measurements of the available space and buy a cooler that will fit.

After that, you just plug in the cooler and slide it into place. If the height of the cooler is not flush with the countertop, check if the feet are adjustable.

Tip: Leave the cooler standing upright, unplugged, for at least 24 hours after it’s delivered. This allows the compressor oil to settle back into place.


Pros & Cons

  • Stores wine in the right conditions.
  • Can hold more wine than a regular kitchen refrigerator.
  • Cheaper than building a climate-controlled cellar in your basement.
  • Provides a beautiful display of your wine.
  • Stores neatly out of the way.

The Not so Good

  • Pricey – an undercounter wine cooler costs more than a freestanding cooler of similar capacity.
  • Not portable – unlike a freestanding cooler, you cannot move an undercounter cooler around.
  • Difficult to get small sizes. Other than the unique slim fit EdgeStar CWR70SZ, it’s hard to come across small undercounter wine coolers that hold less than 17 bottles of wine. If you want to store only a dozen bottles or so, your only option is a freestanding cooler.

Cleaning and Maintaining

Undercounter wine coolers are mostly maintenance-free. Because they have auto defrost, you don’t need to clean out any frozen ice or turn off the cooler to defrost it.

Just wipe down the racks and door occasionally.


Frequently Asked Questions

built in wine refrigerator

How Much Does An Undercounter Wine Cooler Cost to Run?

Most wine coolers use an average of 90 watts. This is way less than a regular kitchen refrigerator.

Because of their smaller interior and lack of nooks and pockets, wine coolers are incredibly efficient. The compressor only runs occasionally to maintain the set temperature, further reducing how much power the cooler uses.

For most undercounter wine coolers, the yearly power costs are between $50 and $100.

What Temperature Should I Store Wine in a Wine Cooler?

The ideal temperature for most types of wines is about 55F. Use this temperature when you store different types of wines in your cooler.

If you have sparkling wine or dry white wine, set the temperature to between 40 and 50 degrees. Full- bodied white and red wines store best at between 48 and 60 degrees, with 55F being the sweet spot.

If you are not sure which temperature to set for a particular wine, consult the winemaker.

Can I Store Wine In My Kitchen Fridge?

The best place to store wine, both short-term and long-term, is a wine refrigerator. It’s different from your regular kitchen refrigerator.

A wine refrigerator or cooler doesn’t get as cold as a fridge, which is bad for wine, and also maintains the right humidity level.

You also don’t have to worry about food odors contaminating your wine’s flavors.

How Big is An Undercounter Wine Fridge?

It depends on the capacity of the wine cooler. 17-19 bottle wine fridges are 12” wide, 30 bottle wine fridges are 15” wide, and 45-51 bottle wine coolers are 24” wide.

The height and depth for most wine coolers is standard – about 34-inches high and 22-24-inches deep.


Final Verdict: Which is the Best Undercounter Wine Coolers Sold Today?

The Kalamera 15″ 30 Bottle Wine Cooler is one of the best undercounter wine coolers sold today. It’s the perfect capacity for most families, fits well even under compact countertops, and doesn’t cost too much.

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