Getting the best wine fridge for your kitchen or bar is a task that requires careful consideration. Wine cooler units may sound simple, but these appliances are among some of the most essential household appliances, especially for wine lovers.

Wines are technically living grapes and require the best storage conditions to retain their freshness and taste. This means a good undercounter wine cooler should offer optimum protection against the four enemies of wine – unsteady temperature, fluctuating humidity, high UV light, and continuous vibration.

Best Wine Refrigerator Picks for 2020

In this article, we’ve looked at some of the best undercounter wine cooler brands on the market, comparing their different models against each other, and selecting the top six products. Besides performance (which includes temperature, light, humidity, and vibration), we’ve also considered the design, price, reliability, and unique features of these products before adding them to our top picks.

Keep in mind that wine coolers are essentially refrigerators with special duties. Since these products are super focused, we did not include them in our best refrigerator brands ranking. Read on to explore our list of best undercounter wine coolers in 2020.


What's the Difference Between a Wine Fridge, Beverage Cooler, and Standard Refrigerator?

Before we explore our top six product picks, let's talk about the difference between a wine fridge, a beverage cooler, and a standard refrigerator.

  • A wine fridge (or wine cooler) is used solely for storing and maintaining wine bottles. These bottles are typically stored at the desired temperature of 45°F (7°C) for whites and 55°F (13°C) for reds.
  • A beverage cooler is designed with a flexible shelving system and is constructed with space efficiency in mind. It can be used for storing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You can also store small snacks like a plate of fruit or vegetables. Items in a beverage cooler are typically stored at between 0°F and 38°F (3°C)
  • A standard fridge is the appliance we all know and love. It can be used to store just about anything - from leftovers to produce and all types of beverages. A refrigerator is designed to hold these different types of items at very low temperatures while maintaining airflow and humidity levels.

Our 6 Best Wine Fridges for 2020

1) Best Overall: Sub Zero UW-24/S

Width: 23 7/8" | Height: 34" | Depth: 24" | Finish: Glass Door, Stainless Steel or Custom Panel Ready | Zones: Dual | Bottle Capacity: 46 | Options: Built-In, Free-Standing, Left Hinge, Right Hinge, Tubular Handle, Pro Handle.

Sub Zero UW24STHRH

Product Overview:
First on our list is the Sub Zero UW-24/S wine refrigerator. While many wine cooler manufacturers are finding it hard to address all the inherent problems of wine storage, Sub Zero efficiently came up with this beast of a product to solve all of these problems.

The UW-24/S has a 24-inch width, which affords you the space to store as many as 46 bottles of wine. These can be placed within either of the two temperature zones within the unit. The unit has a UV-resistant glass door that protects wine against destructive UV light. Each shelf is also designed with a glide out rack to repel vibration.

The UW-24/S is a premium product that features unrivaled craftsmanship, excellent performance, and high durability. To offer you the luxury of choice, this product also comes in several design options.

These options include the built-in option, the free-standing option, the left or right-hinge options, and the Pro or Tubular Handle choices. With this much variety, you’re sure to find a design that best suits your needs.

Why We Like It
Several factors make the Sub Zero wine refrigerator unique. These include:

  1. Top-notch performance (temperature/humidity/vibration control)
  2. The upscale, tinted UV-resistant glass door
  3. Panel-ready door/Integrated/Flush Installation
  4. Home Security Integration
  5. Reliability – built to last as long as 20 years.
  6. Industry-best warranty offer – 2 years (product, parts, and labor), 5 years (product parts and labor), and 12 years (limited parts).

Key Features and Benefits:
The Sub Zero wine refrigerator comes with a lot of benefits. Some of these we already listed in the section above. Other key features of the wine refrigerator unit include:

• 24" undercounter width
• 46 bottle capacity
• Dual temperature zone
• UV-resistant glass door
• Soft-close door feature with magnetic seals
• Roller-glide shelves (Two on top and three on the bottom)
• Temperature alarm


2) Best Budget Single Zone: Marvel ML15WSG0RS

Width: 14 7/8"| Height: 33 3/4" | Depth: 25 7/32" | Finish: Glass | Zones: Single | Bottle Capacity: 24 | Options: Built-In, Left Hinge, Right Hinge.

Marvel ML15WSG0RS

Product Overview:
The 15-inch Marvel wine cooler is a perfect fit for a home bar or small kitchen. While it only has one temperature zone, it can hold up to 23 bottles of wine in its six rows (four bottles in five of the rows and three bottles in the last row).

This wine cooler has natural maple shelf fronts that can be stained to match your cabinetry. The interior of the wine unit has a sophisticated midnight black finish with white incandescent lighting. It has a vibration neutralization system that protects against agitation and keeps the wine from getting denatured. The Marvel ML15WSG0RS is also one of the best and affordable wine cooler products on the market.

Why We Like It:
The 15" Marvel ML15WSG0RS may not match the Sub Zero wine refrigerator in terms of performance, but it does have some factors in its favor.

  1. UV-Resistant Glass Door
  2. Vibration Neutralization System
  3. Microsentry Temperature Monitor for temperature control
  4. Ultra-quiet Operation.

Key Features and Benefits:
Besides the temperature control, vibration neutralization system, and the protection against UV light, the Marvel ML15WSG0RS has other interesting features and benefits. These include:

• Close door assist system
• Single temperature zone
• 23 bottle capacity
• Five heavy-gauge wire racks
• Stainless-steel framed glass door
• Stainable maple shelf fronts to match cabinetry
• Digital touch controls
• Temperature alarm
• 1-year product parts/labor and 5-year sealed system parts warranty.


3) Best Budget Dual Zone: XO XOU24WDZGSR

Width: 23 7/8" | Height: 34 1/8" | Depth: 23 1/4" | Finish: Stainless Steel | Zones: Dual | Bottle Capacity: 52 | Options: Built-In, Free-standing, Left Hinge, Right Hinge, Panel Ready.

XO Wine Fridge XOU24WDZGSR

Product Overview:
The XO XOU24WDZGSR is top on our list of the best dual zone wine coolers on the market. This wine cellar has a 52-bottle capacity, which is more than what the competition offers. It also has a zero-hinge clearance, which prevents the door from protruding into the cabinet opening when the door is open.

To guarantee satisfaction, the XOU24WDZGSR has a 100% Love it or Leave it Guarantee for the first 90 days. If you are not satisfied with your wine cellar, XO will refund your money. Besides the guarantee, XO also offers a 2-year product and parts warranty on the unit.

Why We Like It:
The XO XOU24WDZGSR has several unique features that make it one of the best wine coolers on the market. Here are some of the reasons we love this product:

  1. 52-bottle capacity
  2. UV-blocking Low-E Glass door
  3. 90 day "Love it or Leave it" 100% Guarantee.
  4. Zero hinge clearance. The door allows unobstructed access and will not protrude into the cabinet area when it's open.

Key Features and Benefits:
Besides the slightly-superior storage capacity, the XOU24WDZGSR has some other key features that set it apart from other dual zone wine coolers. These include:

• Compressor cooling system
• Digital touch controls
• Tri-color LED lighting
• 5 Telescoping racks (two upper and three lower)
• Secure door lock
• 2 years parts/labor and 5 years compressor warranty.


4) Best Handleless Design: Miele KWT 6322 UG

Width: 23 5/8" | Height: 32 3/8" | Depth: 22 3/4" | Finish: Stainless Steel | Zones: Dual | Bottle Capacity: 34 | Options: Built-In, Right Hinge.

Miele Wine Fridge KWT6322UG

Product Overview:
Miele is known for premium products with an extra touch of luxury, and the KWT 6322 UG is no exception. This 24" wine storage appliance is a conditioning unit built to keep wines at stable temperatures and display them elegantly. Its excellent temperature control system, protection against vibration, and UV protection ensure the wine is stored in perfect condition.

Besides the excellent performance and brilliant finish, the KWT 6322 UG, at 36dB, boasts an almost noiseless operation. This makes it one of the quietest wine coolers on the market. The conditioning unit is also designed to be integrated into an appliance network, via the Miele mobile app, for remote control.

The Miele KWT 6322 UG is built for classy wine connoisseurs and for luxury. Its 34-bottle capacity may not seem so great, but Miele also offers a special linking kit for side-by-side combination of two units.

Why We Like It:
The Miele KWT 6322 UG has one of the best exterior design finishes on the market. Besides that, the KWT 6322 UG wine conditioning unit also has:

  1. Outstanding performance
  2. Ultra-quiet operation
  3. MobileControl Miele mobile app integration
  4. Excellent fit and finish

Key Features and Benefits:
Here are some other key features of the Miele KWT 6322 UG that make it incredible:

• Push-open automatic door opening feature
• SoftClose door closing feature
• Two temperature zones
• Digital touch control
• FlexiFrame - You can remove individual slates to make room for larger bottles
• Noteboard inventory system - Every rack features a magnetic strip to label your bottles
• DynaCool ventilator system for uniform cold air circulation
• Adjustable wooden rollers to accommodate different bottle sizes


5) Best Outdoor: Lynx LM15WINER

Width: 14 7/8" | Height: 34 3/4" | Depth: 23 3/4" | Finish: Stainless Steel | Zones: Dual| Bottle Capacity: 24 | Options: Built-In, Free-standing, Left Hinge, Right Hinge.

Lynx Outdoor Wine Fridge LM15WINER

Product Overview:
The Lynx LM15WINER is a 15" wine cellar designed for outdoor use and one of the best in the industry. The unit has six full-extension and smooth-gliding racks, which can hold as much as 24 wine bottles.

The LM15WINER has a brilliant stainless-steel finish, which looks good anywhere it's placed at, thanks to the fine craftsmanship characteristic of Lynx products. Besides the optimal performance, the wine cellar is designed to guard against vibration, enabling the wine to reach full maturation. The LM15WINER is the perfect wine storage unit for your outdoor parties.

Why We Like It:
Here are some features we consider spectacular about the Lynx LM15WINER:

  1. Quiet Operation
  2. Protection against vibration
  3. Perfect for outdoor use

Key Features and Benefits:
Some other key features of the Lynx LM15WINER wine cellar include:
• Heavy-gauge wine racks (6)
• smooth-gliding/full-extension shelf system
• Cool blue LED interior lighting
• 2.7 cu. Ft. capacity.


6) Best Wine and Beverage Center: Marvel MP24WBG4RS

Width: 23 7/8" | Height: 34" | Depth: 23 23/32" | Finish: Glass | Zones: Dual | Bottle Capacity: 16 | Options: Built-In, Glass Door, Panel Ready, Left Hinge, Right Hinge.

Marvel Wine and Beverage Center MP24WBG4RS

Product Overview:
The Professional 24" MP24WBG4RS is the second Marvel product to make our list. Like the ML15WSG0RS, this wine and beverage center combination features an efficient Vibration Neutralization system to guard against agitation.
The MP24WBG4RS has an argon-filled UV-resistant tinted glass for protection against light. The glass stops UV light from passing through, which helps the wine reach full maturation.

The MP24WBG4RS has the Dynamic Cooling Technology, which delivers the industry's best temperature stability and a rapid cool down for frost-free operation. The unit has two independent temperature zones which allow you to maintain different levels of coldness within the unit.

Besides the incredible system performance, the unit also has a sturdy full-length handle, stainless steel shelf fronts, and a stainless-steel framed door, giving it a professional-style look.

Why We Like It:
The MP24WBG4RS is one-of-a-kind and stands tall amongst other beverage centers in the industry. Some of its key features include:

  1. Vacation mode to conserve energy when not in use
  2. Zero clearance installation
  3. UV-resistant dual-pane tinted glass
  4. Industry-best temperature stability system
  5. Efficient Vibration Neutralization System
  6. Quiet operation

Key Features and Benefits:
Some other features of the Marvel MP24WBG4RS include:
• Midnight black interior
• Tri-color lighting
• Can hold up to 16 bottles and 64 cans
• Two independently-controlled temperature zones
• Close Door Assist System with soft-close feature
• Two-stage theater lighting
• Door lock feature
• 3-year parts/labor and 5-year sealed parts warranty.


Wine Fridges: Things to Consider When You are in the Market

Before you buy a wine fridge for your kitchen, bar, or living room, there are some important factors you should consider. These factors include:

Temperature Stability

A lot of undercounter products on the market have cabinet temperatures, which can fluctuate by up to 15 degrees. These conditions are not ideal for storing wine bottles, as this fluctuation can denature the wine. Because wine is technically considered to be living grapes, it needs to be kept in stable conditions. That's why it's important to ensure that your wine fridge can handle ambient temperature changes and still maintain the set temperature.

Capacity and Storage Flexibility

How many wine bottles do you plan to have in your wine refrigerator at a time? Can your kitchen space accommodate a fridge that is larger than 24"? You should be able to answer these and similar questions before buying a wine fridge. If you're a wine collector, you'll need a wine fridge that provides you with more than enough space. If this is the case, opt for wine coolers with more than a 40-bottle capacity.

Protection Against Light (UV)

Sunlight (UV) can degrade your wine and cause it to age prematurely. A good wine refrigerator is supposed to block UV lights to prevent this from happening. Most wine coolers are able to do this, thanks to UV-resistant glass doors. If you intend to keep your wine bottles for a long period of time, avoid wine coolers without efficient protection against UV.

Vibration Elimination

Frequent agitation and vibration can prevent your wine from reaching full maturation. While your wine cooler may seem to be perfectly still, the compressor can introduce subtle vibrations, which will affect the wine. Good wine coolers usually have insulated stands for the compressors, which eliminate the vibrations. Some are also equipped with a Vibration Neutralization system (which may consist of brushless motors and shock absorbers) that covers the entire unit.

Good Rack Angle for Proper Bottle Orientation

When the cork dries out, air seeps into the wine bottle, causing degradation. Proper bottle orientation ensures the cork doesn't dry out. Good wine fridges have racks that keep the bottom of the bottles tilted at a slightly upward angle. Horizontal storage also keeps the cork moist as well.

Design Flexibility

The wine cooler's fit and finish is another important factor many tend to overlook. But trust us... your eye will keep twitching whenever you see that gap which enables your unit door to open freely. This can be avoided if you go for a wine fridge with zero-clearance or articulating hinges.

These special hinges make zero-gap installation possible. The unit is installed without a gap, allowing for easy door opening. Articulating hinges enable the door to push forward a little, out of the cabinet, before turning.

If you want a seamless kitchen design, go for wine coolers that allow for flush installation. Most of the wine coolers on our list have panel-ready and custom panel models. The panel-ready finish enables you to install a custom panel over the unit to match your kitchen cabinetry.


Conclusion

Undercounter wine fridges are some of the most stylish yet important household appliances. For the best results, you need a wine cooler that has efficient temperature stability, vibration elimination, and UV protection systems. Our 6 best undercounter wine coolers are equipped to handle the four enemies of wine effectively. It's important to select the wine cooler that best meets your needs, and don’t forget to look out for each of the factors outlined in our buyer’s guide.


FAQs

What is the difference between a wine cooler, wine refrigerator, and wine cellar?
Wine coolers operate at higher temperatures than wine refrigerators. This means the wine refrigerator keeps your wine bottles at a much colder temperature than the wine cooler. The wine cellar is designed to store your wine bottles for longer periods of time.

Why are brands like EdgeStar, Avanti, and Danby with good price points not included in the list?
Yes, brands like EdgeStar and Danby have low price points, which make them affordable. But to achieve this, some of these models had to compromise in terms of quality and performance. Our list only featured models that met our expectations on durability, noise levels, and vibration control. We will write another article on value wine refrigerators to evaluate these brands.







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