The plethora of refrigerator options, features, and types offered presently makes choosing the perfect one for your home overwhelming and challenging.
No wonder lots of people are interested in understanding the difference between a wine cooler vs. mini-fridge. Luckily, we’ve garnered all the necessary information to ensure you make the right call for yourself and your family.
- 1 Wine Cooler Vs. Mini Fridge: Top 5 Best Wine Cooler
- 1.1 Top 1 – Antarctic Star 1.6cu.ft Wine Cooler/Cabinet Beverage Refrigerator
- 1.2 Top 2 – NutriChef PKTEWC120 Nutrichef 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Refrigerator
- 1.3 Top 3 – Ivation 12 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
- 1.4 Top 4 – Kalamera 45 Bottle Dual Zone 24″ Built-in or Freestanding wine cooler/refrigerator
- 1.5 Top 5 – NewAir NWC016SS00 Freestanding Wine Cooler
- 2 Fridge Vs. Wine Cooler?
- 3 Can A Wine Cooler Be Used As A Refrigerator?
- 4 Best Wine Cooler Brands
- 5 Wine Cooler FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
What is a Wine Cooler?
A wine cooler, otherwise known as a wine refrigerator, is a home appliance engineered to create the perfect wine storage. This equipment is a decent, modern alternative to a wine cave or cellar, without the large, space-taking footprint.
A wine refrigerator offers a more affordable way of storing your wine collection under the right conditions (humidity and temperature) while showcasing your collections.
Wine Cooler Vs. Mini Fridge: Top 5 Best Wine Cooler
Top 1 – Antarctic Star 1.6cu.ft Wine Cooler/Cabinet Beverage Refrigerator
This freestanding wine cooler from Antarctic Star is designed to allow wine connoisseurs to age their wine in optimal conditions for the long term. This unit offers a decent working temp range of 40 – 61 degrees F, which allows you to customize the storage conditions.
Further, the Antarctic Star 1.6cu. Ft Wine Cooler/Cabinet Beverage Refrigerator comes with reinforced glass doors with airtight seal, which helps maintain an optimum humidity level. This compact beverage refrigerator features a modern, aesthetically-appealing design. Thus, making it perfect for your living room, office, and kitchen.
That’s not all: this unit is equipped with blue soft LED interior lighting to showcase your wine collection beautifully. More so, this wine cooler can also be used to store canned beer and beverages. Even better, it features a horizontal racking system to help maximize space and store more bottles without harming your wine.
What’s more? The Antarctic Star 1.6cu. Ft Wine Cooler/Cabinet Beverage Refrigerator sports an advanced cooling system to keep your wine at the preferred temperature without vibration or noise. This freestanding wine cooler is equipped with adjustable leveling legs, a glass door, and movable black shelves. Equally important, it’s backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty to offer customers peace of mind with their purchase.
- Adjustable temperature range of 40 – 61 degree F
- Noise/vibration-free cooling system
- Stainless steel Shelves
- Dual-Pane Glass Door
- Issues with adjusting the temperature
Top 2 – NutriChef PKTEWC120 Nutrichef 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Refrigerator
This NutriChef PKTEWC120 Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Refrigerator is an ideal choice for people looking to store 12 wine bottles. This unit is equipped with a built-in circulation fan and ventilation grill, accurate precision thermoelectric cooling technology, and integrated LED lights.
This compact 12-bottle wine cooler features reinforced glass doors with an airtight seal to maintain the perfect storage conditions. This unit features a modern design to ensure it complements any home decor. Also, it is a freestanding model, which means you can place this wine refrigerator on your countertop, table, or floor.
This electric beverage refrigerator comes with the standard horizontal sustainable shelving system to help maximize space. Even better, it has a vertical space to hold open or odd-shaped wine bottles.
Thanks to its advanced cooling system, this wine fridge runs quietly and does not vibrate. This model is backed by a 1-year limited warranty which issues customers of incredible performance and long-lasting use.
- Adjustable temperature control
- Compact and modern design
- Horizontal space-saving shelves
- 1-year quality of complete satisfaction
- Digital Touch Display
- Sharp front edges
Top 3 – Ivation 12 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
When it comes to the best wine cooler options out there, you can’t go wrong with this model from Ivation. This product is touted to maintain the ideal wine storage condition without being affected by external conditions. It offers a wide temp range from 41 – 64 degrees F, which is perfect for aging your sparkling white wines.
Another thing to love about the Ivation 12 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator is its set-and-forget temperature control. This unit features a built-in fan to help keep a constant temperature and optimize the storage conditions to preserve your wine’s aroma and flavor.
Like any model on this list, this beverage refrigerator comes with a double-paned glass door for proper interior insulation and protection from harmful UV light, which can damage the overall flavor and tannins of your wines.
Here’s more: the Ivation 12 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator is equipped with energy-efficient LED lights for a beautiful showcase of your collection and prevents the bottle labels from fading.
That’s not all: this unit features simple-to-use controls to adjust the cooling temperature, turn the light on and lock in the settings. Plus, it sports removable racks to rearrange the shelves, which allows you to house any kind of wine bottle from champagne to pinot noir.
- Easy-to-use touch controls
- Soft interior LED lighting.
- Wide temperature range 41 to 64 degrees F
- Efficient compressor cooling system
- Poor customer service
Top 4 – Kalamera 45 Bottle Dual Zone 24″ Built-in or Freestanding wine cooler/refrigerator
If you want a large wine refrigerator, the Kalamera 45 Bottle Dual Zone 24″ Built-in or Freestanding wine cooler/refrigerator is your best bet. This unit has a sophisticated look that easily becomes the centerpiece in any home bar, kitchen, or entertainment area – thanks to its seamless stainless steel construction.
Equipped with cutting-edge Cooling Technology, this model delivers a quiet and efficient cooling performance. Its energy-efficient compressor ensures no fluctuation for constant storage conditions.
This home appliance can hold up to 45 bottles of wine and has five beech wood shelves for perfect storage. I like the fact that the Kalamera Dual Zone 24-inch Built-in or Freestanding wine cooler runs very quietly without any vibration to prevent disturbing the sediment.
What’s else? It comes with a dual-zone thermostat which makes this product perfect for storing red & white wines at different temperatures at the same time.
- Seamless Stainless Steel Frame
- Beautiful Blue LED Light
- Low vibration and quiet operation mode
- Smart Digital Control
- Large storage space
- The lower zone couldn’t get colder as expected.
Top 5 – NewAir NWC016SS00 Freestanding Wine Cooler
Making it to our list is the NewAir NWC016SS00 Wine Cooler, designed to help wine connoisseur store their collection at the right temperature to enhance their flavors. This product is equipped with a processor that delivers incredible storage performance.
This wine fridge features a built-in fan for a consistent temperature condition and intact wine flavor until it’s time to serve your expensive bottle of wine. Also, it’s a soft LED light to illuminate without heating up your collection.
NewAir NWC016SS00 F comes with an insulated UV-protected glass door to block out the harmful UV rays. Thus, this feature helps preserve the flavor profile of your expensive wines. In addition, it sports a double pane UV-protected insulated glass door to preserve and protect your collection for proper aging.
This wine refrigeration comes with adjustable sleek black racks for a versatile shelving experience. This way, users can easily load their bottles of wine and enjoy convenient access to their favorite wines at any point. Keep in mind that this unit is a freestanding model, which means no installation necessary or professional help.
- Removable and adjustable shelves
- Quiet, powerful compressor
- Double-paned glass
- Exterior thermostat control
- Make a little bit of noise.
Fridge Vs. Wine Cooler?
If you recently took an interest in collecting wine as an investment rather than for drinking, then it’s important to understand how to store these expensive bottles of wine properly. One of many wrong ways to keep your wine is placing them in your home refrigerator, and in this guide, we’ll be discussing why the best storage option.
1. Refrigerators for Home
Refrigerators have revolutionized how we keep our beverages and store our foods. They can come in handy for cooling several food items, but if you are looking to preserve and protect your wine’s taste and flavor profile – you might want to stay away.
The main issue with using storing your wine collection in a refrigerator is fluctuating temperature. Wines need to be stored at specific temperatures, which fridges can’t offer. The fridge tends to be open several times in the day, making it much harder to maintain a specific temperature. Another reason is fridges hold other food items that might contaminate your expensive collections.
2. Wine Coolers
For starters, a wine cooler features a portable design and easily maintains optimal storage conditions. Secondly, it’s much easier to control the temperature and humidity level suitable for storing reds and whites.
In addition, this appliance does not vibrate, which means the sediments are not disturbed and won’t likely spoil your wine or result in bad taste. More so, a wine refrigerator comes with a double pane door to protect your wine from harmful UV protection.
Therefore, if you want the best out of your expensive wine collection, then it’s better to purchase a wine cooler.
Can A Wine Cooler Be Used As A Refrigerator?
A wine cooler offers lots of inventive, innovative, and ingenious uses. A good wine refrigerator can be used to store your non-alcoholic beverages and some food items to preserve their taste and freshness.
Best Wine Cooler Brands
As a wine collector or lover, it’s better to splurge on the right wine fridge for any of the best wine cooler brands in this space. By now, you should understand that there are hundreds of brands out there promising you incredible performance and durability.
To avoid this, we’ll discuss the best wine cooler brands to make the decision process hassle-free. Check out this list then:
Wine Cooler FAQs
1). What is a wine cooler?
A wine cooler is a beverage container that typically holds six 750 ml bottles of wine. It has an interior divided into two or more chambers and can also be referred to as a “bulkhead” or “split-level” box. Wine coolers are often seen with the smaller three bottle size, but they may have any number of chambers between one and fifteen or more.
The usual design is for each chamber to hold three bottles standing upright on their side. Some wine coolers have been built with as many as 24 individual chambers, though those are rare because it becomes very unwieldy at that point. These types of bulkhead boxes were made popular by the Vinador company in California, which still manufactures them today.
The Vinador company also makes a larger box the outfitters six bottles standing upright and four bottles lying down, but it can be difficult to find as production has been sporadic over the years. Other than those two models, wine coolers typically take their design cues from either Icebear or Waeco.
These Australian manufacturers place three bottles on their side in each chamber and use an all-white interior with lights that showcase the wine within. This no doubt contributes to why they are often called “showcases.”
2). Which companies make wine coolers?
The only makers of full-size (i.e., six bottle) wine coolers still in operation are Vinador and Icebear/Waeco . Both companies make high quality products, but Icebear/Waeco provides more information on capacity and sizing (due to its use of European bottle sizes).
Vinador has an interesting history; the company was established in 1923 by Italian immigrants who hand-crafted their first wine boxes out of wood. Later they would switch to a metal alloy which, because it doesn’t rust, can be polished for a bright showroom shine. Today’s Vinadors are still crafted from stainless steel or aluminum alloy, though the company no longer polishes them by hand.
3). How do I determine how many wine bottles my cooler will hold?
The easiest way is to measure your own collection and see if you have anything that fits inside the box you’re considering buying. If not, look at the manufacturer’s website for the dimensions of each chamber. For Icebear and Vinador showcases, this information is available as a download from their respective websites as part of the product brochure.
Waeco used to provide blade specifications on its website, but those have been removed for some reason, so you’ll have better luck sending them an e-mail . If that doesn’t work then there are other ways to measure your bottles using a ruler.
4). Why does this site list only Icebear and Vinador wine coolers?
For two reasons:
1) I’m only familiar with these brands;
2) As far as I know they are both still in operation and will happily sell new units to anyone who asks (though Icebear has been difficult over the years).
5). Can I get a used wine cooler?
Icebear, Vinador, and Waeco have all been out of production for some time. This means that the only available units are what was already in circulation when they went out of business. Used Icebear and Waeco wine coolers will never go out of style (though they may need new gaskets), but older Vinadors tend to show their age; the aluminum alloy exterior can become pitted if it’s not polished regularly, which is nearly impossible given that the unit isn’t designed to be disassembled.
6). Is it possible to polish them?
Sure, but you’re basically performing cosmetic surgery on your own machine at that point, so why bother when you can buy something shiny new from a supplier that will stand by their product?
If you’re looking for a new unit, there are many small manufacturers of personal wine chillers on both sides of the Pacific. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they all make good products though; most companies don’t spend more than a few hundred dollars on tooling and as such produce very low-quality goods.
The best of these boxes mimic some aspect of Icebear or Vinador’s design, but with inferior materials and construction. So pick carefully and avoid those whose exterior is bare aluminum (pitted) or shiny plastic (just plain ugly).
By now, you should understand the difference between a wine cooler vs. mini-fridge. If you’re a wine lover looking to store, preserve and age your expensive collection, a wine fridge is your best bet. Luckily, you don’t have to go through dozens of models flooding the market, as we’ve expertly handpicked the top 5 best wine coolers to protect your wine’s taste and flavor profile.
On the contrary, if you want an appliance to store your food items or some canned beverages, the mini fridge can be just what you need. Nonetheless, a wine refrigerator can be versatile and can double as a mini-fridge if the need arises.