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  • Christie Bolster

The Best Small Wine Coolers Are Actually Affordable In 2023

I advised winemakers and sommeliers, and found that you can affordably store your wine like a pro. Here's my ultimate ranking of the best wine fridges for the money.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


1. NutriChef Wine Cellar — Best Overall

Top-rated: 2,270 ratings | 163 answered questions


NutriChef 12-Bottle Wine Cellar

Highlight: Freestanding design for floor, table or countertop placement.

Helpful review: "It holds 12 bottles as advertised. It runs quietly and it is stylish. I have it sitting on my server. But, my favorite part is the section to stand 4 bottles upright open or not. I absolutely love this cooler/chiller. I recommend this product." — Marilyn
Trending review: "I spent several days reading reviews, watching videos and educating myself on 12 bottle wine coolers. I choose the 12 bottle nutrichef with the glass front. The glass is a smokey black and you can see through it. The front does have a slight mirror reflection but not nearly as much as pictures and videos show which I am very happy about , its just the perfect touch. The light inside is blue and when it is on you can see through the fridge door and even read the labels that are in view. One thing I do wish was different is the interior light has a 10 minute timer, so every 10 mins it goes off. I thought that would be frustrating since I like the light on when I'm in the kitchen in the evening but its so easy to use its not a big deal, 2 quick touches and its back on. The controls are very quick and simple to use no fuss at all. As soon as I plugged it up it started cooling. I watched the temp drop very quickly. I am impressed with how fast it gets cool and also no sound at all. Its very pleasing to look at and to use. The door is very nice and heavy it seals well. This fridge is not cheap looking or feeling in any way. The metal its made out is strong and not flimsy, it is well made and came in perfect condition and packed well. I've had it for 2 days and so far very pleased. I love this fridge! I would have paid far more for it and honestly it looks like I did. Perfect!" — Lyna stark
Reassuring review: "The best wine fridge for small spaces! It was delivered perfectly and on time. It took seconds to setup and not long at all until the temperature reached our desired setting then we placed all our bottles into the fridge and it only took about 30 minutes for it to return to the desired temp and since then our wine has been at the perfect temperature every single time we take out a bottle. The unit looks fantastic and fits our small apartment perfectly. It's also very quiet.... I literally sit right next to it on our couch and I cannot hear a thing... even when I'm quietly reading a book it's barely audible and does not bother us at all. The only improvement I would recommend is having the ability to turn the bright blue temperature display light off... it's quite bright especially at night, but I appreciate the fact that you want to make sure the temp is staying where you set it to ensure your wine maintains that temp but I would prefer to be able turn the light off and just check on it whenever I want to rather than having that extremely bright light on all the time. That said we LOVE this wine fridge and would highly recommend it!" — J.L.

Get it from Amazon now: $199.99 & FREE Returns

 

2. Ivation Wine Refrigerator — Best Digital Control

Top-rated: 1,469 ratings | 88 answered questions


Ivation 12-Bottle Wine Refrigerator with Digital Temperature Control

Highlight: A double-paned glass door not only keeps the interior insulated, but also protects your collection from harmful UV light that can damage the tannins and overall flavor of your wine.

Helpful review: "A wine cellar located off the basement is great, but the trek there and back is not ! This cooler was of an ideal size to fit a nook in my kitchen and here it now sits. Set-up was easy (I loved the suggestion to use a ball on top if you don't have a level). Set the temp at 55 degrees F (the almost universally accepted temp for wine storage - it is close to the natural temperature of the cellars of the Great European Vineyards). It has held that temp perfectly. Noise is minimal but not totally absent (there are few compressors that are 'noiseless'). Some reviewers complain about the inability to handle larger bottles ( Champagne, etc.). That is true and if you plan to keep a supply of bubbly on hand you will need a different cooler or be prepared to remove a rack. Will be back with a report an longevity in the future." — CoopDoc
Trending review: "I love the sleek design. It was easy to set up. The temperature has not fluctuated a degree since reaching the desired temperature. I followed the directions explicitly…measuring the space on either side and behind for adequate ventilation, I’m hoping this lasts for years. My daughter wants one now!" — Dawn
Reassuring review: "I spent a lot of time before making a decision on whether to order a compressor or thermoelectric cooled wine refrigerator. Some reviews of compressor units concerned me because of mentions of the noise level, but after studying the pros and cons I decided on compressor. This unit meets all my expectations. It not only is nice to look at but it maintains a steady temperature, and I am most impressed that it is completely quiet, which was a concern. I'm more than pleased with this purchase." — W.G.

Get it from Amazon now: $249.99 & FREE Returns

 

3. Antarctic Star Wine Cooler — Best for Countertop

Top-rated: 1,361 ratings | 54 answered questions


Antarctic Star Wine Cooler with Blue LED Interior Lighting

Highlight: This wine cooler enables you to store your wine in optimal conditions for long-term aging.

Helpful review: "Well, this is day one setting up my beverage fridge, and so far everything has been perfect! I don’t notice any sound unless I’m standing right next to it, and I have a refrigerator thermostat inside and this product (set on four), which is about midpoint on the range, and it’s cooling to about 35°. Of course, I love the style that’s partially why I chose this model and it does have three levels to put cans and bottles. I’ll update this review down the road but as of right now I would highly recommend this purchase." — Jennifer
Trending review: "This is a good looking unit, plenty of room for wine and other canned beverages. I liked the light and glass door. Unfortunately, my unit did not work well, and this is where the five stars comes in. The customer service was excellent! I’ve had a lot of things come up in the last several months, and I have not been on top of getting things done as I should have been. In spite of several delays on my part, they were always swiftly responsive, patient, and cooperative. I cannot say how appreciative I am of that. I would use this company again. Wonderful to deal with." — Mimi
Reassuring review: "I’ve had this fridge for about a year now. Many of the negative reviews I have seen about this and pretty much every fridge I’ve looked at mentions the noise. Any fridge you buy will have a condenser that will make some noise to work. This fridge give out around 40 decibels worth of noise when it’s on. My PS4 Pro makes more fan noise than this fridge. The only problem I do have with the fridge is the condensation that builds up on the outside of the glass door. It will then drip down onto the floor and leave small puddles. I keep my fridge in the downstairs man cave, so the ambient temperature is somewhat cooler than room temp. I store mostly bottles of root beer, jones soda and bottles of water in it. These take up a lot of space but the fridge holds quite a bit. Happy with its capacity. The blue light is more for decoration than functionality. Overall I’m happy with the fridge.." — Bryan

Get it from Amazon now: $249.99 & FREE Returns

 

4. Koolatron Urban Series Wine Cooler — Best for Small Spaces

Top-rated: 747 ratings | 51 answered questions



Highlight: Touch screen controls. Simply tap the digital display to adjust the temperature or turn on the interior led light.

Helpful review: "I bought this wine cooler for a small kitchenette and it fits the bill perfectly. I've noticed that other, compressor-operated units have a tendency to vibrate, generate noise and expel hot air, which can make them uncomfortable to install in tight places. This model on the other hand uses thermoelectric cooling. So far I haven't been able to detect any noise or hot air coming from the cooler. It's incredibly easy to operate. Arrow shaped buttons let you control the temperature and a bulb-shaped button turns on an interior blue LED light that looks great. Within two hours after plugging it in, the inside was cool enough to store my red wine bottles. Now about placing the bottles on the racks: Since this is a very compact unit, some larger bottles like a Burgundy can be a tight fit. I recommend placing the largest bottles your have at the bottom rack, which seems to be roomier." — Logorrhoeic

Get it from Amazon now: $229.99 & FREE Returns

 

5. NewAir Compact Wine Refrigerator — Best for Tech Dummies

Top-rated: 306 ratings | 56 answered questions


NewAir Compact 16-Bottle Wine Cooler

Highlight: This fridge comes with sleek black wine racks that can be easily removed, making it easy to load bottles and allowing convenient access to your collection.

Helpful review: "We took a chance and purchased this cooler after looking at a hundred reviews all over the net. If you don't want to read this entire review, the net summary is that this wine cooler is spacious, quiet, good looking, and functional. I've had this cooler for about two weeks before writing this review. It definitely met all of our requirements (at least 36 bottles). It needed to be mid-sized and standalone or under a cabinet, have a glass door, comfortably fit larger cabernet bottles and a champagne bottle or two, and most importantly it needed to be quiet. We came from a 18 bottle cooler that used thermal cooling (no compressor) that held our larger bottles with ease and we didn't want noises coming from our kitchen (our family room is next to it). After looking at all coolers in this price range, and more than triple this price, we decided to try this one. Our reasoning was that all of the coolers had positive and negative reviews, so we might as well start with the less expensive one.
Space: Obviously a wine cooler is of no use if it can't hold wine bottles properly. This cooler would be hard pressed to reach the full capacity with regular bottles, but it easily meets our 36-40 bottle need. The fridge is divided into two sections. The top and bottom center have a light, and the light bump out on the bottom makes it difficult to fit a standard wine bottle. A cab will not fit in the top center on the bottom as a result. While the shelves are removable, they are not adjustable. I keep smaller diameter mead bottles on that top bottom rack and therefore the light bump is not a problem. The top section light does not interfere with a standard white wine bottle at all. The depth of the cooler is great. The mead bottles are thin and long. They fit easily. The bump out for the compressor at the bottom (where large bottles need to go) is just slightly deeper than I would have liked. A champagne bottle barely fits straight in with the cork facing the back. I can easily for 4 large bottles on the bottom. The other racks in the center area double up the bottles. When loaded, the metal racks slide okay on the integrated plastic wall rails. If you have really wide red bottles, this may get a little tight. That said, I was able to fit all of my reds without any issues or scraping on the rack above.
Noise: I was concerned about using a compressor based cooler in our open floorplan. Fortunately this cooler is very quiet. I measured it with a db meter and it hovered around ~35 db while the compressor was running. In our space with all wood floors, and when nobody is moving, measures between 28-32 db. If I walk around on the hardwood floors with sneakers, it jumps to ~40 db for example. In other words, you can barely hear the buzzing of the compressor when standing next to it in a quiet house. Occasionally I hear a 'click' as the compressor kicks on, but my 10 lb dog's nails creates more noise on the floor than that.
Aesthetics: The cooler looks okay as a standalone - more like a typical college fridge from the sides and back (which exposes the compressor). The front stainless steel door looks good and shows fingerprints like all stainless appliances. The internal light is fairly good and subtle but it's not a full on light show. It reflects nicely even with bottles right underneath the center lights. The front panel digital readout is easy to read and bright. It would be nice if the LCD brightness could be adjusted. Maybe it can and I just missed it in the manual. Internally it looks clean and the chrome racks are well made and nice looking.
Functionality: The unit so far has held the dual zone temperatures exactly as set. I keep the top at 45F and the bottom at 54F. I have seen it jump after I was loading wine, but it settled back within 10 minutes. It came down to temperature while empty in about 15 minutes so it seems to cool well. I didn't notice the compressor cycling constantly as some have stated, and my house is usually kept at 74F in the summer and 68F in the winter for reference.
The LCD panel automatically locks to prevent accidental inputs. At first I thought it was defective and was trying to change temps but nothing was happening - no registration on the panel. You have to hold the up/down buttons for about 5-6 seconds for it to unlock, then the rest of the buttons work. Speaking of, the panel takes a relatively light touch and requires a fairly centered touch too. At first I was pressing harder and harder to get it to register, but in the end a soft touch worked best for me. Thankfully it's not something I will need to fiddle with very often but for turning the light on and off, it's a little inconvenient. I would have preferred to not have an auto-lock on the panel or at least an option to de-activate that feature. Speaking of locks, there are none! If you need a wine cooler with a lock, keep looking or buy a chain to wrap around this one. For me, this is not any more of a problem than having beer in my refrigerator.
The unit has two plastic roller wheels in the back, and two adjustable legs in the front with plastic bottoms. It was easy to slide around on my hardwood floors and didn't leave any marks. Leveling was easy with the two front legs but they are a little difficult to reach. That said, they sit back far enough that they can't be seen either.
Smell: Some have reported a burnt plastic smell in their cooler that wouldn't go away. After unpacking when I first opened the cooler, it did have that smell. The instructions tell you to wipe down the interior with soap and water. After I did this, I let the cooler sit with the door open for 2-3 hours. This needs to be done anyway before plugging it in to let the coolant settle. After that time I put the racks back in and I didn't notice any lingering smell.
Packaging - The unit came well packaged. It has a very heavy gauge carboard outer box with re-enforced removable 'rails' protecting the corners. Thick foam surrounds the unit and straps hold the top to the bottom. The bottom carboard that the cooler rests on is > 4 in thick. The feet and rollers are nestled in that and are well protected. Cutting the straps allows the top of the container to lift off. My box showed some corner strikes, but the cooler was in perfect condition. There is basically 2 in of padding all around the cooler so it would take a hard hit to dent it.
Recommendation: Overall, I'm really happy with this cooler for the money I paid for it. So far it is working well, holds everything I have, is quiet, and looks good. I'm not sure what else I would want other than a little teeny bit more space between the bottles, but then the entire cooler would be bigger and wouldn't fit under a counter. I would recommend this cooler to anyone who doesn't have really particular needs and is just looking for a good and quiet wine cooler that can hold 40-ish 'normal' bottles." — Microdev

Get it from Amazon now: $359.13 & FREE Returns

 

6. Koolatron Thermoelectric Wine Cooler — Best for Narrow Spaces

Top-rated: 817 ratings | 94 answered questions



Highlight: Wire racks can be removed to fit larger or irregular shaped bottles with a maximum capacity of 20 standard wine bottles.

Helpful review: "A few months in, I am very pleased with this product. It is easy to set up. The temperature control is effective. For people who store no more than 20 bottles, this is the right size and fits nicely in a small space. It is also relatively quiet. Most importantly, it preserves wine and the ideal 55 degrees, eliminating the impact of wide swings in temperatures and humidity. Both whites and reds are consistent. A good product for modest wine collectors at a good value." — Gabriel
Trending review: "This wine cooler was purchased when I lost my other one in a hurricane it is a much bigger one than I had. The cooler is built to hold 18 bottles of wine and they fit nicely inside, the cabinet has nice lines for the outside, keeps your wine the perfect setting you like your wine. Easy temperature control to change settings." — The Viv

Get it from Amazon now: $189.99 & FREE Returns