A wine cooler is essential if you collect wine and keep a modest collection at home.
Today, we’ll discuss specifically built-in wine coolers (also called under-counter wine coolers).
What are these, exactly?
These wine fridges can be installed inside existing cabinets in your kitchen, as the name implies. It gives your kitchen a more streamlined appearance than if you installed a freestanding appliance.
In this article, we’ll go over 6 of the most popular models currently available. In addition to fridges of different capacities, we included freezers as well so that every taste and budget could be catered to.
Before we push ahead with those built-in wine cooler reviews, we’ll touch on why you should buy a built-in cooler in the first place.
- Why You Should Buy a Built-In Wine Cooler
- 1. #1 Pick: Kalamera 30-Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler
- 2. Runner Up: Kalamera 46-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Cooler
- 3. Phiestina 46 Bottle Wine Cooler 24 Inch Built-in Wine Refrigerator
- 4. Aobosi Wine Refrigerator and Cooler
- 5. Lanbo 44 Bottle Built-in Wine Cooler
- 6. EdgeStar 38-Bottle Wine Cooler
Why You Should Buy a Built-In Wine Cooler
A freestanding wine refrigerator offers many of the benefits associated with an under-counter wine fridge.
The following are some of the main reasons to purchase a built-in wine cooler:
There’s a good chance you could find room under a counter or inside an existing cabinet even if your kitchen is crowded and lacking space for new appliances
- Regulate temperature and humidity:
Don’t store your wine in the kitchen fridge if you’re tempted to do so. For the storage of wine, the humidity level will be out of whack. The ideal humidity level for storing wine is 70 percent. You won’t find this in the refrigerator in the kitchen
- Install in tight spaces with no concerns about overheating:
Because these coolers are designed to provide optimal air circulation, you need not worry about overheating. They can be slipped into a small area with no repercussions
Having said that, let’s get down to business and tell you about the 6 best under-counter wine fridges in 2021.
6 Best Built-In Wine Fridge
1. #1 Pick: Kalamera 30-Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler
As part of our review of the best built-in wine coolers, we begin with the 30-bottle Kalamera. You can find a wide range of storage solutions from the company. So what exactly do you get from this single-zone cooler?
Even with that single cooling zone, you can change the temperature from 40F to 66F. If you want to store both red and white wine for serving at the same time, you won’t be able to. However, single-zone coolers work well for the long-term storage of mixed wines. If you drink only one type of wine, this single-zone fridge should be fine for you.
The Kalamera is a highly versatile product; you can leave it freestanding or build it into existing units. In addition, its small size makes it perfectly suited for installation under a counter.
The capacity of this cooler is impressive despite its compact size. Thirty traditional 750ml Bordeaux bottles will fit in the cabinet. When storing champagne or similarly large bottles on your shelving, you can rearrange the shelves so that they fit larger bottles, but capacity will be reduced.
The dimensions of this cooler are 14.9 x 33.9 x 22.4 inches. You can install this cooler under the counter, in existing units, or as a freestanding unit for maximum flexibility.
A robust stainless steel frame ensures a long life for this cooler. On the doors, double-layered tempered glass perfectly protects your cooling environment.
Our only real concern with Kalamera isn’t related to this cooler, but rather to customer service. Despite this small flaw, you’re in good hands with this highly effective single-zone wine cooler.
Read Next: Top 10 Best Dual-Zone Wine Coolers
2. Runner Up: Kalamera 46-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Cooler
If you have deep pockets and a growing wine collection, consider investing in this 46-bottle dual-zone cooler, again from the inimitable Kalamera.
Dual-zone coolers are crucial if you want to keep both red and white wine for short-term consumption. As you’ll doubtless be aware, red and white wines are best served at different temperatures. With this cooler, you can chill your whites in the upper zone from 40F to 50F. Down below, there’s space for a good selection of reds. Keep this chilled slightly less aggressively from 50F to 66F.
You can, of course, set both zones to the same temperature if you plan to use this cooler for long-term storage. Strive for 55F and then adjust to serve if you’re in this for the long haul.
The adjustable beech shelving can be reconfigured if you need to store larger bottles. Capacity will be correspondingly reduced. You should also note that, as with all wine coolers, the quoted capacity is absolutely crammed. Our advice is to err on the side of caution and go larger than you first think you need.
With very little noise or vibration, you won’t end up with the sediment in your wine bottles agitated and the flavor impaired.
Build quality is robust. Solid beech shelves and stainless steel throughout ensures that this cooler will last the distance. As with the cooler above, you might suffer from a lack and unresponsive customer service if you run into any issues. Given the overall quality of this superb wine cooler, we don’t think there’s much chance of disappointment, though.
Read Next: Top 5 Best Wine and Beverage Coolers
3. Phiestina 46 Bottle Wine Cooler 24 Inch Built-in Wine Refrigerator
- 46 bottles
- Built in or freestanding
- Front vent
- 4 x 33 x 22.4 inches
What can you do if you want a built-in wine cooler right now, but you also want the flexibility of a standalone unit if you move house or change your mind about placement? Well, this dual-zone wine cooler from Phiestina gives you the option of installation using either method, so you never need to compromise.
If you collect both red and white wine, you’ll appreciate they need storing at different temperatures. This is the key selling point of any dual-zone cooler and something well-executed on this model. The upper zone will keep your white wine chilled between 40F and 50F. Down below, keep your favorite reds cooled from 50F to 66F. Choose to display the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Again, you don’t need to make sacrifices with the Phiestina.
You get even more flexibility when it comes to positioning thanks to the reversible door hinge. This allows you to make full use of cramped spaces and to enjoy a personalized setup.
While this wine cooler will keep all your favorite bottles chilled at the right temperature either short-term or long-term, it runs very quietly and you won’t be menaced by that tedious thrumming sound.
5 removable shelves mean you can configure your storage environment to suit your wine collection. These shelves are also fully adjustable.
If you want a hard-hitting wine cooler delivering impressive capacity without dominating the whole kitchen, give the Phiestina a shot. Build quality and performance are more than fit for purpose, and this cooler is keenly priced, too.
Read Next: The 10 Best Small Wine Coolers
4. Aobosi Wine Refrigerator and Cooler
- 18 bottles
- 57 cans
- Built in or freestanding
- 5 x 27 x 27 inches
If you have a busy household with the need to store both bottled and canned beverages, this Aobosi cooler is a neat solution.
You’ll have space for 18 bottles and over 50 cans in this unit.
Crucially, you’ll also benefit from twin cooling zones. On the left-hand side, you can store your white wines chilled from 35.6F to 50F. The other side of the cooler gives you a temperature band of 41F to 64.4F, perfect for any red wines you need to store short-term or long-term. Using a dual-zone cooler minimizes the hassle of bringing wines to serving and drinking temperature. Keep them ready to serve and for as long as you want.
You can accommodate 18 standard bottles of Bordeaux, but you can also adjust or remove the shelves if you need to make space for larger bottles of bubbly.
There’s a stainless steel vent baked into the front of this cooler giving you more flexibility in terms of positioning. Choose to build this cooler into your cabinets or leave it freestanding. You won’t need to leave too much space for the heat to dissipate if you build this cooler in since that vent takes care of things for you.
For a multipurpose cooler that would make a great addition to any kitchen, Aobosi hits a home run here.
Read Next: Aobosi 24” Wine Cooler Review Guide
5. Lanbo 44 Bottle Built-in Wine Cooler
- 44 bottles
- Built-in or freestanding
- Temperature memory
- 6 x 23.4 x 33.4 inches
Lanbo manufactures a wide range of highly respectable wine coolers, so what do you get for your money here?
The dual-zone functionality is perfect if you plan to store both red and white wines. If you’re new to wine collecting, you’ll soon discover that you need to chill these wines at different temperatures if you want to enjoy them at their finest.
The top zone of this unit has a range from 41F to 54F. This is ideal for aggressively chilling your white wines so you can benefit from that icy crispiness. With red wines, keep them down below at a warmer temperature range between 54F and 64F.
All shelving is made from natural beech which looks great and is built to stay the distance. The shelves are removable and adjustable, allowing you to create a highly customized storage environment depending on what you plan to keep inside.
With a double-paned and tempered glass door, you’ll ensure that your storage environment remains secure and uncontaminated by outside light. You’ll also be able to see your collection clearly without needing to open the doors.
The only real complaints we could find when researching this cooler came in the form of some blowback from customers who have experienced poor customer service. Overall, though, consumer opinion is overwhelmingly positive.
If you need a reasonably compact wine cooler you can build into your cabinets without spending a fortune, Lanbo delivers.
6. EdgeStar 38-Bottle Wine Cooler
If you have a smaller to mid-sized collection of red and white wine, EdgeStar’s rock-solid 38-bottle cooler gives you the capacity to cope. In return, you need to make space for this 23 x 19.3 x 33.9-inch gem. Assuming you have the room in your kitchen, what do you get with this cooler, then?
As with all wine coolers, maximum stated capacity is something you should consider as the outer limit, not a comfortable number of bottles to keep on the go. Also, capacity is based on using regular 750ml Bordeaux bottles. With larger bottles of champagne or similar, you’ll need to rejig the shelving, and you’ll accommodate fewer bottles.
For anyone who drinks red and white wine throughout the week, a dual-zone cooler makes life much easier. The upper zone has a temperature range of 40F to 54F. In the lower zone, chill from 54F to 64F. This allows you to keep your whites strongly chilled while your reds sit cooling at a slightly higher temperature. See the FAQs below for more details on temperature.
When you want to install this cooler, you can hang the door on either side to max out your options.
EdgeStar is an industry staple as you’ll see by the number of their coolers on our list. You get great brand heritage, solid customer care, and coolers built by an expert in this space. What’s not to love?
1) What’s the best temperature if I’m storing red and white wine long-term?
Aim for a constant temperature of 55F. You can then adjust the temperature when it’s time to serve your wine. Wine storage temperature is not a precise science. You don’t have to worry about a few degrees above or below 55°F whether you store reds or whites.
2) What temperature should white wine be chilled at?
Lighter white wines are served chilled, between 7-10 degrees Celsius (44-50 degrees Fahrenheit). It is best to serve white wines with more at a temperature of 10-13 degrees Celsius (50-55 Fahrenheit) – just lightly chilled. White wine will last 3-5 days in the fridge. It’s best to store full-bodied whites with a vacuum-sealed cork in the fridge.
3) What temperature should red wine be chilled at?
Red wine is best chilled at 55F to 65F depending on the type of red wine in question. Lower temperatures are preferred by lighter-bodied wines with high acidities, such as Loire Valley Cabernet Franc. 90 minutes in a refrigerator is sufficient. Bordeaux and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, which are fuller-bodied, tannic wines, taste better when chilled for 45 minutes.
4) Why can’t I just store my wine in the kitchen refrigerator? How cold do wine refrigerators get to?
Wine refrigerators get as cold as 46 degrees Fahrenheit, but that does not mean wine needs to be kept at that temperature for long-term storage. The average kitchen fridge also fails in terms of temperature and humidity levels for wine storage. Beyond this, when you’re storing wine, you want a consistent environment. Use a dedicated cooler to bring out the best qualities in your wine.
5) What’s the point of a dual-zone wine cooler?
If you regularly drink both red wine and white wine, you need to chill them to different temperatures. As outlined above, you will not achieve this in the kitchen fridge. A single-zone cooler does not allow you sufficient flexibility for storing mixed wines short term.
6) What’s the difference between compressor-based cooling and thermoelectric cooling?
What counts for you, the consumer, is that a thermoelectric cooler is typically much quieter while a compressor wine cooler is louder but more able to deal with cooling larger batches of wine bottles.
7) Do I need to get my wine cooler professionally installed if I am building it in?
Only you know how comfortable you are with small DIY jobs. Installing most built-in wine coolers should take little more than an hour and some basic tools. If you’re happy with this type of project, there’s no need to call in a professional. If you do need a contractor, it should be a quick, cheap job.
8) How long does wine last in the fridge
Wine will last 3-5 days in the fridge, and it’s best to use a vacuum-sealed cork while storing your wine in the fridge.
Well, by now you should be absolutely clear on all aspects of storing your wine in a cooler at home.
If you decide a built-in cooler makes the wisest approach, you can rely on any of the models we highlight today. Also, if you decide to buy a cooler not on our shortlist, you’ve got all the buying guidance you need to make that decision with no time or trouble. Let us know how you get on.
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