Your guide to wine coolers and drinks chillers
Your guide to the best wine coolers and drinks chillers on the market
28 Oct 2014
You can take your dinner parties and family gatherings to the next level by serving wine and champagne at exactly the right temperature.
Finding space in the fridge alongside all your foodie treats is not easy and if you're a wine lover, a wine cooler is designed specifically for storing wine at the right temperature.
You can enjoy your wine served at the optimum temperature with appliances designed to sit under a counter, built-in, or on their own in any room.
What's different about wine coolers?
Wine coolers are specifically designed to maintain the integrity of wine. So whether your drink of choice is sauvignon blanc, pinot noir or a bottle of bubbly, you can be sure it's chilled to perfection.
You can buy coolers solely for storing one type of wine, or opt for
one that can hold red, white and champagne.
Key cooler considerations:
Before you take the plunge, here are some things you might like to consider:
1) Type of cooler
- Worktop: Ideal if you've only got a limited amount of space, although this offers the smallest capacity
- Integrated: Installed under a kitchen worktop, with models offering a range of capacities and features
- Freestanding: Taller wine coolers can store more than 200 bottles at different temperatures
Whichever type you choose, your wine will be stored horizontally, preventing the cork from cracking and air entering, which can damage the wine.
Don't buy too much cooler. There's no point having a freestanding set up that can hold more than 100 bottles if you only enjoy the occasional glass of wine with special dinners or when friends visit.
On the other hand, if you are a wine enthusiast aiming to build a collection then you're going to want as much space as you can get.
Think about how often you drink wine. Do you entertain often or seldom? Are you interested in building a collection or more concerned with having a bottle available at the right temperature at short notice?
We cover wine coolers ranging from holding 20 bottles to 132 in this feature.
The difference in temperature is very important; wine is not supposed to be served at the same temperature as beer or soft drinks. It is usual for wine coolers to run at a higher internal temperature of between 6 - 8 degrees (compared with a food refrigerator which typically runs at between 1- 4 degrees).
Recommended serving temperatures:
- White wine - 7-14°C
- Red wine - 10-19°C
- Rose - 7-13°C
- Champagne and sparkling wine - 6-11°C
Single-zone coolers are for storing one type of wine, with one constant temperature throughout. So if you only drink red wine, for example, you would only need a single temperature chiller.
Dual-zone coolers offer two temperatures so are ideal if you regularly enjoy different wines. White and red wines don't have the same optimum temperatures so this ensures they taste perfect when you come to pour a glass.
Other features to consider:
- UV-protected glass doors: This will keep your wine in good condition by keeping out the sun's rays
- Anti-vibration technology: Too much movement can ruin your wine - changing how it tastes and looks. Anti-vibration technology will keep it nice and still
- Adjustable shelves: These are handy if you want to store bottles that are bigger than standard, such as champagne. They also make it easier to load bottles and take them out
- Charcoal filters: These remove odours from the air that might harm your wine
3 wine coolers that we love:
1) CDA Wine Cooler - affordable option for one type of wine
The double-glazed glass door is smoked and UV-protected to prevent damage from sunlight.
2) Caple WI6127 Built-In Wine Cooler - store red and white together
Use the clever refrigeration tech to set one temperature zone to suit white wine (7-10°C) and the other to suit red (10-18°C) - maintaining the optimum levels for all of your bottles.
Its contemporary styling will slot in nicely to the most stylish kitchens, while its quiet running won't disturb the calm of your kitchen.
It also boasts UV-protected glass to prevent your wine being damaged on a sunny day, and anti-vibration tech to keep your plonk still.
3) Caple WF1546 Wine Cooler - 100+ bottles and 3 temp zones
This is a serious fridge for the serious wine enthusiast. The tall, free-standing cooler will be a real talking point in your kitchen - with its glass doors revealing as many as 132 bottles to your guests.
The wooden shelves on the Caple WF1546 can be moved around to accommodate bottles being laid flat or stood vertically - they're non-scratch too, just in case you scrape a bottle as you pull it from the shelf.
It offers three different temperature zones, so you can store rose or champagne alongside your red and white wine.
The door can be locked too, while low vibration technology means will keep your wine in tip-top shape.