Judith is a fairy in the world of writing: she manages to turn any topic (far not only a kitchen-related) into an entertaining text that is so easy and educating to read. Fond of gardening, reading, and cooking, of course.
Emily has over 10 years of professional experience using, testing and comparing kitchen appliances. Her knowledge helps to easily and naturally solve everyday problems. She is also the owner of the lifestyle blog emilyreviews.com
Last updated: August 25, 2021
Whether you’re a seasoned wine collector or you just like a glass of wine now and then, you need the right storage area for your wine. Unfortunately, not all wine coolers are created equal, despite their manufacturer’s claims. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you, researching and choosing the best 12-bottle wine cooler models on the market, making your job much easier.
When picking the 6 wine coolers for our reviews, we focused on some important features, like the ability to maintain the perfect temperature for your wine for the proper storage and best taste possible. We also chose models that were sturdy and made of high-quality materials that would last for years. There are also models with varying dimensions, as well as shelf amounts and placements, so you can find the right one for the space you have available. All the models in our reviews are freestanding, so you don’t even need to worry about difficult and timely installation. If you’re in the market for the best 12-bottle wine cooler, check out our detailed reviews and buying guide below.
Those who prefer the compressor-type wine coolers will love the NutriChef PKCWC12. This model features a precision compressor cooling system combined with a circulation fan and a ventilation grill. Together, these keep the air in the cooler at the perfect temperature without making a lot of noise.
This model is quite durable, with stainless steel for the housing and a reinforced glass door that seals the cold air in. A sleek handle and polished chrome wire racks add to the style and strength of this unit.
There is a digital touch-button display at the top of the door, which allows you to raise or lower the internal temperature as needed and locks when you’re done. Integrated LED lights in the unit can be turned on when you’re choosing a bottle and off again when you’re done to reduce energy costs.
There are 6 racks inside, the bottom of which is a tall rack to store bottles standing up. These racks can be adjusted or removed as needed to fit varying bottle sizes.
Why is it special? The modern design of this unit fits nicely in any space, plus it features a reinforced glass door, polished chrome racks, and a bottom tall shelf, giving you plenty of wine position options.
What are the flaws? Though you can fit slimmer bottles on the top shelf, the fan makes it difficult to fit larger ones in this area.
If you’re looking for the best 12-bottle dual zone wine cooler but don’t want to spend a fortune on one, the Koolatron WC12DZ is a great model to try out. This wine cooler has two cooling zones with varying temperatures, so you can store your reds and whites at different temperatures.
On the front of the tempered mirror glass door are digital touch controls for each cooling area, allowing you to adjust the settings as needed for each type of wine. There is also a touch light switch to turn on or off the interior light.
The WC12DZ uses thermoelectric cooling that is vibration-free and quiet, so your wine cooler won’t disturb you or your guests. On the bottom of the unit are adjustable legs, allowing you to position it as needed on the floor or a countertop.
Inside the unit are 4 racks, 2 for each cooling area. These are removable for storing large or irregular-sized bottles, plus you can fit some cans in there as well. With the shelves inside, you have room for up to 6 bottles of wine in each area.
What do we love it for? The Koolatron WC12DZ has a decent price, with dual-zone cooling chambers for storing red and white wine. It is also quiet, with removable shelves for fitting varying bottle sizes.
What were we disappointed with? Though this is a quality wine cooler, it only includes a 90-day warranty, which is quite short for units of this type.
The Cenports Powell 12-bottle Wine Cooler is a compact model that fits nicely in any space, including in an indoor bar, a kitchen, or anywhere else in your home. Despite its small size, this handy unit stores all of your favorite bottles of wine, so you’re ready for any event.
This wine cooler is lightweight, yet durable, made of mostly metal to add strength to the cooler’s body. The glass door keeps all your bottles visible, with an LED light on the inside, so you can see every bottle at all times. An LED display at the top of the door lets you adjust and monitor the fridge’s temperature at all times.
The Cenports Powell 12-bottle Wine Cooler uses anti-vibration technology that keeps it quiet as it runs. This also provides the cooler with leak-proof, frost-free cooling, making much more energy-efficient than some others on the market.
One unique feature that you won’t find on many models is the adjustable shelving options. These allow you to store 12 bottles horizontally or use the vertical shelf piece to stand the bottles you’ve already opened.
What makes it stand out? We loved the dual shelving options, the leak-proof design, and the LED display. The energy-efficiency also helps reduce energy costs while maintaining the cooler’s temperature.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Though you can fit the 12 bottles horizontally in this little wine cooler, the vertical shelving option decreases the limit by a bottle or 2, depending on their size.
The Caso WineSafe 12-Bottle Wine Cooler is a sleek model with a modern design that adds a bit of style to any home. The front of the unit is elegant stainless steel, with a shiny ergonomic handle and simple controls on the top. These controls allow you to adjust the wide temperature range, which shows up on the white LED display.
For those who like to see their wine but still want to protect it, there is 3-layer insulated glass that also includes a UV filter to prevent those harmful UV rays from destroying your wine.
A smooth-running compressor system keeps your wine cool inside this unit. Though some compressors can be noisy, this one runs quietly, plus this model includes special feet that reduce the vibrations even more. This keeps the noise down and allows the wine to settle properly inside the cooler.
There are 3 shelves that can hold up to 12-bottles of wine, depending on their size. These shelves are made of durable wood, plus they can be removed if needed to fit in larger bottles.
What are its best features? The Caso WineSafe 12-Bottle Wine Cooler has a lovely modern design, with insulated safety glass. It runs quietly, with a wide temperature range to suit all types of wine.
What could be improved? Though this is a stylish model with a lot of great features, it is a bit pricey, so it may not be the right choice for budget-conscious wine enthusiasts.
The Oteymart 12-bottle Wine Cellar Cooler is the perfect model to hold a variety of your favorite wines, keeping them at the optimal temperature. This model is built well, with engineered thermoplastic ABS for the housing and stainless steel for the trim. The tempered glass door is double-layered with a UV shield to help maintain the fridge’s temperature and protect your wine.
This slim model uses 1-touch controls and an LED display. This allows you to adjust the temperature as needed to ensure your wine is the right temperature for full flavor when you open the bottles. Interior LED lighting keeps your wine bottles illuminated, so you can easily grab the right one for every meal. The 6 shelves inside the cooler are removable, so you can fit larger bottles inside when needed.
Another great feature is the thermoelectric cooling system, which is energy-efficient and quiet, plus it eliminates cooler vibration, so your wines will not be disturbed and can age and settle as they are supposed to. The fan and ventilation grill circulate the air within the cooler, maintaining its temperature.
Why did it make our list? The best features this model has to offer are the durable housing, the tempered glass door, the touch-sensitive controls, and the removable shelves for varying bottle sizes.
What is not ideal about it? Though it has a stylish look and great features, this unit is a bit more expensive than some other models, so may not fit into every budget.
The Wine Enthusiast 12-Bottle Compact Wine Cooler has a sleek, freestanding design that fits nicely in your home bar, kitchen, or anywhere else you have space for it. It is compact but still has enough space to hold 12 standard bottles of wine.
Inside this unit are 4 chrome wire shelves, which are shaped perfectly to cradle the bottles. There is also an interior LED light that you can turn on when choosing a wine and off again after the door is closed.
You can easily adjust the temperature of the wine cooler as needed using the digital touchscreen on the door, which displays the current temperature at all times. This is also where the light switch is located, within easy reach.
The best feature that this wine cooler has to offer is the solid-state cooling technology, which meets the current energy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy, so you don’t need to worry about it raising your energy bill by a significant amount.
What stands out? This affordable and energy-efficient wine cooler has a sleek design, with a digital touchscreen for adjusting the temperature and light and durable chrome wire shelves to securely hold all of your favorite wines.
What could be better: Though the solid dark door keeps the harmful UV rays from reaching your wine, it also means you can’t see the bottles inside without opening the door. It also has a small temperature range, limiting the wine types that you can keep inside.
Things to Consider
Those who like to keep at least a few bottles of wine in their home need the proper place to store those bottles to ensure that the wine doesn’t spoil before they drink it. Having the best 12-bottle wine cooler ensures that any type of wine you buy is kept at the optimal temperature until you’re ready to open it and enjoy a glass on your own or share the bottle with a few friends. Of course, not every wine cooler includes the same features, so knowing which ones are important is a must. For more information on what wine coolers have to offer, keep reading.
Features to consider when choosing a 12-bottle wine cooler
When choosing a new 12-bottle wine cooler, there are a few features you may want to consider. This will help you choose the right one to meet your needs.
Different types of wine need to be stored at different temperatures for the optimal flavor and character. That’s why wine coolers usually have adjustable temperature ranges, giving you the ability to store your favorite wines without risking spoilage. Of course, the wider the range, the more options you have to store varying types of wine.
For instance, the Wine Enthusiast 12-Bottle Compact Wine Cooler has a range of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is fine for most red wines, but some whites need a higher temperature, so this cooler may not be able to keep up with a wider wine selection. The Caso WineSafe 12-Bottle Wine Cooler has a range of 41 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows you to store a wider range of wine options at the perfect temperature.
Number and design of shelves
The number of shelves and the way they are designed are not just for aesthetic purposes. These features determine how many bottles you can store at once and how the bottles are held in the wine cooler. Tall slim models will need slimmer shelves, usually holding only 2 bottles per shelf. This is fine for standard bottles, but wider bottles will need more room, limiting the space for a second bottle. Even the wider shelves that hold 3 or 4 bottles will have this issue, so consider how big your wine bottles tend to be and buy the unit that will fit them comfortably.
How closely the shelves fit is another feature to consider. Those wide bottles may be difficult to squeeze between shelves that are too close together. Shelves with adjustable placement or that are removable give you more space but can also limit how many bottles you can fit in at once.
Another thing to consider is the design of the shelves. Most models require the bottles to lay flat, which isn’t an option for a bottle that’s already been opened. Having the option of vertical and horizontal shelves, like the ones offered in the Cenports Powell 12-bottle Wine Cooler, let you store both opened and unopened bottles at the same time.
Almost all of the 12-bottle wine cooler models in our reviews use single-zone cooling technology, which means you set the cooler to one temperature for everything inside of it. This is fine if you’re only storing one type of wine. The issue arises when you’re trying to store both red and white in the same cooler since these have different optimal temperatures.
That’s why many wine enthusiasts are choosing dual-zone coolers, like the Koolatron WC12DZ. These types of models have two different areas to store wine, each with its own temperature settings and ranges. This way, you can set each area at a specific temperature to store varying types of wines, enjoying both red and white without sacrificing the temperature on one for the other.
When it comes to installation types, there are 3 to choose from. One option is built-in wine coolers, which are designed to be built into a kitchen or bar area, blending into the area to add some aesthetic appeal without taking up a bunch of extra space. The downside to these units is that they need to fit the area you have available perfectly or you’ll be doing some costly renovations. They are also more difficult to install, especially if you’re aren’t used to this type of handiwork.
Countertop wine coolers are another option. As their name suggests, they sit directly on your countertop for easy access to your wine. Though convenient, these also have their drawbacks since they are usually smaller than the other types of wine coolers, holding fewer bottles. They also don’t have many of the features that are common in other types, such as dual-zone cooling.
Freestanding wine coolers have a few benefits over the others. First, since they are not built-in, you can place them anywhere you like without any difficult installation. Some are small enough to be placed on countertops but can also be placed in a corner out of the way or between your other appliances if needed. These models are also a bit cheaper than the built-in units, without sacrificing the features missing on the countertop models, which is why we chose these types for our reviews.
The controls on a 12-bottle wine cooler should be simple to use, allowing you to adjust the internal temperature without worrying about making the wrong selection. All of the units in our reviews have touch buttons that allow you to raise or lower the internal temperature of the fridge, depending on the wine you’re storing. Some of them also include a few other selection options, like the Wine Enthusiast 12-Bottle Compact Wine Cooler. This one has a separate button that allows you to turn on or off the light inside the cooler, rather than allowing it to stay on at all times or leave you in the dark when trying to choose your wine. The controls should be labeled well, with no question as to what each button is used for.
There are no right or wrong choices when it comes to the dimensions of the wine cooler you choose. Some people require a slim model to fit into the space they have available, while others want something they can tuck beneath a bar or away in a corner. When choosing the model for your home, the best thing to do is measure the space you have allocated for your wine cooler and then find one with the features you want that fits into that space.
Though you may never need to use it, the warranty is a good feature to look into before buying one of these appliances. Some issues with wine coolers or other home products don’t show up right away, so having a short warranty may mean you’re going to be paying for repairs or replacement models out of your pocket. Longer warranties give you more time to test out a wine cooler to be sure it’s working as it’s supposed to.
The best temperature to store red wine at is between 57 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, though you can keep some reds a bit warmer by a few degrees if preferred. White wine should be kept a bit colder, at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with a small variance on the type of white you’re storing. Both types also need between 50% and 70% humidity to reduce cork shrinkage and oxidation and should be kept out of direct sunlight that could spoil the wine.
Though they do consume a bit of energy, these types of appliances are usually built with energy-efficiency in mind. Of course, how efficient depends on the cooling type. Though compressor models offer more power, the thermoelectric coolers are more energy-efficient, so if this is a concern, the thermoelectric may be a better choice.
It is actually recommended to store an opened bottle of wine in a wine cooler or fridge. This is because the colder temperature will slow down the oxidation process for longer-lasting flavor. It is best to store it upright for a smaller surface area for oxygen exposure in an area that is protected from the light.
A wine cooler is a must-have item for anyone who keeps at least a few bottles on hand at all times. Though all 6 of the wine coolers in our reviews are high-quality models with great features, we do have a few favorites.
Our top choice is the NutriChef PKCWC12, which includes a compressor, circulation fan, and ventilation grill, though is still quiet. It features a wide temperature range, polished chrome racks with a tall bottom shelf, a locking digital touch-button display, reinforced glass door, and stainless steel housing.
The Koolatron WC12DZ is the only dual-zone model in our reviews for storing red and white wine at the same time. This model also features a tempered mirror glass door, removable shelves, digital touch controls, adjustable legs, and a vibration-free thermoelectric cooling system, plus it has a decent price.
The Cenports Powell 12-Bottle Wine Cooler is an energy-efficient model with a leak-proof, frost-free, anti-vibration cooling system. This lightweight model also includes 6 horizontal and 1 vertical shelves, an LED display, and a LED light.