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: December 08, 2020
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Wine requires the right light, temperature, and humidity conditions to improve its flavor as it ages. The best small wine cooler provides an ideal solution if you’re limited on space or you don’t need to store many bottles at a time. We found the most durable and compact models with different capacities to help you identify the right product for your needs.
To achieve this, we reviewed the most remarkable models the market has to offer. Eventually, the most outstanding one, in our opinion, is the NutriChef 8 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler, which boasts of compact overall dimensions, yet can easily store eight bottles of wine at an appropriate temperature and humidity level.
During our research, we looked at the bottle capacity to ensure that it is spacious enough, while the dimensions will allow it to fit in small spaces. Next, we assessed the number of shelves and whether the product is single-zoned or dual-zoned to allow for the storage of both red and white wine, which requires different serving temperatures to stay fresh. Our article includes a comparison table, in-depth reviews of the features of each product, and a detailed buying guide with more information on the key features to prioritize when shopping and a helpful FAQ segment.
Our Editor’s Choice for the best small wine cooler for white or red wine is NutriChef 8 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler which is equipped with a built-in circulation fan and ventilation grill for optimal airflow.
It comes in a fancy silver design and highly-functional thermoelectric cooling technology that saves energy and runs quietly. The reinforced glass door features air-tight seal to counter fluctuating ambient temperatures.
You can stack up to eight bottles of wine on the four contoured and polished chrome wine shelves and set your ideal temperature from a range of 50°F to 64°F using touchscreen controls. The cooler supports both Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements and you can monitor the current temperature levels and the interior with the digital display readout and the well-lit LED light that you can easily turn off.
Owners who consider this product as the best small thermoelectric wine cooler like its freestanding design that allows for installation on floors and tables as well as under counters. They also like how the interior light turns off automatically after a few minutes to save energy, and the lock safety button that prevents accidental operation. To activate auto-lock, press and hold the up and down arrows together until you hear a beep.
Buyers sum it as a wonderful product in design, function, and pricing. A couple of customers had faulty control panels that they resolved or received a replacement from the sellers.
Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Wine Refrigerator: the name says it all. This model houses up to 18 Bordeaux bottles of fine and you can safely store both red and white wine because it has dual-zone functionality. Sparkling white wine and fruity red wine require different temperature levels to preserve their optimal quality and taste, and this is where dual-zoned models with different temperature controls have an edge over their single-zone counterparts. This particular model has adjustable temperature ranges of 54 to 66°F and 46 to 66°F for red and white wine respectively, making it the best small dual temp wine cooler.
The CFC-free thermoelectric unit also comes with a reflective smoked-glass Thermopane door and a stainless steel rim.
It is the ideal appliance for a party because it has a capacity of up to 18 regular-sized bottles, holding 8 and 10 bottles in the upper and lower sections respectively. You can pull out any of the 8 shelves to create more room for longer and larger bottles.
The model also features interior LED lighting and a digital touchscreen for temperature readout and control.
Buyers also like the sleek design, the low unobtrusive humming sound, and the vertical profile that does not take up plenty of space.
The manufacturer advises against installing this freestanding unit into a cabinet or under a counter because an enclosed space might limit ventilation.
The EdgeStar 18 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler takes wine refrigeration to another level with a carbon filter that is included in the package and a high capacity of 18 standard-sized bottles of red or white wine. The carbon filter is great at absorbing odor and other compounds that can affect the flavor and smell of your wine. The bottles are stored on six adjustable wire shelves that can be removed to increase vertical space.
Other features that make this premium model unique are the reversible double-paned tempered glass door, built-in and freestanding installation capabilities that provide versatile placement options, and an ultra-slim space-saving design that makes it one of the best small under-counter wine coolers on the market. A reversible door is convenient because you can customize it to open on the left or right side to fit in the available space or to suit your handedness.
The single temperature zone cooler also comes with a temperature range of 40°F to 65°F, and a digital blue LED display with intuitive touchpad temperature control.
It also excels in terms of construction with a sturdy stainless steel door and glass protected by the black dot matrix. The black design is fairly inconspicuous so it would be easy to blend in with other appliances while still allowing you to keep an eye on your drinks with the blue internal LED-lit interior.
This model also differs from others on our list because it uses fans as well as a compressor for powerful airflow. While such products typically use more energy than thermoelectric models, this one remains energy-efficient and has been approved by ETL. The downsides are the slightly noisy operation and the high price.
NewAir AW-121E is a 4-shelved wine cooler with a single temperature zone and a capacity of up to 12 bottles of wine.
It utilizes thermoelectric cooling mechanism that limits vibration that could affect your wine’s sediment and aging process. This cooling technology also results into a quieter model that generates maximum noise level of 25 decibels.
The interior of this cooler is illuminated by soft blue LED light which together with clear glass door makes it easy to view your collection.
This stainless-steel wine cooler is designed to be installed as a standalone unit for proper ventilation. This is to leave enough clearance for air to flow from the fan at the back of the unit. If you prefer built-in models, consider a product with a fan that circulates air from the bottom to the top.
As with any refrigeration appliance, it is advisable to leave it upright for two hours before you plug it into a power outlet.
The main complaint is the advertised capacity of this cooler that some customers dispute because of the narrow shelves, which necessitate removing some of them to fit the indicated capacity. There are also few reports of malfunctioning units. However, most buyers are in consensus about the steady maintenance of the set temperature that keeps their wine cool.
The Ivation 8 Bottle Countertop Thermoelectric Wine Cooler is one of the best small thermoelectric wine coolers with an extensive temperature range of 46° F to 64°F to preserve the flavor and freshness of your red or white wine. The solid CFC-free polyurethane heavy foam insulation and tempered smoked Thermopane door maintain consistent temperature and humidity as well as block light and UV rays that can affect the quality of your wine.
The freestanding unit has a small footprint that will be an advantage to users who are low on space. This means you can set it anywhere as long as you leave enough clearance at the back for unobstructed airflow. Additionally, it uses thermoelectric cooling system that is both quiet and energy-efficient. This is one of the notable features that have impressed buyers, along with the two shelves that can hold eight bottles, making this product a suitable choice for anyone who is upgrading from the six-bottle capacity models.
Operation is by touch controls, and an LCD screen displays the selected temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. For safety purposes, you have to press the unlock button first to use the controls. You can also turn the interior light off.
Unfortunately, this is a single-zone appliance that may not be ideal for people who would like to store both red and white wine in it. Also, among users, there was a complaint about the poor instructions the unit comes with.
Our Budget Pick is also one of the top-rated small six-bottle wine coolers with an impressive temperature range of 46°F to 64°F for people with small wine collection and limited spaces.
Magic Chef MCWC6B is equipped with three shelves and two sculpted chrome racks that can be removed to create room for larger bottles.
Since this unit does not have a thermostat or digital display, you have to adjust the temperature with the dial above the LED light through the trial and error method or use a thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.
Several users praise the soft blue LED backlit interior that keeps the bottles visible even at night and the small size that fits well on their countertops as long as you leave five inches on the sides for ventilation. However, several of them with this single-zone model would keep the wine cold instead of chilled. This could be attributed to the thermoelectric cooling system that is prone to fluctuations due to ambient temperature.
There are also mixed reports about the noise levels, with some users reporting the noiseless operation and others noting a low-level high pitched sound.
This RCA 6-Bottle Wine Cooler features white interior light and a clear two-layer glass door design that insulates the unit and also lets you see inside without opening the door. It has adjustable temperature ranging from 46°F to 64°F but no integrated thermostat. To set your desired temperature, get a digital thermometer to monitor the current internal temperature and then turn the knob on the top right corner to the selected setting.
This single-zone product comes with three shelves to fit up to six bottles. However, a number of users note that the top slot can only fit one standard-size bottle or two small wine bottles due to the space taken up by the temperature control knob which is placed awkwardly in close proximity. You can remove the racks to adjust the height to fit larger bottles although they will have to be fewer than six.
While the majority of buyers consider this entry-level appliance as the best small under counter wine cooler that works as expected at that pricing point, there are several buyers who received damaged units with dented or broken parts. Otherwise, the users like the simple, compact and unobtrusive design and the convenient interior lighting.
Eco Appliances Deco 7 Bottles Thermoelectric Wine Cooler is a striking product that comes in a slim and stylish design that would complement most décor and fit in several limited spaces, including in RVs, because you can mount it on a wall or onto the floor with brackets, install it as a freestanding unit, or as a built-in addition to your cabinet, making it the best small wine cooler for beer and wine.
It features a stainless steel exterior that is rust-proof and a magnetic door that is resistant to fingerprints. The door is opened by pushing the lever positioned on the top left. You can hide the lever by pushing it again. A door with a reversible hinge is also available for separate purchase.
We like the large number of seven shelves which can hold up to seven bottles and the eco-friendly thermoelectric cooling system that uses less energy and operates quietly since there are no moving parts. We also like the special racks that limit vibrations and the slide lock mechanism of this single-zone cooler that secures the bottles in place.
Although this may be costly for some users, you will get your money’s worth with this trim tower-designed model that can be tucked in tight spaces and the touchscreen controls that let you set the temperature between 51°F to 64°F.
What we liked:
Slim space-saving profile
Multiple installation options
Quiet and eco-friendly
Slide lock feature
What could be better:
Things to Сonsider
This all-encompassing buying guide consists of an extensive review of the key features that make the best small thermoelectric wine coolers and an FAQ segment where you will learn more about the ideal temperatures for various wines and the suitable environment to set up your product to preserve your wine’s taste and texture.
Why you should look for a wine cooler at all
With the best small dual temp wine cooler, you can store both red and white wine in the cooling zones of one unit at the same time and their respective optimal temperatures.
They preserve the quality of your wine and allow you to grow your collection in optimal aging conditions.
You can enjoy your wine at its ideal serving temperature at any time.
They are available in varied sizes, capacity, and pricing range to accommodate a wider range of individual needs. The best small six-bottle wine coolers also support multiple installation methods.
They feature stylish stainless steel and polished wood that adds style to your kitchen and blends with most color schemes.
Features to consider when choosing a small wine cooler
These are the features you should prioritize when choosing the best small under counter wine coolers as well as other freestanding models.
Although there are coolers that hold over 150 bottles of wine, most small wine coolers have a capacity of 6 to 18 bottles which is ideal for people with limited budgets and spaces and anyone who is just starting to collect wine or who does not drink wine frequently.
These cooling appliances usually feature shelves that can be removed to increase the height to fit larger bottles. You will also need to confirm the size of the bottle specified by the manufacturer.
Getting the right fit to match your wine demand is also energy-efficient because leaving plenty of space in the unit will necessitate more energy to cool your wine.
Number of shelves
In addition to ensuring that the shelves are made of sturdy materials like chrome-plated wire found in the NewAir AW-121E and the Magic Chef MCWC6B that can securely hold the weight of your wine bottles, you will also need to establish the number of shelves that will be able to store your collection.
Majority of the best small wine coolers for beer and wine come with shelves that can be removed to adjust the height so you can stack more wine bottles horizontally, fit bottles that are larger than the standard 750 ml size, and place beer bottles in an upright position.
The reason wine bottles should be stored on their sides is to maximize oxidation to age the wine and moisten the cork for secure sealing.
You will find out more about the varied optimal temperatures required to serve different varieties of wine to preserve aroma, flavor, and quality in our FAQ section. This is why you should consider the best small dual temp wine cooler that supports extensive range of temperature. A great example is the versatile dual-zone Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Wine Refrigerator with temperature ranges of 54 to 66°F for red wine and 46 to 66°F for white wine.
Although it does not come with two cooling areas for both red and white wine at a time, the EdgeStar 18 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler is another ideal choice for wine enthusiasts because it has one of the most extensive optimal ranges of the temperature of 40°F to 65°F to chill and cool wine.
Wine coolers are generally designed to be set up as a standalone appliance or as built-in units for cabinets and under the counter. Your choice of product will depend on the amount of space available and your personal preference. However, you need to confirm the mode of installation before making your decision to avoid overheating and poor airflow. This is because models designed to be standalone normally circulate air from the back, and integrating them into cabinets and counters will hinder that.
The advantage of compact freestanding units is that they can be placed on countertops or anywhere else as long as there is enough clearance on the sides. However, moving them may affect the sediments that improve the wine’s texture and flavor as it ages.
On the other hand, the best small under counter wine cooler can be conveniently installed in your existing cabinetry to match your kitchen’s color scheme or in a dedicated space for your wine collection.
Then there are versatile coolers like the Eco Appliances Deco 7 Bottles Thermoelectric Wine Cooler that support several forms of installation. You can install this particular model as a freestanding unit, mount it on walls, floors or RVs by using the brackets provided with the product, or incorporate it as a built-in design to your cabinet, making it the best small thermoelectric wine cooler for 7 bottles. It also features a slim and stylish tower design that would fit in in tight spaces and blend in seamlessly.
The EdgeStar 18 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler also offers convenient options for setups. These include built-in and freestanding installation support and a reversible door that can be customized to open on your preferred side.
The level of noise output is mainly influenced by the mode of cooling technology. The most popular cooling methods for wine coolers are Thermoelectric cooling system and Compressor mechanism.
The NutriChef 8 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler and small six-bottle wine coolers utilize thermoelectric technology which uses a Peltier device with two heat sinks to transfers heat via electrical energy. Due to the absence of a compressor and a pump, these models are energy-efficient and quiet with minimal to no vibration. However, they are prone to fluctuations from the ambient temperature.
Products like the EdgeStar 18 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler feature a compressor and fans that generate powerful air circulation since they can use both the compressor and electrical energy to cool your wine. This makes them the most effective products for cold wine. Unfortunately, you may have to contend with vibration and a higher amount of noise.
Compact size is one of the things you can be count on in the best small dual temp wine coolers like the Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Wine Refrigerator because they are designed to fit in limited spaces such as countertops, under the counter, built into cabinets or installed as a standalone model for RVs and other narrow spaces. This is the reason most of them sport a slim design with minimal footprint.
When looking at the dimensions of your prospective model and comparing them to your designated wine collection space, remember to factor in enough room around the cooler to avoid obstruction of airflow from the vents. This is particularly important in freestanding units that feature vents at the back.
Display: A digital screen is useful in displaying selected settings such as the current temperature levels.
Interior light: To maintain consistent temperature and limit light that may deteriorate the stored wine, the best small under counter wine coolers illuminate the interior with soft LED blue light so you can view your collection without opening the door. LED is preferred because, unlike traditional bulbs, it does not generate a lot of heat.
Reversible Doors: This door can be installed to open on the right or left side to save space or to match your handedness.
Wine should ideally be stored at 55°F to maintain optimal flavor and freshness. However, different types of wines require different temperature levels for serving. For instance, dry and sparkling white wine needs to be served at very cold temperature of 40°F to 50°F whereas full-bodied red wine require temperature of 60°F to 65°F. On the other hand, fruity red wine and full-bodied white wine should be served at a temperature of 50°F to 60°F. This is why you should consider extensive range of temperature before buying the best small thermoelectric wine cooler.
The best small dual temp wine coolers such as the Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Wine Refrigerator are advantageous because they come with two cooling areas that that can be independently programmed to specific temperatures to match the varied optimal conditions required to preserve and serve different types of wine. Comparatively, single-zone coolers only have one cooling area with temperature that can be set to suit either red or white wine instead of both kinds.
Ideally, the cooler should be set up in a dark environment to avoid the harmful effects of UV rays. Ultraviolet rays cause discoloration and change the flavor of your wine. However, you don’t have to worry about viewing the interior of the unit because even the small under counter wine coolers generally come with clear glass doors and soft blue LED light to illuminate the interior.
The NutriChef 8 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler makes the best small thermoelectric wine cooler with a reasonable pricing point and optimal airflow facilitated by the built-in fan and ventilation grill and thermoelectric cooling technology that saves energy and operates quietly.
The Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Wine Refrigerator has an impressive capacity of 18 wine bottles that can be placed on the 8 shelves as well as two temperature zones that are suitable for cooling both red and white wine in storage at the same time, making this unit the best small dual zone wine cooler for tight spaces.
The EdgeStar 18 Bottle Built-In Wine Cooler has outstanding features like a reversible door that is convenient for installation and a carbon filter that absorbs odor and gaseous compounds that may affect the flavor and aroma of your wine. It also boasts of one of the broadest range of optimal wine temperatures of 40°F to 65°F, a digital LED display and intuitive touchpad controls.