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: May 07, 2021
As a wine lover, you know you need a wine fridge or cooler when you don’t have any space for groceries among the stacked wine bottles in your fridge. Also, if you have just started to collect some serious vintages and you don’t have any dry-cellar for long-term storage, you could use a wine fridge. A proper wine fridge will also elevate your ‘wino’ image, your guests will think your wines are fancier than they really are.
However, there are hurdles to owning a proper wine fridge. One, they are not so cheap, and two, they all kind of look the same when you look them up online. So, to help you jump these hurdles, we reviewed 5 best wine fridges under $500 that have been endorsed by sommeliers, winemakers, and fridge experts. We feel the Bossin 37 Bottle Wine Cooler/Cabinet Refrigerator is the best pick because it has premium features at a good price. It can hold a good amount of wine despite its compact space-saving design. It’s also energy-efficient and runs quietly.
We have evaluated 20 other products before, and recently we spent a good amount of time researching the latest trends to add to our past reviews. Our choice of the best wine fridges was based on a few key features, including; electric or manual, capacity, size, motor power, and weight. The features determine the level of a fridge’s performance and functionality. We have prepared a comparison table, detailed reviews of each of the products and a buying guide with all the information you would need before buying a wine fridge.
Extra features: 3 removable racks, touch panel control, double pane glass door, blue soft LED interior lighting, low noise
This is ideal for wine enthusiasts looking for a large capacity wine chiller on a budget. It fits 37 standard red or wine bottles. It can hold the bottles lying down (very space-efficient) or standing up, and you can also store your canned beer and other beverages in it.
The fridge can hold a couple of bottles, but it won’t occupy your entire kitchen space. It comes in a compact design with a double glass pane door that provides an ideal humidity level for your wines. The door prevents the sun’s UV rays from degrading and prematurely aging your wine.
The fridge also features soft blue LED lighting that beautifully displays the bottles and does no damage to the wine.
Every wine enthusiast is aware of the effect of temperature on wine. They need to be cooled at a consistent temperature to maintain their flavor and have them ready to drink. For an ideal temperature for your chardonnays and pinot noirs, you can always customize the fridge’s temps from 39F to 61F using the touch panel control it comes with. The temperatures will always be displayed on the digital temperature display for easy monitoring and control.
The fridge features an automatic control panel lock to keep curious kids away and reduce the probability of accidents. The lock isn’t foolproof for teens though.
Considering the number of features and bottles it can hold, the Bossin 37 Bottle Wine Cooler/Cabinet Refrigerator is priced competitively, thus, one of the best wine fridges you can get for that vintage collection you just started.
What do we love it for?
Large bottle capacity
Keeps wine at the exact temperature consistently
Automatic control panel lock
Touch panel control for temperature customization
What were we disappointed with?
High-pitched sound when it cools
Rounded corners on top-shelf don’t fit a full bottle
Extra features: freestanding/built-in, compressor cooling system, tampered double pane gray-smoked glass, auto defrost, optional humidity control tray activated carbon filter, security lock, and key.
This is the ultimate choice for the enthusiast or connoisseur who wants to save space without giving up quality and style with a tight budget.
The fridge comes in an innovative design with a premium appeal. Its stainless steel door and L Bar handle give it a luxurious finish. For increased UV protection, the fridge features a double pane tempered glass that ensures your wine is stored at constant temperature to maintain its original flavor.
The fridge has a single zone storage system that can hold up to 19 standard wine size bottles. For more space, you can remove the stainless steel trimmed wood racks in the unit. Its front ventilation design allows you to install it in your cabinets, under the counter, or simply use it in freestanding.
With its powerful compressor cooling system, the fridge offers a temperature range of 30F to 60F, which is optimum for red, white and even sparkling wines. You can control or customize the unit’s temperature using the Digital LED temperature control. You will also get a beautiful view of your wine collection thanks to the soft interior LED lighting that you can switch on and off whenever.
The fridge’s compressor is also fan-circulated for even temperature distribution. The fridge offers even more advanced wine storage with its auto defrost, optional humidity control tray, and an activated carbon filter.
You don’t have to keep the fridge out of children’s reach as it comes with a security lock. Even curious teenagers won’t get to touch your wine. All considered the Whynter wine refrigerator provides affordable and cutting-edge wine-storage functionality.
What makes it special?
Wide temperature range
Enhanced UV protection
What cons did we find?
Single cooling zone
SMETA 35 Bottle Wine Refrigerator – Best Looking Wine Refrigerator
Size: 35 bottles with handle
Temperature range: 39.2℉ – 64.4℉
Power: 85W (input)
Dimensions: 19 x 19.3 x 33 in
Extra features: removable shelves, cool blue LED lighting, LED display touch control, compressor cooling system, double-paned tempered glass door, freestanding.
If you want to add elegance to your beautiful kitchen interior with a wine fridge on a low-budget, this is your best pick. It is not only stylish but also highly functional.
The fridge comes in a sleek design with a stainless steel door and a luxurious handle with a black body. It is a freestanding design, not so big for any corner in your house but a bit big for your counters. Its cool blue LED lighting will awesomely showcase your bottles without causing any harm to the wine. It produces less heat than the normal incandescent bulbs; thus, no hot spots would form to spoil your wine.
Its door is double-paned and tempered for enhanced UV protection. You won’t have to worry about your wine being degraded or aged prematurely by harmful light.
The fridge can store 35 standard-sized wine bottles. In case you want to store bigger bottles, you can remove one of the shelves, and that would reduce the storage capacity as well. The removable shelves are made with durable steel material and can each hold up to 5 bottles.
The refrigerator’s temperature ranges between 39.2F and 64F, which is ideal for storing red, white, sparkling wines, and champagne. You can easily set your desired temperature with the LED display touch control.
The SMETA wine fridge is a perfect combination of beauty and top-notch performance. It offers nearly everything you would need on a fridge at a great price.
Why are we impressed?
Quality and stylish build
Large storage capacity
Great temperature ranges
Functional and beautiful interior lighting
Keeps wine at the right temperature
What negatives must you be aware of?
No adjustable feet
Puts out a lot of heat
Antarctic Star Wine Cooler/Refrigerator – Best for Beginner Wine Collectors
Size: 18 bottles
Temperature range: 41℉ – 68℉
Power: 58W (input)
Dimensions: 11.6 x 22.8 x 34.2 in
Extra features: built-in/freestanding, blue LED lights, sliding beech woodracks, quiet; low vibration, double-layered glass door, one-year warranty
If you are new to keeping wine, then this fridge perfectly suits you. It is very stylish and won’t take up much space in your house.
The fridge comes in a compact design with a frost-free stainless steel door and handle. It also features a double-layered tempered glass window that keeps harmful rays of light away from your wine. Unlike many fridges, it features atypical beech wooden shelves that enhance its look. The design will splendidly face-lift your kitchen or living room’s interior.
This wine cooler can hold about 18 bottles of wine. Its ability to hold various sizes of bottles set it apart among its peers. You don’t have to remove any shelves to fit bigger bottles, space is enough for all your favorite wines.
The blue LED lights will provide an ecstatic view of your collection without causing any damage to the wine.
The fridge is made to cool your wine and allow it to age and settle well without any disturbance. Its glass door has a tight seal to keep your wine at a steady temperature. Its cooling system is also advanced with a low vibration effect. You can comfortably have it in your bedroom, as it operates quietly.
For the best taste of your wine, you can modulate the temperature between 41F and 68F. The temperature ranges are best suited for cooling all kinds of wines and champagne.
As if that’s enough, you will get a 1-month replacement and refund from the manufacturer. You also get a one-year warranty, this just ticks the ‘quality’ checkbox of the wine fridge.
The Antarctic wine fridge is a perfect choice for any new wine enthusiast as its price, size and functionality level fit the bill.
Why did it make our list?
Great temperature range
Keeps wine at a constant temperature
It can hold various bottle sizes
What is not ideal about it?
The bottom shelf is not full-length
WIE 18 Bottles Wine Refrigerator – Best Value
Size: 18 bottles
Temperature range: 41°- 64°F
Power: 65W (rated)
Dimensions: 9.8 x 13.6 x 26 in
Extra features: compressor cooling system, freestanding, removable shelves, a tilting shelf, digital touch display, auto-defrost
If you mind your coins, then this should be your prime pick. This mid-size wine cooler offers you the best value with top-notch features and performance at a budget-friendly price.
The fridge comes in a classic fridge design with removable shelves. It has a black body with a reflective glass that gives it an elegant and stylish finish. Its soft blue LED interior lighting blends seamlessly with its body and brings a relaxed mood to your home without damaging your wine.
It is pretty small in size, so it won’t take up a lot of space in your home. It will neatly sit in any corner of your house and even enhance the room’s interior décor.
Any wine lover with an extensive wine collection will find the 18 bottle capacity of this wine cooler useful. You can also store canned beer or other beverages. One praiseworthy feature of this wine fridge is that there is no limit for the size and shapes of bottles you can store. You can store the bottles vertically or horizontally depending on your preference. Plus, there is a tilting shelf for those bottles you’ve already opened.
This compressor wine cellar is made to keep your wine in ideal, steady temperature and humidity to maintain its original flavor. The powerful compressor cooling system adapts to different room temperatures and extra heat loads. It works efficiently creating a favorable internal environment for your wine at temperatures as low as 41F to 64F which are right for various kinds of wines.
You can also customize the temps as you like with the digital touch display that has an easy-to-use control panel and LED display of the temperatures.
Overall, the WIE 18 wine fridge is coin for coin and foot for foot the best wine fridge for the money. Its precision cooling, among other features, makes it better than many thermoelectric fridges.
What are its best features?
It can store various bottle sizes and shapes
Small and lightweight
Aerator and vacuum stoppers
What could be improved?
Things to Consider
Now that you have known the necessity of a wine fridge, whether you are a long-time wine lover of you’re just beginning to build your palate, you need to get yourself the best. There are so many wine fridges in the market today, and picking the right one might be a challenge. There are a lot of things to consider and that’s where this buying guide comes in. It has all the information you would need to know about the features and what to expect from a wine fridge in terms of performance.
What to expect from a wine fridge?
Wine, just like the fruits it is made from, is delicate and can get spoiled if not correctly stored. To prevent this, it is essential to get a dedicated wine fridge made to protect wine from the factors that could spoil it like UV rays, extreme temperatures and vibrations. A proper wine fridge should provide steady temperature throughout while blocking out excess sunlight and minimizing artificial light. It should also have floating shelves and cooling systems with minimum vibrations.
Features to consider while choosing a wine refrigerator
Here are some key features you must consider before buying a wine fridge.
The size is crucial because it determines the amount of space it’ll occupy in your house and the number of bottles you can store in it. If you are new to collecting wines, you can go for the mid-sized or small wine fridges like the WIE 18 Bottles Wine Refrigerator reviewed above. Also, opt for wine fridges with a large bottle capacity but have a compact design to save on space in your house.
Wine fridges have different temperature ranges. While the ideal temperature for storing wine is 55 degrees, the serving temperature varies for different types of wines.
Red wines are served at room temperature, about 60 to 65 degrees, and white wines are served when chilled at about 50 to 60 degrees.
Sparkling wines are at their best when served cold at about 40 degrees. Depending on the type of wines you intend to store, choose a wine fridge with suitable temperature ranges.
Freestanding vs. built-in
Built-in wine fridges can both be used as stand-alone and in between cabinets like the Whynter BWR-18SA Beverage Refrigerator reviewed above. It would be smarter to settle for the flexibility they offer. Freestanding fridges, on the other hand, can only be used as stand-alone with proper airflow around them.
If you want to fine-tune your wine storage, you can go for the dual temperature zones wine fridge. They will allow you to set each section at a different temperature for different wines. The single zone wine fridges are more compact and affordable. They keep wine evenly cooled at the same temperature and are the best for long-term cellaring. All the fridges reviewed above are single-zoned.
Wine fridges employ either the thermo-electric or the compressor cooling systems. They create a conducive interior environment for your wine by maintaining a constant temperature.
Your wine fridge will always be on to keep your wines at constant storage and serving temperature. You will, therefore, need the most energy-efficient cooling technology to minimize the impact of your electricity bills. Thermo-electric cooling consumes far less electricity than compressor systems.
Dimensions and Weight
This entirely depends on your primary needs for a wine fridge. If you want something, you can easily move around with then go for the small and lightweight models like the WIE 18 Bottles Wine Refrigerator. You can also easily place the lightweight models on the counters.
You don’t want a fridge that will cause you sleepless nights because of noisy operation. It’s hard to find a completely quiet wine fridge, but you can always settle for one with an acceptable level of noise like the Antarctic Star Wine.
Child Lock: This comes in handy if you have a valuable collection or you live with kids or curious teenagers. A wine fridge with a lock and key will help you keep your wine away from the wrong hands.
UV protection: Look for a fridge that protects your wine from excess sunlight and heat. If you prefer to have one with a glass door, ensure the glass is UV protected.
You can keep unopened wine for 5 to 7 days in the fridge, and opened wine can last up to 3 days. The taste will change as it will become oxidized.
Whether you are a veteran wine enthusiast or just beginning to build your palette, a wine fridge is important for proper storage so you can get the most enjoyment of every bottle. A wine fridge will keep your wines fresh and also allow them to age perfectly. However, it’s a bit challenging to choose the best wine fridge from the multiple brands and models that flock the market today.
We prepared this guide to help you find the best wine fridge under $500 that suits your budget, tastes, and style. You can trust the products reviewed in the guide to be among the best in the market because they are top-rated and extensive research was conducted in putting the list together.
We liked Bossin 37 Bottle Wine Cooler/Cabinet Refrigerator the most. Its first-rate performance, size, design, and value were unmatched. Whynter BWR-18SA Beverage Refrigerator and SMETA 35 Bottle Wine Refrigerator were the second and third pick with the highest ratings. They both offer great value, excellent functionality and top-notch features.