Best wine fridges – our top wine coolers for chilling your Chardonnay

Need a dedicated wine store? Whether you buy the odd few bottles for a dinner party or are a serious collector, there’s a wine fridge to suit.

How many times have you struggled to squeeze a few bottles of Chardonnay into the fridge when friends are popping round? Too many to count? Then invest in one of our pick of the best wine fridges.

Wine coolers aren’t just brilliant for freeing up prime real estate in a busy family fridge. Slightly warmer and more humid inside, they’ll keep every bottle of Chardonnay and Sauvignon in cellar-like conditions, and without you having to excavate the basement.

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If you’re under the illusion that a wine fridge is one of life’s luxuries that you either can’t afford or don’t have the room for, think again. There’s a growing range of countertop styles, freestanding units and even slimline built-in versions out there, and they don’t always cost as much as you might think.

Coming next is a round up of our favourite wine fridges. Scroll down, you'll also find a handy buyer's guide to help you find your perfect match. Bottoms up!

Caple Wi154 wine cabinet

(Image credit: Caple)

Caple Sense Wi154 wine cabinet

Best for small spaces


Capacity : 7 bottles
Dimensions : H865 x W145 x D475mm
Number of temperature zones: 1
Features : Anti-vibration technology, UV-protected glass door, reversible door, 44dB noise level

Caple has a range of more than 20 wine coolers, and you'll find one to fill almost any size gap. Make good use of that tricky space at the end of a run of cabinets – or plug a gap between units – with this super-slim model. It may be small, but it still offers all the latest features such as LED lighting and UV protection. It's a flexible pick, too, as you can install it built-in or freestanding. If you're renting or planning to move, that could be crucial.

Buy Now: Caple Sense Wi154 wine cabinet, £299, Appliance City

Haier WS50GDBI under counter wine cooler

(Image credit: Haier)

Haier WS50GDBI under counter wine cooler

Best for under the counter


Capacity : 50 bottles
Dimensions : H820cm x W595cm x D625cm
Number of temperature zones: 2
Features : Anti-vibration technology, UV-protected glass door, carbon filter, humidity control, 39dB noise level

Digital Editor – and wannabe wine buff – Amy has this model at home and has been super-impressed with its performance. It's designed to hold 50 bottles on its sturdy oak shelves, and has two temperature zones and humidity controls to prevent corks from drying out. The low-vibration compressor is good for both your wine and your ears – it's a must-have feature if you're planning to install your fridge in an open-plan kitchen.

Buy Now: Haier WS50GDBI wine cooler, £729,

John Lewis JLWF608 38 bottle Wine Cooler

(Image credit: John Lewis)

John Lewis JLWF608 under counter wine cooler

Best for a bit of both


Capacity : 38 bottles
Dimensions : H865 x W595 x 573mm
Number of temperature zones: 2
Features : TBC, 42dB noise level

We like the double door design of this undercounter model. It means that, when choosing a red, you won’t disturb your whites.

Buy Now: JLWF608 38-bottle under counter wine cooler, £899, John Lewis

Smeg CVI618NX Dolce Stil Novo wine cooler

(Image credit: Smeg)

Smeg CVI618NX Dolce Stil Novo wine-cooler

Best for easy access


Capacity : 18 bottles
Dimensions : H451 x W588 x D554mm
Number of temperature zones: 1
Features: UV-protected glass door, charcoal filter, telescopic shelves, 43dB noise level

This 45cm-high fridge can be slotted in at eye-level, so you don't have to stoop to inspect and select your vintages. It's a good option if you don’t have room for a standard 60cm-wide fridge but you still need space for a decent collection. It's a beauty, too. Designed in Italy, the black glass can be complemented by your choice of steel or copper trim.

Buy Now: Smeg CVI618NX Dolce Stil Novo wine-cooler, £1,599, John Lewis

CDA-FWC303ss wine cooler in kitchen

(Image credit: Prestige Park Homes)

CDA FWC303ss wine cooler

Best for starting out


Capacity : 20 bottles
Dimensions : H820-888 x W295 x D570mm
Number of temperature zones: 1
Features : UV-protected glass door, humidity control, reversible door, 39dB noise level

Not sure if you're cut out to be a collector? This holds 20 bottles or red, white or sparking wine at any temperature between 5°C and 27°C – we think it's a great size and price for beginners. It may be at the affordable end of the sale but you still get some top features, including a UV-protected smoked glass door to keep ageing sunlight at bay, and a humidifier that stops your corks from drying out.

Buy Now: CDA FWC303ss wine cooler, £299, Currys

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Swisscave WLB-450FLD Black Edition wine cooler

(Image credit: Swisscave)

Swisscave WLB-450FLD Black Edition wine cooler

Best for long-term storage


Capacity : Up to 220 bottles
Dimensions: H1800 x W600 x D700mm
Number of temperature zones: 1
Features : Anti-vibration technology, UV-protected glass door, carbon filter, telescopic shelves, reversible door, 35dB noise level

Swisscave offers Champagne-standard storage at – well, not quite lemonade, but certainly Prosecco prices. Its coolers mimic cellar conditions, with features like charcoal features and humidity controls helping to age your wine consistently. This model can hold up to 220 bottles over seven levels, if you choose to have horizontal shelves only.

Alternatively, you can show off your most prized vintages on tilted racks that hold six bottles each. Behind each of these is space for 10-12 more bottles. Like the idea of displaying your wine but worried party guests might help themselves to you best bottles? Don't, as a lockable door will keep them from snaffling your Dom Perignon.

Buy Now: WLB-450FLD Black Edition wine cooler, £2,131.44, Swisscave

Miele KWT-6834-SGS wine conditioner

(Image credit: TBC)

Miele KWT 6834 SGS wine conditioner

Best for sommeliers


Capacity : 178 bottles
Dimensions: H1920 x W700 x D746mm
Number of temperature zones: 3
Features : Anti-vibration technology, UV-protected glass door, carbon filter, telescopic shelves, 37dB noise level

This really is the Cristal of coolers. Bottles of all shapes and sizes are gently cradled by its FlexiFrame shelving system, and there are magnetic strips coated in blackboard paint that you can use to label each shelf. Three separate temperature zones ensure your champagne, red and white wines can all be served at just the right temperature, and of course, there's a UV-resistant door keeps your vintages safe from the sun.

One quirky feature is the SommelierSet box of accessories. You'll find a knife, corkscrews and chalk inside, as well a glass holder and two decanting racks. The idea behind this is that you can decant your red wine inside the conditioner, or chill your white wine glasses to the perfect temperature for serving. Fancy! And if you only enjoy a glass or two in one sitting, the ConvinoBox will keep any open bottles in perfect conditions until you're ready to finish them off.

Buy Now: Miele KWT 6834 SGS wine conditioner, £4,595, RDO Kitchens & Appliances 

Fisher Paykel RF306RDWX1 wine cabinet

(Image credit: Fisher Paykel)

Fisher & Paykel RF306RDWX1 wine cabinet

Best for style


Capacity : 127 bottles
Dimensions : H1660 x W600 x D640mm
Number of temperature zones: 2
Features : Anti-vibration technology, UV-protected glass door, 42dB noise level

Budding buffs can store just over 10 cases of wine inside this dual-zone cooler. There’s a presentation shelf up top that tilts to show off your favourite five bottles, while UV glass and anti-vibration technology protect your plonk. There's also a fan that ventilates the cabinet, keeping musty smells at bay.

Buy Now: Fisher & Paykel RF306RDWX1 wine cabinet, £1,679, John Lewis 

A buyer's guide to wine fridges

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Wine fridge in a kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

What size wine fridge do I need?

Wine fridges are available in anything from slimline, six-bottle 300mm wine fridges that can slot into an awkward gap between kitchen units to those capable of holding 200-plus reds or whites. You can also buy models that combine a regular fridge and freezer with dedicated wine storage.

Anyone new to the world of wine will probably only be buying a few bottles at a time, so a 6 to 18-bottle capacity will be just fine. If you’re more serious and buying by the case, we recommend a wine fridge with space for at least 40 bottles.

Just remember that the capacity of any fridge is given by the number of Bordeaux bottles it will hold, so you’ll fit less in if you’re storing Champagne or Burgundy. However, some models will come with wider racks or a tall shelf to store these larger bottles.

Wine temperatures – a quick guide

Unlike a standard fridge, a wine cooler gives the precision chill needed to keep your bottles at their best. A proper wine cabinet has one or more temperature-controlled zones that allow you to store your white, red and/or rose at exactly the right temperature to keep it in tip-top condition. Otherwise, if it’s too hot it will age faster and if it’s too cool, sediment will build up in the bottle.

If you only drink white, you can stick to a single-zone cooler, but if you love red and fizz, too, look for a model with two or three compartment that can be set to independent temperatures. Ideally, red should be stored at around 12-16˚C, and white at 10-12˚C.

Top Tip: To enjoy a strong red wine at its best, decant it into a carafe before serving.

kitchen with a wine cooler

(Image credit: TBC)

What features will help preserve my wine better?

Any wine fridge worth its salt should have:

  • UV-protected glass doors that keep out the sun’s rays. Exposure to sunlight will speed up the ageing process and potentially ruin your wine.
  • Humidity controls, so that there’s enough moisture in the air to stop corks from drying out, but not so much that mould will grow. 'Wines should ideally be stored at 60 to 70% humidity, which it’s possible to control in a wine cooler,' says Twarita Arya, product manager for white goods at Haier. 'Standard refrigerators are usually dry, with an average humidity level of 30 per cent.'
  • Anti-vibration technology that stops the compressor in the cabinet from vibrating as it cools, so that bottle sediment is undisturbed and the wine tastes better.
  • Charcoal filters remove any odours from the air that might taint your vino.

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Is shelving important?

According to Liebherr’s Mark Bristow, all wine should be stored horizontally to keep the cork from shrinking or cracking and allowing air to enter. Less expensive models will have fixed shelving, but top-range models boast telescopic shelves – these sit on rollers so they can be pulled right out of the fridge while remaining supported, so you can inspect your vintages more easily.

Look out, too, for a tilting presentation shelf where you can show off your prized vintages.

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.