“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy,” – Benjamin Franklin.
Imagine sitting on your veranda on a balmy summer night with your special someone. Your prawns and fresh salad is ready to be savored. You bring out your finest wine, saved for this very day. Thankfully, your wine cooler stored your chardonnay just right – not too tepid, not too chilled, but buttery with a creamy oak flavor. You clink your glasses to toast the good life. If there is a heaven, it’s right here!
Wine coolers aren’t just for connoisseurs or sommeliers. If you like drinking wine, you’ve probably thought about investing in a wine cooler. Wine coolers are multi-purpose appliances and perform several storage functions. Not only do they keep your wine at just the right temperature, they can store oils, vinegars and other beverages too.
When all’s said and done, a decent wine chiller is an economical and classy way to show off your wine collection if you don’t want to invest in a walk-in wine cellar. In the last decade or so, sales of wine coolers have increased as American households consume more roses, reds and whites. If you want a cabinet to showcase your bottles, look for one that fits with the room it’ll be inhabiting and acts as a talking point. You might also want to think about getting yourself one of those fancy wine decanters
There are different categories of wine coolers available today. Here are some more questions to ask yourself when deciding what you need:
What temperature zones do I want in my wine chiller?
Wine chillers are available in single or dual zones. The single zone coolers keep the whole unit stable at one temperature and are ideal for those who prefer one type of wine predominantly over others. The dual zone coolers offer great flexibility in storing different types of wines, each at their optimum temperatures.
Should I go with a freestanding model or should I get a built-in one? Built in models
fit in seamlessly within the space and give a neat and clean look. The freestanding models, however, are narrower and are ideal for those who do not want to incur additional installation costs, or who may want to relocate the cooler.
Once you determine which features your wine cooler needs, you can narrow down your search. We’ve picked out 5 of the best rated and popular wine coolers to help you select.
One brand that we couldn’t squeeze onto the review but deserves an honorable mention is EdgeStar
. EdgeStar is a world leader in creating products with the perfect harmony of functionality, portability and European style. The products are portable, compact and space-saving while offering the maximum functionality. They produce both single and dual temperature controlled coolers!
The right wine cooler should be competitively priced. Your wine chiller must have enough features to perform its function at optimum level but should not burn a hole in your pocket. However, cheaper products may be less reliable and offer limited features.
In general, a 6 to 20 bottle wine cooler costs between $100 and $300, wine chillers with medium bottle capacity of 34 to 60 bottles cost between $300 and $600 and wine fridges with a bottle capacity over 100 cost $1000 – $2000. Although there are high-end coolers in this price range we decided to keep our review focused on coolers under $1000.
A high quality appliance is often a better investment in the long term but will push the price up. Look at the warranty terms offered by the manufacturers to get an idea of their confidence in the lifespan of their products.
For built-in coolers, you will incur additional installation costs. If you go for features such as security locks and touch-screen, then the overall upfront costs increase.
Wine coolers are designed specifically to help preserve your wine collection. When looking for the right wine cooler, it’s imperative to list out your requirements before selecting options to look for. Most brands build models with similar features but the best choice really boils down to your specific use and home.
Here are some key features you SHOULD look for in every wine cooler:
- Consistent temperature across the whole unit
- Minimal energy usage
- Compact and efficient design
- Ample storage space for your whole wine collection
Construction and Design
While reviewing wine coolers by different brands, we came across a number of features that could be deciding factors for your purchase. Aspects such as temperature swings, number of shelves, noise generated by the wine cooler and energy used by the appliance all weigh in.
- Uniformity - Wines can degrade if there are frequent temperature swings. This is why the wine cooler must have uniformity of temperature. Ideal storage temperatures for wines depend on their individual density. A consistent temperature between 45 and 60º F is recommended for white and sparkling wines, and between 60 and 70º F for red.
- Shelving - Wine coolers come with several shelving options including slide out wood shelves, chrome plated shelves, interchangeable wine racks, flat wire shelving units and built-in plastic shelves. Due care should be taken that your wine bottle is secure on its side for preservation and aging.
- Noise Level - If your wine cooler generates a lot of noise, it’s not suitable to be placed in living areas. Thermoelectric wine coolers are usually quieter. They also use minimal energy and cause less vibration than compressor models.
- Energy Usage - This is another important factor to consider before purchasing a wine cooler. The thermoelectric models use less energy compared to their compressor counterparts. Thermoelectric models are preferable for long term energy savings.
Apart from these, wine coolers these days come with additional design features such as humidity control, UV Ray protection, internal lighting and digital thermostats.
Performance and Ease of Use
The last thing you want is to splash out on a beautiful wine cooler, only to spend money and time maintaining or fixing it shortly after. Always look into the reliability of an appliance, especially if you opt for a built-in style. These look great in your home but removal or repair will have a knock-on effect on the surrounding furniture. Also, consider maintenance – a free standing unit will be much easier to get behind and around for fixes and general cleaning.
Magic Chef is one of four brands in the MCA Corporation family. MCA is a leader in the housewares industry thanks to the trust, performance and value that its brand provides customers. There’s no compromise on quality and customer care. The other brands under the MCA umbrella are Magic Chef Commercial, Norpole and Licensed Products. Magic Chef, however, is the longest standing brand under MCA with more than 85 years’ experience! Magic Chef is a brand that is turned to by at-home chefs for top-quality and dependable kitchen appliances. Their range of products include dishwashers, microwaves, ice makers and wine and beverage coolers.
The Magic Chef 12-Bottle Wine Cooler is a compact, countertop cooler that can easily fit in any 14.2 by 20.1-Inch space! The sleek black design and recessed handle make this cooler ideal for anyone looking for a minimalist, attractive design and the soft, white show lighting is an understated but welcome addition to its design. There are three, removable chrome shelves that are sculpted to hold three, standard wine bottles each. There’s then space for three bottles at the bottom of the cooler, making the overall capacity of 12 bottles.
Magic Chef has incorporated quiet thermoelectric cooling technology into their cooler making it both functional and quiet! The functionality doesn’t end there though. This cooler also has adjustable levelling legs which means even if the surface is uneven, your cooler won’t be. To make sure you’re keeping on top of your wine cooling, there’s an easy-to-read blue LED thermostat display on the outside of the cooler. The temperature can be adjusted from 54-66ºF, meaning your wine will always be at its optimum temperature.
Whether you're on a cozy date or impressing your peers with your wine collection, choose your pick from our wine coolers above and take your companions on a taste journey to the Vineyards across the world!