Have you been looking for a wine fridge that fits your budget? Well, your search ends here. In this article, we will talk about some of the best wine fridges under $500. Our guide will upskill you in the following areas:
- How to choose a wine refrigerator?
- What are the precautions of using it?
- How to maintain it?
- What’s the best low-budget wine fridge?
That’s not all. We have so much more to tell you about wine refrigerators. However, before we head to the guide, below is our top pick.
Top Wine Fridges Under $500 Are:
- Ivation IVFWCC121LB – Freestanding – 12 Bottle – Wine Cooler Refrigerator
- Koolatron WC20 Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
- NutriChef PKCS12 Freestanding Compact Mini Wine Fridge
- Magic Chef Dual Zone Wine Cooler
- Ivation 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
Best Pick – Ivation 12 Bottle Wine Cooler
The Ivation IVFWCC121LB is best known for its ability to preserve the aroma and delicacy of wines. The manufacturer uses a fine technology to block harmful UV rays that may spoil the fragrance or flavor of your wine.
The unit has a classy design with a black body and glass door. It is a single zone wine refrigerator having a perfectly smooth top. With its soft lights and LCDs, you can operate it even in the dark. One of the modern features of this wine fridge is that it has touch controls. The best part? It has removable shelves!
Overall, this wine refrigerator is an impressive appliance with modern features.
- Dimensions: 9.92L x 17.72W x 31.18H inches
- Weight: 37.5 lbs.
- Range: 41- 64°F
- Warranty: 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
- 12 standard 750ml bottles capacity
- Advanced compressor cooling system
- Includes both Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature settings
- Black body and glass door
- 6 wired shelves
- UV light protection
- Security door lock
- Sleek exterior
- Great customer reviews
- Low sound operation
- LCD too bright
- Restricted interior dimensions
In most cases, it is imperative that you know your appliances well and why you need them. When you go wine refrigerator shopping, there are different factors you need to consider before settling for one. So how do you decide what kind of wine refrigerator you want?
Here are some essential things that we think you should know before investing in a wine fridge.
How to choose the best wine fridge?
What kind of wine cooler or refrigerator you need depends on what kind of wine collector you are. If you’re a wine connoisseur who loves to collect lots of wine bottles, you may need a large capacity of wine storage. The capacity of wine coolers varies differently, ranging from 6 bottles up to 40 bottles.
- Temperature zones
Another factor to consider is the storing temperature of wines you want to store and the cooling range of the wine refrigerator. Ideally, you can store most kinds of wine at a standard temperature of 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, wine experts often suggest serving red and white wine at different temperatures. They say that white wine needs a lower temperature while red wine should be served warm. If red wine is too chilly, it will end up tasting dull. So, the ideal temperature range for red wine should be anything between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most people believe unopened wines cannot be refrigerated, but that’s not true. As long as you’re letting your uncorked wines chill at their perfect temperature inside the wine chiller, you’re good to go.
Some wine refrigerators come with a dual-zone, and others with a single zone.
This simply means you can either store your wines in two different temperatures or in a single temperature. Typically, a single-zone wine fridge should have an ideal temperature of 55°F.
The last thing you need to consider is where you want to place the wine refrigerator. There are two distinct types of wine refrigerators when it comes to where you wish to position these coolers in your house – freestanding or in-built models.
The only difference is that you can place the freestanding type wherever you want, but the in-built type is made for remodeled kitchens, attached to the cabinets.
Other attributes that you can look for
Besides the features mentioned above, there are more add-ons that you may want to consider while purchasing the perfect wine chiller. Here are those:
- Whether the wine cooler you’re looking for uses a compressor or a thermoelectric cooling technology can be a concern. The main difference between the two remains the noise and vibration, which compressors tend to create more than thermoelectric wine fridges. An advantage of compressors is that they can get much colder and have lesser operation expenses.
- A wine cooler consisting of safety locks is crucial to avoid accidental mishaps, especially if you have children.
- Most wine fridges usually come with a double-pane or triple-pane glass door for UV protection. This is important for keeping your wine safe from harmful natural sun rays and humidity.
- With interior LED lighting, you can save energy. Look for wine coolers with soft LED lightings.
- Lastly, we suggest you opt for a wine cooler that has re-adjustable and removable shelves for storing wine bottles of different sizes.
What are the benefits of having a wine fridge?
For starters, wines should never be left for cooling in a standard refrigerator. Whether it is white wine, red wine, or rose, they need the appropriate storing conditions to age and taste good. Wine coolers eliminate natural humidity and light, which are harmful to your wine to age.
Aging wine is a rewarding experience for many wine collectors as it matures the flavor of the wine. Here’s an interesting fact if you’re a beginner at wine collecting – dry red wines often age the longest (up to 20 years) compared to white wines!
Another benefit of wine fridges is that it has multiple temperature settings. Usually, the temperature can get as low as 46 degrees Fahrenheit. However, keeping your wine at such low temperatures is not ideal.
What’s the best way to use a wine fridge?
Setting your wine cooler with an appropriate temperature is the first and most crucial way of correctly using it. If the fridge is too hot or too cold, it may end up spoiling your wine.
Also, knowing where to place your wine refrigerator is essential. Freestanding fridges usually come with air ventilators on their back, so if you’re placing them under the kitchen counter, you may be in trouble.
There should be at least 5 inches of ventilation space between the wine fridge and any object surrounding it. Experts also advise that placing a wine cooler on top of the carpet is a bad idea since there could be leakage and overheating of the unit.
Ensure the humidity inside the wine cooler is maintained between 50-80%. If the air is too dry, the corks might let air pass inside the wine bottles, eventually spoiling them.
Ideally, most people place their wine cooler somewhere around the kitchen or dining area, but you can also keep it in your garage. The temperature in the garage can be more relaxed and darker.
Maintenance is another important aspect of using a wine cooler. Cleaning it occasionally to remove moisture and dust is a good way of keeping its performance consistent.
How much electricity does a wine fridge use?
When it comes to electricity consumption, wine fridges won’t cost you a fortune. With energy-efficient units, you can expect $200 a year of electricity expenses, depending on the size of the unit.
A wine fridge typically uses between 100-200 watts per hour of electricity, depending on the size and model of the unit.
To calculate the cost of running a wine fridge, you can use the formula: (wattage x hours of use) / 1000 x cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh). For example, if a wine fridge uses 150 watts per hour and runs for 24 hours a day, it would use 3.6 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per day.
At an average cost of $0.13/kWh, it would cost about $0.46/day to run, or about $16.90/month. It’s important to note that this cost can vary depending on the cost of electricity in your area and the specific usage of the unit.
How to install a built-in wine cooler
Before installing a wine cooler under your counter, make sure you have made all the preliminary arrangements. Measuring the designated space for the cooler before you make a purchase is essential. Check the height and depth of the in-built cooler model that you wish to fit under your kitchen counter.
The first step of installing will require you to gather the supplies for installation, such as instructions manual, measuring tape, level, saw, screwdriver, level, and sandpapers. Ensure that you also install the power supply.
The second step would be preparing the cabinet space by removing pre-existing shelves or cabinets that you want to replace.
The third step is placing the cooler in the prepared cabinet.
After successfully installing the wine cooler, you have to wait for at least two hours to let the cooler settle in.
Now you can plug in the wine cooler and allow it to cool with the preferred temperature.
Does a wine fridge need a dedicated circuit?
A wine fridge may require a dedicated circuit, meaning a separate electrical circuit, to ensure it has the proper power and to prevent overloading the circuit.
Wine fridges can have high startup and running wattage, and if they share a circuit with other appliances, it can cause the circuit breaker to trip, or even cause damage to the unit or the other appliances.
Additionally, wine fridges are designed to run at a consistent temperature, any power interruption can cause the temperature to fluctuate, which can harm the wine stored in it.
It’s important to check the specifications of the wine fridge and consult with a licensed electrician to confirm if a dedicated circuit is required and if so, to have one installed.
Precautions for using a wine cooler
There are several precautionary measures that one needs to take while using a wine cooler. Here are those:
- Never leave the door of the wine cooler open. If natural light or humidity enters the cooler, your wine will get damaged.
- Don’t use the appliance if the power cord or plug is damaged. Keep the cord away so that you don’t trip over it, causing accidents.
- Most wine coolers do not require a dedicated power circuit, but it depends on how many watts they consume. You can install a dedicated circuit if your wine fridge is connected to a circuit that uses other heavy appliances.
- Ensure that you pull out the plug before repairing, cleaning, or moving.
Wine Cooler Reviews
Koolatron WC20 Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
The Koolatron WC20 Thermoelectric Wine Cooler comes with an attractive design and can protect your wines from harmful UV rays with its mirrored glass door.
With 20 bottles holding capacity, this one lets you readjust your shelves for bigger bottles. It has a thermoelectric cooling technology that will cool your wine consistently at a specific temperature.
This wine cooler can be rated the highest for its performance and cooling technology. You can conveniently place it anywhere in your apartment and let your wines cool under perfect conditions inside it.
- Dimensions LxWxH: 15.75 x 20.25 x 21.25 inches
- Weight: 32 lbs.
- Range: 46°F – 66°F
- Warranty: 90 days
- Black color finish
- Digital display
- Subtle lighting
- Removable racks and shelves
- Touch screen control
- No vibration
- Elegant design
- Robust cooling technology
- Single temperature zone
- Champagne bottles don’t fit
NutriChef PKCS12 Freestanding Compact Mini Wine Fridge
The NutriChefwine cooler is apt for bachelors and people who live in an apartment with limited space as it can hold only 12 bottles of wine. It has a smokey black door, transparent enough for you to see the bottles of your reds and whites.
This wine cooler is simple to use with quick controls and a single temperature zone. The shelves slide out quickly, so you can easily rearrange the racks as per your needs.
Since it is a freestanding cooler, you can place it anywhere in your house, be it the tabletop, countertop, or just the floor.
- Dimensions LxWxH: 17.7 x 9.9 x 31.2 inches
- Weight: 46.66 lbs.
- Range: 41°F – 64°F
- Warranty: 1 year
- Glossy body finish
- Built-in air circulation fan
- 5 wired shelves
- Compact body
- Touch button controls
- Extremely quiet
- Child safety lock
- LED light illumination for interiors
- Limited capacity
- Interior lighting goes off every 10 minutes
Magic Chef Dual Zone Wine Cooler
The Magic Chef Dual Zone Wine Cooler is ideal for wine collectors who have tons of wine bottles to store but do not want a cellar.
It lets you see all your whites and reds through its see-through reversible door. This wine chiller also lets you store beverage cans up to 154 units.
Overall, this wine fridge has a stylish design that can match up to most types of house decors. The one thing that makes it stand out from the rest of its counterparts is the 5 years warranty on the compressor.
- Dimensions: 23.4 inches width, 34.4 inches height, 21.3 inches depth
- Weight: 104.7 lb.
- Range: 46°F – 66°F
- Warranty: 1 Year Parts and Labor 5 Years Compressor
- Double Temperature Zone
- 44 Bottle Storage Capacity
- Stainless steel finish
- LED Temperature Controls
- Front ventilation
- Dual Zone Wine Cooler
- LED interior lights
- Removable shelves
- Slightly expensive
- Bit noisy
Ivation 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator
Ivation 18 Bottle Wine Refrigerator is a modern and sleek wine fridge with soft interior lights that make it even more stunning to look at. Its fanning system allows uniform air circulation inside the fridge.
With the double-paned glass door, your wine will remain safe in the airtight vault. The manufacturers have installed a built-in fan that keeps the temperature stable throughout. This means that you can store your wine for a long duration, ensuring it gets its full potential flavor.
To sum it up, this is an energy-efficient wine fridge with perfect storing conditions for someone looking for a small-sized wine cooler.
- Dimensions LxWxH: 17.72 x 13.58 x 30.31 inches
- Weight: 43 lbs
- Range: 41°F – 66°F
- Warranty: 1 Year
- 18 standard 750ml bottles capacity
- Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature settings
- Single zone
- 6 shelves
- Removable racks
- Advanced compressor cooling system
- Two keys for Built-In Lock
- Silent fan system
- Heavy-duty appliance
- Houses bottles up to 13.5 inches only