The 24 inch, 46-bottle dual cooling zone Kalamera stands out as the best thermoelectric wine cooler not only because of its adequate storage but also for the number of features you’ll totally fall in love with. Most of which justify its price tag. To understand why, read this comprehensive list of the best thermoelectric wine coolers.
Whether you are a wine connoisseur who can separate the wheat from the chaff with regards to the best of wine brands or know nothing beyond the pleasant feeling that comes with relishing wine, one thing is certain: the importance of a wine cooler cannot be understated. Failing to store wine in a cooler can adversely affect the flavor of your wine: it can make it more zesty, austere and tart than it should be. No one wants that to be the experience their guests will be leaving with after a night of fun and laughter that was only ruined by failure to serve cooled wine. For the reasons stated above we’ve deemed it necessary to compile a list of the best thermoelectric wine coolers for you your home. Before we get to that though, let’s address a few basics.
The Basics of Storing Wine
For the average wine consumer, it isn’t prudent to store wine for more than a year in anything less than a top of the range cellar. While the best thermoelectric wine coolers may do a decent job on the same, cellars are sufficient and are built to specifically aid in wine maturity. Here are a few basics you need to adhere to when storing wine.
- First things first: cool and level
Maintaining temperatures of not more than 65° F and not less than 45° F will keep your wine as fresh as it’s intended to be. Tolerances of a few units won’t do your wine much harm, so don’t stress when you see your cooler get warmer or cooler than the aforementioned temperatures.
Secondly, maintain level temperatures throughout the storage period to prevent seepage from the bottle that’s as a result of expansion and contraction of the wine. Sporadic fluctuations in temperature may also affect the flavor of the wine in the long run.
- Natural and Artificial Light
We often see the phrase, “Store in a cool dark place” and assume it. When it comes to storing wine, don’t. It is crucial to find a dark area for your wine cooler especially if it doesn’t have a UV glass panel for its door. The best thermoelectric wine coolers have this feature. True, light makes wine mature, only, it often yields undesirable off flavors. Same thing happens when wine is exposed to fluorescent lights especially in the case of white wine. Although red wine is normally protected with the dark glass, it can affect quality.
Unknown to many, wine glasses are stored horizontally- on their sides- for the sole reason of preventing the cork from desiccating. Dry corks contract, crack and allows entry of air into the bottle. Air equates to oxygen. Oxygen alters the drink’s flavor through oxidization.
Store your wine exclusively: away form perishables. If you have to, the rule of thumb is to avoid food or drinks with strong aroma which may seep in through the cork and affect the wine.
Optimal humidity levels for wine storage is between 55 and 75 percent; for the same reason of having a dry cork which causes shrinkage which is an entry point for oxygen that will oxidize your drink. Too much humidity provides an ideal environment for mold growth on the cork. You don’t have to be a novice in rocket science to increase the levels of humidity in your storage area. Simply place a bowl of water therein.
To master the appropriate storage period, it takes for wine from different brands takes to mature is, as is expected, not a breeze. You need to work at it and may have a couple of misjudgments to fully understand the workings of wine maturity. A general criterion would be to store white wine for a maximum of 3 years and red within a period of 2 to 10 years. If in doubt, seek professional help from wine connoisseurs. You’ll be shocked that some can take up to 20 years to mature. Most moderately priced bottles of wine won’t mature over time.
If you cannot afford building a wine cellar or purchasing a wine cooler, fret not. Store your wine in a cool dark place. A closet in your basement would do. Be sure to keep all the parameters mentioned above in check.
Importance of having a wine cooler
The best thermoelectric wine coolers are an inexpensive alternative to refrigerators which besides being pricier, may not necessarily offer an optimal environment for your favorite bottle. Cellars are ideal for people who are keen on storing wine over long periods of time. Normal refrigerators are at times too cold for wine. The best thermoelectric wine coolers offer ideal temperature and humidity levels for storage of wine.
They also take up small space and have lower maintenance costs than standard refrigerators and cellars. Some are no larger than your average coffee table offering you much needed portability. You can easily place them in your car boot when packing for a family outing. Others fit perfectly in your kitchen cabinets- although they need to be well ventilated- there by offering flexibility that wouldn’t be achieved by cellars and standard refrigerators. Better still, when using thermoelectric wine coolers as opposed to compressor-based wine coolers, you are taking a step towards environmental sustainability. I’ll delve deeper into that as we proceed.
Thermoelectric vs Compressor Coolers: The Why
A common question many shoppers ask is whether they should purchase a thermoelectric wine cooler or the compressor variant. Technically, none is better than the other. Of great importance though, is that you understand the advantages and drawbacks either have. This is the only sure way to help you make an informed choice before making your purchase.
Thermoelectric wine coolers work by transferring heat- produced by an electric charge and controlled by a cooling device- from one point to another. It is a simultaneous system that works by transferring heat from the hot side to the cold one of the device. Since there are no mechanical parts, you can barely hear any sound emanating from thermoelectric wine coolers when in operation. That it employs heat transfer means is utilizes less power and is therefore energy efficient. It’s the reason thermoelectric wine coolers are recommended: they are environmentally friendly.
Ever walked into your kitchen and wondered where the subtle vibrations are coming from? Your refrigerator is suspect. Luckily, this shouldn’t worry you if you decide to use a thermoelectric cooler. Periodic vibrations are a common phenomenon of compressor coolers which operate similarly to standard refrigerators; a refrigerant is used to cool to the wine. Compressor wine coolers are loud when operational but this drawback is compensated by a greater cooling effect and higher storage capacities (read more wine bottles). That compressor wine coolers adapt to shifts in environmental temperatures and handle greater heat loads, are a bonus that would make anyone settle for them over thermoelectric wine coolers which aren’t the best fit for such environments. The latter handle only small capacities and have higher operational costs: they have to be on at all times. Compressor wine coolers don’t. That said, maintaining an ambient temperature range of 50° to 80°F, leaving at least a 5” clearance on all sides of the thermoelectric cooler and placing it on a level surface are great solutions that optimize the use of your thermoelectric cooler.
I’d bet you still might have some trouble choosing what you should settle for between the two. Simple. Think longevity of storage, number of bottles you’ll store and space. Thermoelectric coolers will serve you well when you only need to store a few bottles while their counterparts, compressor wine coolers fit a larger collection for a longer period of time. Secondly, the best thermoelectric wine coolers take up less space and are normally stand-alone while compressor coolers are normally built-in and take up more space. These three parameters are sufficient enough to help you make the right decision.
Zeroing in on the Specifics
Wine coolers in general fall into two categories: single and dual zone cooling. Single zone cooling has only one cooling compartment and one temperature control unit. Such are perfect for rookies and those who want to store one of either white or red wine. Dual zone cooling, as you’ve probably figured by now, have two cooling compartments. You’ll have to part with a few more dollar bills for the latter though.
The other general categories have been mentioned in passing but are a no-brainer: built-in, countertop and stand -alone wine coolers.
Factors to consider when buying a Thermoelectric Wine Cooler
Besides the obvious consideration of a single or dual cooling zone and built-in, stand-alone or counter-top wine coolers, other important factors to consider include:
- Storage Capacity- Much as you may think you’ll only store a couple of bottles, you’ll find it hard to resist the temptation of adding more. Think of this before purchasing one. We recommend going for limited storage only if you are new to wine storage and are experimenting your way to understanding how it works.
- Shelf size- Different wine bottles have different sizes. Some have longer necks than others. Insignificant as it may seem, you’ll be totally disappointed when you buy a bottle for storage only for it not to fit. Save yourself the trouble.
- Adjustable stands- Wine coolers which aren’t parallel to the floor often experience higher levels of vibration which isn’t good for the wine.
- Additional features- Features such as built-in locks to keep the bottles safe from children are important. The color of lighting is also of huge importance to different customers.
The Best Thermoelectric Wine Coolers
Now that we are done with the headaches of the basics of wine storage, the importance of having a wine cooler and the differences, operational or otherwise, in thermoelectric and compressor coolers, read through the comprehensive list of the best thermoelastic wine coolers in the market.
|Kalamera 24'' Wine refrigerator||Wine Enthusiast Silent 21 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator with Curved Doors||NewAir AW-320ED 32-Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler||Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Curved Door with Smoked Glass Wine Cellar||NutriChef 18 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler||Frigidaire 8 Bottle Wine Cooler FWC084HM||Haier HVTEC06ABS Wine & Beverage Center, Small, Black|
|Product Dimensions||22.4 x 23.4 x 33 in||19.2 x 13.8 x 32.2 in||20.5 x 21.5 x 32.2 in||20.3 x 37.2 x 9.9 in||20 x 13.6 x 25.4 in||22 x 18 x 12.5 in||20.3 x 14.1 x 9.9 in|
|Shipping Weight||138 lbs||57.6 lbs||69 lbs||48.4 lbs||36.3 lbs||22.6 lbs||22.1 lbs|
|Sold By||Kalamera Products||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Poli's Sales||Amazon.com|
46-Bottle Dual Zone Kalamera
This is arguably one of the best thermoelectric coolers out there. It’s what I’d recommend for those willing to go all out on wine storage but still want the convenience and flexibility of a decently sized cooler. Don’t be sacred by the $849 price tag: this cooler packs a lot of features that seem pretty obvious but aren’t incorporated in most of even the best thermoelectric wine coolers. That it’s only 24 inches yet still manages to store up to 46 bottles is reason enough to purchase this. What’s more, you can have it built in or freestanding in your kitchen or your location of choice like a home bar.
Not yet convinced? You’ll be once you realize that it’s “smart”. It has a temperature memory function that adjusts to ideal temperature after the lights turn back on after a power outage. How cool? A tempered glass that protects your wine from UV rays just adds to the awesomeness of this cooler. It’s black stainless steel finish on every part of its enclave bar the front, which is silver, makes it a perfect fit for most spaces.
The top cooling compartment is for the storage of your bottles of white wine, while the bottom for reds. It’s low vibration and noise technology ensures that any wine sediments are kept intact and that you won’t hear any hums when it’s in operation. See why it’s considered one of the best thermoelectric coolers?
Wine Enthusiast Silent 21-Bottle with Curved Doors
It has two cooling compartments which, unlike most wine coolers, are distinctly and explicitly separated. Which is perfect for storage of your whites and reds. Your whites, all of which are stored horizontally in the top compartment, go in the top section where temperatures are maintained between 46–65 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom compartment is design for storage of reds with temperatures between 52 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit with a queer design choice: bottles can be placed vertically or horizontally.
Queer because, as we discussed earlier, wine is best stored when the wine is in contact with its cork. (Check out the reasons in the Basics for storing wine sub heading, under positioning). There are two ways of going around this. One, maintain, adequate humidity in the cooler. Secondly, and more simple, place bottles with screw tops on the vertical section.
It has a black finish that complements most spaces and a different option with curved doors. I like to think that the curved door was designed as such just so that it can spice things up. And they succeeded at it. You are more likely to hear a pin drop than this cooler produce any sound when operational. It’s that silent. Its name couldn’t be more befitting: it’s silent and ideal for the budding wine enthusiast. It goes for $297.
32-Bottle New Air Dual Zone
It easily is one of the best thermoelectric wine coolers for a number of reasons. With a 32-bottle storage capacity, it gives you more storage than most average consumers would wish for and is narrow enough to fit in tight spaces. The dual zone means that you have adequate storage for both reds and whites. A digital display for easy observation of the temperatures which can be set between 46 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit and a blue LED lighting offers adequate illumination for the bottles placed on slide-out shelves that are sturdy enough when you pull it out add to it. And at only $400 what more could you ask of from a thermoelectric wine cooler.
It has a black finish with silver-colored door handles that easily blend in with the rest of the enclosure. Setting it up isn’t as difficult as it seems. You’ll only need to screw-in your door handles, plug-in the power cable and you’re good to go. The former requires little to no skill.
12-Bottle Avanti Countertop
Light in weight yet still very compact, the 12-bottle Avanti countertop wine cooler couldn’t have missed a place on the list of the best thermoelectric coolers. It has both the vertical and horizontal sections the latter can be used to exclusively store bottles with screw tops and not corks, for reasons already mentioned above.
Like many models it has and LED digital display for temperature and a curved glass door that accentuates its already cool design. It is completely silent when fully operational and is fit for tight spaces due to its narrow design.
Like the Frigidaire, it has two compartments, has a dark glossy finish, is narrow in design and therefore fits in tight spaces. However, it takes a longer time to cool to storage temperatures: one and a half hours. Its biggest plus is that it takes an equal amount of time to cool both red and white wine (read both top and bottom compartments). The downside to this wine cooler is the fact that it doesn’t have UV protection on its glass display and hence the low rank on the list of the best thermoelectric wine coolers.
It’s hard not to include the 18-bottle NutriChef in the list of best thermoelectric wine coolers. Its design resembles that of your standard refrigerator. Only short enough to accommodate 18 bottles, as its name suggests. Its black glossy finish coupled with its sleek design makes it seamlessly blend in with most color schemes and fit perfectly in narrow spaces.
One reason it ranks low on the list of the best thermoelectric wine coolers is because of its single cooling zone feature. This makes it fall short though it makes up for it with its backlit LED lights that brighten your kitchen, workspace or room of choice. It has polished wine racks that keeps your bottles perfectly positioned and radiate seamlessly with the LED backlight. It has an airtight door and an external temperature control unit that can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius which helps you change the temperature without opening the door. It doesn’t produce any sound when operating. Isn’t it one of the reasons we are purchasing a thermoelectric cooler as opposed to compressor coolers in the first place?
8-Bottle Frigidaire Countertop
This is a great choice for wine lovers who are for a wine cooler for their kitchen countertops. Since it only holds 8 bottles, it would be a big ask to ask for two separate compartments: it sports a single cooling zone. That, however, doesn’t take anything away from its performance: it takes an equal amount of time- one hour- to cool. It’s simple in design and functionality with the ability to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. Its light weight makes it portable enough for travel or for those who constantly change their kitchen arrangement. You’d easily confuse it for your microwave.
It’s not uncommon to draw out one bottle only to place it back because it wasn’t the one you had in mind. The white light that radiates from the roof of it’s enclosure is an ingenious way to solving this problem and helps you specifically pick out which bottle you want.
Haier 6-Bottle Wine
This is ideal for anyone seeking to store a small number of one of either red or white bottles of wine. At only $111, it’s great if you want to use it for trial and error purposes as you tinker on what works best for you. Its small size means it won’t take up more space than is necessary and can sit well on your kitchen counter. Like most wine coolers, it sports a digital temperature control mechanism and has a black finish.
The details provided in this article are sufficient enough to help you make the right choice when purchasing a wine cooler. All wine coolers listed herein are stellar and will serve you for a couple of years and even come with warranties that may be helpful down the line.