Wine enthusiasts can attest to the importance of serving wine at the proper temperature for the best wine flavor, aroma, and overall enjoyment. Generally speaking, white wines are best served colder than red wines. This presents a problem for most wine drinkers if they have a single zone wine cooler without two temperature zones. Enter the dual-zone wine cooler to rectify the problem of proper wine storage.
The true benefit to dual-zone refrigerators is that they offer versatility with their ability to chill red and white wines at two different temperatures at the same time. For connoisseurs or just casual wine drinkers who like to have control over their wine serving temperatures, this becomes a great tool for having your wine ready for you when you want it, bringing ease and accuracy to your wine drinking and entertaining.
This article will help you to determine which dual zone wine cooler is best for your needs. We have taken into consideration a number of factors including size, price, cooling system, and versatility. Our goal is to help guide you towards the wine fridge that will best satisfy your needs.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Dual Zone Wine Cooler?
We sorted through a lot of reviews in order to simplify your search for the dual-zone wine cooler that will suit your needs, focusing on the following to help guide you.
Criteria #1: Size
If this is your first wine cooler shopping endeavor, it may seem a bit daunting to sort through the different features. The first thing to consider is size. This fridge has to fit into your allotted space, as well as provide enough interior storage to keep the bottles you plan to chill. Having given this some prior consideration will certainly make this process a little easier.
Criteria #2: Budget
As with any household appliance, dual-zone wine coolers can vary widely in price. Whether you are looking for a reasonably priced fridge or a higher-priced model, there are units to fit your budget. Once you have given it some thought, this article will help you choose a fridge that will work for you.
Criteria #3: Versatility
Much like household refrigerators, these dual-zone coolers are not all created to suit everyone’s needs. Some are more adaptable than others, which may come in handy for those wine drinkers who need something a bit more versatile. While a standard unit may suit the needs of some users, there are others who may opt for a customizable cooler for their purposes.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Dual Zone Wine Cooler
We looked at a wide range of dual zone wine coolers before landing on the one that really seemed to offer a variety of valuable features that was reasonably priced. For its cost, it offers generous storage and consistent temperatures which reflected well in the product reviews. It happens to be in the middle of our price range which makes it a good buy and most reviews felt the cost was well-justified.
#1: Ivation 33 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler (Best Value – All-Purpose)
Our number one choice for dual zone wine coolers is the Ivation 33 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler. It is a mid-priced wine cooler that offers a generous storage capacity of up to 33 bottles.
This compressor-cooled unit, according to reviewers, operates quite accurately and rather quietly. For those who keep higher-priced bottles on hand, this will offer greater peace of mind that your valuable wines will be kept properly. There were some who did indicate that, while they noticed a sound when the compressor kicked on, they felt it was not as loud as other similar units.
While this model claims to hold 33 bottles, it is worth noting that it is designed to accommodate standard wine bottles. Larger bottles or those wider varieties will still fit, though you can expect to get fewer on each shelf. The upside of this cooler is that the shelves are removable and adjustable – a feature we felt was really valuable as some users store a variety of sizes and shapes. The Ivation makes sure this isn’t a problem, but you should expect to get fewer bottles in the fridge in the end.
Another great feature of this cooler is the UV-resistant, double-pane glass door. Because it is well-insulated, it helps keep an accurate interior temperature. Keeping UV light at bay ensures that your bottles will not be damaged, nor will the flavor be affected. We felt this was really well-designed, especially if you plan to keep your fridge in a well-lit space in your home.
We also like the soft interior LED lighting which allows you to check your inventory while not risking damage to your wine labels. This seemed like a well-thought-out feature for those who keep wine for extended periods of time.
This cooler fell in the middle of our price range. It happens to be 40% less expensive than our “Best Overall” and less than half the price of our “Most Versatile” dual-zone cooler. Most reviews were favorable, indicating that it was an attractive-looking fridge that performed well. A few had problems with damage during delivery, but it seemed like those were isolated cases and didn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the cooler.
#2: Aobosi 15 Inch Wine Cooler (Best Cooler Overall)
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Our second dual zone wine fridge selection is the Aobosi 15 inch Wine Cooler. This model holds 28 bottles with adjustable shelving to accommodate larger bottles like pinot noir or champagne.
Like the Ivation 33 bottle fridge, this is a compressor-cooled unit. It claims to be quiet and low-vibration, and reviews supported these claims. Additionally, it boasts a double-pane door with UV protection and insulation that protects your valuable bottles, making it the best dual zone cooler of its kind.
There are a number of features that set this apart from the Ivation model which, incidentally, is more reasonably priced. For that reason, we felt it was worth mentioning some of the reasons to choose this product over the first in our list.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Temperature Memory
The Aobosi 15 inch wine cooler has a pretty ingenious temperature memory function. In other words, in the event of a power outage, this model will resume the proper temperature when power is restored.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Free-Standing or Under Counter
While the Aobosi cooler works nicely as a free-standing unit, it can also be installed under the counter, due to its unique front ventilation. This is unlike the previous model which can only be used as a free-standing unit as it requires space behind it, as well as to the sides, in order to operate properly.
Reason #3 to Choose This Product: Lock Screen
For those who may be concerned about accidental temperature changes, this model has a lock screen function that will prevent such occurrences. No need to worry about a careless touch of the screen that may affect your temperature settings with this feature.
Other key features that set this cooler apart are its wooden shelves that are equipped with rollers, allowing you to pull them out with ease for adjustment. Beyond that, while the overall design of the cooler is similar to the Ivation 33-bottle cooler, this one is a bit sleeker in design for those who are looking to add an appliance that functions as well as it looks.
Keep in mind that you will certainly pay for the extras, but if your budget allows, this may be the clear choice for your valued wine collection.
#3: Kalamera 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler (Most Versatile)
Our selection for the dual-zone wine fridge that offers the most versatility is the Kalamera 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator. We felt this was unique for a number of reasons.
First of all, this fridge is designed to hold a variety of bottle sizes and shapes without having to adjust the shelves. Wine drinkers who wish to chill standard bottles, as well as wider ones, will find this to be a real perk. Of course, storing wider bottles will limit the number you can fit in this unit, making it unlikely that you will actually get 46 bottles in it at one time.
This fridge is as much at home in a free-standing space as it is built into your kitchen cabinetry. This is a really nice feature, allowing for some added flexibility. Some reviewers indicated that it offered a clean, classic look that complimented their stainless steel kitchen appliances.
Another feature that sets this apart from the others is the reversible door that can open to the left or the right. This would be especially useful if you were planning to use this as a built in wine fridge, as it would allow you to customize the door to the best or most convenient way of opening it.
A few other functions like the blue LED light that gives off very little heat, as well as the UV-protected double-pane glass door, will help preserve the taste and quality of your wine.
These features are things one should expect from a fridge in this price range. It is the most expensive among our choices, but the reviewers indicated that they felt the cost was justified. Those wine drinkers who truly value the way their wines are stored will be pleased with this fridge. The fact that it is quiet and boasts little or no vibration makes it a really solid contender.
#4: Wine Enthusiast 18-Bottle Dual Zone MAX Compressor Wine Cooler (Best Low Cost)
Next in our line-up of dual zone wine coolers is our pick for a more budget-friendly fridge. The Wine Enthusiast 18-bottle Dual Zone MAX Wine Cooler is a compressor-cooled unit that is a really nice choice for wine drinkers who may not be looking to spend a bundle on their appliances.
This is a free-standing cooler, perfect for those who have a smaller collection of wines that they wish to store. It has a rather small footprint, measuring just 13 3/4 by 19 inches at the base. The benefit here is that it won’t take up much of your floor space, if that would be an issue.
This unit is outfitted with chrome wire shelves that cradle your wine bottles nicely. It is worth noting that it is designed to fit 18 standard Bordeaux-style bottles, so expect to fit fewer bottles of larger size, like pinot noir or champagne. Some reviews indicated that those bottles do fit nicely, despite the limited space. An added feature is a bottom display shelf which you can use to show off your favorite bottles.
Most reviewers felt this cooler was rather quiet, though there was an indication among some who noticed the sound of the compressor when it kicked in. Not a big deal for most, but notable in the event you plan to keep your cooler in a space where sound matters.
With an easy-to-use touch screen and LED temperature display, it is a breeze to set up. This seems to be a perfect fit for those casual wine drinkers who enjoy their wine chilled properly. True connoisseurs may wish to spend more on a larger fridge or one with more features.
#5: NewAir AWR-1160DB Premier Gold Series 116 Bottle Built-in Wine Cooler (Best Large Capacity)
For those wine drinkers who tend to keep a larger selection of bottles on hand, the NewAir AWR-1160DB Premier Gold Series 116 bottle wine cooler is a perfect choice. Suitable for the collector more than the casual wine drinker, this model can be either free-standing or built-in due to its front ventilation system.
As with many of these wine coolers, the projected number of bottles that it can store is based on standard, Bordeaux-style bottles. With that said, it stands to reason that if you plan to keep larger bottles on hand you can expect to have somewhat limited space. Some reviewers indicated that these larger bottles will not fit into some of the space allowed between shelves, but were able to fit them in elsewhere, though in a limited capacity.
An additional feature that makes this a really nice unit is a reversible, triple-pane glass door which will help protect your wine against harmful light and UV rays, as it provides temperature control for both white and red zones.
For a smart look, this cooler offers a unique, custom gold-toned lighting that provides a soft glow for times when you want to showcase your collection. This dual-zone cooler is a solid choice for a collector of wines who enjoys keeping bottles visibly on hand in a stylish-yet-functional fridge, making it our best dual zone wine cooler with a large capacity.
Not everyone who enjoys properly chilled wine wishes to spend a lot on their wine cooler. In this next section, we will show you a few good choices that will not break the bank. Whether it is a smaller unit or one with fewer features, one of these budget-friendly fridges may suit your needs quite nicely.
#1 Best Budget: NutriChef PKCWCDS188
Our first and best dual zone budget choice is the NutriChef PKCWCDS188, a well-reviewed smaller unit that houses up to 18 bottles of wine in two temperature zones. This free-standing unit fits comfortably on a floor or countertop. The benefit to this is that it won’t take up a lot of space, so apartment-dwellers or those who wish to keep a smaller inventory will rejoice.
The streamlined style of this unit makes it really simple to set up. It is equipped with a digital touch button control panel and a blue temperature display that is easy to read, along with cool interior LED lighting.
The general consensus among reviewers was really favorable in terms of temperature accuracy and noise level. Overall, it seems a really solid choice within this price range for this small, sleek, and modern-looking fridge that does not sacrifice quality for the price.
#2 Best Budget: Koblenz 12 Bottle Dual Zone Freestanding Wine Refrigerator
Our next budget selection is the Koblenz 12-bottle Dual Zone Fridge. Offering a third less space than our previous model, this is a rather petite, free-standing cooler.
What makes this one unique among our choices is that it uses a thermoelectric cooling system that operates constantly, rather than cycling on and off as compressor wine coolers do. It is worth noting that the energy efficiency of a thermoelectric cooler is dramatically affected by ambient temperatures. What this means is that this type of cooler works best in a space that is already relatively cool. With that in mind, if you intend to keep it in an already air-conditioned space, you can expect it to cool your wine rather efficiently.
Because this type of cooler operates constantly to keep your wine at the proper temperatures, you won’t hear the on and off cycling of a compressor-cooled fridge. Some reviewers really liked this feature, especially for those who are more sensitive to sound.
This unit seems to be a great option for small spaces in an already cooled living space. Casual wine drinkers felt this was a worthwhile purchase.
#3 Best Budget: Koolatron WC12DZ Dual Zone Thermoelectric Cooler
Our last budget option is the Koolatron WC12DZ Dual Zone Thermoelectric Cooler. Much like the previous cooler, this freestanding fridge relies on thermoelectric technology to keep things cool, so plan to keep this in an already cooled space.
With its doubled-paned mirrored glass door design that protects from UV rays, the Koolatron unit offers a pretty modern look. It will fit nicely onto a counter or small floor space with its 10″ by 20″ footprint.
Reviewers generally felt that the quality of this cooler justified the cost. Some said that the range in temperatures was not entirely accurate, but most felt it was close enough to keep wine pleasantly drinkable.
At the lowest in our price range, this may be a good entry-level wine cooler for those casual wine drinkers who don’t plan to keep a large inventory of wines for an extended period of time.
Are Dual Zone Wine Coolers Worth It?
Dual zone wine coolers have their place in the lives of wine drinkers who enjoy properly cooled bottles of red and white wines. More for the enjoyment of drinking, rather than storage, they are useful when entertaining or simply when you want to have your wine chilled and ready.
The truth is that our kitchen refrigerators are really not equipped to keep wine well under the optimal conditions of temperature, humidity, and lack of vibration.
The bottom line for those wine enthusiasts who have invested in valuable wines or built a collection that they hope to keep and serve within the optimal temperature range, a dual-zone wine cooler is a wise investment.
What Temperature Should My Dual Zone Wine Fridge Be Set At?
Less-serious wine drinkers may be prone to keeping white wines in their kitchen refrigerators while keeping reds at room temperature. Those who know more about the subtleties of wine will agree, however, that there is a better way to delicious, well-kept bottles.
So what is the right temperature for serving white and red wines? It turns out that there is not just one range for each, and that certain reds or certain whites should be served colder than others. With that said, here is a general guideline.
- Sparkling and Light-Bodied White Wines: 38–45 degrees Fahrenheit
- Rosé and Full-Bodied White Wines: 44–55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Light and Medium-Bodied Red Wines: 55–60 degrees Fahrenheit
- Bold Red Wines: 60–68 degrees Fahrenheit
In the end, the best way to determine the proper fridge temperature for these dual-zone coolers is to know what types of wine you plan to chill.
Which Is Best – A Compressor Fridge or Thermoelectric Wine Cooler?
In order to determine which type of wine cooler is best for you, it is important that you figure out where you intend to keep it and how many bottles are you planning to store.
While thermoelectric wine coolers are quieter and generally vibrate less than compressor-cooled wine fridges, they really function best when they are kept in a space that is already relatively cool and consistent in temperature. They also need a significant amount of space, so they really only work well as a freestanding cooler. They are more energy-efficient than the compressor fridges out there, but they don’t work as well universally.
Compressor-cooled wine fridges, on the other hand, use more power, tend to be less quiet, and can vibrate more than their counterparts. There is something to be said about their ability to keep your wine cool in a wider variety of ambient temperatures. An added bonus is that if you are looking for a built-in model, you will be able to get your hands on something that fits into your desired space as long as it offers a front vent to properly handle the heat of the compressor.
Is a Dual Zone Wine Cooler Best for Long Term Storage?
While keeping your wine in your new wine refrigerator will ensure that you are serving at the optimal temperature, it is worth noting that, for extended storage, there are better options.
First of all, let’s be clear that wines are best stored for long periods of time under proper refrigeration, preferably between 45 and 65 degrees, and ideally around 55 degrees. They should be kept horizontally and without vibration to disturb any sediment in older bottles. As far as humidity, 70 percent is ideal.
Given these specifications, a good quality, consistent wine cooler can serve as a storage space for long-term aging, though those who plan to keep larger collections may wish to invest in a professional-grade wine storage unit or wine cellar.
Verdict: Your Best Dual Zone Wine Cooler
Here is our breakdown of the best wine fridges in their respective categories.
If you want the best value for your money, choose the Ivation 33 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler.
If you are looking for a large capacity unit, pick the NewAir AWR-1160DB Premier Gold Series 116 Bottle Built-in Wine Cooler.
If you want to keep the spend under $325, choose the NutriChef PKCWCDS188.
Whatever your budget or wine storage needs, the best dual zone cooler for your needs is out there. The key is finding the one that will fit your space, budget, and desired features.