Traditional wine racks are no longer adequate for professional wine collectors after a certain point. You'll need a technique to store your wine bottles in a more carefully controlled setting if you're buying pricey, sensitive wines that require just the proper conditions for aging to get the most out of them.

Why Choose Built-in Wine Cooler?

Wine coolers are designed to keep your wines at the ideal temperature for optimal aging. However, in many households, finding space for a second refrigerator might be difficult (even as many wine coolers are on the smaller size).

If you're remodeling your kitchen, building a new home, or simply weary of that trash disposal that no one uses taking up prime undercounter space in your home, the simple solution is to purchase a built-in wine cooler.

Wine coolers that are built-in can be placed under a counter or desk without fear of overheating. They've been a more popular alternative in recent years among wine collectors who want to ensure that their wines are preserved in the finest possible condition before opening them and prefer the idea of a permanent solution that's integrated into the home.

Wine coolers do more than just keep wine chilled; they also regulate humidity and block out some of the harmful light. Kitchen refrigerators are too chilly for wine storage and allow too much humidity in. And most households are already overburdened without the need for more storage.

Undercounter wine refrigerators are more difficult to install and cost more than freestanding models, but they become a more integrated part of your house. They also help you preserve floor space and keep the fridge hidden away where no one will bump against or trip over it if your kitchen is already cramped.

A built-in wine cooler makes sense even if you're not a dedicated wine collector. Built-in wine coolers are excellent for keeping a few extra cold bottles on hand for when you have visitors coming over, even for wine aficionados who haven't reached that level of connoisseurship.

Types of Built-in Wine Coolers

Thermoelectric cooling or compressor cooling are used in all built-in wine refrigerators.

Thermoelectric Wine Coolers

Thermoelectric wine coolers are popular because they use a quieter technology than compressor refrigerators. They also have the advantage of consuming less energy. They can save you the headache of having to deal with yet another noisy appliance if you already have a number of them. 

The disadvantage is that they are less powerful. A thermoelectric model will struggle to do the work you need it to do if you require an undercounter wine fridge that can cool a big number of bottles or if your refrigerator will be in an area where it will be exposed to heat.

Benefits of a Thermoelectric Undercounter Wine Cooler:

  • Quiet
  • Energy efficient
  • No vibrations

Downsides of a Thermoelectric Undercounter Wine Cooler:

  • Not as powerful
  • Not a good choice for high-capacity wine coolers
  • Not a good choice for spaces that aren’t air conditioned

Compressor Wine Coolers

Wine coolers with compressors employ the same technology as your kitchen refrigerator. That means they're frequently noisy, vibrate, and consume a lot of electricity. They are, nonetheless, extremely powerful. A hot day will not deter them from raising the temperature of the refrigerator.

They are more reliable and can handle more difficult cooling duties. A compressor wine cooler is your best bet if performance is more important to you than noise.

Benefits of a Compressor Wine Cooler:

  • Powerful
  • Performance not affected by outside fluctuations in temperature
  • Better for storing more bottles

Downsides of Compressor Wine Cooler:

  • Loud
  • Use a lot of energy

Factors to Consider When Buying a Built-In Wine Cooler

In addition to deciding between thermoelectric and compressor models, you must consider a number of other factors. Your requirements should guide your search for the ideal undercounter wine cooler, so it's a good idea to know what you're looking for before you start looking.

Here are some of the main categories and details to keep in mind as you search.

Placement

Before you proceed any further, make sure you have a designated spot in your home for your built-in wine cooler. Built-in wine coolers are supposed to be positioned in a specific spot, commonly beneath a counter, where they will stay and become a fixture in the home, although freestanding variants have a bit more flexibility in terms of where they may be placed.

That means that most people who opt for a built-in wine cooler are doing so because they're building a new home, upgrading their kitchen, or purchasing a home with a trash compactor they never use. If you fit into the first two categories, you have more leeway in terms of size and dimensions because your contractors will be able to build around whatever you acquire (although you do want it to work with whatever you have in mind for the rest of the kitchen).

If you're repairing a broken trash compactor or an undercounter wine cooler, you'll have to operate within strict measurements. Make careful to measure your space so that you can get a built-in wine refrigerator that fits.

Price

Built-in wine coolers can cost anywhere from $300 to several thousand dollars, depending on size, style, and features. Keep in mind that installation expenses are frequently included to the entire upfront expenditures.

Higher-capacity wine freezers are more expensive than ones that just hold a few bottles, and versions with extra amenities such as a security lock or touchscreen are also more expensive.

If you're storing valuable bottles that you've already spent a lot of money on, investing enough money to get a built-in wine cooler that works consistently, lasts a long time, and has all the capabilities you need is a wise investment because it will protect your other investments.

If you're largely going to use it as extra storage space for beverages rather than a way to keep pricey wines at the right temperature, you can get away with a model on the cheaper end of the spectrum - as long as it has the design and functions you want. 

Capacity

When looking for an undercounter wine cooler, capacity is one of the most crucial elements to consider. Due to space constraints in many kitchens, you may have to settle with a smaller model. If you don't have a lot of space, though, you need think about how many bottles you want to store at any particular moment.

Manufacturers indicate the number of bottles their wine coolers can store on a regular basis, but keep in mind that the numbers are usually for Bordeaux-style bottles. Because bottle sizes fluctuate depending on the sort of wine you buy, the amount of wine you can fit in an undercounter wine cooler at any given time will alter.

If you know you need to be able to fit a particular number of bottles into your wine cooler to be satisfied with your purchase, the smartest move is to choose a wine cooler that claims a number higher than the number you need. This will give you enough room to insert bottles of pinot noir and champagne in between the Bordeaux and riesling bottles.

Number of Zones

Many built-in wine coolers feature a single zone, ensuring that all of your bottles are kept at roughly the same temperature (with some slight fluctuation between top and bottom since heat rises).

Dual zones are available on some wine coolers, mainly the larger ones. This means that red wines can be stored at a different temperature than white wines. Any collector who enjoys both red and white wines understands that the optimal temperature for each is different. Without needing to buy an extra fridge, dual zones make it easier to care for both sets of wine.

Style

If storage is your main issue, you may not need to worry about fashion. However, if you want a wine cooler that also looks excellent (and who wouldn't? ), you have a lot of possibilities.

Many built-in wine coolers use attractive LED lighting to complement their appearance. Wine coolers are available in a variety of colors, allowing you to choose the one that best matches the rest of your kitchen's decor.

Everything is subjective when it comes to appearances. Browse around and see if anything aesthetically catches your eye. Then visualize any built-in wine cooler you like in the location where it will be installed. Will it match the rest of the furniture? Or does it stand out in the best possible way?

A built-in model has a certain level of permanency to it; you aren't committing to it indefinitely, but you will want to keep it for a long time. Before you take to the trouble of installing it, be sure you like how it looks.

Extra Features:

Look for the following added features when purchasing your built-in wine cooler:

Security lock: A security lock is a helpful feature if you're storing valuable wines and want to make it tougher for thieves (or confused visitors) to get them.

Touchscreen temperature display: A touchscreen temperature display allows you to monitor and manage the temperature from outside, eliminating the need to open the door and change the temperature every time.

Extension shelves: Extension shelves make it simpler to read the labels of the wines in the back of your undercounter wine cooler while picking which one to open.

LED lighting: LED illumination enhances the elegance of the fridge while also making it easier to see your wine.