Find the Best Inexpensive Models
If you’ve started to appreciate and collect good wines only recently, and you have neither much space for a large wine cooler nor the budget yet to invest in a luxury wine cellar then cheap wine cooler refrigerators might be a good starting point to provide proper storage conditions for your bottles.
We listed some of the best cheap and discount wine refrigerators so that you can research the appliances to make a well-informed buying decision.
The proper serving temperature plays an important role in the enjoyment of wine. Nowadays as summer is becoming hotter, wines kept at a wine rack in the kitchen can go off.
Even if your home is air conditioned, you still have to protect your wines from harmful UV light, not to mention that when you go on a vacation and turn the AC off your fine wines will suffer heat stroke.
You can still keep wine in the fridge but an ordinary kitchen refrigerator is too cold and dry for wines and the smell of the food stuff can permeate the cork over a longer period of time.
So an inexpensive wine cooler can be really useful to keep your wines at the right temperature, away from sunlight.
Today many cheap units imported from China are offered by retailers under various labels.
Reviews provided by owners of these units often mention:
- early failures-break downs (within a couple of months, a year or just after the warranty period),
- noise and
- bad customer service (in case of some brands).
This doesn’t mean that each and every unit by these brands is of low quality, but the frequent complaints mentioned in reviews should make you extra cautious before buying any of these units.
In the 4 – 20 bottle capacity range there are some very nice inexpensive wine coolers that can be good first wine storage units for amateur wine collectors.
This is a compact countertop wine cooler that can hold max. 16 bottles of wine.
Instead of a noisy compressor the wine cooler uses thermoelectric cooling technology that ensures silent and vibration-free operation.
In addition, thermoelectric wine coolers use less electricity than compressor-operated fridges and they are environmental friendly due to lack of cooling agents (CFC-s, HCFC-s).
The thermopane, see-through glass door has a recessed handle and the direction of the door opening can be reversed. Soft interior light, that can be turned on or off, provides nice illumination for the stored wines.
You can adjust temperature with the control knob mounted in the upper right hand corner inside the unit. The interior light switch is next to the temperature setting knob.
In order to maintain the set temperature and for effective cooling place the wine fridge in a room where the ambient temperature is between 72 – 78ºF.
If the temperature is well above 78 ºF the cooler won’t be able to keep the set temperature at constant level.
You can set the knob to Max., Min., Med. and Off. The temperature range between the Max and Min settings is 51 – 62ºF.
According to the instruction manual, when you install the wine cooler turn the knob to Max for 2 hours then adjust it to Med which is at 55ºF. Setting the knob to Off turns off the cooling cycle but doesn’t shut off the power to the appliance.
You can fit in 4 bottles on each of the 3 chrome-plated wire shelves that slide out smoothly for easy access. You can place 4 more bottles at the bottom of the cabinet.
- Height: 20.25″
- Width: 17″
- Depth: 19″
Price of the Avanti EWC16B 16-bottle wine cooler: cc. US$ 120 (US$ 7.5 per bottle). A newer version of the EWC16B is the Avanti SWC1600M-1 wine chiller with mirror finished glass door.
- TIP: The Haier 18 Bottle Wine cooler with sleek look and slim built is also a good-quality affordable wine cooler.
- The 6-bottle Avanti wine cooler and the 12-bottle Avanti wine refrigerator are good alternatives if you look for a cheap home wine storage unit.
- The Haier 12 Bottle Wine Coolers are also popular affordable units.
Cuisinart Wine Chillers
Cuisinart offers small thermoelectric home cellars from 6 bottle up to 32 bottle capacity.
They are freestanding units with digital controls (preprogramed temperatures for various types of wine) and attractive design.
Quality and reliability leaves much to be desired though. Read our main article about Cuisinart wine coolers.
The Little Tavern Deluxe Wine cooler – that’s also made by Avanti under WC191BG model number – can accommodate about 16 bottles of wine on 4 slide-out chromed shelves.
If you remove the bottom rack you can fit in 2 cases of 12 oz.-cans.
The black cabinet is made of sturdy steel and it has black-framed, tinted glass door that’s tempered for efficient insulation. The door has a fairly large grip handle.
You can select from 4 temperature settings.
- Height: 19.5″
- Width: 18.5″
- Depth: 19″
Consumer Opinions on the Little Tavern Deluxe Wine & Beverage Cooler:
Some complained that photos of the appliance suggest that the unit has leveling legs while in fact it doesn’t have any.
Another user stated that she/he expected the glass door to be slightly smokier but otherwise she/he is satisfied with the cooler.
Price of the Little Tavern Deluxe Wine Cooler: cc. $120 – $150 ($7.5 – $9.37 per bottle).
TIP: For more budget, small wine coolers see our articles about
Medium Size Cheap Wine Coolers
There are many mid sized electric wine cellars that hold around 20-30-bottles of wine.
The Edgestgar 30-bottle wine refrigerator is one of the best in this category. It is a well-built, reliable unit with attractive contemporary look.
Haier has a wide range of medium capacity electric wine cellars including 20-bottle, 24-botle, 30-bottle, 32 bottle and 35-bottle models.
One of the most inexpensive unit is the Haier 24-bottle wine refrigerator (retails for cc. $150) with compressor cooling, digital thermostat with automatic settings for red and white wines.
The Magic Chef 30-Bottle wine cooler is a cheap compressor based unit for freestanding use.
The Wine Enthusiast 28-Bottle Wine Cooler is an inexpensive thermoelectric unit designed for standalone placement.
The Wine Enthusiast Touchscreen 18-bottle Slimline model is a decorative, narrow unit for space-saving, standalone placement.
The Sunpentown 32-bottle wine cooler refrigerator is also a good, affordable wine cooler.
Read review on the Vinotemp VT-28TEDS 28-Bottle Wine Refrigerator a cheap (costs cc. $330 – $430) single zone and thermoelectric unit.
- 30-bottle wine refrigerators – suggestions on 28-32 bottle units.
- NewAir Wine Coolers include 12-bottle, 21-bottle, 28-bottle and 32-bottle thermal electric models.
- See also our list of the Best Electric Wine Coolers Under $500 for more cheap, mid-capacity wine fridges.
Larger Capacity Cheap Wine Cooler Refrigerators
Haier 40-50 Bottle Wine Coolers
Haier America offers a couple of compresor-operated wine storage units with 40-50 or slightly more bottle count. The current, 2015 models in this category are:
1. 50-Bottle Units – HVCE24 Series
Two 50-bottle models (HVCE24DBH and HVCE24CBH) that differ only in cabinet decor.
HVCE24DBH has all black design: black cabinet with black tinted glass front, while the HVCE24CBH has stainless steel trimmed glass with the black cabinet.
Both units have one temperature compartment, electronic themostat and dislpay, 6 full-depth, slide-out wood fronted metal shelves. They can be installed built-in or freestanding.
Depending on store and available discounts the two models sell for around $580 – $800 ($11.6 – $16$) which is a very favorable price for such sizeable wine storage coolers if you can fit in the advertised 50 bottles and overlook the many quality problems reported by owners’ of Haier appliances.
Warranty is 1 year parts and lable on both models.
You can set temperature in the range of 41 – 64ºF and the dual LED display indicates the actual adjusted temperature inside the unit.
The black cabinet comes with stainless steel or black framed, flat, dual pane glass door that is blue-gray tinted to filter out UV rays.
You can fit the hinge on either the left or on the right hand side so that you can find the right placement for the unit in your home. The door has a stainless steel grip handle for easy opening of the door.
- Height: 34 1/2″
- Width: 23 7/8″
- Depth (with handle): 23 3/4″
Weight: 117 lbs.
TIP: For a budget dual temperature zone wine fridge read review of the Avanti 46 Bottle wine cooler.
2. 48-Bottle Unit – Haier WC200GS
This is a pricier (available for cc. $1000 – $1200), stainless steel model with two temperature zones to store reds and whites, with a moveable divider between the two sections.
The UV protection glass door is reverisble and has a quality metal handle.
Temperature can be set in the range of 43°F – 65°F with electronic controls. Unstained wood slide out wood racks hold the bottles. Can be built in under the counter.
- H: 34 9/16″
- W: 23 7/8″
- D: 25 7/16″
Weight: 130 lbs.
The lowest cost per bottle, large capacity wine storage coolers are the Vintage Keeper Wine Cellars. (though quality has been sacrificed at the altar of cheapness)
Cheap Wine Cooler Refrigerators in the UK and Europe
- Baumatic Wine Coolers – browse independent reviews of some Baumatic wine refrigerator models available in the United Kingdom.
- Samsung Wine Cooler Review, 31 Bottle capacity, single zone wine cabinet.
More Inexpensive Options
- EdgeStar Wine Refrigerators – space-efficient, thermoelectric units offering both single zone and 2-zone coolers.
- Koolatron Wine Coolers – read detailed description and reviews of various Koolatron wine fridges.
- Magic Chef Wine Coolers – inexpensive home wine cellars in various sizes and decor.
- Picnic Wine Coolers – reviews and information on picnic wine cooler bags and wine totes.