The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers

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What We Liked What We Disliked The Bottom Line
The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar
The smoked glass door. Small footprint makes it easy to fit anywhere Thermoelectric cooling system can be temperamental if the cooler’s not positioned right A stylish and slim wine cooler
The Best Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller

Compact design, but roomy inside Small storage capacity A sleek wine cooler that cools wine quickly
The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers

Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

Attractive steel finish. Vibration-free cooling Cooling system can falter if it doesn’t have good ventilation A wine cooler that’s easy to set up and use
The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers

NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Attractive design. Wooden shelves Thermoelectric cooling system can be disrupted by outside heat sources A great looking and dependable wine cooler
The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers

NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Powerful cooling. Large storage capacity. Can be built into your kitchen cabinets and home bar Cooling system can be a little noisy A trustworthy wine cooler that chills a large amount of wine

Love red wine? Love white wine? Got a lot of both? A dual zone wine cooler is the perfect storage solution. These wine fridges come with two cooling zones that let you chill red and white wine at different temperatures in the same unit. Though red and white wine can be stored at the same temperature, they’re best when they’re stored at different temperatures: 55°F for red and 45°F for whites. The reason is the different tannin levels in each wine.

Tannins are organic compounds found in plants, seeds, wood, and fruit skins. Red wine is full of them, but white wine isn’t, because its grapes are fermented without the skins. This not only affects color and taste, but how vulnerable the wine is to oxidation, which causes spoilage. When oxygen seeps into a wine bottle, the tannins latch onto it and prevent it from bonding with the wine’s flavor compounds. Since white wines have so few tannins, the only way to protect them from oxidation is to lower its temperature and slow the process down by depriving it of energy.

To make finding a dual zone wine cooler little easier, we compiled a list of the most popular ones on the market. Not just the ones that cooled the best, but the ones people loved the best. We looked at each of them side-by-side and here’s what we found.

Criteria: Dual Zone Wine CoolersThe Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers

We judged each cooler by four criteria:

  1. Cooling Power. What was the temperature range in each cooling zone? What cooling system did the cooler use to regulate temperature?
  2. Bottle Capacity. How many bottles could each cooler hold? Could one zone hold more wine than the other, or were they equal?
  3. Design. Was the cooler attractive? Was it freestanding or built in? What type of controls did it use? How easy were they to use?
  4. Price. How much should you expect to pay for each unit? Did the benefits justify the asking price?

Cooling Power

Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar

The Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar uses a thermoelectric cooling system. Thermoelectric cooling works using to the Peltier effect, which occurs when an electrical current is run through two electrodes joined together by a metal semiconductor plate. The current causes thermal energy to accumulate on one side of the plate. One side gets hot, while the other side gets cold. In a wine cooler, the cold side is connected to a fan system that chills the air inside the cooler. The warm side is connected to a heat sink that pulls warm air out of the cooler, in order to maintain a stable temperature. The Haier wine cooler has a temperature range of 46°-66°F in the upper cooling zone and 54°-66°F in the lower cooling zone, so it’s good for reds and whites.

Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller

The Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller also uses a thermoelectric cooling system and has a temperature range of 46°-66°F in each zone, which means both zones are well suited to reds or whites.

Like most other thermoelectric coolers, it has trouble keeping temperatures under control in very warm environments. The Peltier effect can only capable of lower the temperature 20°F below the temperature outside. This means you need to be very careful where you place them. Keep them out of direct sunlight and away from household heat sources like dishwashers, stoves, ovens, water heaters, and fireplaces.

Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

The Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler is another thermoelectric wine cooler with the same temperature range as Haier and Frigidair. The temperature range is the same in both cooling zones.

NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler

The NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler also has a thermoelectric cooling system. The big advantage of thermoelectric cooling is that it is quiet and vibration free. When a compressor kicks on, it causes the wine to shake. Not much, but over time these minor jolts can add enough energy to affect the chemical processes in your wine and eventually its taste. Thermoelectric wine coolers don’t vibrate at all, which is good for your wine. The NewAir AW-321ED has the same temperature range in each of its zones: 44°-66°F.


NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler

The NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler is the only wine cooler on our list with a compressor cooling system. The advantage of a compressor is that it is more powerful and can handle temperature extremes better than a thermoelectric cooler. Stoves, ovens, dishwashers, and fireplaces will make the compressor work harder, but they won’t prevent it from reaching or maintaining your set temperature. It’s not surprising that the NewAir AWR-460DB also has the largest temperature range on our list: 40°-66°F in each cooling zone.

Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
NewAir AWR-460DB Wine Cooler
Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
NewAir AW-321ED Wine Cooler
The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
NewAir AW-321ED Wine Cooler

Bottle Capacity

Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar

The Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar has an unusual storage set up. Its upper zone, which is better suited to white wine, is larger than its lower zone: 10 bottles vs. 8 bottles. Normally wine coolers favor reds over whites, but in the Haier wine cooler it’s the other way around. The bottles are stored on 7 chrome-plated wire racks, molded to fit the shape of a standard wine bottle.

Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller

The Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller has the same set up as Haier. It can hold 18 bottles – 10 on top and 8 on bottom – and comes with 7 chrome-plated wire racks.

Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

The Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler can hold up to 32 bottles of wine, 16 in each zone. It has 14 chrome-plated wire racks, just like Haier and Frigidaire.

NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler
The NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler has the same bottle capacity as Edgestar. It can hold 32 bottles of wine, 16 in each zone. The one major difference is that its shelves are made of wood rather than wire. The shelves are slotted to cradle your wine in the same way as the wire racks in the other coolers. Cradling the wine prevents sediment from being stirred up inside the bottle when you open the doors or accidentally brush against it with your hand. Sediment is a natural byproduct of aging. It doesn’t affect the wine’s taste, but its grittiness is not always pleasant. By keeping the bottles from shifting, a wine rack lets the sediment collect at the bottle of the bottle where it can’t get mixed in with the rest of the wine.

NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler
The NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler can hold 46 bottles: 18 in the top zone, 28 in the bottom zone, giving it the largest bottle capacity on our list. Like the NewAir AW-321ED, the NewAir AWR-460DB also has wooden wine racks. They’re definitely more attractive, though some users have reported that they stick a little when you pull them out. The wine racks in each cooler are completely removable, so you can take them out to make room for larger bottles.

The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
NewAir AWR-460DB Wine Cooler
The Best Dual Zone Wine Cooler
NewAir AWR-460DB WIne Cooler

Design

These coolers share many of the same features. They all have push-button controls, double pane glass doors, LCD displays, and they all use blue LED lights to illuminate the your wine. All of them except the NewAir AWR-460DB are freestanding as well. Freestanding units vent hot air out the back and have to be placed at least 4 inches away from a wall in order to guarantee proper ventilation, which restricts placement options a bit.

Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar

The Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar has a curved door made of smoked glass. The glass looks good, but makes it difficult to see inside. The handle is recessed, which gives it a slimmer profile than most wine coolers. The controls for the Haier Wine Cellar are located on the outside of the cooler, rather than the inside, which means you can change the temperature settings without letting any cold air out. The controls are a bit unusual. Instead of having two sets of buttons, one for each zone, it only has one set of buttons for each. You select which zone you want to adjust, then press the “UP” or “DOWN” buttons to change the temperature. It does have separate temperature displays for each zone, however, and each one clearly marked.

The Haier Wine Cellar is very slim, just 10 inches across, so it is easy to fit into nooks or between your furniture.

Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller

The Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller is the slimmest wine cooler on our list, only 9.87 inches wide. It also features a recessed door handle and its controls are on the door outside the unit rather than inside. The LED display is notable for being green rather than blue or black like other wine coolers.

The door comes in two different styles: one with two windows looking in on the wine cabinet and another with only one window. The first style lets you look in both zones, but in the second, the lower window has been painted over, so only the top zone is visible.

Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

The Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler has a really attractive design. The wine cabinet is black, but the doors are stainless steel, which really make it stand out in a room. Whereas most dual zone wine coolers are divided horizontally top to bottom, with one cooling zone above the other, the Edgestar wine cooler is divided vertically down the middle, with the two cooling zones side by side.

The unit has French doors and each door opens into a different cooling zone, so you can pull wine from one side of the cooler without disturbing your wine on the other side. Edgestar’s door handles are rounded to prevent you from snagging yourself on them.

There are two sets of controls, one on each door, which control the temperature in each zone. The controls not only let you adjust the temperature up or down, but they let you turn the light in each zone on and off individually rather than having to activate them both at the same time.

NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler

The NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler is very similar to the Edgestar. It has side-by-side cooling zones, French doors, and the same controls. It also has a black cabinet, stainless steel doors, and curved door handles. Like Edgestar, its glass doors are transparent and let you see clearly into each cooling zone. NewAir is unique in that its wine coolers have door locks that keep unwanted visitors from helping themselves to your wine.

The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
NewAir AWR-460DB Wine Cooler

NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler

The NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler is the only front-venting wine cooler on our list. Instead of venting its hot air out the back, like a freestanding cooler, the NewAir AWR-460DB vents through a grate on the front of the cooler. This means it can be placed in confined spaced without overheating. Front-venting coolers are popular because they can be built into your home. People install them under kitchen counters or in their home bars, which is normally more convenient than finding room for them next to your furniture.

Unlike the other units on this list, the controls on the AWR-460DB are behind the door, rather than outside it, which means to have to let out some cold air when you adjust the temperature. It’s also divided horizontally, with a single door that opens onto both cooling zones, so there’s no way to pull a bottle from one zone without disturbing the other.

Price

Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar

The Haier 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cellar is a mid-range wine cooler. If you’re interested in buying one, expect to pay $190 – $250.

Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller

The Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller is the least expensive wine cooler we looked at. The lowest price we found was $149; the highest was $179.

Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

As coolers get larger, their price goes up. The Edgestar Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler can hold 32 bottles and costs $430-$450 on average.

NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler

The NewAir AW-321ED Dual Zone Wine Cooler is a little pricier than Edgestar, approximately $500 on average.

NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler

The NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone Wine Cooler is the most expensive wine cooler on our list. The extra cost is due to the refrigeration system, which is larger and more complicated than a thermoelectric cooling system. The average price the the NewAir AWR-460DB is $850-$900.

The Bottom Line

The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
NewAir AWR-460DB

All the wine coolers we looked at did an excellent job, and we don’t have anything bad to say about them, but if we had to pick one, it would be the NewAir AWR-460DB. It’s expensive, but it’s the only unit that can really trust to keep your wine chilled no matter what. Thermoelectric coolers are too easily affected by sunlight, home heating, or even placement. Keeping a thermoelectric cooler too close to the wall could actually throw off its abiltiy to keep temperatures under control. You don’t have to worry about any of that with a compressor cooling system.

Because they’re cooling systems are more reliable, compressor units can also be built bigger. It’s no coincidence that the NewAir-AWR460DB has the biggest bottle capacity. It’s the only cooler on the list capable of cooling really large spaces.

Front venting coolers can also be built in, and built in wine coolers look great. They seamlessly blend into your home and can be put almost anywhere: kitchen, dining room, home bar, den, or your cellar. Once they’re built in, they take up less floor space and add to the value of your home. Most people have positive associations with wine and a built in wine cooler connects your home to them. It’s the reason why adding a built in wine cooler to a home increases its value. It makes the home seem more inviting, the king of place where people like to congregate and socialize.

If the AWR-460DB is a bit out of your price range, we’d recommend either the Edgestar Dual Zone Wine Cooler or the NewAir AWR-321ED Wine Cooler. They can hold a lot of wine and their black and steel design also looks great in your home. The French doors are also convenient. They help keep temperatures a bit more stable than the doors in the other units.

Best Bang For Your Buck

If you’re looking for a great wine cooler, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then the Frigidaire 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Chiller is definitely your best option. You’d be hard pressed to find a better price on a dual zone wine cooler no matter how hard you looked.

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