Things to Consider Before You Buy a Wine Cooler

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Wine coolers
can be one of the best purchases to be made for anyone, especially for the wine connoisseur.

They have some great features that put it heads and shoulders above the competition.

But, how does a potential buyer know whether or not a wine cooler is right for them?  There are many options to consider before making the decision.


The first factor is UV rays. Sunlight may be good for many things, it can completely ruin bottles of wine.

  • For the best wine storage results, the bottles should be kept away from any possible spaces that could attract a ton of sunlight.
  • Keeping the wine away from any UV light is a huge factor to keep in mind, especially for someone who is an avid wine collector, and plans on keeping the wine stored away for a longer period of time.

In order to prevent a disaster of ruined bottles due to sunlight exposure, it is best to invest in a wine cooler that has a solid-color door.

However, if the potential buyer feels that the look and feel of a see-through door, they can invest in a wine cooler with a tinted door, so essentially, they can get the best of both worlds.

Direct and Indirect Cooling

Another factor a potential buyer needs to keep in mind is direct and indirect cooling.  This kind of technology is somewhat new to wine coolers.

  • Direct cooling is exactly how it sounds.  By using these new technologies, it pumps cool air throughout the cavity so that any varying temperatures even out, therefore ensuring a neutral temperature throughout the wine cooler.
  • This is done by making use of a compressor, heat exchanger, fan coil, insulated piping system, and a thermostat.
  • Indirect cooling, on the other hand, uses a fan to disburse the cool air throughout the cavity, as opposed to just pumping it with a compressor like the direct cooling method does.

There are many pros to using direct and indirect cooling technologies. Pros:

  • These compressor-based systems are quick and independent, making this technology easy to maintain.
  • With both direct and indirect cooling, the temperature is evenly maintained throughout the wine cooler, ensuring that the bottles of wine will keep their preferred temperature.
  • With the indirect cooling method, a fan is used to help better distribute airflow.  This method yields better results than using a conventional method.


  • The compressor does have a tendency to make noise, and it is possible that it will give off some vibrations.
  • This is not as bad as a conventional refrigerator, but it is still a possibility.
  • Direct and indirect cooling is a brand new technology in the world of wine coolers, so it has not been widely used as of yet.
  •  Compared with other conventional methods, direct and indirect cooling will be more expensive to run.  This is due to it being an expansive technology that took considerable research and trial and error to develop.

Temperature range and control

thermometer-300Some wine coolers come as single-zone units, where you store red and white wines together, or dual zone compartments that allow you to store your red and white wines at different temperatures.

For single zone units, control of the temperature range is important and is a standard function on wine coolers.

By having these functions on the wine cooler, the owner can alter the temperature to their liking.  This is a great option for those who want to keep their red and white wines stored together, but want to keep the bottles of wine stored at a separate temperature.

Where the vent is located

There are two options: front-vented and rear-vented.  No matter what option is chosen, keep in mind one thing-the air from the inside needs to come outside somehow.

The most obvious difference between the two is one lets the air out of the front of the cooler, and the other lets it out of the back.

  • Front-vented wine coolers work best for those who decide to place their wine coolers up against a wall, a shelf, or mount up by the cupboards.
  • There is no way to let the air flow out of the back, and therefore, needs to come out of the front.
  • Rear-vented coolers require at least six inches of space in the back so the air can flow out safely.
  • If the consumer is contemplating having theirs be free-standing, rear-vented is the best option for them.


While it has nothing to do with the actual cooling of the bottles of wine, it may become annoying to the owner.

There are wine coolers on the market that are quieter than others, it is just a matter of doing research on the compressors of the different wine coolers.

juice-wine-bubbles-300Also, a slight problem with noisy wine coolers is that the vibrations that come along with the noise will shake the bottles of wine a bit, sometimes making a clattering noise and also possibly disturbing the maturation process.

  • This disturbance, called sedimentation, diminishes wine integrity, and ultimately, its value.
  • Looking for a compressor-based wine cooler that does not vibrate at all is difficult, and impossible because of the compressors, the cooler does have to let off a little vibration.
  • The key while looking for a wine cooler is to try to find one that has the least vibration, and therefore makes little to no disturbance to the wine.

Again, this is a moot point if the consumer is not planning on storing wine for elongated periods of time.  If they are just looking to store wine for, say, parties and other events, vibrations from the wine cooler’s mechanisms will not make that much of a difference, if it even makes a difference at all.

Of course, there is an alternative to the compressor based wine cooler, and that is the thermoelectric wine cooler, which uses technology that significantly reduces vibrations, since it does not use a compressor. All of these factors are great to keep in mind while on the hunt for the perfect wine cooler.

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