Skip to main content

Frigidaire vs. True Under Counter Wine Refrigerators (Prices/Reviews/Ratings)

January 16th, 2014 | 3 min. read

By Danny Nguyen

Wine might be the hardest item to store because it reacts to such factors like temperature, light, humidity and vibration. Too much of any of the above will alter the taste of wine. Frigidaire and True represent the polar opposites of wine units and are completely different in almost every way.

Often times, customers come in asking for the differences between a Frigidaire under counter Wine unit priced at $500 vs. a True Under counter wine unit price at $3,000. Seems like a HUGE difference, but once they learn more about each one, based, on their specific needs, price point and what’s important, the choice becomes quite clear, pretty quickly.

Built-in Vs Freestanding

First off, the BIG difference between the two is built in vs. freestanding. A built-in unit is engineered to be installed into place, similar to a dishwasher. Typically the standard is 24 inches wide and just under the standard counter top height. However there will also be narrower options available, like 15 or 18 inches wide too, for various applications. 24 inch is also a standard size and easier for replacement.

The big difference between the two units is the overall quality of construction. The compressors are in the front, vs. back on a freestanding.  With compressors being on the front, cabinetry can be built snug around the unit, without jeopardizing the unit’s life expectancy. With the compressors on the back, the freestanding unit is not designed to be built into a bar type setup. The compressor will emit heat and the trapped heat will cause the unit to seize and burn out.

Now we will look at the individual units.




This stainless Frigidaire freestanding wine unit is considered dual temperature and will hold 38 bottles. It will have two visible digital displays, ranging anywhere between 41-54 degrees for whites and 55-64 degrees for reds. The door swing is field reversible, which is convenient, whereas most stainless built-ins, are ordered hinge specific. It will also have an LED light on the inside as well as natural stained wood shelves which can be pulled out. It features a 1 year warranty.

Frigidaire as a company is very large. In fact their parent company, Electrolux is the biggest appliance company in the world. They are a great price, generally reliable and great for service.

When comparing this freestanding unit to a “True” under counter unit, there are some major differences, not just the price.


“True” (yes that’s the name of the brand) they have been an industry leader in commercial refrigeration for more than 65 years. They are an American company with meticulous attention to detail to quality and detail. The next time you go to your local convenient store, take notice of the brand of refrigeration that’s holding the soda. It is most likely a True unit. 



This unit is by far is one of the best under counter built in units for the real wine conniseur. It will have two digital temperature controls for red and white wine. The compressor being at the bottom will of course make the bottom naturally cooler, than the top, as heat rises. In addition, the True unit has a large convection fan which will maintain temperature fluctuation within a half of degree. Whereas a freestanding will vary widely and can alter the taste of wine.

True will also feature ball bearing racks to reduce vibration. Vibration can also change the taste of the wine by disrupting the tannins.

The True unit is 100% solid Stainless steel; an industry exclusive. Most brands are black enamel on the outside and are hollow frames, with sprayed Styrofoam on the inside. Needless to say, it is not nearly as good insulation, sound or quality compared to a brand like True.

The True is also the most versatile. This unit can be installed freestanding or built-in. True is also UL approved to be installed outside. When installed in a standard 24 inch depth cabinet, this unit will be completely flush with the cabinetry. In addition, they are the only brand currently on the market that offers 3 different LED color options on the inside; blue, white or amber. 

Now the average freestanding unit has a life expectancy of about 5-8 years. The True unit features a three year warranty and is engineered for 20 year life.

Frigidaire vs. True Undercounter Review

Between each, they are both good for different reasons. I think there is no comparison between the two, because they are completely different animals. However the easiest way to choose is to figure out where the unit is going. Do you store wine or drink it regularly?

For a freestanding unit, I think the Frigidaire is a good unit for the price. The True is quite simply the best available for people storing and collecting wine...then again, at  $3,500, it should be...

Related Articles

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Undercounter Refrigerator Buyers Guide with features, specs and inside tips to clear ice makers, beverage centers, wine units and the best of under counter refrigerators. Over 45,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Undercounter Refrigerator Buying Guide


Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Danny Nguyen

Danny Nguyen has over 20 years of experience at Yale Appliance. He takes pride in helping customers complete their dream kitchens. Danny enjoys eating, running, and competing in Spartan races. If he's not competing in a race, he is often traveling with his family.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.