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Makeover Monday: Best Wine Refrigerators and Wine Rooms

Steve Sheinkopf  |  October 13, 2014  |  3 Min. Read

Makeover Monday

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I once went on a walking trip through Hungary (great place to visit, BTW). Hungary is famous for a dessert wine called Tokkei, and part of the trip was through the wine producing regions.

Anyway, I was in a 150 year old vineyard. They stored all their wine in a cave. It turns out caves are a perfect place to store wine, because they have no light or vibration. They are also the right humidity as well as temperature.

Wine is not like potato chips. It is a living grape. How it is stored will affect the taste. Stored improperly and wine can be “corked” or ruined. Many people have placed wine in climate controlled environments like these:


Sizes of Wine Refrigerators

Let's say you do not have the space for your own dedicated wine room. You can buy a wine storage system in taller columns. Sub-Zero, Viking and Thermador are the most popular. Typically they are 80-84 inches tall and 24 inches deep. Widths vary at 18, 24, 27 and 30 inches.


The most popular wine refrigerator, however, is undercounter at 34 tall, 24 deep and 24 or 15 inches wide. Every company from U-Line, True, Marvel, Sub-Zero, Electrolux and GE Monogram will market the undercounter.

How To Store Wine

As I said before, wine is the most complex product to store. It is technically a living grape. Here is what you need to avoid:

  • Temperature: Wine will be ruined not just by hot and cold temperatures, but a swing either way. I like the two zone temperature controls of True and Sub-Zero.
  • Light: Light will affect the tannins. Look for a unit with a Low E door, which refracts light and UV rays.
  • Vibration: Vibration like light affects wine. Caves don’t vibrate. Most decent storage systems will have glide out racks to damper vibration. Sub-Zero places the compressor on grommits, so it will not shake the unit when activated.
  • Humidity: A unit too dry or too moist will ruin the cork. A “corked” wine is ruined due to air infiltrating a wine through a dry cork.

Best Wine Storage Systems

Unfortunately, most undercounter and freestanding wine refrigerators are simply refrigerators converted to wine with the addition of a glass door and simple racks. They do nothing to address the concerns of storing wine.

Following are the three best...

Sub-Zero: I really like this unit. Sub-Zero designed this product to store wine with two temperature evaporators with precise digital thermostats. It has the Low E door, glide out racks and the best vibration controls

subzero undercounter wine storage 424

True: Another great company with a commercial style compressor and two digital temperature controls. You can tie this unit into your home alarm. Great warranty and all stainless contruction

true refrigeration undercounter wine storage

U-Line: It's good quality and less expensive than the other two. U-Line has the low E door and good racking

u-line undercounter wine captain

I am not advocating spending a ton of money to store your wine. Just be aware of the complications of storing the product and plan accordingly.

Recommended Reads

Additional Resources

Get our free Undercounter Refrigerator Buying Guide with tips, trends and specs on all the major brands. Over 70,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.

Undercounter Refrigerator Buying Guide


A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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.

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