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Thermador vs. Sub-Zero Tall Wine Refrigeration (Reviews/Ratings/Prices)

December 23rd, 2014 | 3 min. read

By Chris Tavares

If you are looking for a wine storage unit for your kitchen project you are probably looking to entertain guests, or store your wine collection.

Tall wine refrigerators can be built into any kitchen design to match the surrounding cabinetry. When building wine refrigeration into your cabinetry it's important to purchase a wine refrigerator that breathes from the front. Some box stores sell wine storage units, however many cheap units (less than $900) will breathe from the back and will suffocate themselves if installed into cabinetry (causing repair issues and possibly spoiling your wine).

I always make sure I ask my customers where they are putting the wine storage unit to make sure they purchase one that will best fit into their kitchen design and hopefully last the longest.

At Yale we have a great service department. It is important to us to sell you products that have a great reputation for service. For this reason, Sub-Zero and Thermador are our top 2 selling brands. The support from a manufacturer is key to picking out your appliances. Yale actually does the servicing but we get a lot of support from both companies. If there is a problem that we can’t solve they don’t hesitate to help resolve the issue. That is very important to making a service department run smoothly and if we run smoothly that equals customer satisfaction.

How To Store Wine

As we've 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.


thermador tall wine refrigerator T24IW800SP

Thermador is a high-end brand owned by the BSH Corporation, a large German company. This brand is best known for manufacturing great professional style ranges, but also has a great line of integrated refrigeration as well as wine storage.

Thermador Freedom come in two sizes: the 24” T24IW800SP at $5,499 and 18” T18IW800SP $4,899. The Thermador models stand out because they seamlessly integrate into the design of your kitchen. The panels are flush to the cabinetry along with concealed venting grill. This is a designers dream.


  • Full extension racks made from exotic wood
  • Duel Temperature and Humidity control
  • Tempered and UV Protective Glass Doors
  • Electronic controls for precise temperature management
  • Carbon air filter reduces odors and keeps air clean and fresh
  • Vacation mode
  • Economy mode
  • 24” Model Holds 98 Bottles
  • 18” Model Holds 70 Bottles


subzero wine refrigerator model 427g

Sub-Zero is a family owned appliance company based in Wisconsin. They are known for pioneering the integrated refrigeration market. They make some of the best refrigerators in the industry, including wine storage.

Sub-Zero offers 2 different options: a 27” model 427G at $6,299 and 30” WS30O at $6,619. Sub-Zero options are a full size capacity, so if you are a big wine drinker or collector then this is the way you want to go. The qualities of their refrigeration systems are fantastic. They were the first company to introduce the built-in refrigeration system.


  • Sturdy Rust proof wire Shelves
  • Roller glide shelves faced with natural cherry wood
  • Soft low voltage lighting
  • Duel Temperature zone for red and white wine
  • Two independent storage zones that range from 40 F to 65 F with one degree digital accuracy
  • 27” Model Holds 132 Bottles
  • 30” Model Holds 147 Bottles

Which would I buy?

You really can’t go wrong with either option. Both brands do a good job limiting vibration under the racks, preventing UV light from damaging wine, and keeping a consistent temperature. Most of my customers who really enjoy collecting wine and host large parties choose Sub Zero.

If you want more of a subtle design with a good size capacity but you don’t want to take up a lot of cabinet space then Thermdor will also suit you needs.

Additional Resources

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Chris Tavares

Chris Tavares is an Appliance Sales Associate at Yale Appliance and has been with Yale for over 17 years. When not helping clients, Chris is a huge Patriots fan and enjoys cooking.

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