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What's behind our wine chiller Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 9 models in wine chillers to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based primarily on how well the model was able to maintain a uniform temperature, how noisy the unit was and well it compensated for changes in room temperature. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Temperature performance
    Temperature performance includes uniformity, stability, reserve capacity, and range of available temperatures.
  • Energy efficiency
    Energy efficiency reflects energy consumption observed during our in-house tests.
  • Noise
    A noisy wine chiller can be a concern if it will be placed near living areas.


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Recommended wine chillers

Recommended wine chillers are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Sales of wine chillers, also known as wine cellars, wine refrigerators, or wine coolers, have been growing as Americans drink more vino. If you're looking for information about wine chillers, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports' wine chiller reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our wine chiller buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and wine chiller reviews to help you choose the best wine chiller for your needs.

Wine chiller buying guide

If you like wine, but not so much that you're ready to invest in a walk-in wine cellar, a wine chiller is a good way to go. Sales of these appliances, which are also known as wine refrigerators or wine coolers, have been growing as Americans drink more reds, whites, and roses. We tested several under-counter and freestanding wine chillers with capacities ranging from 32 to 54 standard bottles.

Despite their small size--under-counter wine chillers are generally 34 inches high by 24 inches wide; freestanding models are narrower--some cost about as much as a full-sized refrigerator. Most excelled at maintaining uniform temperatures, which is essential for keeping your favorite tipples in tip-top condition.

More companies are producing two-zone wine chillers, which offer greater flexibility in storing sparkling, white, rosé, and red wines at different temperatures. (Single-compartment models count on colder air settling to the bottom of the unit to provide various temperature zones.)

"You wouldn't buy an antique car and leave it out in the driveway," Gary Vaynerchuk of the Wine Library, one of the biggest online wine retailers in the country, said. "People are investing more and more money in wine and having the ability to store that wine properly is massively important."

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