How Cold Should A Wine Fridge Be?
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How Cold Should A Wine Fridge Be?

David J Sharp
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In this article, we’re going to be discussing how cold a wine refrigerator should be, for it to adequately store your wine bottle collection.

Whether you have different types of red wine, white wine, rose wine and even chardonnay, we’ll be touching on the optimal storage temperature settings that you’ll need for each wine variety.

So, without further ado, let’s talk wine storage temperatures.

How Cold Should A Wine Refrigerator Be?

As you may have gathered, different varieties of wine have differing wine storage temperature requirements.

This differs from the wine‘s serving temperature, which isn’t as cold, and obviously dramatically differs from room temperature.

We’ve included all of the optimal temperature settings directly below:

Storage Temp: ~45 degrees

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Rose
  • Sparkling wine
  • Pinot Grigio

Storage Temp: Between 50 & 55 degrees

  • Chardonnay

Storage Temp: Between 55 & 60 degrees

  • Merlot
  • Malbec
  • Zinfandel
  • Pinot Noir
  • Port
  • Cabernet Sauvignon



Below we’ve addressed some of the most frequently asked questions that we get in relation to the cooling temperature of a wine cooler.

What Type of Wine Cooler is Best?

This is an interesting question, because there are several different types of wine fridge available.

For extensive information on the topic, we highly recommend reading our guide on how to choose a wine cooler.

However, let’s briefly talk about some of the main types, and the advantages/disadvantages in relation to their ability to cool.

Thermoelectric wine fridge

These units are a lot smaller in size due to their more limited cooling ability. However, due to the minimal amount of internal moving parts, it means they operate very quietly and provide near to no vibrations. A benefit here is that your wine is stored at a temperature nearer to the ideal serving temperature.

Their cooling systems use the Peltier Effect to adequately cool wine bottles, which you can read more about in the linked-to educational article guide.

Compressor wine fridge

Slightly louder than a thermoelectric cooling system, compressor coolers are more powerful and this subsequently means that the temperature range of these units is a lot wider. They are capable of cooling to much lower temperatures, and thus are more ideal for those who want the capability to store full-bodied white wines, alongside other types which they may prefer to be chilled at a lower temperature.

Dual zone wine fridge

A dual zone wine cooler is a unit that has 2 separate cooling zones. Their temperature and humidity can be controlled independently through the addition of 2 thermostats. This means that different temperatures can be programmed for when different types of wine are being cooled within each zone.

Single zone wine fridge

A single zone wine fridge is simply a unit that has one cooling compartment. Therefore, all of the wine which is stored within this zone is cooled at the same temperature. This can cause limitations if you’re a wine collector with wines of multiple grape varieties.

Built in wine refrigerator

A built-in wine cooler is a unit that usually has front-facing vents, and therefore it can be placed in locations with limited space around the sides and back, such as within a wine cabinet or under-counter, without detracting from airflow.

Equally, it can be quite easily positioned in a freestanding position, within a kitchen, wine cellar or bar setting.

Freestanding wine fridge

A freestanding wine refrigerator will usually have back or side-facing vents, and therefore they require positioning in an open space/environment, so that airflow is not compromised. Otherwise, the internal compressor will begin to overheat, meaning it won’t be able to maintain an ideal temperature and the system could eventually malfunction.

Countertop wine fridge

A countertop wine refrigerator is a smaller type of unit, and as you can expect, usually placed on counter tops. It obviously has a smaller bottle capacity, but is perfect for those who don’t necessarily have the room for a large wine fridge.

Regular refrigerator

A regular fridge generally isn’t the best option for chilling your wine at the optimal wine temperature. However, it’s fine for the casual wine drinker who just wants to store the odd bottle of wine or two, for a short period of time.

Mini fridge or beverage cooler

Finally, beverage coolers and mini-fridges are also not the most ideal choice of wine storage. Instead, they can be used as a stop-gap for casual wine drinkers if there are no other options at hand.

Do All Wines Need Cooling?

No, there are plenty of vintage red wines which don’t require cooling in a wine fridge. Instead, they’ll do fine being kept on a wine rack, in a wine cellar which is cooled using a wine cellar cooling system.

This will help age wine in a favourable way, so that it stays fresh and great-tasting.


As a wine collector or wine lover, we’d highly recommend choosing a wine refrigerator that is powered by a compressor. This is because it’s more versatile in both its temperature range and the ability to be able to get them in a wide range of bottle capacities.

Not only this, but they’re less likely to experience temperature fluctuation issues, and therefore will stay at their proper temperature setting.

David J Sharp is a wine equipment expert, having previously worked with some of the best wine cooler manufacturers within the USA. Today he works as a full-time wine cooler and wine cellar consultant for small and large clients alike. You can find out more about LoveCraftWines here.

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