what is a small wine refrigerator
Blog,  Wine Fridge Information

What Is A Small Wine Cooler?

David J Sharp
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A wine fridge is a special type of refrigerator designed to store wine. It has a lower temperature that allows for wines to last longer and maintains their flavor. The best wine fridges have a humidity control system to keep the wine at the right level of humidity.

In this article, we’re going to be discussing exactly what a small wine fridge is, and why you may want to consider one over a conventionally sized unit.

What are small wine coolers?

A small wine cooler is a great way to store and keep your wine cool without taking up a lot of space. They are perfect for apartments, dorms, or any small spaces. They come in slightly different shapes/sizes, with some being more narrow and others being wider. They can generally hold anywhere from 2-10 bottles of wine.

They are often less expensive than larger wine fridges, and they can hold a variety of wine bottles. When compared to large wine refrigerators, small units use less electricity and are more energy-efficient. They can also be more easily moved to another location and are suitable for countertop usage.

How do small wine coolers work?

A compressor wine cooler operates just like the refrigerator in your kitchen. A liquid refrigerant (Refrigerant) circulates through a compressor system that produces cold air inside the refrigerator and expels hot air externally. The compressor is usually located in the back of the unit, while the condenser (the fan) is located on the front. The condenser draws in cold air from outside and expels hot air out through a vent. A thermostat controls both the temperature inside and outside of the unit.

What is the point of a wine refrigerator?

A wine cooler will easily maintain a constant temperature and chill your wines so they’ll be ready to serve at any time. Many wines improve with age and if stored correctly, can last for years

Why get a small bottle wine cooler?

It’s an excellent choice if you plan to store just a few bottles of wine over a short period of time. But given the fact that these units are often a lot less expensive, unless you’re purchasing one from a well-known, reputable brand such as wine enthusiast NewAir, Vinotemp, and others, we wouldn’t recommend storing your wine collection over the long term in such a unit, especially if they’re expensive wines.

Types of small wine fridge:

  • Thermoelectric – This type of wine cooler is the most expensive and energy-efficient. It uses a thermoelectric cooling system, making it extremely quiet during operation.
  • Compressor – Less energy-efficient, the compressor wine cooler has a design that is often more compact. This unit is also a lot louder than other types, but can cool to a lower temperature range.
  • Single zone – One cooling zone – Ideal for storing 1 bottle type. It can be a good choice for storing a small collection of wines.
  • Countertop – Ideal to be positioned on your countertop, with great ease of access.

What types of wine can be stored in a wine fridge?

Many people use a wine cooler for storing their red wines and white wines. That means everything from your Pinot noir, Merlot, and Sangiovese through to your Pino Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and other types.

Where do you place a small wine fridge?

The ideal placement for such a unit is in a dark room, which preferably is well ventilated. This could be a utility room of your home where it’s cool and dark.

Do small wine fridges use a lot of electricity?

Electricity usage in wine fridges is a common topic of discussion. Some people say that wine fridges use a lot of electricity, while others say that they don’t use very much at all. It really does depend on the size of the unit, and the unit’s power consumption (wattage consumption). Thankfully with a smaller wine fridge they consume fewer watts per hour.

What is a wine fridge usually made from?

The most common materials used in wine fridges are plastic (both injection molded and extruded), as well as stainless steel. Not all plastic wine fridges have stainless steel doors, but the majority do. The glass is usually darkened and provides protection from UV radiation, to help protect the wines, since light exposure can damage the tannins.

How much do small wine fridges cost?

The price of wine fridges varies depending on their size and how many features they have. So what do small wine fridges cost? Well, on average they cost around $200-300, while the larger (which obviously have a bigger wine bottle capacity) units which have a lot of advanced features can go up to over $2000+.

Are small wine refrigerators the same as mini-fridges?

No, a wine refrigerator is created for the sole purpose of storing wine, as they cool to the ideal temperature and have a UV-protective glass door to protect your wine collection. Whereas a mini fridge is essentially a very small beverage cooler, and should primarily store soda cans and bottles. It offers no protection to your wine in terms of light exposure.

Remember to always use a wine storage unit to cool your wine.


In conclusion, a small wine fridge is a perfect size for those who want to store a few bottles from their collection of red wine and white wine, without taking up too much space.

They are also much more affordable than larger units, so they are a great option for those on a budget. If you are looking for an easy way to keep your wine at the perfect temperature, a small wine fridge is the perfect solution.

However, make no mistake, unless you’re purchasing one from a trusted brand, we wouldn’t recommend a wine collector chooses such a unit over a larger-sized unit, which is more expensive and likely to be manufactured from better quality parts/components.

Although if you’re a wine lover and just want to store the odd bottle of your favorite wine, which you’re going to drink later on that day or that week, then it’s certainly a conveniently sized unit to use.

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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