Wine Cooler Temperature - How Cold Does A Wine Fridge Get?
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Wine Cooler Temperature – How Cold Does A Wine Fridge Get?

David J Sharp
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In this article we’re going to be talking about how cold a typical wine cooler gets!

Now, before we dive into the temperature ranges, it’s important to know that there are different types of wine cooler, and every brand and model has varying cooling capacity.

However, we’ll be able to provide a general answer to this question, alongside the ideal wine cooler temperatures which are best-suited for storing certain wines at.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

How Cold does A Wine Cooler Get?

Firstly, as we suggested above, there are two main types of wine cooler, a compressor-powered unit and a thermoelectric unit.

Compressor wine coolers are more common, and are used in units that are generally larger in bottle capacity.

The reason for this is because compressor systems are more powerful, and thus can cope with cooling a larger internal space. However, the trade-off is that these systems have physical moving parts, and thus operate louder than thermoelectric units.

With that being said, due to this increased power, they’re able to achieve a wider temperature capacity.

Compressor Wine Refrigerator – Typical Temperature Range

A typical compressor-powered wine fridge has a temperature range of approximately 40°F – 66°F.

This wide range makes it capable of housing all types of wine, whether you’re looking at storing reds (light medium and full-bodied) such as your Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Bordeaux and others.

Additionally, it can equally house all of your whites, including your Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling and others.

Thermoelectric Wine Refrigerator – Typical Temperature Range

A typical thermoelectric wine cooler has a temperature range from approximately 47°F – 65°F.

Since the most ideal temperature for storing white wine is around 45°F, it means that whilst a thermoelectric cooler can do this, it’s probably best to use a compressor-powered unit.

Reds can be stored at around 48°F – 50°F, making such a unit ideal. However, thermoelectric systems are generally used in wine coolers with a small bottle capacity (less than 12 bottles).

Storing Wine – Important Aspects

When storing wine, there are several factors which are important to consider, especially when looking to purchase a wine fridge.

These are:

  • Vibration level
  • Temperature and temperature stability
  • Humidity
  • Light exposure


Vibration Levels

A study in 2008 by Hyun-Jung Chung et al. called the “Effect of vibration and storage on some physico-chemical properties of a commercial red wine” showed that when red wine was exposed to a higher number of vibrations over a prolonged period of time, there were associated ‘changes in organic acids, tannis and refractive index’; Which in essense means that there were ultimately changes in the wine’s taste.

Hence, it’s extremely important to choose a wine fridge which offers zero/low vibrations, especially if you’re a wine collector looking for a long-term wine storage solution.

Temperature and temperature stability

Wine storage temperature capacity is another important factor when assessing the viability of a storage solution, in this case, a wine cooler.

Making sure that the unit has a wide enough temperature range means that it is versatile to accommodate the storage of both red and white wine.

Additionally, it’s crucial to know that the fridge can maintain a consistent temperature over a period of time, because otherwise the wine’s taste will change.


Not only does temperature affect the overall taste and quality of your wine, but humidity can also be an issue.

Too much humidity means that there is an excessive amount of moisture in the air, and this encourages mold, mildew and bacteria to grow; Staining the bottle labels and permeating within porous surfaces.

Now it’s unlikely to have a major impact on the taste of your wine, unless the wine has somehow been opened and not been recorked properly, but it’s certainly something you want, especially if you’re touching the wine bottles when serving.

Light Exposure

Light exposure can disrupt a wine’s chemical compounds, similarly to excessive amounts of oxygen or high temperatures. The result of this means that the wine is prematurely aged, making its’ color, taste and aroma seem “off”.

How exactly does this happen, well it happens due to the light causing sulphurous compounds to form within the wine, at an accelerated rate.

Specific Wine Storage Temperature Guidelines

Directly below, we’ve provided specific tempeatures for storing different types of wine.

Store at approximately 45 degrees

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Rose
  • Sparkling wine
  • Pinot Grigio

Store between 50 & 55 degrees

  • Chardonnay

Store between 55 & 60 degrees

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



In conclusion, compressor-powered wine fridges have the widest temperature range (40°F – 66°F), when compared to thermoelectric units (47°F – 65°F).

This makes them ideal for both red and white wine storage, whether you’re storing Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Merlow or Zinfandel.

Take a look at our top-recommended compressor wine units here.

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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