Differences of Wine Fridge and Wine Cooler

Upon beginning your journey into the world of wine, you may come to realise that you’re going to need a place to store your prized collection. A quick Google search will yield quite a few results – wine fridge, wine cooler… just what is the difference, exactly? Or are they the exact same?

What is a wine fridge

A wine refrigerator is, at its simplest, a fridge made specifically for wine – that is to say, it’s equipped with wine racks designed to house all shapes and sizes of bottles. It offers a variety of temperature settings, all of which will deliver different results – do you simply want your wine chilled to have with your dinner, or would you like to preserve your wine for as long as possible? Wine refrigerators are often as large as your regular household fridge, and thus can house a lot of wine. They operate using a compressor to cool the inner compartment. It is also important to note that a free standing wine fridge is the most common model available on the market.

What is a wine cooler

A wine cooler too is used to keep your wine cool. Wine coolers differ in size; however many are small enough to fit in cabinets, or even on your countertop. They operate using a thermoelectric cooling system, which is almost noise-free, although the trade-off is low energy efficiency. Due to this thermoelectric cooling technology, wine coolers can also become quite expensive, especially some of the larger models.

The main differences between a wine cooler and a wine fridge

Now that you have a fair idea of what a wine cooler and a wine fridge are, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between the two. First of all, size. Wine fridges tend to be much larger than wine coolers, and as such, you cannot conceal them in a cabinet.

Secondly is the price. Wine coolers will, more often than not, cost you more than wine fridges, although this will depend on the brand, and size of the wine cooler.

The third difference, which is the cooling system. Wine fridges operate using the much cheaper and energy efficient compressor technology, whereas wine coolers operate using the more costly, but more silent, thermoelectric cooling technology.

The fourth difference is the design – wine fridges are almost exclusively freestanding, meaning they have front-facing vents, whereas wine coolers can be freestanding, built-in or even hybrids, with vents at the front and back for most optimal airflow. Also, due to the smaller size of wine coolers, there will be less compartments – for example, a lot of wine fridges offer vertical compartments for already opened bottles.


In the end, both the wine fridge and the wine cooler have their pros and cons – are you looking to store large quantities of wine, or would you like to keep a few bottles cool for a special occasion, tucked away neatly in your kitchen cabinet? It’s all up to you.