Outdoor Wine Cooler Buying Guide

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying An Outdoor Wine Cooler

Where will I put my outdoor wine cooler?

When you begin your search for the perfect outdoor wine cooler, it is important to know where it is going to be placed. Will it be built in to your outdoor kitchen, or are you thinking about a freestanding unit that can be moved to various locations? With all of the different options available, once you decide it makes shopping for the best one easier.

Make sure the wine cooler has the proper ventilation

If you decide on a built in unit, make sure that the cut out dimensions will work in your space. You need to have the proper width, depth, and height to make sure the unit will fit properly. If you decide on a freestanding unit, so you need to heed the manufacturer's space requirements.

Make sure it isn't in direct exposure to harsh weather conditions

Weather and temperature are important factors in deciding what unit you will place in your outdoor kitchen. Outdoor temperatures change frequently, so it is important to install your unit in an area that is not in direct sunlight or severe conditions. If you want an outdoor wine cooler that is made to withstand harsh temperatures and weather changes, consider an outdoor rated wine cooler. Most indoor rated models are not warrantied for outdoor use.

What capacity do I need?

Decide if you want an item for entertaining, storage, or both

The size unit you need all decides on how much wine you plan on chilling at once. Bottle capacity can range from 6-150, so it is best to decide on if the wine cooler will be used to entertain family and friends, or for more long term storing where a higher bottle capacity unit may be best.

Types Of Outdoor Wine Coolers

Outdoor wine coolers not only make it easy for wine lovers to relax and unwind when enjoying the outdoors, but they spruce up your outdoor kitchen. Our wine experts have prepared a buying guide for outdoor wine coolers to give you ideas, tips, and inspiration. There are many different types, styles, and features you need to consider before purchasing, so check out our buying guide to help you find the outdoor wine cooler that is best for you!

Single And Multiple Zone Wine Coolers

Single Zone Wine Coolers: A single zone wine cooler chills at one steady temperature. This type of wine cooler is perfect for the wine lover who doesn't need to chill multiple types of wine at once, or for someone who likes to keep wine out for family and friends. Single zone wine coolers are usually less expensive, since they are made for cooling one type of wine at once.

Dual Zone Wine Coolers: Are you a wine enthusiast that likes to have your collection chilled at all times? A dual zone wine cooler is the best choice for you. Dual zone wine coolers can keep two areas in the cooler at different temperatures at the same time. Whites can be chilled at one temperature, while your reds can be chilled at a higher temperature. This unit is versatile and convenient and a perfect addition for your outdoor kitchen.

Wine Cooler Configuration

Are you looking for a built in wine cooler for your outdoor kitchen or a freestanding unit that is easy to move around? Before you purchase your outdoor wine cooler, it is important to know where you will have it installed. Built-in's are front vented, but if you plan on using a freestanding unit in your outdoor kitchen, you need to make sure that you leave room for proper ventilation.

Built-In Outdoor Wine Coolers: A built-in wine cooler is a great addition to your outdoor kitchen. Built-In wine coolers are designed to fit into your island, but it is important to have the exact cut out dimensions before you purchase one. Investing in a built-in wine refrigerator is a great space saver as well. Since they are designed to fit into spare space between cabinets, you do not have to give up valuable floor space in your outdoor kitchen, as you would with a freestanding unit.

Freestanding Outdoor Wine Coolers: Freestanding wine coolers make it convenient to move your wine cooler to different areas. Freestanding wine coolers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, due to the fact that they can be moved. If you plan to add a freestanding unit into your outdoor kitchen, proper ventilation is required. Many customers add island vent panels in the rear of their island to increase air flow.

Wine Refrigerator Capacity

Whether you are entertaining a few friends or a large group, running out of wine half way through the night can put a damper on the evening. A good rule of thumb is to choose your outdoor wine cooler capacity by doubling the amount of wine you usually have on hand. Another good tip is to look at the size and shape of your bottles. If most of your wine is in larger bottles, or an awkward shape, a larger capacity cooler may be best to accomodate the bottles in your collection, due to the fact that they will take up more room.

Wine Chill Chart

Wine type Desired chilling temperature
Champagne, Sparkling, and Dessert Wines 40°F
Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio 45–48°F
Chardonnay and Chablis 48–52°F
Red Sparkling Wines 50–54°F
Beaujolais and Pinot Noir 60–64°F
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz 64–66°F

How Should Wine Be Stored?

Wine needs to be stored properly and at the right temperatures. Here are some tips for storing wine!

  • Keep your wine cool, but not to cool. The temperature should remain steady and avoid rapid temperature changes
  • Make sure the humidity level remains between 50%-80%. Keep the storage area from becoming extremely damp to prevent mold.
  • Wine should be stored on its side for the wine to keep the cork saturated. This helps to prevent the wine from drying out.
  • Very hot temperatures can affect your wine, so avoid attics, laundry rooms, or any room in the house that has extreme heat.
  • Light can be very damaging to wine, especially sunlight. If you decide on a glass door, make sure it is tempered or UV resistant glass to keep your wine fresh.
  • For more tips on the proper way to store and serve wine, check out our article, How to Store and Serve Wine.

Wine Coolers vs Beverage Coolers

Wine Coolers are set at a higher temperature range because wine isn't stored as cold as other beverages. Wine Coolers usually have adjustable or removable shelves, and the temperatures usually don't go below 46°. Wines stored too cold may lose their flavor or even become bitter. Make sure the cooling unit you purchase for your wine is specific to chilling wines. Beverage coolers adjust to colder temperatures, and keep beverages chilled and ready to consume without ice.

Now that you're a wine cooler expert, check out our list of the .