Storing wine can be a tricky matter because wine is sensitive to temperature and light. This won’t pose much of a problem for new wine collectors because an ordinary wine cooler will be more than enough to store their limited collection.
But as one develops a more refined taste and begins to expand one’s wine collection, the average wine cooler won’t be enough to preserve each wine’s specific taste and aroma properly.
That’s because each type of wine has to be stored in its precise temperature range to preserve its flavor and aroma. A little bit more cold for white wines goes a long way to lifting its delicate aroma and acidity. For red wines, however, too much cold will make its flavor overly acidic.
The recommended range for white wines is between 40°F and 50°F. Red wines, meanwhile, need to be chilled in temperatures ranging from 50°F to 66°F. And that’s why serious wine collectors should consider using a dual zone wine cooler.
Because it’s designed to have two independent temperature zones, a dual zone wine cooler can store both red and white wines to their precise, ideal storage temperatures.
Most models in the market are designed with a middle partition that may either be horizontal or vertical. They come with preset temperature ranges for red and white wines. Some high-end brands may offer more customization when it comes to adjusting temperatures.
They’re either cooled down by a compressor-based system or a thermoelectric process. The compressor models tend to have a cooling system for each zone, while the thermoelectric units have only one mechanism. Either way, both can sufficiently chill wine properly to maintain its taste and quality.
Getting a dual zone wine cooler is definitely more cheaper than digging your own wine cellar. But these are not cheap purchases either. Because they’re fancy appliances, they can cost $100 or more, depending on the number of features.
That being said, any quality dual zone wine cooler is worthy of its price. That’s because it stores your wines well. And for a wine drinker, having quality chilled wine for any occasion is very important.
In this post, I picked the best ones that offer suitable prices but also have the best user reviews. Here are my top five dual zone wine coolers on Amazon.
The Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers
- Phiestina 15 Inch Dual Zone Wine Cooler
- Koolatron Dual Zone Thermoelectric Cooler
- Whynter 17 Bottle Stainless Steel Dual Zone
- Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle Dual Zone
- Vinotemp 28-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Cooler
1. Phiestina 15 Inch Dual Zone Wine Cooler
This dual zone wine cooler uses an advanced compressor cooling and air circulation that has higher a energy efficiency while keeping the noise low.
It has Digital Memory Temperature Control that works in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Its upper zone has a range of 40-50°F (best for white wines) while its lower zone is 50-66°F
It can hold up to 29 standard sized wine bottles. Its 5 shelves are removable and are designed for maximum storage for minimum space. There are 2 stoppers on each side of its interior wall to prevent the shelf from accidentally jostling the bottles and keep them from falling down.
It’s built with a steel frame and is equipped with glass doors. It comes with a reversible door hinge so you can open the door on its left side if necessary. The handles are non-slip and ergonomically designed while the feet are adjustable to easily fit most space requirements.
This unit uses a front vent design for heat dissipation. If this is installed in a cabinet, do not block the kick plate over the front vent so that the heat can dissipate. This product comes with a 1-year warranty on free parts replacement.
- Does not require a dedicated electrical circuit
- Frost free
- One user found the white wine zone smaller than the red wine zone
- Doesn’t have a lock feature
2. Koolatron Dual Zone Thermoelectric Cooler
This is a thermoelectric dual zone wine cooler that holds 6 standard 750-ml bottles in each of its cooling zones.
It uses a Digital Temperature Control LED display that can be easily adjusted to reflect Celsius or Fahrenheit settings. Its temperature range for its upper zone is 54°F to 66°F (12°C to 18°C) while the lower zone has a range of 42°F to 66°F (6°C to 18°C).
This unit has 4 removable shelves. It also has an interior LED light that can be switched on/off without opening the unit. It has a tempered mirror glass door, a space-saving recessed door handle, and adjustable legs so that it can easily fit most compact spaces.
This is designed to be installed free-standing to allow proper air circulation. At least 2 inches of space per side and 4 inches at the back is required to maintain its optimal cooling performance.
- Triple glazed anti UV glass door
- No door lock
3. Whynter 17 Bottle Stainless Steel Dual Zone
This is a compressor cooled dual zone wine fridge that can hold 17 standard 750ml wine bottles. The top zone can accommodate 6 bottles while the bottom zone can fit 11.
The temperature settings are adjustable through a digital temperature display. There’s a thermostat for each zone; the upper zone has a range of 41-50°F / 5-10°C while the lower zone has 50-72°F / 10-22°C.
It has 5 removable wooden flat slide out shelves, a seamless stainless steel double-paned glass door that’s coated with UV protection, soft interior lighting, and a reversible door swing.
It is also equipped with a special feature that warns you if the wine refrigerator has been left open for more than a minute.
This can be installed free-standing or as a built-in unit. When its compressor and fans are running, this unit hums at about 45 decibels, which is like the background noise inside the library. This product comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer's warranty.
- Open door warning system
- Frost free
- Some user complaints about its unreliable warranty
- California Prop 65 label
4. Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle Dual Zone
This brand uses a state of the art compressor cooling technology which the manufacturer says lasts up to 2x longer than thermoelectric cooler units. This can accommodate up to 32 Bordeaux bottles.
The control settings are accessed through an easy-to-use digital touchscreen. Temperature settings can be adjusted separately for each zone, but it can also be set to a single temperature so that it can be used as a single zone wine cooler. The temperature range for both zones is 41°-64°F.
It has chrome wire shelves and a large bottom rack. Designed to be free-standing, this unit comes with a warranty that covers parts & labor for 1 year and sealed system parts only for 3 years.
- Temperature setting can be converted into a single zone setting
- With interior lighting
- Users complain about the uneven quality control in its inventory
5. Vinotemp 28-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Cooler
Powered by a compressor cooler machine, this dual zone wine cooler can fit 28 standard Bordeaux style bottles.
Its digital control panel is located conveniently between its two zones and uses a blue LED readout to display the settings clearly. It has a temperature range of (40-64°F).
It has 6 easy slide out black wire racks that are designed with modern stainless steel lips. There’s also a blue interior LED light that can be toggled off/on. It has large bottom rack that can also conveniently store large bottles. A stainless steel glass door allows you to view your wine bottles without opening the cooler.
It’s designed to be installed free-standing or built-in and features a honeycomb grill ventilation. ETL-listed for home and commercial use, it comes with a 1 year warranty.
- Automatic defrost feature
- Interior lighting
- California Prop 65 Warning Label
Buyers Guide to Picking the Best Dual Zone Wine Cooler
How big is your wine collection? Most wine coolers can store 12 to 60 standard sized bottles but if you’ve got a large collection of wine, there are models that can store up to 300 bottles.
Look for units with design features that allow you to adjust the storage capacities for a variety of bottle sizes. For example, look for removable shelves or those with large bottom racks. Some experts prefer shelves made from scalloped wires rather than wood. That’s because the scalloped wires are designed to have a dip that allows the proper placement of the bottle so that they can be easily removed without jostling nearby bottles.
Type of Cooling System
Would you like a thermoelectric or a compressor cooling system?
Thermoelectric wine coolers are more eco-friendly than compressor coolers because they don’t use refrigerants to cool the fridge. But there are compressor models now that use a type of refrigerant (usually R600a) that doesn’t worsen global warming. Just look for the CFC-free label.
A compressor cooling system is more durable than a thermo-electric though. Compressor units typically last 8-10 years and can even last longer as long as you regularly replace the worn-out parts.
But a compressor motor is noisier than a thermo-electric system. If you’re particular about the decibels and vibration a wine cooler generates, a thermoelectric should be more to your liking.
Freestanding or Built-In
Wine coolers vary in height and width. Choose the one that best fits the lay-out of your room space.
Freestanding coolers are designed to have vents on their own so that it can be placed anywhere. A built-in wine cooler will require some ventilation space all around it so if you’re placing it under a counter in a cabinet, make sure that there’s at least 2 inches of space all around it so that it won’t overheat. Just read the manual for the exact space requirements.
All dual zone wine coolers will have two separate settings for temperatures in both zones. And their ranges would be within the standard range required for white and red wines. But some will have extra features like the ability to have a single temperature for all zones. This is very useful for when you only have a single variety of wine being stored at the moment.
Different wines have different optimal temperature settings. Pick the wine cooler that has the best range that covers your particular wine’s preferred temperature. On average, a wine cooler is set to 55°F, but they can range from 45°F to 60°F degrees or even lower.
The more special features a wine cooler has, the more expensive it can be. But if you don’t mind the extra cost, then pick the ones that are useful for you.
Examples of these are Automatic Defrost Features, Security Locks, and Open Door Warning systems.
Warranties for these units are a kind of a hit or miss thing. The standard warranty is usually a year, but since these units tend to be damaged during transit or installation, most of them don’t even get covered by the product warranty.
Also, I should point out that most of these brands require their wine coolers (particularly the compressor types) to be left standing for at least two hours to allow the refrigerant oil to settle. Some problems I’ve read online are caused by not following this.
If you can find a brand that offers an extended warranty to cover damages made during the shipping process, then that’s a better option. You can also go over the product’s pages on Amazon to check out how reliable the company's after-sales service is. The better ones offer quick replies to complaints and prompt response to replacement concerns.