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Ever been disappointed by a bottle of bubbly past its prime? There's nothing worse than opening a special bottle and discovering expensive vinegar. Whether you've scored a wine club subscription, or just like your drop at the perfect temp, a wine fridge will solve your vino woes.
The best wine fridge runs quietly and efficiently with UV-resistant doors, and a child-proof lock to keep your wine away from sticky fingers. Sometimes called 'wine coolers' or 'wine cabinets,' wine fridges let you store your wine like a pro. This saves your booze from going off before it's wine-o-clock. We've spent hours combing the reviews, so here's our lineup of Australia's top wine fridges.
How we picked
You might think all wine fridges are created equal. After reading the reviews, we beg to differ. Our hunt started with CHOICE, Australia's biggest consumer advocacy group. We gave their wine fridge list a squiz, and added a few picks to our list. Next, we checked in with Aussie consumers at ProductReview.com.au. We found a few more top-notch wine cabinets, then it was time for some virtual window shopping.
We cross-checked our picks with what was available in stores, and found most of the wine fridges we'd chosen were over the $1,500 mark. That didn't sit quite right with us, so we scoured major retailers' websites to find some budget-friendly options. That's how we ended up with our list of Australia's best wine fridges for 2021.
The best single zone wine fridge
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If you mostly stick to white wine, or need a spot to cellar your reds, the Liebherr Barrique Wine Storage Cabinets are a stellar choice. Liebherr spares no expense with these wine fridges, which include charcoal air filters, low vibration, and child-proof locks.
What we love
Wide temperature range
Set the temperature anywhere between 5 - 20 degrees celsius for reds, whites, bubbles and rosés.
Minimize vibration so your wine can relax without going off.
Double-glazed glass protects against UV rays.
With a 3-year warranty and rave customer service reviews, these wine cabinets are worth the investment.
An activated charcoal filter keeps the air inside your wine cabinet fresh over time.
Stops kids getting into your wine, and helps grown-ups think twice before cracking special-occasion drops.
'You left the door open!' signal
Beeps to warn you you're letting all that perfectly-humid air out.
The not so good bits
This range starts at around $1,699, which isn't exactly chump change.
Only one temperature setting for the entire fridge, so you may need more than one to store different varieties.
Starting at around $1,700, Liebherr Barrique wine storage cabinets create the perfect conditions for cellaring your wine. These single-zone wine fridges are reviewed by CHOICE, with door alarms to snap you out of your stupor as you gaze longingly at your bordeauxs. We like that Liebherr's wine fridges can be set between 5 and 20 degrees celsius, with a replaceable FreshAir activated charcoal filter to ensure air quality.
Liebherr's Barrique range also comes with UV-resistant insulated glass doors and a child-proof lock to protect your wine from both sun and sneaky fingers. Aussies rate the Liebherr fridges, scoring the 195-bottle model nearly 5 stars from a handful of reviews on ProductReview.com.au. They reckon these wine fridges are quiet and slick-looking. Australian reviewers value Liebherr's customer service over and above other brands.
One reviewer says their Liebherr Barrique wine cabinet also makes a good cheese cave, as the temperature and humidity stay nice and steady. All this quality comes at a price, so the biggest downside is the cost. They're also only single-zone, so they're best for cellaring. Serious wine snobs may also find they need separate fridges for different wines.
Related: The Best Wine Club
The best dual zone wine fridge
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Wine aficionados will be happy with Fisher & Paykel's impressive wine cabinets. These dual zone wine fridges are beautiful and reliable, with slide-out oak shelves, UV-tempered glass doors, and a simple control panel that puts you in charge of every detail.
What we love
Sleek control panel
Control fan, temperature and LED settings from one easy panel.
Low vibration compressor
Sealed and separated to keep wine from shake-rattle-and-rolling into expiry.
Slide-out oak shelves
Beautiful and functional shelves to absorb vibration.
UV-tempered glass door
Stops the sun's rays from spoiling prize booze.
Dual temperature zones
Store reds and whites in one place.
The not so good bits
At over $2,000, even Fisher & Paykel's smallest model isn't cheap.
Fisher & Paykel has a reputation for quality home appliances, and their wine cabinets are no exception. These wine fridges are reviewed by CHOICE, with slide-out oak shelves, UV-tempered glass doors, and low-vibration compressors to keep your wine in tip top shape. With a dual zone system, you can set each section between 5 and 20 degrees, adjusting fans and LED lighting from one simple control panel. Fisher & Paykel's HQ is just across the ditch in New Zealand, so these wine cabinets are also fairly local.
The Fisher & Paykel Dual Zone Wine Cabinets score a full 5 stars from limited reviews on ProductReview.com.au. Aussies say they're 'wonderful in every way.' The sealed unit means these wine fridges are so quiet you won't hear the compressor. If your kitchen is already kitted out with Fisher & Paykel, these slick wine fridges will match. The only downside is the price. At around $2,500 for the 32-bottle version, these wine fridges are a long-term buy.
Related: The Best Fridge
The best value wine fridge
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Kogan Thermoelectric Wine Coolers score big points in our books for their compact size and even-more-compact price. At under $300, they're some of the cheapest wine fridges in Australia. While they might not perform like $1,500 models, they're a great budget solution for the masses.
What we love
Thermoelectric cooling mechanism runs silently and efficiently, ruling out noise and vibration which can spoil wine.
If you're after a small wine fridge, the 8-bottle version is for you.
All 3 Kogan models are less than $300.
Easy-to-use control panels with simple displays.
The not so good bits
Limited temperature range
The 8 and 12-bottle models range from 8 - 18 degrees, and the 28-bottle model ranges between 12 - 18 degrees. In comparison, pricier models go from 5 - 20.
At the height of summer, thermoelectric cooling may be less reliable than a compressor.
Given competition prices and their 1-year warranty, these wine coolers probably won't last a lifetime.
Kogan Thermoelectric Wine Coolers are our pick for wallet-friendly wine fridges. All 3 models have simple digital controls and come in at under $300. We reckon that's pretty good value. What's impressive about these Kogan wine fridges is that they're thermoelectric. Thermoelectric wine fridges make less noise and vibration than compressor-type fridges, which may be better for your wine over time.
But thermoelectric coolers may be less effective at cooling in summer. This method is better for cooling small spaces, so the 28-bottle model may be unsuitable for white wine. Even so, they're a cheap and cheerful at-home cellaring option. We’re also impressed that the 18-bottle model boasts dual temperature zones for different wines.
The Kogan Thermoelectric Wine Coolers are well-regarded by Aussies on ProductReview.com.au, with the 8-bottle model scoring full marks from limited reviews. Around 50 Kogan buyers rate these wine fridges, giving them just over 4 stars. Reviewers say the Kogan wine fridges are well-finished and compact. At this price, they might not last a lifetime, but they're an affordable buy for everyday drinking.
Related: Vinomofo Review
At under $500, the Hisense 30 Bottle Wine Cooler is a mid-range wine fridge for anyone who suddenly finds themselves with too much wine and not enough cellar space. Ideal for the summer party season, this model has a compressor to keep your vino cool when the mercury rises. The Hisense cooler boasts an electronic display, with temperature control between 5 - 20 degrees celsius.
The Hisense 30 Bottle Wine Cooler scores nearly 4 stars from a handful of reviews on ProductReview.com.au. Aussies reckon it's great value for money, and say it's easy on the eye with more capacity than expected. Some complain it makes odd noises, while others say it's quiet. One reviewer finds the Hisense wine cooler doesn't last long beyond its 3-year warranty, but for the price, we reckon it's a hot option for summer.
If you've ever wished you had a restaurant-style wine fridge at home, a Husky wine fridge could be the answer. Husky specializes in keeping drinks at optimum temperature, and many of their fridges boast dual zones. We especially rate the Vino Pro Double Door Wine Fridge & Drink Chiller, with a wine fridge on the left and a proper drinks cooler on the right.
Husky wine fridges also have UV-free dimmers and UV-coated glass doors to keep the sun's rays away from your precious liquor. Starting at around $1,600, they aren't the cheapest wine fridges you'll find. Aussies on ProductReview.com.au score the Husky Vino Pro Double Door Wine Fridge & Drink Chiller around 3 stars from limited reviews. People are generally happy with their Husky wine fridges, though some complain that they're loud.
The bottom line
Wine fridges are loved by oenophiles (AKA wine connoisseurs) the world over because they keep your wine in premium shape. They're a little bit fancy, but we reckon there's a wine fridge for every budget, whether you've got a collection to rival Robert Parker Jr, or whether you're just a curious tippler with a wine club subscription.
If you're on the hunt for the wine cellar of your dreams, you can't go past Liebherr Barrique Wine Storage Cabinets. You'll be the envy of your wine-snobbiest friends with features like charcoal air filters, UV-resistant glass, and child-proof locks. While they're pricey at over $1,500, Aussies rave about Liebherr's customer service. A 3-year warranty also gives you peace of mind.
Ready to invest in something serious? Fisher & Paykel Wine Cabinets are some of the best dual zone wine fridges in Australia, with sleek yet simple control panels, slide-out oak shelves, and low-vibration compressors. The price tag is heftier than other models, but we think this reflects Fisher & Paykel's excellent quality. Both your palate and your dinner guests will thank you for years to come.
If you ask us, the Kogan Thermoelectric Wine Coolers are the best budget wine fridges in Australia. While most wine fridges rack up well above the $1,000 mark, these compact little beauties weigh in at under $300 a pop. Their limited temperature range may not be ideal for white wines, but they'll still save you space if the fridge is packed.
Features to consider
Whether you're buying a wine fridge for BBQ season, or to cellar your prized collection, there are a few features to keep an eye out for. Here are some of the key ones.
Wine fridges start at around $120 and scale up into the thousands. Cheap wine fridges, like the Kmart and Kogan models, are affordable options for entertaining. These wine fridges aren't designed for long-term cellaring, however, as their warranties are usually only 12 months. If you have a large collection of wine, or intend to start one, it may be worth investing in a wine cabinet you can rely on. You can expect to pay upwards of $1,500 for a proper wine cabinet.
Who doesn't love a glass of wine in the sun? Well, the wine, as it turns out. UV and fluorescent lighting can change the flavour of your wine, and not in a good way. Look for wine fridges with UV-resistant glass to protect your precious drop.
It's not just bright light that causes wine stress - it's vibration, too. Like most of us the morning after, wine prefers things cool, dark, and quiet with minimal movement. Compressor models are more effective at cooling, but are noisier than thermoelectric models. Look for features that reduce vibration, like oak or beechwood shelves, separately sealed compressors, and rubber feet to absorb any wobbles.
Wine fridges take up similar space to a bar fridge or regular fridge, depending on capacity. Wine fridges are best kept in the centre of the house, preferably as low as possible, as this is usually the spot with the most stable temperature. It's also worth mentioning that thermoelectric fridges need more clearance space than compressor fridges. This is because they vent hot air through the back of the unit, and need room to breathe.
Child lock features are handy for households with little ones, as they keep tiny fingers away from your precious plonk. They may also help grown-ups resist indulgence, so the child lock feature may be useful even if the little ones at your place are the furry, four-legged kind.
What you get if you spend more
Why would you buy a $2,500 wine fridge when you could pick up a cheapie from Kogan? There's plenty of good reasons to invest...
If you've got a few exxy bottles of vino you want to cellar for a few years, a model with a 12-month warranty isn't going to cut it. Cheaper models are usually thermoelectric, which may not be as effective at cooling in the longer-term. People who opted for pricier brands like Liebherr and Fisher & Paykel were much happier with their wine fridges over time.
Dual zone wine fridges allow you to separate different wines into zones. This keeps them at just the right temperature for serving, but will cost extra in design and features.
Most of the more expensive wine fridges offer humidity control, keeping corks at the proper moisture level. Wines can oxidize and spoil if corks shrink, so it's an important consideration.
Wider temperature range
Compressor-style wine fridges are generally costlier than thermoelectric ones, but compressor versions tend to have much wider temperature ranges. Larger thermoelectric wine fridges in particular have a hard time keeping the heat out, which means they often only range between 12 - 18 degrees celsius. If you want your wine stored at drinking temperature, you're better off investing in a wine fridge with a compressor.
What does a wine fridge do?
A wine fridge is sometimes called a 'wine cooler' or 'wine cabinet.' Wine fridges are designed to keep your wine at an ideal temperature, whether you're putting it away in the cellar, or just storing before serving. A good wine fridge also keeps humidity stable, protecting both corks and wine from light and vibration. By controlling these factors, your wine will be in top condition come wine-o-clock.
What's the difference between single zone and dual zone wine fridges?
You might notice there are 'single zone' and 'dual zone' wine fridges. Single zone wine fridges have one main compartment with one temperature setting. Different types of wine are best served at different temperatures, so serious aficionados may find they need two separate wine fridges for reds and whites. This isn't ideal if you're short on space, and that's where dual zone wine fridges come in.
Dual zone wine fridges have two dedicated spaces that can be set at completely different temperatures. This means you can keep rosé and bubbly in one zone, and red wine in another. Dual zone features require more design effort, so single zone wine fridges are usually cheaper than dual zone.
What's better - compressor or thermoelectric?
There are broadly two categories of wine fridges in Australia: those with compressors, and those with thermoelectric mechanisms.
Compressor wine fridges work similarly to regular fridges, using refrigerant to chill white wines to perfection. Compressor models are better equipped to handle Aussie summers. They tend to have longer warranties than thermoelectric models. The downsides of compressor units is that they can generate noise and vibration. They're also much pricier than thermoelectric wine fridges.
Thermoelectric wine fridges are less common than compressor fridges, using a Peltier effect to move heat away from your wine. They don't require liquid or gas refrigerants, which makes them better for the environment. They're also much quieter than compressors, and don't vibrate. They do need clearance to shift hot air away. It's worth noting that thermoelectric fridges aren't quite as effective at cooling in warm weather.
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