Wine chillers, those under-the-counter or free-standing fridges for wines, are a big item with wine lovers, especially here in generally warm Southern California. They’re expensive and vary in quality.
That's why it's good news that Consumer Reports has just issued its report and buying guide on 10 wine chillers. The magazine looked at several under-counter and seven free-standing models with capacities ranging from 28 to 60 standard bottles. They consider temperature uniformity, the logic of shelving, noise, energy use, digital controls, locks and more, in general doing the thorough job of consumer testing we expect from the venerable magazine.
Highest rated undercounter wine fridge? Electrolux IQ-Touch EI24WC65GS at $1,530 (71 points), but Haler WC200GS got just three fewer points and only costs $980 (68 points). The top freestanding wine chiller was the Frigidaire FFWC42F5LS at $380, but it rated only 56 points. Consumer Reports is a tough grader.
You’ll have to subscribe to ConsumerReports.org to access the complete ratings. (A yearly subscription is $30, or $6.95 per month, while magazine subscribers can access the full site for $20 yearly.) Subscription or no, you can still read about what to look for in a wine chiller and some of the potential drawbacks online.