Updated: November 2017
Wine Chiller Reviews:I was recently at a friends house for a summer party and I noticed a cool looking appliance in their kitchen. It was a wine chiller and they had a warm bottle of white wine in their trying to cool it off to serve. Wine chillers, or wine coolers, cost about $50 to $100 and can really come in handy if you forgot to put that bottle of wine in the refrigerator before a dinner party. Most wine experts agree that white wines should be served at 50 to 55 degrees. Electric wine coolers are the perfect appliance to have in your kitchen and most do the job of chilling wines quite effectively. Normally it would take your fridge about 1 hour and 15 minutes to chill a single bottle of white wine but wine chillers do it in about 20 minutes. They are also good at keeping a white wine at a desired temperature once it is opened. I have always found it frustrating once I open up a white wine in trying to keep it cool without taking it back and forth from the refrigerator between serving guests. Single bottle chillers are probably your best bet, but they do sell multi-bottle ones as well.
Buying Guide - Where should you shop for an electric wine chiller? We found several in Target, a few at Williams Sonoma, and several in our Sur La Table catalog. When we ventured online it appeared that Amazon.com carried the widest selection and often had lower prices than the competition. The top brand names are Oster, Happy Hour, Waring Pro, Steeltek, Vacu Vin, VinoTemp, Salton, Rapid Ice, and Emerson. Wine chiller reviews are hard to find although Amazon has feedback from dozens of owners who have bought chillers on their website. You can read opinions posted online and see what models perform best versus the competition. Recently, the Wall Street Journal test 4 models of electric wine coolers and gave their opinion of which ones did the best. From what we could read the cordless models don't do that well. Both the WSJ and Amazon list the Waring Pro Cordless Wine Chiller as less than adequate and one to avoid if possible. Many people buy the cordless one for things like camping or picnics but the vast majority were disappointed and said they would have been better off with a small cooler instead. Features to look for are easy to use buttons, usually with basic temperature functions for both cooling and warming. Some owners complain that some models don't tell you when the bottle has been chilled properly. Look for a wine cooler that gives you an idea when the bottle of wine is at the right temperature to use. Also, those with an insulated sleeve (like the VinoTemp Single Bottle) do a better job of keeping the bottle cool. The Emerson Bottle Cooler/Warmer comes with an adapter for the car's cigarette lighter making it a nice edition to have when you go camping (or even picnicking). One of the top rated wine chillers on several websites was the Waring Pro Professional Wine Chiller which comes with 33 preset temperatures for almost all types of wines. The downfall to this machine is that it runs noisy and reviews are definitely mixed on it's ability to live up to it's sleek looks. A recent addition to the market is the innovative Happy Hour Ravi Solution 30030 Instant Wine Chiller which doesn't actually cool the bottle of wine, it cools the wine itself. You keep the Ravi in the freezer and then hook it up to the top of the wine bottle and let the wine pass through the internal tube which cools it off. It allows you to chill up to 3 glasses of wine and is quite efficient. You can browse the top selling wine chillers and coolers online here.