8-Bottle Wine Cooler Reviews and Recommendations

Here is a sampling of what we believe are the best 8-bottle wine coolers currently on the market. We started our investigation with the best-rated wine coolers at several of our favorite review sites, and dug deeper into each of those best coolers. Checking out every review and forum posting we could find on each cooler, we’ve put together the following list of the best 8-bottle wine coolers available, and our own rating on each one. (For more on our methods, see how we conducted our research.)

Small Wine Cooler Technology – Thermoelectric

All of the 8-bottle wine coolers we’ve reviewed to date are thermoelectric models. Thermoelectric coolers do not use compressors, so they are considerably quieter by nature, they don’t contain CFCs (such as Freon), and they don’t vibrate.

However, thermoelectric coolers do have limitations – due to the way they work, they cannot attain an internal temperature less than 20 to 25 degrees (F) below the ambient temperature. Many owners who do not understand this limitation complain about their coolers not working properly. This limitation may be acceptable if the normal temperature of the room where the cooler will be placed is maintained at less than 78 degrees F or so. If your storage location will be warmer (say, in a garage in a warm climate, sun room, or toasty kitchen), you’ll want to consider a wine cooler that uses the more traditional compressor technology.

Igloo 8-Bottle Wine Cooler (FRW080)

Our Rating:
Based on: 7 reviews/ratings
Approximate price: $80
Capacity: 8 bottles
Capsule Review: A popular, small countertop wine cooler, with mostly positive reviews. This cooler does not seem to suffer (so far, anyway) from reliability issues that have plagued other small, inexpensive wine coolers.

Igloo 8-Bottle Wine Cooler Full Review/Recommendation

Sunpentown 8-Bottle Wine Cooler (WC-08)

Our Rating:
Based on: 60 reviews/ratings
Approximate price: $160 (around $125 online)
Capacity: 8 bottles
Capsule Review: A popular, small countertop wine cooler, with mostly very positive reviews. This brand, Sunpentown, seems to have solid reliability (complaints about improper functioning seem to be due to lack of understanding of the limitations of the technology). Overall, a very good choice for an 8-bottle wine chiller.

Sunpentown 8-Bottle Wine Cooler Full Review/Recommendation

Sunbeam 8-Bottle Wine Cellar (SCN08SHCBV)

Our Rating:
Based on: 36 reviews/ratings
Approximate price: $90
Capacity: 8 bottles
Capsule Review: Generally considered a nice little wine cooler for the price. It’s fairly attractive, although no one raved about its looks. The inside is designed for standard sized bottles, and longer bottles won’t fit in all slots. And, there have been a few reliability issues, where units died sooner than one would expect. But, the failure rate has been less than some other units in this class.

Sunbeam 8-Bottle Wine Cooler Full Review/Recommendation

Emerson 8 Bottle Wine Cooler (Model # not available)

Our Rating:
Based on: 13 reviews/ratings
Approximate Price: $80
Capacity: 8 bottle
Capsule Review: Several owners really liked this little wine cooler, complimenting its usefulness, sleek design, and quiet operation. But, the unit turns out to have significant reliability issues. Four of the 13 reviews we found stated that their coolers failed within a few months to less than a year. Regardless of how much appeal this wine cooler has as a potential gift, or the promise of safekeeping your private stash, the failure rate is simply too high to justify the purchase of this particular cooler. The Igloo 8-bottle cooler (FRW080), above, would be a better choice.

Emerson 8-Bottle Wine Cooler Full Review/Recommendation

Is an 8-bottle wine cooler big enough?

The most common comment we’ve read in reviews and forum postings – by far – has been the recommendation to determine the biggest wine cooler you think you’ll need, then double that size. Many, many people have said that they filled up their first wine cooler amazingly quickly, and were already looking for a second cooler. Most people would prefer one larger wine cooler to two, so we highly recommend you consider buying a larger cooler from the outset.

Here’s what one forum poster had to say:

“And this is the advice that many people gave to me before I bought mine: buy a bigger cellar since you will be filling up the 32 bottle one faster than you know it. I didn’t want to believe them but that is what happened.”

We’ve heard this theme over and over, so please do consider a 30-bottle wine cooler, or larger. Of course, if you’re a very infrequent wine drinker, or are looking for a gift, or just don’t have the budget or space, the Sunbeam 8-Bottle Wine Cellar (SCN08SHCBV) would make a very nice first wine cooler.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

6 bottle wine coolers August 18, 2010 at 4:58 am

Thermoelectric coolers do not use compressors, so they are considerably quieter by nature.

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