Do I Need A Dual Zone or Single Temperature Zone Wine Cooler?

Do I Need A Dual Zone or Single Temperature Zone Wine Cooler?

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Editor’s Note: This article was updated on September 8, 2020 to include even more information on both types of coolers, the differences between them, and recommendations for top products. We hope you find it useful!

There is a big misconception in the wine world that white and red wines should be stored at different temperatures. The fact of the matter is that ALL wine (red, white, sparkling, fortified, etc.) should be stored at between 53-57 degrees F. This allows the wine to evolve and age as the winemaker intended, if it is indeed a wine meant for aging.

 The purpose of a dual, or two temperature, zone unit is to offer an option to keep your whites or possibly your reds at service temperature.

White wines should be served between 45-52 degrees F—depending on the variety—and reds between 58-65 degrees F. The rule of thumb is the lighter the wine, the colder it should be served.  The bigger the wine, the warmer it should be served. Dual Zone coolers allow a section for white wine service, plus an additional section you can use for either storage or red wine service. 

So which style of wine cellar is right for you? It really boils down to this question…are you using your wine cooler for service, storage or both? If it is service or both, then a dual zone unit is right up your alley. But if you plan on using your wine cellar strictly for storage, then the single temp is clearly your best option.

What is a Dual Zone Wine Refrigerator?

A dual-zone wine refrigerator is a unit equipped with two spaces that are independently temperature-controlled. This means that you can store your white and red wines in the same unit, each at their respective ideal serving temperature. 

Dual-zone wine refrigerators are also popular for simultaneously storing and aging wine. Collectors can use one part of the unit for serving, and another for long-term storage. 

What is a Single Zone Wine Refrigerator?

A single-zone wine refrigerator is a unit with only one zone of temperature control. The entire unit is kept at the same temperature. 

Dual Zone vs. Single Temperature Coolers

Dual-zone refrigerators are built to accommodate multiple types of wine. Although all wine should be stored at the same temperature, reds and whites are meant to be served at different temperatures. Dual-zone refrigerators make it easy to serve both types of wine out of the same unit. You can also use a dual-zone unit to store and serve wine at the same time. 

Single-temperature coolers are intended for only one type of wine. If you are serving reds and whites simultaneously, you will need a second unit to serve both types of wine at their ideal temperatures. 

Which Do I Need?

If you have a robust wine collection (or anticipate having one), a dual zone cooler is certainly the ideal choice. Dual-zone units are much more versatile, with the ability to accommodate both red and white wines for serving simultaneously. With a dual-zone cooler, you can also store sparkling wines in the same unit. Users who enjoy hosting wine tastings or who entertain guests regularly will benefit from the added versatility of a dual-zone unit. 

On the other hand, single temperature units offer their own share of benefits. Some casual wine drinkers only enjoy either red or white wines. These collectors won’t have any need for a dual-zone cooler. If you are only interested in reds or whites, a single-temperature cooler will work just fine.

Our Best-Selling Dual Zone Refrigerators

Wine Enthusiast Classic 70 Dual Zone Wine Cellar

With two cooling zones, the Wine Enthusiast Classic ‘70 is the ideal budget-friendly wine-serving solution. This cooler has a generous, 70-bottle capacity, making it perfect for serving from even the most diverse wine collections.  It also features elegant, modern construction with blue LED lighting that makes it a fantastic showpiece. Tinted, triple pane glass means that this wine cooler offers both optimum performance and robust energy-saving technology. 

N’FINITY LX Dual Zone MAX Wine Cellar

The Dual Zone MAX is one of the most advanced wine refrigerators available today. For especially robust, diverse collections, this unit has a massive storage capacity of 168 bottles. The Dual Zone MAX is also ideal for simultaneously storing wines for aging and serving. This unit is also versatile when it comes to installation — it can be either free-standing or built into a wall, depending on your preference. Combined with its beautiful design and library-quiet operation, the N’FINITY LX Dual Zone MAX is perfectly suited to any room in your home. 

N’FINITY Double S Dual Zone Wine Cellar 

The N’FINITY Double S Dual Zone Wine Cellar is a perfect under-the-counter option for serving red, white, and sparkling wines. This unit features soft-close doors and cleverly-designed shelves that fit virtually any size bottle. Despite the Double S’ compact construction, it boasts a robust 92-bottle capacity. This unit comes with an ultra-modern touchscreen to control the temperature settings and lighting. If you’re looking for a high-performance wine refrigerator that offers both function and modern design, the N’FINITY Double S Dual Zone Wine Cellar is the perfect solution. 

Our Best-Selling Single Zone Refrigerators

Wine Enthusiast 12-Bottle Compact Wine Cooler

This compact unit is perfect for city-dwellers who may be short on space, but still want to collect and serve their favorite wines. Alternatively, this smaller cooler is an ideal solution for discerning collectors who only serve a few of their wines at a time. In any case, the Wine Enthusiast 12-Bottle Compact Wine Cooler offers a whole lot of performance in a space-saving form factor. It features digital touchscreen temperature controls and state-of-the-art, energy-efficient cooling technology. If you’re looking to save space without sacrificing performance, this unit is perfect for your needs. 

EuroCave Inspiration S Wine Cellar

The EuroCave Inspiration S Wine Cellar is a beautiful unit that is specially-made to complement any modern kitchen. This elegantly-designed, high-performance wine cooler is available in three different sizes with customizable glass, door, and shelving options. The EuroCave S can store anywhere from 30 to 89 bottles depending on its configuration, making it one of the most customizable wine coolers available today. Because the EuroCave Inspiration is just as much a showpiece as it is a functional appliance, special care has been given to the aesthetics of the unit. Soft amber lights illuminate your bottles, while a backlit touchscreen gives your kitchen a modern, techy flair. This wine cooler is the ideal solution for collectors who are looking to showcase their wine right in the kitchen. 

Wine Enthusiast Label Pro 40-Bottle Undercounter Wine Cellar

For those collectors looking to showcase their favorite wines, this unit is the perfect solution. The Wine Enthusiast Label Pro has specially-built shelves that prominently display the labels of your wine. This unit is lit by dramatic LED’s to really showcase your favorite bottles. In addition to this unit’s stunning design, the Wine Enthusiast Label Pro is a high-performance wine cellar that is built with state-of-the-art cooling technology. It has an impressive 40-bottle capacity with compressor cooling operation. Additionally, this under-counter unit can be installed built-in or freestanding. If you’re looking for a versatile cellar that prominently displays your bottles, we definitely suggest the Wine Enthusiast Label Pro. 

From his first sips of wicker basket Chianti at his grandfather’s dinner table to a 1986 Premier Cru Gevrey-Chambertin, Tilden knew that there was something magical about wine. He earned his Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators. Having been with Wine Enthusiast catalog since 2005, when he is not writing about wine he also runs the wine storage division and is head of W.E.’s in-house education program.