How to Find the Right Bottle Capacity in a Wine Refrigerator?

One of the best considerations of a wine refrigerator is the bottle capacity. The wine refrigerator should be able to protect the valuable wine from the effect of ultra-violet rays, humidity conditions, and extreme outdoor temperatures. Several other factors play a major role in the selection process. The shape and the size of the wine refrigerator determine the number of bottles that the unit can store.

The dimensions of the wine refrigerator will affect the placement of the wine cabinet, along with the bottles that can be stored. One of the most important factors to consider in choosing the right type of wine refrigerator is its bottle capacity. Most people shop for wine coolers by this criteria, and this is also included in the wine refrigerator unit’s title. 

Wine Refrigerator Bottle Capacity
Image courtesy of David Cedrone

Finding the right bottle capacity for the wine refrigerator

It is a popular belief that the capacity of the wine bottle will be the same as stated by the supplier. But the truth is that these dimensions may not appeal to every collection. Several confounding variables might affect the capacity of the wine bottles. At times, these bottles could be very smaller or bigger than what you perceived them to be. It is mandatory to ascertain these dimensions as there are several varieties of wine types and bottle sizes and you should buy a wine fridge that best adapts to the dimensions of the wine bottles. 

a. Dimensions of the wine bottle

A standard Bordeaux Style wine bottle will be of the following dimensions. 

  • length of the bottle cork cap: 2.8”
  • Length of the bottle’s shoulders: 1.54”
  • Length of the body: 7.5”
  • The overall length of the bottle: is 11.8”
  • The width of the bottle base: 2.75”

b. Types of wine bottles

There are several bottle sizes available, depending on the type of wine. Apart from the length and the width dimensions, the shape of the wine bottle could also be completely different, depending on the type of the wine bottle. For example, some bottles have high shoulders, such as Caberner Sauvignon and some bottles could have low and sloping shoulders and a wider base, such as the Pinot Noir bottles.

The size of the bottle will also depend on its capacity of the bottle. But the body of the wine coolers has been fixed in a way that they are comfortable to hold a 750 ml Bordeaux-style wine bottle. In such wine coolers, a variety of wine brands such as Rhine, Mosel, Bordeaux, Alsace, etc., fit with no issues. On the other hand, the Champagne, Rhone, Burgundy, and other bottles could present capacity issues and if you are a consumer of these wine types, you have to choose the wine fridge with great caution. The general rule is that, if your wine collection has larger style bottles, then you have to purchase a wine fridge with a larger capacity, than the quantity that you are looking forward to storing. 

c. Configurations of the wine bottle

Before choosing to buy the wine refrigerator, it is important to consider the preferred and the suggested configuration style of arranging the wine bottles. Some wine brands should be loaded only in a particular direction. You will then have to confirm the same with the appliance owner’s manual and choose the unit accordingly. For example, if the owner’s manual suggests loading the bottles from end to end, then the bottles will have to be loaded in that direction only and their possible capacity will be a little smaller than given. 

The reason to load the wine bottles all bottom forward enhances the ease of label reading. The reason to load the wine bottle neck forward helps in ease of removal. But to make use of the complete capacity of the wine cooler, the best way to arrange them is to alternate the direction of each wine bottle. 

d. Size of the wine refrigerator

The compact and small wine refrigerators range in size from 6 to 24 bottle capacity. The larger wine refrigerators are available in dual temperature zones and are capable of storing both the red and white wines at an optimal temperature. The small size of the wine cooler ensures that they take up very little space on the floor and they are also easy to fit on top of a counter. If you only wish to chill a few wine bottles at hand, a small capacity wine refrigerator is perfect for you.

While shopping for the wine refrigerator is it important to remember that going with a bigger bottle size is always better. It is advantageous to have enough storage space that does not has enough room for the wine bottles that you already own. The wine fridges are available in the following capacity options:

  • 6 to 25 bottle capacity
  • 26 to 37 bottle capacity
  • 38 to 66 bottle capacity
  • 66 to 150+ bottle capacity

e. Single zone and dual-zone wine fridges

The dual-zone wine fridges are ideal for storing wine of multiple varieties. It helps to stock both the red and the white wine bottles at their optimal temperature. You can check the bottle capacity and the temperature range of each of the zones in the wine fridge before choosing to buy one, that meets your needs. For instance, if you drink mostly white wine, then look for a dual-zone wine cooler with a cooler temperature to store white wine in its larger capacity zone and vice versa. 

Bottom Line

Though it is important to keep all the above mentioned considerations in choosing the wine fridge, the most important thing to do is to follow the owner’s manual carefully and ascertain the space available in the fridge and ensure that it will be enough to stock the wine bottles at an appropriate temperature until storage. It is important to give ample space for the independent wine bottles in the storage unit, to ensure that they age gracefully, without getting their taste and quality altered.

Hi, I'm Douglas Cassius, I have worked with many brands that manufacture freezers and refrigerators, so here I will be sharing that knowledge and helping HomeyCart readers.

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