Restaurant Wine Fridges Guide

Those running a bar or restaurant will have very different demands from their commercial wine fridges than those for domestic use. Inside a busy wine bar or restaurant, a large freestanding wine fridge may be opened 100s of times a day during service so it's essential the wine fridge holds temperatures perfectly and is robust enough to take a lot of use. Wine themed restaurants or michelin star restaurants with fine wines by the bottle may even need a wine storage cabinet too to keep those expensive bottles in tip-top condition.

Today's blog post will focus on busy bars and restaurant that serve good wine by the glass and bottle and whose wine fridges are opened countless times per day.

Choosing the ideal wine fridge for your restaurant

In the bustling world of bars and restaurants, where time is money and customer satisfaction is paramount, having the right equipment can make all the difference. For establishments that pride themselves on their wine selection, investing in a high-quality wine fridge is essential. But with so many options available on the market, how do you choose the perfect wine fridge for your busy bar or restaurant? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the key features that you should consider when selecting a wine fridge to ensure it meets the unique needs of your establishment.

  1. Capacity: First and foremost, you'll need to determine the capacity of the wine fridge based on your establishment's needs. Consider factors such as the volume of wine you typically store, the variety of wines you offer, and the space available in your bar or restaurant. For a busy establishment, opting for a larger capacity wine fridge will ensure you have ample storage space to meet demand without constantly restocking.

  2. Temperature Control: Maintaining the perfect serving temperature is crucial for preserving the flavour and quality of your wines. Look for a wine fridge with precise temperature control capabilities, allowing you to adjust settings to accommodate different types of wines. Opt for a model with dual-zone or multi-zone temperature control if you offer both red and white wines, as these varieties often require different storage temperatures.

  3. Humidity Control: In addition to temperature control, humidity levels play a significant role in wine preservation. Too much humidity can promote mold growth, while too little can cause corks to dry out and compromise the integrity of the wine. Choose a wine fridge with built-in humidity control features to ensure optimal conditions for storing your wines.

  4. UV Protection: Exposure to UV light can degrade the quality of wine over time, leading to undesirable changes in flavour and aroma. To protect your investment, opt for a wine fridge equipped with UV-resistant glass doors or solid doors that block out harmful rays. This will help preserve the integrity of your wines and maintain their quality for longer periods.

  5. Noise Level: In a busy bar or restaurant environment, noise can be a significant concern. Select a wine fridge with a low noise level to avoid disrupting the ambiance of your establishment. Look for models with quiet compressors and vibration-dampening features to minimise noise and ensure a peaceful dining experience for your patrons.

  6. Energy Efficiency: With rising energy costs and growing environmental concerns, choosing an energy-efficient wine fridge is not only financially prudent but also environmentally responsible. Look for models with a good kilowatt to bottle ratio and features like LED lighting and advanced insulation, to reduce energy consumption and lower operating costs over time.

  7. Durability and Reliability: When investing in a wine fridge for your bar or restaurant, durability and reliability are paramount. Choose a reputable brand known for producing high-quality appliances with robust construction and reliable performance. Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from industry peers to ensure you select a wine fridge that can withstand the rigors of daily use in a busy establishment.

  8. Easy Maintenance: In a fast-paced environment, convenience is key. Select a wine fridge with easy-to-clean surfaces and removable shelves for hassle-free maintenance. Look for models with self-defrosting capabilities to minimise downtime and ensure your wines are always stored at optimal conditions.

  9. Aesthetics: Last but not least, consider the aesthetic appeal of the wine fridge and how it complements the overall design and ambiance of your bar or restaurant. Choose a model with a sleek and stylish design that enhances the visual appeal of your establishment while showcasing your wine collection in an attractive manner.

A wine fridge is a crucial investment for any busy bar or restaurant looking to elevate its wine service and enhance the dining experience for customers. By considering key features such as capacity, temperature control, humidity control, UV protection, noise level, energy efficiency, durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetics, you can select the perfect wine fridge that meets the unique needs of your establishment and helps you maintain a top-notch wine program. With the right wine fridge in place, you can confidently showcase your wine selection and delight patrons with impeccable service and perfectly preserved wines, ensuring they keep coming back for more.

Restaurant wine fridge guide

Types of wine fridges for a restaurant

Most wine bars and restaurants have two types of wine fridge, one undercounter wine fridge for very popular by the glass wines and other large freestanding wine fridges for wines ordered by the bottle. 

The undercounter wine fridge would ideally allow bottles to stand, in a high capacity bar or restaurant the wines by the glass are going to run down fast so there's no need for these bottle to lay down, it would also be a hinderance to wait staff if they were. Look for an undercounter unit that allows bottles to be stood like an undercounter Vestfrost. Whilst not as attractive as some wine fridges, Vestfrost undercounter units are not seen by the public but offer great efficiency and ease of use plus long warranties.

A restaurant with a significant amount of wine would also have a tall wine fridge , some common choices would be EuroCave, Swisscave and Dunavox thanks to their attractive glass fronts and excellent temperature controls.

Premium restaurants may also have a Champagne fridge, dedicated exclusively to sparkling wine.

Popular restaurant wine fridges

Below is our choice for the best tall freestanding units on the market currently for wine fridges with loads of aesthetic appeal and superior technology for both fine wines that need to mature (carbon filter) plus durability and quiet running.

Swisscave WLB-460FLD-MIX - A striking wine fridge for the restaurant that wishes to display their bottles whilst keeping them at the ideal temperature and humidity. The WLB-460FLDs are the wine fridges we use at CoolerSomm in Wandsworth and are very attractive single zone freestanding or built-in units, programmable between 5-20°C that can be used as a storage or service wine cabinet. These units can also be built-in to your kitchen thanks to the front venting mechanism. These are the new, 2023 MIX edition units.

All shelving is crafted from mahogany and all of the shelves offer a display inclination. With all shelves mounted on display and incline this wine cooler can hold 140 bottles, with shelves flat 180 bottles and with shelves removed, 210 bottles. This is a stunning wine cabinet for the serious oenophile who wishes to keep their fine new world and old world wines at the perfect temperature for years to come.

EuroCave V-Pure L - Discover the world's leading wine fridge brand, Eurocave, and its versatile V-Pure-L freestanding wine fridge. With advanced interior cooling technology, this unit operates quietly at only 37dB and has Main du Sommelier bottle supports, ensuring a snug fit for any bottle shape.

Perfect for long-term storage, this wine cabinet features a carbon filter and winter system for ideal conditions. It can also be kept in various environments such as a garage, cellar, or outbuilding. Additionally, the cabinet maintains humidity levels between 60-70% and the glass door provides protection from harmful U.V. light. The built-in unit also has specialized venting for optimal performance.

mQuvee Velvet Glass 125The mQuvée Velvet series is the high-end choice for wine fridges offered by Swedish brand; mQuvée. This range allows for personalized wine storage and includes four standard shelves, while offering the option to add wine drawers and shelves in any desired arrangement to showcase and preserve one's wine collection. The Velvet 125 model has a compact depth of 57cm, making it suitable for installation in a kitchen cavity.

The front ventilation design removes the need for open space around the fridge. Key features of the Velvet 125 Glass unit include customizable humidity controls for extra wine and label protection, adjustable shelves, a carbon filter for optimal wine aging, a winter system that enables placement in garages, and the ability to use the fridge as either a built-in or standalone unit. These units are on display at our London store too.

CoolerSomm are not only one of the UK's leading wine fridge companies, we also run a busy wine bar and shop in London and can help any restaurant or bar with experience and advice on wine fridges. Pop in or speak to us via live chat.

Sarah newton

Author - Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton has worked in the wine industry for two decades holding senior positions at some of the UK wine industry's leading brands. The MD of Coolersomm, Sarah is WSET certified and our lead wine buyer too.