Variables to Consider
1. Bottle Count
The rule of thumb for deciding what size fridge to buy: Think about how much space you believe you need, then double it, since your collection is likely to grow. Also, most manufacturers use Bordeaux-size bottles to estimate how many bottles will fit in a particular unit; collections with wider bottles, such as those used for Burgundy and Champagne, will take up more space and lower the unit’s total bottle capacity.
The best units have an aluminum interior, which conducts cold and heat much better than the plastic used in less-expensive models. Also look for a textured, pebbled lining, which helps maintain ideal humidity in the unit.
Basic wine fridges tend to have fixed chrome-wire shelves; higher-end ones use sturdier wood racks or wood-framed wire grids. Look for shelves that roll out, a design that makes it easier to read labels and remove bottles. Test how a unit’s shelves glide to make sure you like the feel.