Frequently Asked Questions


Wood Wine Cabinet Placement

Designating the proper location for your wine cellar is important. There are several considerations which need to be made in order to receive the best performance results from your unit: Weight Factor, Ambient Temperature, Proper Ventilation, Noise Factor, and Electrical.

Weight Factor:

You will need to take into account that the weight of your wine cellar, fully loaded with wine, can be substantial. This chart specifies the approximate weights of units both empty and filled with wine.

Unit Wgt.
Max Bottle Cpty.
Bottle Wgt. (3 lbs. Each)
Total Wgt.
1870 lbs.
1190 lbs.
972 lbs.
755 lbs.
830 lbs.
435 lbs.

Ambient Temperature:

The cooling system of your wine cabinet has the ability to cool a maximum of 25 degrees below the ambient temperature in the room. Therefore, you want to place the unit in a room which will not exceed 78 degrees. Otherwise, the unit will not have the capacity to keep the wine at a desirable 55 degrees. On the other hand, you want to make sure the temperature in the room does not fall much below 55 degrees. The unit only has the capacity to cool the wine inside and cannot exceed the ambient temperature of the room. In addition, the unit is designed only to cool to a minimum temperature of 50 degrees.


Place your wine cabinet in a properly ventilated location. The cooling system compressor of your wine cabinet will give off heat, which will need to dissipate away from the unit. If the wine cabinet is located within a restricted area and ventilation is not available, then the ambient temperature of the room will increase and thus will prevent the unit from cooling adequately. Be sure to find a location with good ventilation. For standard (rear exhaust) units, the rear of the unit should be placed 6 inches away from the back wall. In addition, there should be 12 inches clearance above the top of the unit and 12 inches on each side. This will assure adequate ventilation of the heat exhaust. (Periodically vacuum the grill of the cooling unit to keep dust from clogging the unit).


These units are motor driven and do produce a nominal amount of noise while the compressor and temperature equalizer fans are in operation. The noise is comparable to the noise of a refrigerator when it is running. The unit will run continuously during the initial cool down period when the wine bottles are first placed inside the cabinet. After that, the unit will run as needed in order to maintain relative humidity and precise temperature tolerances. The amount of time the unit will need to run is based on the ambient temperature of the room. Front venting cabinets and the Wine-Mate 2500 upgraded cooling system are louder, due to design and size of the compressor. If the unit is placed on a hard surface such as tile or hardwood floors, it is recommended that you consider installing a small piece of carpeting underneath the unit to prevent the unit’s operating noise from echoing against the hard surface. For more information on Decibel/noise ratings view our Decibel Comparison Chart. (PDF).


We strongly recommend against the use of an extension cord. However, if you still select to use one, it is necessary that it is a UL Listed 3-wire grounding type appliance extension cord. The marked rating of the extension cord should be 115V, 15A, or equivalent and not greater than 15 ft. in length.

Where are Vinotemp wine cabinets made?

Vinotemp wine cabinets are made in the Los Angeles area, in CA.

What kind of wood is used to make the cabinets?

The standard exterior of our Reserve Series cabinets is white oak unless customized. The Economy and WC Series cabinets are made of Technical Veneer or luan mahogany unless customized. Alder cabinets are made of alder wood unless customized. The exterior of our Sonoma Series cabinets are made of Cherry Wood Veneer unless customized.

What is the insulation factor?

The “R” factor is approximately 11.6. The walls of Vinotemp cabinets are 1.75” inches thick, filled with rigid board insulation, and a vapor barrier on each side to keep the cold air in and the hot air out. Adding additional insulation will increase the "R" factor.

What is the BTU on standard models?

Unless the Wine-Mate unit has been upgraded, most cabinets come standard with the WM-1500-HTD cooling unit which is 1500BTU. For all cooling units, the model number corresponds with the BTU rating, with the exception of 220-Volt systems. We offer cooling units from1500BTU to 8500BTU.

What is the ideal temperature range for the aging of wine?

For both red and white wine, the ideal temperature range for long term storage and aging is 55°F - 58°F. Wine will age more rapidly at higher temperatures.

Can a Vinotemp unit be installed in a closet?

Yes, but the closet must be large enough to have a louver door installed to allow air to circulate.

What if my floor is not level?

All Vinotemp wine cabinets have between 4 to 6 levelers built in. The legs can be adjusted to a range of 1 inch to level your cabinet.

What kind of wine rack is included in my cabinet?

Reserve Series: Redwood and Aluminum racking

Sonoma Series: All Redwood racking

Economy Series: Wood and Aluminum racking

What size bottles will fit in Vinotemp wine cabinets?

Standard 750ml Bordeaux bottles on 3 ¾” racking. Please visit pages 22 and 23 for further details.

Is custom racking available?

Yes. For example, half of the cabinet can be outfitted with 3.5”* racking to maximize storage capacity. Additionally, a quarter of the racks can be universal or standard size (3.75”) while the rest can be built to a larger specification such as 4-4.5” for bigger bottles such as Magnums or Champagne bottles.
*Note: 3.5” racking only available for all wood racking, not Cellar Trellis.

Can a Vinotemp wine cabinet be dismantled and reassembled inside?

Yes. This is sometimes necessary during installation, when trying to move the cabinet through doors or around sharp turns. Vinotemp supplies a dismantling kit and instructions with every wine cabinet. It takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to disassemble a cabinet and reassemble it inside.

Do you use magnetic doors?

Yes, each unit comes standard with magnetic gaskets which create a tight seal.

Can I control the temperature?


Will my Vinotemp wine cabinet save me space?

Yes. For example, if you were to attempt to store thirty-six cases without a Vinotemp wine cabinet, you would have to designate approximately 10 feet of wall space (width), stacking the cases four cases high. A 700-Model Vinotemp cabinet only requires 4 feet of wall space (width) and holds 440 bottles and thirty-six cases.

Do you offer commercial wine cabinets?

Yes. Vinotemp designs custom wine cabinets to meet your specific wine storage needs. All of our wine cabinets may be utilized in restaurants, hotels, country clubs, wine bars, etc. They may also be NSF certified for an additional cost.

Do you build custom wine cabinets?

This is Vinotemp’s specialty; any size, style, shape, material, and color. We can custom build the cabinet according to your specifications.

Do you offer custom doors?

Yes. Vinotemp offers a wide variety of glass doors: thermal, dual paned, and vacuum sealed. Tempered glass is also an option. There are many different kinds of beveled doors and windows and a variety of carved doors and laminates available.

May I pick up my wine cabinet at the Vinotemp warehouse?

Yes. We will load the cabinet onto your vehicle and will require that you sign a release form.

How are wine cabinets shipped?

Cabinets are transported in commercial trucks or vans by hired companies who have years of experience moving high quality furniture products

Do you offer International shipping?

Yes, for an additional fee.

Do you offer custom finishes?

Yes. Provide us with a sample and we will match it to your specifications.

Do you design walk-in wine cabinets?

Yes. With bottle capacities from 600 to 20,000 bottles, our modular panels are fully insulated. It will take two men a full day to assemble a walk-in: including floor, walls, ceiling, cooling system, door, lighting, wine and case racks.

Do you offer different voltage systems?

Yes. If you have purchased a cabinet within the United States or Canada, it will come standard with a Wine-Mate unit that is 115V 60Hz. Outside of the US, we offer 220V 50Hz units.

What size cubicles do you make?

Type of Bottle or Wine
Cubicle Size
Bordeaux, Cabernet, small Champagne, Burgundy, and Pinot Noir (750ml standard wine bottles)
3" (Note: Sonoma Cabinets: 3.5")
Champagne, Dom Perignon, etc.

*Standard 750ml bottles will fit into 4” cubicles, but they will slip through 4 ½” cubicles.


Upon arrival, all coolers must stand upright for 24 hours before being plugged in. This will allow the coolant to settle.

Proper temperature for the storage of wine?

To preserve bottles for as long as possible wine should be stored at approximately 55° Fahrenheit/ 13° Celsius.

Why should I buy a wine cooler?

Wine coolers are a space saving storage solution. They create a perfect balance of temperature and humidity for the aging of wine. If you have limited space or have a small to medium sized collection, a wine cooler is a great option.

What is the difference between a free standing wine cooler and a built-in or under counter cooler?

Built-in coolers are designed to operate within a confined space due to their front exhaust. Since free standing coolers have rear exhaust, they require at least 6 inches of clearance at the back. Improper clearance means that the unit will build up heat within the cabinet which may damage its contents and cause the cooler to overheat.

Can I store other beverages in this cooler?

You may, however, since the temperature of this cooler is maintained at a constant 55° Fahrenheit/ 13° Celsius your beverage may not be cooled to your liking. Also, keep in mind that storing oddly shaped bottles may decrease the bottle capacity of your wine cooler.

What is the best way to clean my wine cooler?

To reduce the risk of electrical shock, make sure you unplug the unit before cleaning. Use only a mild, nonabrasive cleaner to clean the exterior of the cabinet. Always dry all parts with a clean dry cloth before returning the parts to the cooler or plugging it back in.

Can I use an extension cord?

We strongly recommend against the use of an extension cord. However, if you still select to use one, it is necessary that it is a UL Listed 3-wire grounding type appliance extension cord. The marked rating of the extension cord should be 115V, 15A, or equivalent and not greater than 15 ft. in length.

How should this unit be installed?

Make sure you are placing the unit on a solid, level surface. Places you should NOT install your Vinotemp wine cooler: in direct sunlight, moist areas, or anywhere its weight will not be supported. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual for detailed clearance guidelines for built-in and freestanding wine coolers.

Where should I install this wine cooler?

Some ideas: in the family room, living room, kitchen, home bar, dining room, luxury bedroom, or den. In addition to residential spaces, Vinotemp wine coolers make a great addition to any restaurant, bar, country club, or hotel.

How do I adjust the temperature of my wine cooler?

If you have just received your cooler you must unlock the control panel first. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual for detailed instructions on how to adjust the temperature of your cooler or turn on the light.

How can I store both red and white wines in this cooler?

Single zone wine coolers and do not have separate compartments for red and white. However, if you would like to store both varieties in your cooler, you may store white wine towards the bottom of the cooler where the temperature is cooler and red towards the top. Multi-zone coolers have independent temperature zones in which you may store red or white wine at their ideal temperatures.

What is the difference between direct cooling and air cooling?

In coolers with direct cooling (ex: freestanding units such as VT-28TS or VT-48TS), the evaporator is exposed inside the cabinet. The interior cold air is circulated through convection with no interior fan. The temperature difference of the upper and lower zones varies by 8 degrees. In coolers with air cooling (ex: built-in styles such as the VT-155SBB), a fan is located in front of the interior evaporator. A combinatin of convection and the fans circulates the cold air throughout the cabinet. The difference in temperature between the upper and lower zones varies by 3 degrees.

What is the difference between thermoelectric and compressor coolers?

The chart below shows a comparison of the 2 different kinds of coolers.  One kind is not necessarily better than the other. Your personal preference, budget, and the needs of your collection will be important factors that help you choose which kind of cooler is best for you.

Cooler Type
Higher purchase cost, lower operation cost.
Lower purchase cost, higher operation cost.
Able to reach colder temperatures and adapt to changes in ambient temperature.
Coldest temperature achievable is approximately 20 degrees cooler than ambient temperature.
Able to cool a larger collection.
Perfect for smaller collections.
Sound comparable to standard food refrigerator (compressor cycles on and off to cool, more moving parts).
Whisper quiet (fewer moving parts).
Variety of installations. Units with front exhaust can be recessed into cabinetry. Units with rear exhaust are for freestanding installation.
Units have rear exhaust and are for freestanding installation only.
Ecological Impact
Contains refrigerant. Must be disposed of using proper precautions.
Contains no harmful substances or emissions. Proper precautions must still be taken when disposing of a thermoelectric appliance.

*Operation cost is largely dependent on the size of the cooler and number of bottles stored.

Download the Compressor vs. Thermoelectric analysis (PDF)

What are the best wine refrigerators?

The best wine refrigerators will keep your wine in the ideal environment while meeting the needs of your unique wine collection. Read more

What is a wine refrigerator called?

Wine fridge, wine cooler, wine chiller; these are all interchangeable terms that apply to a wine refrigerator. A wine refrigerator can be defined as a temperature-controlled appliance designed for the storage of wine. Read more

How much does a wine fridge cost?

The first cost to consider when purchasing a wine fridge is the initial upfront cost. This can be anywhere from $200 to $9,000+ depending on the refrigerator’s bottle capacity and features. Read more

Should I buy a wine fridge?

You may be considering buying a wine fridge if you are starting to collect more bottles than you consume, feel a need to organize your collection, and would like to take your wine hobby more seriously. Read more

How Should Red Wine Be Stored?

Red wine is best stored in a space that mimics that of an underground cave; with a consistent temperature around 55◦F and with relative humidity around 70 to 90%. Read more

What is the best temperature to store red wine?

On average, the best red wine storage temperature is around 55◦F, with temperature fluctuations inside your storage area that do not fluctuate more than 5◦F. You should store your wine in a spot where it will not be exposed to harmful UV rays, can lay horizontally, has proper humidity (ideally 70-90%), and is free from unwanted vibration. Ideally, the best place to store your wine is inside a wine cellar or cave. Read more.

How many years can you keep a bottle of wine?

How long a bottle of wine will last depends on a few factors. First, is the bottle opened or unopened? If a bottle has been opened, it should be consumed right away. Second, how has the wine been stored? If wine has been stored improperly, it may have gone bad before you have even had a chance to pop the cork. Read more.

Will my wine cooler accommodate all bottle sizes?

Vinotemp coolers are built to store standard 750ml Bordeaux wine bottles. Storing large or oddly shaped wine bottles such as magnums or champagne bottles will decrease the number of bottles you are able to store inside this unit. Some units are designed to store larger format bottles at the very bottom of the cooler.
Bottle Capacity Guide


How do you know your cooling system is working properly?

If the cooling unit is “leaking water” the cooling unit is operating properly. During the refrigeration process when the air passes through the evaporator coils the moisture in the air condenses and is collected the drain tray in the bottom of the unit. The warm copper lines from the condenser evaporates the condensation collected in the drain tray. If the enclosed area where the cooling unit is installed is not virtually air tight the condenser coils cannot evaporate the condensation fast enough and the drain tray will over flow. If the unit is not almost level, the condensation can overflow the drain tray.


What is a wine cellar called?

The definition of a wine cellar is a place in which wine is stored. Synonyms for wine cellar include larder, wine rack, and wine stock. Read more.

What happens if wine is stored too cold?

If you live in a colder climate, you may be wondering how the cold affects your wine. The good news is that cool temperatures are not nearly as dangerous to wine as heat. As long as the wine is gradually cooled and does not experience a sharp drop in temperature, the cold will not affect the aging process. Read more.

What is the ideal humidity level for a wine cellar?

The proper humidity level for a wine cellar is between 50-70% when the temperature is a consistent 55◦F. You will need to adjust the humidity level as you adjust the temperature. Read more.

Are wine cellars cold?

Yes, wine cellars are cold, but not freezing. The ideal temperature range is between 50- and 60-degrees Fahrenheit, with 55◦F largely regarded as the perfect temperature for a wide variety of wines. Outside of this temperature range, wine will age rapidly or too slowly. Read more.

What temperature should red wine be stored?

The ideal red wine temperature storage is 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Please note that this is different than the wine serving temperature, which is typically between 60 to 65 degrees for reds. Stability is also important as swings in temperature may cause premature aging. Read more.


What do you get someone who likes wine?

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your favorite wine lover (or wine snob) who seems to have everything? Here are some great gift ideas for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and more. Read more.

What is a wine bottle ring?

A wine bottle ring, or as it is most commonly known, drip stop ring, is designed to catch any unwanted drips that occur when pouring wine. In general, the drip stop ring is made of stainless steel and lined with velvet or another fabric to catch drips. It is placed onto the neck of the bottle prior to dispensing wine. Read more.


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