Wine Cooler Freezing Over? 6 Possible Explanations

We all like our wine just chilled, so what should you do if your wine cooler is starting to resemble a freezer? You’ll see 6 reasons in this article why wine coolers ice up and what you can do to stop it. 

Here are 6 reasons why your wine cooler freezes over

  1. It is new and you are stocking it for the first time
  2. It’s on a defrost cycle
  3. The door is open
  4. It is overstocked
  5. It is very humid
  6. There is a wine bottle touching the back wall

There’s nothing better than a glass of chilled wine, but no one said anything about frozen-over wine ice cubes. If the temperature in your wine cooler is a little on the frosty side, take a look at the tips in this article that will get it warmer again.

6 Reasons Why Your Wine Cooler Is Freezing Over

Is your wine chilled but a little too cool for comfort? Your wine cooler should be cold, but it should by no means be frosty. What should you do if your wine chiller is starting to resemble the North Pole? Coming up next in this article, we will discuss 6 reasons why wine coolers begin to freeze over. Not only that, but you will also see what you should do to fix the problem. 

Open up a bottle and let’s get started!

Two Glasses Of Cold Red And Withe Wine
Your wine should be chilled but not too cold.

#1 It Is New and You Are Stocking It for the First Time

Are you in the middle of stocking your brand-new wine cooler? You are no doubt gleaming with excitement when placing your favorite bottles of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Airén inside and shutting the door. Everything seems to be going well until you notice that there is ice forming on the back of the wine cooler. Why is that? 

When you were stocking your wine cooler for the first time, you likely left the door open for a moment while you filled it with all of your favorite red and white wines. During that time, it is possible that a lot of humidity entered the cooler and settled on the back of the unit forming ice. 

Ice forming on the back of the wine cooler while you stock it is nothing to worry about. The ice should begin to melt into the drip tray after a couple of hours. After that, the compressor should warm up and evaporate the water. To make this process go faster, try not to open the door a lot over the next few hours. 

Front View Of Wine Cooler Fully Loaded With Door Open
Leaving the door open while you stock the cooler will cause ice to form.

#2 It’s on a Defrost Cycle

If you see frost on the back of your wine chiller it may be because it is on a defrost cycle. Your wine cooler will cycle on and off throughout the day in order to regulate the temperature the wine cooler.

When the defrost cycle is on, you might notice that a thin layer of frost will build up on the back wall of the cooler. When the defrost cycle is off, the frost will melt into the drip pan. The heat from the compressor will evaporate the water in the drip pan.

So, when you see frost building up and breaking down on the back of your wine cooler, rest assured that this is just part of its operating cycle. If you see any unusual ice or frost build-up, continue reading the next section of this article.

#3 The Door Is Open

Another reason why your wine cooler may begin to freeze over is if the door is open. An open door will allow humid air into the cooler. The wet air will settle on the back of the unit and form frost as it cools. If the door was left open, simply closing it and then waiting should be enough to get the unit working properly again. 

Here are a couple of other checks that you should do to ensure that your wine cooler’s door is not the culprit:

  • Close the door and allow time for the wine cooler to run a defrost cycle
  • Check the door gaskets. They should be firm like the door gaskets on your fridge. If your wine cooler is old and the door gaskets are worn, you may need to replace them. 
  • Clean the door gaskets. Gaskets that are filled with dirt and dust will not be able to close properly. Once they are clean, the door should be able to close again.

#4 It Is Overstocked

Your wine cooler should maintain the ideal temperature so that you can enjoy a chilled glass of wine. But if you overstock your cooler, the unit will find it hard to keep everything as chilled as it should be. The result could be an overworked wine cooler that starts to freeze up at the back. 

Here are a couple of things you should do to avoid overstocking your wine chiller:

  • Do not fill the chiller over capacity
  • Do not allow any of the bottles to get in the way of the door closing
  • If you suspect that your chiller is overfull, remove one or two bottles from it
  • Check the maximum capacity of the cooler by reading your user manual
Well Stacked Wine Bottles On Wine Cooler
Do not fill the chiller over capacity.

#5 It Is Very Humid

Are you experiencing some particularly humid weather at the moment? If it is very humid where you live, your wine cooler will have to combat the moisture in the air when you open the door. When the door is open, the humidity will rush inside the cooler and will settle on the back of the unit. The water droplets will then freeze over causing frost on the back of your cooler. 

So what should you do about this? Here are a couple of tips and things to bear in mind:

  • When the weather is humid, avoid opening and closing the wine cooler door frequently
  • The wine cooler should begin to operate normally when the weather changes
  • If the humid weather continues for a long time, use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier
Half of wine bottle with droplets on it
If it is very humid, water droplets will freeze on the back of your wine cooler.

#6 There Is a Wine Bottle Touching the Back Wall

The way you stack your wine cooler will also affect its ability to keep frost off of its back wall. If there is a wine bottle touching the back wall of the unit, frost will build up in that area. This is because the air is not able to circulate properly around the unit. 

Here are a couple of things that you can do to prevent this from happening:

  • Always stock the wine cooler properly
  • Avoid overfilling the wine chiller
  • Check the maximum capacity of the chiller by reading your user manual
wine bottles in a wine cooler.
Always stock the wine cooler properly.


Is your wine cooler freezing over? In this article, we have had a closer look at 6 reasons why your wine chiller is giving you the cold shoulder. I am sure that the information has helped you to see not just what is wrong with it but also how you can remedy the issue.

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Thanks for reading, and have a great day!