Sub-Zero’s wine cooler, the 424, has been a staple in the industry since it first appeared in the early 90’s. Remarkably, its design was so ahead of its time it remains largely unchanged to this day. The only recent upgrade I can think of is  additional interior lights were added.

Make no mistake, this is one of the most expensive wine units on the market. So with the flood of cheap, chinese (I’m looking at you, Haier), wine coolers – is it really worth the premium price? That depends on how important your wine is to you. If you’re the kind of person that will easily go out and spend a couple thousand dollars on wine, then you’re probably the type of person who wants to make sure your investment is well looked after. And the Sub-Zero wine cooler is the best wine cooler I’ve come across to-date.


Sub Zero 424 Wine Cooler FrontThe unit is built in the United States. It’s design allows it to keep your white wines cooler than any other unit on the market. Thanks to its efficient insulation, the Sub Zero wine cooler is the only unit on the market that can keep white wine as low as 38F. With two temperature zones, you can store red and white wines together without a second thought. The racks are specifically engineered to hold any type of bottle, from half bottles to Magnums. The glass panel is engineered to protect against harmful U.V. light. There is also a very important alarm system connection option, should you leave for vacation, so that if the computer detects a system failure or large temperature fluctuation, it would set off the home security system.

The Sub Zero 424 wine cooler can also be had as a freestanding unit, with stainless steel sides and top for placement outside of cabinetry enclosures. But with the price of the built-in Sub Zero 424 coming in at $3,279. and the Free-standing variant at $3,639. – this Sub Zero wine cooler is not for everyone. One consolation to the price is the exceptional warranty you get with a Sub Zero: 2 years, parts and labor on the entire unit, 12 years parts on the sealed system.

For those who are serious about their wine, Sub-Zero offers a serious solution.

Pros: Dual temperatures, solid build-quality, lowest temp control

Cons: An expensive way to store my cheap wine.

Anthony Rocco

About The Author

Founder and Editor of Appliance Buyer's Guide. With over 10 years experience selling appliances and designing kitchens, and having grown up in the business, I have a unique perspective on todays offerings in the Appliance world. Currently Managing Director at The Kitchenworks in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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12 Responses

  1. J Nelson

    Had this model for three years. So glad we bought the extended warranty. First time the unit malfunctioned, it heated up to the max from the motor and no cooling going on and most all bottles of wine blew the corks making a very messy and expensive situation. The alarm was set, but didn’t go off. Many very expensive bottles lost. Since that time, 2 service calls as it won’t drop to the desired temperature for the whites.
    It sure looks pretty, but make SURE you get the extended warranty. To say the least, I am disappointed with Sub Zero.

    • scott

      I am so glad I found this site. I was actually going to buy the smaller unit for our small condo in Toronto. Now that I read about the suspect quality of the 424 unit, I’ve decided to go elsewhere. One can get a mediocre wine cooler for 1/4 of the price of this, which is exactly what I’ll do. Too bad companies don’t take pride in their work and stand behind their brand any longer – no wonder why most people buy from China now. No point buying US-made if the quality is the same and the price is higher.

  2. Frank Welsch

    We built our dream home in 2005 complete with a fabulously designed kitchen of Wolf-SubZero appliances and a wine cellar. In the kitchen we have an under the counter wine cooler.

    There are many things wrong with those other Wolf-Sub-Zero appliances from the poor functioning of the 5 burner stove to the cracking of the porcelain on the double ovens. Wolf is aware of the design flaws but, has blown us off and wants us to spend thousands for replacements.

    Our latest appliance failure is with our built-in Sub-Zero 424HAG/S-LH wine cooler that appears to have a leak in the freon unit since it no longer cools and flashes: “Service”. Not only that, but the unit has ruined the wood floor underneath.

    They took it to the shop yesterday and claimed it would probably not cost more than $500.- to repair. We have already paid $118.- for a previous service call. Our heads are spinning!

    According to what we have read in Consumer Reports, Wolf-SubZero do not have a good repair record.

    These appliances are supposed to be “top of the line” and are extraordinarily expensive. We have had many appliances throughout our lives and quite frankly, never owned any that performed so poorly. Never had such an expensive refrigerator go bad either.

    It appears that everything is made with planned obsolescence in mind.

    We are very unhappy, believe that we have wasted our money and could never, EVER recommend Wolf-Sub-Zero to anyone in good conscience. Our years old Miele and Asko products all work beautifully.

    Do not waste your money on Wolf-Sub-Zero! Look for other manufacturers—would be our advice.

    • Sub-Zero Wolf

      Frank – I am writing you on behalf of Sub-Zero and Wolf. We’re so sorry to hear you are frustrated with your products. We’d really like to work with you to resolve your issues. I spoke with our customer service department and they will be reaching out to you shortly. Please feel free to contact them in the meantime as well via email at, or via phone at 866.689.9653.). They are aware of your issues and should be prepared to help you.

  3. Sub-Zero Wolf

    Frank – I am writing you on behalf of Sub-Zero and Wolf. We’re so sorry to hear you are frustrated with your products. We’d really like to work with you to resolve your issues. I spoke with our customer service department and they will be reaching out to you shortly. Please feel free to contact them in the meantime as well via email at, or via phone at 866.689.9653.). They are aware of your issues and should be prepared to help you.

  4. Caroline Collyer

    Sub-Zero Wolf I also have a subzero wine storage unit the 424 which does not cool anymore and the service light comes on after running for a few hours (especially in the summer it can not cool). I spoke to subzero about this issue about a year ago and they referred me to a local service man who told me to ditch the unit and buy a cheaper one as the cost to fix it would be too high. We still have the unit but have not turned it on in over a year and we can not bear the thought of having to take it to the landfill – but I would like to have a wine fridge that works.
    I would much prefer to have this fixed than have to replace it. Any suggestions?


  5. Greg St. Claire

    I own about a dozen subzero 424 wine coolers in a mix of home, office and commercial restaurant spaces. They range from 3 – 5 years old. I am a restauranteur and have quite a bit of knowledge on equipment. The actual units are very attractive, the dual zone is great and the shelving system well made. That being said – never have I purchased a more poorly made cooling/condensing system than on these sub zeros. All but 1 unit has failed and we maintain them regularly through our commercial refrigeration company. They seem to last a little beyond 2 years and then repairs are not covered and super expensive. The reference to a 12 year warranty on ‘sealed parts’ is totally deceptive. Not once has a unit been covered under a sealed component failure. Typical repair cost are in excess of $1000.00. At this point we view the units as throw aways and are replacing them with different brands. It is a shame that they can’t put a better cooling system in these units because the dual zone design of these units is the best out there. There are a ton of better options out there than these units. Check out Perlick, True or MIele for starters. Not as beautiful looking, but they work and properly chill your wine.

  6. Mark Owens

    So glad I found this site! Was just about to buy one of these puppies. Did anyone here replace their subzero’s with a different brand and have good experience thus far?

  7. John Kennedy

    Our subzero 424 is just reaching 10 years old. After the first 2 years the unit had to be completely rebuilt under warranty. Now it won’t hold temp. I have done everything-vacuumed the coils, you name it. The service light comes on after it drops to high 60’s and them ups to 80 degrees. I’m 3 years out of labor, and I called the service tech here in Sacramento and the cost of repair is over $1000 with Sub-Zero covering the parts-really?!?! I’m at a real crossroads here-thinking about taking to the dump and buying a cheaper unit. I paid almost 4 grand for this thing when we had out home built. I’ve had cheap refrigerators last longer than this

  8. Cheryl Scott

    Hello, has anyone converted their under the counter subzero 424 to freestanding, with the stainless steel casing.

  9. Brenda

    Sub-Zero 424 wine cooler worked fine for two years then went out. It was repaired and then went out again one year later. All was covered under warranty but the lack of urgency in sub zero customer service returning phone calls to assist is atrocious. I had call and call again. I did not have a good experience with their service company the first time and was assured that I would get someone else and don’t you know it I got the same person and the same lousy service. I was able to put some of the wines in my refrigerator but not all of them. In all the entire process took 2 months. I tried one of the bottles and it had began to spoiled and was undrinkable. I am afraid to open the others but I know it is inevitable. I bought this unit because I wanted a reliable unit to store my expensive wines. When I explained this to Sub zero they wanted no responsibility for the wine spoilage. Every time the repairman came to repair the unit, he would look at it and tell me he would have to order some parts and would pick the unit up in a week. Then it would take another week before it would be returned to me. This is ridiculous and totally unacceptable. I would never recommend this company nor their products.

  10. Keith Olinger

    I’ve had two of these. One had to be completelly re-built twice. The second one had to be rebuilt once. WHile Sub-zero paid for the first re-build, they did not for the other two. Each time they rebuilt them, it was in the shop for a month. Not a good buy. I would rather buy the cheap ones the author refers to and treat them as disposable. That would be a better use of time and money.

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