What wine fridge?

sherrizApril 10, 2010

We're planning on adding a 24" wine fridge to our remodeled kitchen. We are not huge wine drinkers but want to store wine for when we entertain guests. We don't need top of the line and am curious what is out there between $300-$600. Can someone help with brands and what to look for in quality?

Thanks so much.

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Sherriz - do you mean under the counter? There are a number of them. But really, the rule is, buy a lot more than you think you need. They fill quickly if you buy anything for aging. If it's just short term, then I suppose an under the counter is OK. But if you're going to buy something for aging, let's say you buy a case this year and another next year and then another - that's already 36 bottles. And they NEVER hold as much as they say they do - the numbers they give are for standard Bordeaux bottles. If you have Rhone shaped bottles or riesling, forget it - you'll be able to store far fewer.

I bought a wine fridge, then another, and then built a cellar in the basement, and should have built it bigger because it's overflowing.

But if you're looking for short term storage, you can actually save a lot of money. Most of the money will go to looks, not functionality. Smoked glass doors, pull-out trays, etc., cost money. While pull out trays seem nice, the fact is that they're quite heavy, so you're not likely to be pulling them out much.

I wouldn't go for dual temps - I never understood that entire principle. Look at the gasket around the door - if it's cheap or the door seems flimsy, you'll get moisture build up and your cooler will run a lot. And putting the unit next to the stove or dishwasher isn't a great idea either. Those are insulated, but you exhaust heat from the back, just like your wine cooler does.

As far as brand names, I've not looked at those much but I can say that Haier, which seems to make Magic Chef, is perhaps not your best bet. The compressors seem to burn out quickly and replacing those is essentially the cost of a new unit. I bought a small Haier unit when we were renovating the house and it lasted just over a year. When I looked it up by model, I got to the Magic Chef site. And found many complaints. They're made in China and maybe aren't made of the best materials.

Better are Vinoteque - I've got one going on 10 years. Also Vinotemp, Eurocave and a few others.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 12:14AM
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