Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

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unclescrooge
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Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by unclescrooge »

I'm remodeling a home and in the process of designing the kitchen, which is rather large (18x16ft). I'm looking at appliances and I'm having trouble selecting an appropriate built-in wine cooler (or chiller).

While I'm not a fan of wine coolers (putting alcohol within eyesight encourages you to drink more often), the scale of level of the kitchen might warranty such an amenity. In fact, it might be conspicuous by it's absence.

Reading online reviews has left me bewildered....sites like Amazon and Sears have just a handful of reviews per model and at least one person will complain that the product died in 12 months (regardless of manufacturer).

Consumer Reports also seems to have just started covering this appliance and doesn't have many choices.

Those of you that have built-in, under-the-counter wine coolers, which manufacturer/model did you choose and how is it in terms of performance, energy usage, noise and reliability?

Thanks!
barnaclebob
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by barnaclebob »

Whatever you buy, make sure you understand the cooling/venting requirements. My in laws had one installed that requires airflow behind the unit which they didn't know it needed. It overheats and shuts itself off so they need to do a little rework to provide ventilation to the backside of the unit.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ping Pong
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by Ping Pong »

You shouldn't put in a wine cooler unless you have 2 dishwashers and still have room left over.
bytendog
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by bytendog »

Ping Pong wrote:You shouldn't put in a wine cooler unless you have 2 dishwashers and still have room left over.
Agree on the second dishwasher. That's probably the only thing I would add to my kitchen.
barnaclebob
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by barnaclebob »

Ping Pong wrote:You shouldn't put in a wine cooler unless you have 2 dishwashers and still have room left over.
The quantity of houses with 2 dishwashers vs 1 dishwasher and a wine cooler seems to disagree with that statement. How many people fill a whole dishwasher every day? If you do with a normal sized family you either can't pack it very well, have a crappy dishwasher which doesn't allow for good packing, or you run a lot of large pots through it.

We don't have kids but only run ours twice a week which is 7 person-days/load. When I was a kid I don't remember running out of room (family of 4) every day very often either unless we were having company over.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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queso
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by queso »

Subscribed. I have a "lighted wine rack" that used to be a Kedco wine cooler that broke. I haven't bothered to replace it since we don't drink enough wine to warrant the expense and added electricity it consumes (we just keep alcohol that needs to be chilled in the refrigerator in the garage since we have to run that one regardless of our alcohol consumption habits). I figure I'll watch your thread and see if you come up with a decent unit or another idea for the space so I can copy it. :happy
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unclescrooge
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by unclescrooge »

bytendog wrote:
Ping Pong wrote:You shouldn't put in a wine cooler unless you have 2 dishwashers and still have room left over.
Agree on the second dishwasher. That's probably the only thing I would add to my kitchen.
We have space, but my wife vetoed that idea. So there will be no 2nd dishwasher.
RoadHouseFan
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by RoadHouseFan »

Bartles & Jaymes
lazydavid
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by lazydavid »

I put in a Perlick four years ago, and am very happy with it. The compressor started buzzing after about a year, but I believe that was a sample defect because the nearly-identical Perlick beer fridge right next to it did not do that. A tech came and added some padding to mitigate the vibration. Aside from that, both units are VERY quiet. They're front-vent, so can be installed under a counter without issue. Perlick is semi-commercial/prosumer, so they're not cheap, but are very high quality. Dramatically cheaper than SubZero though. :P

The one thing I would not do again is get the dual-zone model. It has the same capacity as the single-zone, but the existence of the divider reduces the height of each shelf slightly and makes it more difficult to get some bottles in.

I would use a 2nd dishwasher exactly one time per year, on Christmas Eve. Even then, it's not like it's onerous to run it once after dinner, and again later with dessert/coffee/etc stuff in it. The other 364 days we run the thing 1/2 to 3/4 full overnight. Complete and utter waste of money and cabinet space. We grab something out of the wine fridge several times per week. Far better "investment".
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unclescrooge
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by unclescrooge »

barnaclebob wrote:Whatever you buy, make sure you understand the cooling/venting requirements. My in laws had one installed that requires airflow behind the unit which they didn't know it needed. It overheats and shuts itself off so they need to do a little rework to provide ventilation to the backside of the unit.
Yes indeed!

That's the issue with the low level of reviews - I don't know how many of them were just incorrectly installed. But based on the reviews it seems like 24-80% of them!

I'm hoping someone will say they bought a cheap freestanding unit and made a well-vented cabinet and it's lasted 10 years with no problem!
Ping Pong
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by Ping Pong »

We're a family of 4 and putting in one pan and two pots pretty much fills ours up. The regular dishes have to go in another load. We only have one dishwasher, so we often do two loads. That wouldn't be bad at all except it takes over two hours to do a load.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by unclescrooge »

Ping Pong wrote:We're a family of 4 and putting in one pan and two pots pretty much fills ours up. The regular dishes have to go in another load. We only have one dishwasher, so we often do two loads. That wouldn't be bad at all except it takes over two hours to do a load.
Wife insists we handwash pots and pans. So a 2nd dishwasher would be pretty redundant.
kgressler
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by kgressler »

After looking around it seemed as if it didnt matter if I spent $500 or 1$500 it was a toss up as to how long they would last. I ended up purchasing a "cheap" Danby built-in in 2010 and its still running strong. I furnished my entire kitchen at the same time and everyone of the appliances except for the wine fridge and microwave have needed service of some sort.
Im sure now that I say this its going to kick the bucket on me but so far its worked flawless.
btenny
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by btenny »

I have a cheap Haier model wine cooler that I got for $100ish 10 years ago. It works great and sets in my dining room. We put white wine and drink mixes and sodas in ours. I think it will hold about 18 bottles of wine. It is a single zone chiller that requires air venting to the back. Some friends of mine have the same unit mounted under counter but the space is larger than the cooler so it naturally vents.

Good Luck.
srmach05
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by srmach05 »

Perhaps try searching for a wine-lovers forum? I would bet there are a few that have plenty to say on this topic. I check out Reddit's wine forum semi-regularly, seems to be frequented by people who know a heck of a lot more about wine, wine storage, etc then me - perhaps that might be a good place to check?

https://www.reddit.com/r/wine/
tacster
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by tacster »

My house's crawl space is easily accessible and almost deep enough to stand up in, so I decided to build a plywood wine cabinet down there. Consistent temperature year round, dark, and uses zero electricity. Been storing 80-100 bottles down there for the last fifteen years or so. They've aged nicely.

I know this probably doesn't help the OP, but might give someone else the thought of putting that space to good use.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by barnaclebob »

Ping Pong wrote:We're a family of 4 and putting in one pan and two pots pretty much fills ours up. The regular dishes have to go in another load. We only have one dishwasher, so we often do two loads. That wouldn't be bad at all except it takes over two hours to do a load.
Is that a full size dishwasher? 3 items fills two racks? You know they don't have to go flat and can overlap a little right? It also only takes 5 minutes to wash and dry 3 pot/pans by hand...
Flashes1
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by Flashes1 »

I just bought an Electrolux wine chiller a couple days ago on Amazon, but I was drooling over the Wolf wine fridge, but I couldn't pull the trigger on the extra cost (but that's me).

On another note, we just bought a Bosch built-in coffee maker, too. That should be a fun toy.
btenny
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by btenny »

I also have a wine cellar of sorts. Our house has a closet and a separate crawl space under the stairs. This closet is dark and cool all year long. So I put a nice wine rack in there for 100 bottles. It works well. If you have space you should put a wine rack in one of your closets to hold wine. Then keep your wines in there for use at a later date.

Good Luck.
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lthenderson
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by lthenderson »

I spent many years as an engineer in the appliance industry and I'm of the opinion that for products like a wine chiller where there really isn't much in the way of moving parts, you are not likely to see much of a difference between brands as far as electrical control reliability goes. I worked for a high end brand and we got our electronics out of the same bin of parts as many of the cheaper brands. The differences will probably lie in the aesthetics at how well parts fit together, quality of the door and interior materials (for built in appliances), features and control interface.
barreg
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by barreg »

I can recommend Marvel wine coolers. We've had our 50 bottle unit for over 15 years and it's still going strong.
smackboy1
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by smackboy1 »

unclescrooge wrote:I'm remodeling a home and in the process of designing the kitchen, which is rather large (18x16ft). I'm looking at appliances and I'm having trouble selecting an appropriate built-in wine cooler (or chiller).

While I'm not a fan of wine coolers (putting alcohol within eyesight encourages you to drink more often), the scale of level of the kitchen might warranty such an amenity. In fact, it might be conspicuous by it's absence.
We just remodeled and expanded our kitchen (20x12) so I know what you are going through. What are the future plans for this house? It sounds like you are putting in a wine fridge for future resale value and not because you particularly would use or want a wine fridge. Our renovation was quite high end but we did not install a wine fridge because we only drink wine occasionally and a refrigerator that can only keep temps between 45F-65F isn't that useful. We put in an undercounter drawer fridge which is very useful. If you're going to go to the expense to install a second fridge, I would recommend looking at a beverage center style refrigerator with a temperature range at least 35F-60F so it's flexible for wine and other drinks.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
FraggleRock
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a Wine Cooler

Post by FraggleRock »

We are about to redo our kitchen.
We will be installing the 24-inch Sub-Zero.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by JDCarpenter »

If you don't personally use it, I wouldn't put it in.

Speaking as someone who has wine with dinner every night, if we were in the market for a home, a wine chiller of that type would be a negative. Extra cabinet/drawer space would be much nicer. It is much better to have a walk-in cellar that works for both long-term cellaring and short term (i.e., less than a year.). Not that hard to build with basic carpentry and electrical skills and much more useful than a mini-fridge taking up valuable kitchen space.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by unclescrooge »

tacster wrote:My house's crawl space is easily accessible and almost deep enough to stand up in, so I decided to build a plywood wine cabinet down there. Consistent temperature year round, dark, and uses zero electricity. Been storing 80-100 bottles down there for the last fifteen years or so. They've aged nicely.

I know this probably doesn't help the OP, but might give someone else the thought of putting that space to good use.
Actually, this is a possibility. I'm not sure of the aesthetics, but we could keep a dozen or so bottles in the crawl space. Maybe up to several thousand bottles if I invested five thousand to clean out all the dirt!!
SueG5123
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by SueG5123 »

We installed a Magic Chef Stainless Steel built in Wine/Beverage Cooler (Model No. MCWC50DST) in 2011. Still working great! Holds about two cases of wine. We keep it set on 47 degrees.
DKelly
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by DKelly »

Very happy with Allovino. Front-vented as someone said upthread, which allows under-counter mount or free-standing.

Note that any fridge has an inflated bottle capacity as Burgundy,Champagne and even some California bottles take up more room than a Bordeaux bottle. Play around with configurations to get the best capacity. It's like a puzzle.
Wagnerjb
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by Wagnerjb »

Hi UncleScrooge: I have experience with two of these models. About 10 years ago I bought an inexpensive freestanding single-zone unit at Home Depot. It holds around 50 bottles and cost around $350 or so. I don't remember the name (it isn't on the front of the unit) but a look at the Home Depot website leads me to think it is a Vinotemp. I kept it in our family room, and the noise was not really noticeable. It worked well and did its job, keeping my red wine at the setting I chose. The racks were cheap metal ones and they didn't slide out, but I got what I paid for and it did its job. Three years ago we built a retirement home and I had a built-in under-counter wine cooler installed. When we moved into the new retirement home I put the Home Depot cooler in the garage and I keep lesser quality wines in that one. It continues to work, but the top portion of the fridge no longer cools well. The bottom cools properly but the top two shelves are a bit warmer than the bottom. This is a one-zone unit so the problem isn't that one zone has died. Given what I paid for the unit, I got my money's worth and I continue to use it. When it stops cooling all together I will toss it out.

The new built-in unit is in my butler's pantry. It is a high-end model by U-line. It is a 2000 series, also a single zone and holds around 45-50 bottles. It cost in the neighborhood of $2500 as I recall (that may have included installation). The fan noise is also not noticeable from the nearby rooms, but I do hear the fan occasionally when I am in the Butler's pantry to pour some wine. It certainly isn't objectionable. This new unit has slide-out shelves, the metal shelves are coated, there is wooden trim, and the bottom has a section to lean bottles at 45 degrees....which is very helpful for me since my wife doesn't drink and I am often putting half-full bottles back in the fridge for the next day (and I don't like to put re-corked bottles on their side for fear of leaking). It has been three years and the U-line still works like a charm.

I would be inclined to match the wine cooler to the quality of the other appliances. If you are installing a high-end kitchen with Sub Zero or Wolf or similar appliances, you wouldn't want a Home Depot wine cooler.

I hope that helps.
Andy
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Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

Post by sid hartha »

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