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#1 gastronomnivore

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:27 PM

Proper storage of wine to age is a must. Heat is the biggest danger for wine over time. You don't have to go pay for storage, just find a cool dark place, preferably in the basement and store your wine there. You don't want someplace where the temperature varies greatly over the year, best is someplace where it will stay between 55 and 65 degrees all year round.

any thoughts on home wine refrigerators? I've put wine-rack shelving in an interior room (NOT a basement) but am thinking that more consistent temps, and lower summertime temps, would be good for the handful of good bottles I've got, and I also think it'd be nice to keep some whites chilled so I can make last-minute pre-dinner decisions about what to drink that aren't driven by what I remembered to put in the fridge. So how useful or important is it to have dual-zone controls? what about other features - slide-out shelves, interior lights, etc. - how important are they? are flat shelves better than contoured? should I worry about warranties (do these things break down a lot)? any brands people like or don't like?

#2 Pool Boy

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:39 PM

I am wine storage challenged too. I only have two small wine storage units capable of holding about 80 bottles. The rest go in to the coolest and darkest closet I have inside of styrofoam and then a cardboard box.

Home Depot generally carries a good, buut somewhat noisy, model by Sunbeam of all people that holds about 40 bottles or so for just $150 or so. Lowes carries a more expensive model that holds in the low 30s bottles and costs almost $300 (Haier?). Ideally though, imagine the most wine you could ever imagine having cellared. Got it in your head now? You sure? Ok good. Now triple it. That is how much storage capacity you should be prepared to buy. Seriously.

Dual zones are not too important IMO but a light can be handy. A tempoerature gauge would be nice, but I don't trust mine. Just buy some cheap thermometers and keep them in the unit until you get a feel for the temperature differences between the top and bottom of the unit.

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#3 gastronomnivore

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:47 PM

Dual zones are not too important IMO but a light can be handy. A tempoerature gauge would be nice, but I don't trust mine. Just buy some cheap thermometers and keep them in the unit until you get a feel for the temperature differences between the top and bottom of the unit.

so do yours vary that much in temp from top to bottom? because dual-zone sure kicks up the price points! It looks as if you can buy a lot more storage for the bucks if you're not shelling out for dual zone controls.

[LOL at your space-required calculation, BTW - thanks!]

#4 DCMark

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 05:43 PM

Research a wine storage unit carefully. You do not want a fridge that is simply converted to a wine unit. First, wine needs to be stored at 55 degrees, not the lower temps of a beer cooler. Second, a wine storage unit keeps a constant temperature, rather than the on/off/on/off of a fridge. Its better to keep your wine at 60 or 50 all year than yo yoing from 50 to 60 to 50 to 60.
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#5 Pool Boy

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 11:36 AM

I'm finally in the market (in the next 6 to 12 months) for a proper wine storage unit to replace the two very small ones that I have now. Are there any local places to shop for larger wine storage units or will this be a quest by internet and catalog?

TIA

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#6 Mark Slater

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 01:49 PM

I'm finally in the market (in the next 6 to 12 months) for a proper wine storage unit to replace the two very small ones that I have now. Are there any local places to shop for larger wine storage units or will this be a quest by internet and catalog?

TIA

Check out www.wineenthusiast.com and www.internationalwineaccessories.com for racking and storage refrigerators. The racking is pretty inexpensive and comes shipped like IKEA furniture. They are really easy to put together.

#7 Sthitch

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 02:32 PM

You can find a bunch of stuff about it in this thread.

#8 Pool Boy

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 03:50 PM

You can find a bunch of stuff about it in this thread.

Grazie.

And thanks MS, those sites were already on my radar.

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#9 kwhitney

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:28 AM

Keep an eye on E-bay. I got a great deal on a new Eurocave.

#10 Pool Boy

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 08:25 AM

Keep an eye on E-bay. I got a great deal on a new Eurocave.

Thanks for the tip, I hadn't thought of that.

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#11 treznor

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 02:53 PM

My current wine fridge has finally given out in a spectacular manner... It's been getting colder than it was set every now and then and I'd unplug it and let it rest for a day or two and it'd go back to working. I was out of town for about 2 weeks for work and my wife doesn't check the thermostat every day (because really, why should you have to?) and it ended up getting colder than it was supposed to. It evidently got cold enough to pop 5-6 bottles of wine down near the bottom of the fridge, making a spectacular mess. Mostly white wine, so it wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been for that lone bottle of blackberry wine that I had in the bottom of the fridge that busted its cork.

So anyway, I'm in the market for a new fridge. My current fridge is a Vinotemp VT-58. Fairly compact and able to hold 55-60 bottles of wine pretty easily as long as some of those bottles are half bottles (which mine are). However, from what I've read Vinotemp doesn't have necessarily the best name as far as customer service and reliability going.

Any thoughts from the gallery? I'd probably like to stay in the 60-75 bottle range. I'm currently looking at a 75 bottle Danby (who also doesn't have a sterling record for reliability evidently) from Sam's Club as a possibility, but also checking out some fridges from Costco and Wine Enthusiast. Unfortunately price is a major consideration as we really don't have the money to spend on a wonderful Eurocave or something. I would love to put in a cellar, but have neither the location or the money for that currently...

Anything out there for a decent price that I won't be upset about buying? The Vinotemp was only around $500 and lasted 4 years. Not the record I'd like. I'm not all that interested that the temp stay perfectly constant, though +/- 1-2 degrees would be nice.

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#12 Keithstg

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:09 PM

My current wine fridge has finally given out in a spectacular manner... It's been getting colder than it was set every now and then and I'd unplug it and let it rest for a day or two and it'd go back to working. I was out of town for about 2 weeks for work and my wife doesn't check the thermostat every day (because really, why should you have to?) and it ended up getting colder than it was supposed to. It evidently got cold enough to pop 5-6 bottles of wine down near the bottom of the fridge, making a spectacular mess. Mostly white wine, so it wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been for that lone bottle of blackberry wine that I had in the bottom of the fridge that busted its cork.

So anyway, I'm in the market for a new fridge. My current fridge is a Vinotemp VT-58. Fairly compact and able to hold 55-60 bottles of wine pretty easily as long as some of those bottles are half bottles (which mine are). However, from what I've read Vinotemp doesn't have necessarily the best name as far as customer service and reliability going.

Any thoughts from the gallery? I'd probably like to stay in the 60-75 bottle range. I'm currently looking at a 75 bottle Danby (who also doesn't have a sterling record for reliability evidently) from Sam's Club as a possibility, but also checking out some fridges from Costco and Wine Enthusiast. Unfortunately price is a major consideration as we really don't have the money to spend on a wonderful Eurocave or something. I would love to put in a cellar, but have neither the location or the money for that currently...

Anything out there for a decent price that I won't be upset about buying? The Vinotemp was only around $500 and lasted 4 years. Not the record I'd like. I'm not all that interested that the temp stay perfectly constant, though +/- 1-2 degrees would be nice.

I have a U-Line that I am very happy with. Although in the Eurocave price range, you can check out craigslist, etc. or a better appliance store for floor models, which for the 55-60 bottle capacity would fit into your price range.

#13 Pool Boy

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:01 PM

Buy something twice as big as you think you'll need.

That said, I do ok with most of my wine in 'overflow' in the coolest closet I have in the house. A few off bottles, but mostly OK. I have two small capacity storage units. One is a Haier that I can fit about 35 bottles in to, bust cost $300. The other is a cheapo (Sunbeam I think) that I got at Home Depot for $130 and holds about 40-45 bottles. Its temperature does not stay quite as consistent, but is a trooper nonetheless.

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#14 Keithstg

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 05:53 AM

Buy something twice as big as you think you'll need.

This is excellent advice. Our U-Line is installed under our kitchen counter - I've had to use offsite storage for the past few years for the rest.

#15 Escoffier

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 06:33 AM

We have a Sanyo which holds about 45 to 50 bottles. It holds its temperature quite well, is quiet and will fit under a counter if you have the space. We're quite pleased with it.

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#16 treznor

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 12:57 PM

Buy something twice as big as you think you'll need.

The problem with that is the wine collection just grows to fill any space allocated. When I originally bought the wine fridge I have now it was because I had 20 bottles or so of wine around and figured we needed a wine fridge. Went out and bought a 55-60 bottle one.

The wine collection grew pretty quickly to take up the space of the 60 bottle fridge, so if I expect to twice what I think I'd need (which would mean I'd aim for a 130-150 bottle fridge) I'm pretty sure it'd just expand :rolleyes: I'm going to force myself to stay around 60-80 bottles so I don't go crazy buying more wine.

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#17 southdenverhoo

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 01:19 PM

this may be of limited use if your wine fridge is going to be highly visible and therefore needs to look good....but homebrewers frequently attach temperature controllers to chest freezers to create fermentation chests, where they maintain primary fermentation temperatures for lagers (48-55 degrees F, say) which might not be too different from what you're looking for.

A 10-12 cubic foot chest freezer might run as little as $220 on sale at a big box retailer, the cheap analog controllers ("Johnson controller", is a common brand name, many cheap laughs) maybe $50 or so from a homebrew store, pricier digital models also exist...This is much cheaper than I've ever seen a Danby (aren't they around the same size as a 5.2 cu ft fridge), with much greater capacity but admittedly not so pretty.

here's a link to the one I have: http://morebeer.com/...ture_Controller

#18 Adam23

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:42 PM

We have had two fridges. We had a Sanyo which worked well, but we outgrew it. We now have a Danby Silhouette which we have had for 3 years or so. Works great and the price was a lot cheaper than other brands- and it has nice wooden racks instead of cheap metal ones.

#19 Mark Slater

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 10:02 PM

The current Wine Enthusiast mailer has a large variety of wine storage units in all price ranges. Most everything is on sale, including the EuroCaves.

#20 treznor

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:23 AM

The current Wine Enthusiast mailer has a large variety of wine storage units in all price ranges. Most everything is on sale, including the EuroCaves.

Is the mailer different than their website? I took a look at their website and noticed they don't really have much for less than a grand. They do look like good prices, just a bit more than I'm looking to spend at the moment. If most of my wines were more towards the $30-$40+ range it might be different, but most of my wine is in the $10-$20 range with occasional forays into the $30-$40 range.

The front runner at the moment is a Danby Silhouette 75-bottle unit for $600 from Sam's Club, which we have near us (though don't know if they have or can order this or not). Still trying to figure out a reason to not get this unit as it seems to be very attractively priced compared to other units.

Mike Felts


#21 treznor

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:25 AM

this may be of limited use if your wine fridge is going to be highly visible and therefore needs to look good....but homebrewers frequently attach temperature controllers to chest freezers to create fermentation chests, where they maintain primary fermentation temperatures for lagers (48-55 degrees F, say) which might not be too different from what you're looking for.

A 10-12 cubic foot chest freezer might run as little as $220 on sale at a big box retailer, the cheap analog controllers ("Johnson controller", is a common brand name, many cheap laughs) maybe $50 or so from a homebrew store, pricier digital models also exist...This is much cheaper than I've ever seen a Danby (aren't they around the same size as a 5.2 cu ft fridge), with much greater capacity but admittedly not so pretty.

here's a link to the one I have: http://morebeer.com/...ture_Controller

An interesting solution, but not certain the wife would go for it in the kitchen or dining room :rolleyes: Another problem (or so I've heard) with using a standard fridge/freezer for wine is that a standard fridge or freezer vibrates quite a bit from the compressor which can hurt the wine. Have no idea as to the truth of that statement though.

Mike Felts


#22 darkstar965

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

Did a search before creating this thread but didn't see anything so here goes:

In one respect, wine is like coffee for me. Tend to have it out more often than at home. That said, I normally keep a dozen or so bottles in the basement from travels to Napa, the Willamette Valley, Washington or elsewhere.

This year, I ordered a few cases from some small vineyards out west that I've come to really enjoy after buying from them for several years in smaller quantities.

So, time to upgrade my wine storage from the generally cool basement approach to something more precise and reliable. I'd like to pick up a dual zone model with capacity for 40-60 bottles, free-standing. Will typically store a dozen or fewer whites and the rest reds from all parts of the world. Some expensive bottles (hence the need) but most moderately priced.

Which wine refrigerator should I buy? :unsure:

Where to buy a good one, locally or online? And, what are the better types/brands?

Thank you!!

#23 goodeats

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:03 PM

Not an obvious search, but here's an old thread to get you started: Wine Storage.
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#24 darkstar965

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:18 PM

Not an obvious search, but here's an old thread to get you started: Wine Storage.


Thank you! Not sure how my usually reliable dr search method failed me in not finding that one. ;) Two takeaways from it: forget dual zone and at least double planned capacity. Thanks again.

#25 Marks

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:28 PM

The best investment I made when we finished our basement was in having a wine cellar built with racking and refrigaration. It is a large walk in closet with redwood racking, proper insulation, glass door and an air unit through the wall. It holds about 850 bottles in a variety on configurations from diamond bins that hold a case to rack which cradle individual bottles. I tend to buy lots of cases of consumable wine in the 10-20 range for everyday consumption while i use cellar tracker to track about 200 bottles which are more special.

#26 PappyVanWise

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:42 PM

Any news on home wine storage success?  

I'm moving from a house with what I like to call my passive wine cellar (cardboard boxes in the basement) into a home with no basement and a garage that I probably can't trust to maintain a good average temperature.  Based on previous advice, I'm probably looking for something in the 400-800 bottle capacity range, 95% red wine, with a handful of large formats.

 

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#27 Marks

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:22 AM

Do you have a closet or space you can convert.  Even an area in the garage can be constructed into a wine cellar.  The advantage in constructing your own is that the storage doesnt have to be all individual bottles.  Mine has diamond bins on one side which hold a case each, and there is floor space for those cases that havent been unpacked.



#28 silentbob

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 10:44 AM

Is Eurocave generally considered the gold standard still for refrigerated storage units?

 

Costco sells something called the "Artevino by Eurocave" for $2000 including shipping but I didn't know if that was an inferior brand and/or worth buying at the price.



#29 DonRocks

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 03:58 PM

Is Eurocave generally considered the gold standard still for refrigerated storage units?

 

Costco sells something called the "Artevino by Eurocave" for $2000 including shipping but I didn't know if that was an inferior brand and/or worth buying at the price.

 

I'm not aware of any gold standard. Eurocave seems to be known more than most, but there isn't much technology that goes into these.

 

You need an airtight seal, decent shelving, something that appeals to you aesthetically and functionally, and then the most important thing is the compressor (which, in such a tiny environment, doesn't have to be any great shakes - just dependable).


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#30 Keithstg

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 07:27 AM

I'm not aware of any gold standard. Eurocave seems to be known more than most, but there isn't much technology that goes into these.

 

You need an airtight seal, decent shelving, something that appeals to you aesthetically and functionally, and then the most important thing is the compressor (which, in such a tiny environment, doesn't have to be any great shakes - just dependable).

To this I would add that the compressor should have no shakes at all - the better units (U-Line, Eurocave, Sub-Z, etc) will all have compressors/ housings that minimize vibration, which is the principal functional reason for their higher prices (the other reason is branding).



#31 silentbob

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:50 AM

I'm not aware of any gold standard. Eurocave seems to be known more than most, but there isn't much technology that goes into these.

 

You need an airtight seal, decent shelving, something that appeals to you aesthetically and functionally, and then the most important thing is the compressor (which, in such a tiny environment, doesn't have to be any great shakes - just dependable).

 

I guess my view of Eurocave as the gold standard was based on posters from the CellarTracker forums (to the extent they are more credible than Amazon or other online retailer reviews) claiming that lower-priced brands like Wine Enthusiast, Vinotemp, Danby, etc. have units with compressors that are much less reliable, generally speaking.



#32 Joe H

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 10:10 AM

I have two Eurocaves each of which holds about 175 bottles although theoretically they could hold 260 or so if they were all bordeaux bottles and did not have shelving.  One is 13 years old and the other is 11 years old.  Until recently I have had absolutely no issues with either and really like them.  

 

The issue I have is water which accumulates on the metal shelf on the inside of the unit on top of the motor.  Apparently this has been doing this for a year or more in both of them and I was not aware of it.  Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this?



#33 deangold

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 11:26 AM

This condensate should evaporate.  Probably cause is humidity buildup inside the unit.  Either the filters &/or coils are dirty or the humidity in your house is higher than it formerly was.  

 

You only get condensate if the condensor is continuing to cool your unit.  I might raise the temp a degree and see what happens.  


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#34 Joe H

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 12:43 PM

This condensate should evaporate.  Probably cause is humidity buildup inside the unit.  Either the filters &/or coils are dirty or the humidity in your house is higher than it formerly was.  

 

You only get condensate if the condensor is continuing to cool your unit.  I might raise the temp a degree and see what happens.  

 

Thanks, Dean.  Appreciate the advice.



#35 DonRocks

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 01:17 PM

The issue I have is water which accumulates on the metal shelf on the inside of the unit on top of the motor.  Apparently this has been doing this for a year or more in both of them and I was not aware of it.  Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

 

I know very few people who haven't experienced it - a catch-pan saves the day. There should be a hole in the back of the unit through which you can stick a plastic piece of pipe to drain condensation (or something similar to this).

 

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#36 Joe H

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:17 PM

I know very few people who haven't experienced it - a catch-pan saves the day. There should be a hole in the back of the unit through which you can stick a plastic piece of pipe to drain condensation (or something similar to this).

 

If you (silentbob) do some homework on Google, you'll learn much. Start here, and keep going.

 

Thanks, Don.  Reassuring.  There's actually a small hole (diameter of a pencil eraser) on the very bottom of the pan which allows water to drain through to a small tray on the very bottom of the unit.  The tray pulls out.  I was told by the Wine Enthusiast that the theory is that the heat from the coils on the back and near the bottom of the unit will cause the water which collects in this to evaporate.  When I looked at this tray, on each of the Eurocaves, there was a bit of water and sludge in them.  But nothing had dripped on the floor underneath.  In 11 or 13 years.

 

Probably, over all of this time, I have never looked on the floor of the unit or on the top of the metal shelf or "step" which houses the condenser where the water accumulated.  When I saw it, I was shocked.  A bottle of Dal Forno was 1/4 inch above a very small, shallow puddle.  

 

Having had water leak into my house I didn't want it to leak into my Dal Forno...

 

Anyway, I also view this as a sign that I now need to start drinking down what I have been buying.  

 

Thanks, again.


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#37 silentbob

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 10:37 AM

Start here, and keep going.

 

Thanks, a very informative article.  I'm definitely not looking for a wine refrigerator, but rather a unit where I can age properly bottles of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Ausleses/Spatleses that presumably shouldn't be opened for another 5-15 years.  Given that folks on various message boards generally seem satisfied with Eurocave for electric cellars, I've been leaning that way and the article more or less validated things.

 

At the $2K price point, the value proposition seems to lie in buying the Artevino from Costco rather than Wine Enthusiast or other specialty sites -- I'm not looking for anything fancy, just something that can go in the basement -- so that still sounds like the way to go unless I've completely missed something.



#38 mr food

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 02:16 PM

I bought my Vinotemp from Costco as the price was good and you get Costco behind you if any issues. One very important thing is to let the unit stand upright for a couple of days before plugging it in. This allows the coolant to settle.


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#39 Joe H

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 08:07 PM

Thanks, a very informative article.  I'm definitely not looking for a wine refrigerator, but rather a unit where I can age properly bottles of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Ausleses/Spatleses that presumably shouldn't be opened for another 5-15 years.  Given that folks on various message boards generally seem satisfied with Eurocave for electric cellars, I've been leaning that way and the article more or less validated things.

 

At the $2K price point, the value proposition seems to lie in buying the Artevino from Costco rather than Wine Enthusiast or other specialty sites -- I'm not looking for anything fancy, just something that can go in the basement -- so that still sounds like the way to go unless I've completely missed something.

I have now bought the filters that I probably overlooked for a couple of years and there is no longer a small puddle in my Eurocaves.  A few drops but that seems to be acceptible.

 

I do want to mention that they are 11 and 13 years old.  Coincidentally, I received a brochure today from the Wine Enthusiast.  What I paid $2,500 for-each-more than a decade ago costs a lot more today. $3,500 or so with shelving and a glass door.

 

They are worth it. Every penny.  I probably have 7 to 8K worth of wine in each Eurocave and I would not trust anything else to store these bottles in.  I drank a bottle tonight (2000 Cos) that has sat in one for almost a decade.  It was perfect.  There is a very real history in storing a bottle this long and then having a taste of it.

 

They were well worth the investment.

 

I want to make a comment about capacity:  if I did not have any shelving and only bordeaux sized bottles my units could each store 260 or so bottles.  But there are shelves.  And bottles that are larger than bordeaux size.  CDP are among these and you can realistically expect a rated bottle capacity of 260 to be about 170-180 with a dozen or so shelves.

 

Still, while they may sit in your basement they are going to be a conversation piece that you will be proud of.

 

They are also heavy.  The delivery and set up of these is important.   You are going to have to level them and I would trust someone who is experienced in doing this before.  I believe the Wine Enthusiast calls this "white glove service" and it is worth it.  My own recent experience about small puddles of water directly relates to this:  the puddles were contained within the units because they were properly balanced and water did not spill out.  Rather, much of it did channel into the pipe that runs underneath and evaporated from the heat of the nearby coil.

 

Simply, they worked the way they were suppose to.

 

I spend a small fortune with Costco every year.  I just don't think I would buy something like this from them. (please forgive my one too many opinions, mr food.) These cabinets are several hunded pounds or more each empty.  you want someone to deliver and set them up who knows what they are doing.  Down the road it can make a difference to you.  It did for me.



#40 Keithstg

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:11 AM

 

I spend a small fortune with Costco every year.  I just don't think I would buy something like this from them. (please forgive my one too many opinions, mr food.) These cabinets are several hunded pounds or more each empty.  you want someone to deliver and set them up who knows what they are doing.  Down the road it can make a difference to you.  It did for me.

 Honestly, I have to agree with Joe here. Although I have upgraded to a in home cellar room, I would want the eurocaves professionally installed. Costco really does stand behind their products, particularly electronics, but in this case I'd personally pay extra for pro set-up.

 

Also, Joe and others, you may want to consider a standalone insurance policy for your wine. Fireman's Fund and Chubb offer policies, as does insureyourwine.com - no affiliations, just a thought.



#41 Joe H

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:29 AM

 Honestly, I have to agree with Joe here. Although I have upgraded to a in home cellar room, I would want the eurocaves professionally installed. Costco really does stand behind their products, particularly electronics, but in this case I'd personally pay extra for pro set-up.

 

Also, Joe and others, you may want to consider a standalone insurance policy for your wine. Fireman's Fund and Chubb offer policies, as does insureyourwine.com - no affiliations, just a thought.

Thanks, Keithstg, appreciate the Fireman's Fund and Chubb recommendations.  My next click is insureyourwine.com.  Thanks, again.



#42 Marks

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 01:17 PM

KeithSTG,

 

what do you use to cool your room.  I have a Breezaire WK3000, and I believe it needs to be replaced after 14 years.  Lots of frost on the unit and it constantly runs.  They are not serviceable and I'll have to get the same unit because of the hole in the wall.



#43 Keithstg

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 01:52 PM

Mark, I have a WhisperKool 8000ti. It has a similar shelf life, but is serviceable. No frost on the unit at all, and it occassionally runs, although about half the time I feel that it's regulating humidity as opposed to cooling. Have you checked the seals around the door or the cooling unit? The constant running makes me think that there might be an issue with insulation...







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