Cellar Decision

i'm new here so i'll apologize ahead of time if i'm posting in the wrong forum.

i need some advice on my wine cabinet.

i purchased a eurocave w/neofresh about a year ago. it was working fine up until around april when the humidity reading rose to about 85%. the temperature setting fluctuates between 12.2 to 13.5 deg C.

manual says ideal humidity should be between 60-80%.

i've asked eurocave support for help and they suggested everything from running a dehumidifier in the room where my cabinet is. i did .. and the humidity was still at 85%.

they suggested that i buy a separate hygrometer to measure the humidity inside the unit. i did and the hygrometer shows that the humidity does fluctuate .. it's around 76% at the moment, while the unit reads 85%.

i'll admit, the cabinet is only 50% full. i don't know if filling it will make a difference.

but eurocave refuses to believe there is anything wrong with the unit.

they have offered to swap out my v292 for a v283 pvfg for $300 (shipping & handling).

my current config is 5 stationary shelves and 5 sliding. the v283 they are offering consists of all sliding.

i don't know if this is a good trade. any advice?

Original Post
I have always loved Eurocave products..They are well made and they have excellent customer service. I think you should just wait it out. You are basically talking about a 5 percent error in humidity diagnosis. That is hardly worth a grand effort to replace and remove the cooler. The most important thing is that your wines are ok in that environment.(which they are)
Should I swap out my cabinet for an older model? I like the model I have but having paid so much for the cabinet and having to buy my own hygrometer to monitor humidity just seems like a rip off.

Does anybody own either a 292 or 283? The eurocave rep says the 283 is the same as the 292 but no neofresh. I haven't been able to find much info on it so I thought I would ask here.
Thanks. I was wondering if a 5% difference in humidity was problematic. In the summer, the inside walls were a bit damp (like fogging up a window) but my glass door showed no moisture. The bottles had a bit of moisture as well but labels were fine. The dampness is now gone but still reads 85% .. No smell in the cabinet though Smile

Thanks for the replies. The general consensus was that their cabinets were the best. I didn't want to report the problem after the warranty expired.

I'll give it some time and start filling it.
tallgirl - excellent name and I hope you post here often. If you're actually a tall girl, even better. If you're a girl, that works too. If not either, that's a little weird but welcome anyway.

As far as the humidity - you can store wine at the bottom of the sea. Doesn't get much more humid than that. And you can keep that wine for a thousand years or so, give or take a few centuries.

So don't worry about your humidity.

What MIGHT happen is that you will start to get mold or mildew, esp if you live in an area prone to those. If you get mold, the labels will start to get moldy and you wont' be able to read them. People I know who store their wine in damp caves actually wrap the bottles in something like Saran Wrap and then they can keep the wine in the caves for years. Since the caves are dug into mountains, they're quite damp but that's how people kept wine for centuries, so it's a proven method. And it's why, if you look at some bottles of Madeira and Port, there's writing directly on the bottle. Labels would have long since rotted off.

Good luck and post more.
Originally posted by GregT:
tallgirl - excellent name and I hope you post here often. If you're actually a tall girl, even better. If you're a girl, that works too. If not either, that's a little weird but welcome anyway.

Well I guess you could say I was thinking of a tallboy beer when I chose the moniker. But I'm not tall at all. And I would be misleading if I called myself a tallboy. Smile

Somewhat new to wine. My main interest is in vinification and viticulture but I'm learning a lot through tasting. I don't make my own wine though.

As far as the humidity - you can store wine at the bottom of the sea. Doesn't get much more humid than that. And you can keep that wine for a thousand years or so, give or take a few centuries.

So don't worry about your humidity.

This kind of reassurance is what I needed to hear. I knew that humidity and temperature are factors but for long term storage (ie 15+ yrs), humidity can become an issue with mold.

Good luck and post more.

Thanks .. I think I'll keep the unit and see how it goes.
Originally posted by GregT:
People I know who store their wine in damp caves..

Greg- How many people do you know that store their wines in caves? Are we talking deep in the jungle or along the coastline? Do they lead an expedition when they visit their off-site storage? Big Grin
All over Hungary. They dig them into the sides of mountains and every little village has a hill that's poked full of holes because every family in the village seems to have a pince (pronounced something like peensay). A friend just tripled the size of his.

If I could post a pic I'd post a few. They're pretty cold actually - if you spend any time in there, you really want a coat or sweater, and there's always some water dripping in.

I guess they're not really "caves" tho, but you sometimes crawl in just like you would a cave, particularly those that have been in existence for a few hundred years before they came up with the big drills. And they do put heavy doors on them because otherwise you'd go in and encounter a boar or some other animal you might not want to run into when you're half-crocked.
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
And it sounds as though the hygrometer supplied with your EuroCave is simply defective. They should send a local contractor out to swap it out if you are still under warranty or if your initial complaint was made during the warranty period.

they did and the servicing company called them to order the part. they waited for several weeks. i called the servicing company and the servicing company got tired of eurocave giving them the run around.

eventually the eurocave told the contractor that it wasn't as simple as ordering a part. the hygrometer was part of the entire unit. so if i wanted to swap out the hygrometer, i had to essentially replace the entire unit .. which eurocave refuse to do.

they will not replace a v292 with another v292 (they have been discontinued).

they have been adamant that the sensor is fine but to keep me "happy", they were offering to replace my 292 with a 283 - which they said was the same as the 292 but without neofresh technology.

i've been trying to tell them i think the humidity sensor is defective but they refuse to believe that it is - nobody from eurocave has ever come out to check it out. they keep telling me that the humidity reading will only be accurate if the temperature is between 12-14 degrees C. mine is consistently between 12.2 to 13.5 (max).

the unit is under warranty and the complaint was made after 5 months of it being delivered.

i'm not a huge fan of their sliding shelves. bottles all vary in size and some are very awkward to line up - i know the holder can slide but you really don't maximize your shelf. the stationary shelves are nice for stacking.
sounds like rather clear cut

under warranty, they should replace

i'd document your conversations with them, review teh warranty policy and take them to small claims court.

if you're worried that the humidity would dmg the wine though, it won't
One thing I noticed on my Eurocave is that the relative humidity does swing by 10% up and down as the unit cycles for cooling. Have a remote monitor that graphs temp and humidity. Other thing I noticed in the summer is that the moisture on the bottles was happening after I opened the door, warm moist air hits the mass of cool bottles and that is the result.
to be honest, my first call to eurocave wasn't to have the unit replaced.

my first call was to say "hey, your instruction manual tells me how to increase the humidity in the unit if the humidity ever falls below 60%. i have the opposite problem .. my humidity reading is above the "acceptable" range. how do i bring it down?" .. that's all i wanted to know. they didn't have an answer for me .. except to tell me that nothing was wrong.

the service manager told me to run a dehumidifier in the room that the cabinet was in. the hygrometer reading should be 30% more than the humidity of the room. i ran a dehumidifier in the room for about 2 weeks. the humidity in the room was 40% so the reading should be around 70% right? it was still reading 85%.

next he asked what the temperature in the cabinet was because the humidity reading is only accurate when the temp is in the range of 12-14C. i told them 2-3 times that the temperature was in the right range - 12.2 to 13.5.

then he told me to buy a separate hygrometer. i went to home depot .. bought the best one they had. after about 2 weeks, the separate hygrometer settled around 76-77%. the unit read 85%.

even after all that, the service manager wrote in an email stating that he was not convinced that the problem lies in the cellar.

i did everything they asked me too.

i don't know if i'd ever buy their stuff again. but i'm glad that my wine is still okay.

i really didn't want to replace the model i bought. it's actually quite nice and other than the hygrometer issue, it's been good.
Originally posted by g-man:
even at 100% humidity, you'd still be fine.

and since the cork should be air tight at 100% humidity, you'd acutally would get better storage. Your labels though would start coming off.

This is a good point, and I agree with GregT that even 100% humidity is not going to adversely affect your wine.

I if you have any aspirations to re-sell your wine, the label condition will have an impact on the auctionability of your wine. If you have labels that peel, warp, tear, or get moldy, even if the wine inside is pristine, you would probably get a lower price for your bottles on the secondary market. If you know you will only drink or gift your wines to friends, and have no intention of selling, then 75%, 85%, 95%, 100% humidity are all perfectly acceptable levels. And please, I am not saying that your labels will be damaged by humidity, there is just a potential for that to happen.
i have no intention of selling my wine - i'd like to actually drink it. Smile but never say never .. if i happen to find myself cash-strapped one day or i'm being shipped off to work in another country and can't take my wine with me. then i may have to sell it.

funny, my cabinet must have ears (as if it knew it was going to get replaced if the hygrometer continues to act up). the hygrometer has shown a decrease in humidity .. after sitting at 85% for almost 3 seasons (spring-fall), it dropped down to 79%.

looks like i'm gonna hold off on the replacement for now and just monitor for a while.

thanks for your input. much appreciated.
I have a Eurocave 283 Confort (strange name too). Purchased in 2005 and in all honesty I could not tell you what the humidity is in there. Sure, I see the temp (55-59) but I have no hygrometer. This is the first I am hearing of Neofresh. Sounds gimmicky to me too and something that can cause more issue, ala this thread. Tape over the thing and when you pull a bottle out of the cellar and its damp, feel good your unit is working. Smile

This is my 2nd Eurocave. My first purchased in 1982 is still keeping a buddies wine perfect!!

If they discontinued the 293 model, it was probably due to issues that arose, like yours. Maybe $300 well spent? ---but then again, what the hell do I know?
the 283 they were going to give me is cheaper than the 292 and i'd have to pay $300 to have it delivered. they were fully aware that my 292 was more expensive than the 283 - they didn't want to reimburse for the difference. instead, they offered me a 283 that had all moving shelves. i customized my eurocave .. and to pay $300 more for an 'as is' eurocave replacement doesn't sit well with me.

the humidity reading in the unit should be 35% higher than the outside room humidity. in the winter, when the air is drier .. the unit seems to be okay. but in the summer when the humidity is higher, it's finnicky. i run a dehumidifier in throughout the summer but that didn't have an effect on the humidity inside the unit.

as soon as winter kicked in, the humidity reading started to drop.

the consensus seems to be that even if the humidity level goes up to 85%, it's not going to damage the wine in the long run. temperature is consistent so there isn't anything to really worry about at this point.

my next concern is my 2009 bordeaux futures order. i have yet to receive my lot of lafleur-petrus. did anybody get theirs yet?

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