Typically dual zone fridges are designed to keep some of the wine at "cellar" temperature, and have a separate section to keep wines (particularly whites) at "serving" temperature. Getting a red or white wine to proper serving temperature takes less than 20 minutes, so spending extra money for that shortcut is money wasted, in my opinion.

Also, if you're thinking 50. Think 100+. Trust me. Wink Welcome to the boards!!

PH
quote:
Originally posted by zoepeyt:
Thanks, PH - any ideas on the brand ? I hear Marvel is good, SubZero is too pricey for me although I hear that is good as well.
I saw some reasonably priced Danby models but I can't find any reviews on them.


If you do a search here using Danby as the subject, you'll probably change your mind about that brand. I have experience only with two brands. Eurocave, which is very expensive and probably one of the best wine cellars on the market. I also have a Vintage Keeper 500 which has given me trouble free service for a couple years.

Do heed my advice about getting something larger than you anticipate needing. I've never heard anyone say, "Damn, why did I get such a big wine cabinet." I have heard the opposite a million times!!

PH
I have a 50-btl Marvel - front exhaust and built in under cabinet. First in service around March 2001. I can vouch for it's reliability and function to this point - no problems.

That is a concern as many of these brands have no service/repair network in place and no local distribution. My advice is to buy a product with those features above all else.

I got stung with a VinoTemp 180 btl that came from the factory with a refrigerent leak - it took more than the 1yr warranty period for it to show up. Then getting anyone to repair it was nearly impossible. I got a reference finally for someone who could not locate the leak to fix it but just recharges it now about every 15 months.

Be careful - or buy the really cheap ones that you can trash with no sorrow if they break.
I agree with you PH. I probably will want the bigger cabinet, but am a bit cost-sensitive and I really want a quality one that won't break right after the warranty expires. How pricey are the Eurocave and Vintage Keepers? Looks like Danby and VinoTemp are out based on these replies. I found a Marvel 50 bottle for $1299 and am seriously considering that one....
Shop WineEnthusiast.com for info on the Eurocaves. I'm not aware of another supplier. They often have a "scratch and dent" special on some of their units if you're not concerned about having your unit be perfect.

Let Google be your friend on the VK models. I bought mine from Rose Hill Wine Cellars in Toronto. I shopped this unit hard, and pricing didn't vary more than 5% among suppliers. I picked Rose Hill because the people on the phone were polite and efficient and they responded quickly to my e-mails. Do keep in mind that the VKs need to be assembled by you.

PH
zoepeyt,

While you can spend well over a grand on a unit that holds 50 bottles, I think that's not a good investment. 50 bottles is not very much at all. And, if you have problems with the unit, a big hassle. And you have to deal with the wine during the unit's down time.

About nine months ago, I was proud of the nice little 28 bottle Avanti I received as a gift. In no time, I had it filled, and overflowing, and ended up getting offsite storage at a LWS's (local wine store) temperature controlled room. I pay $150 a year, for a locker that holds seven or eight full cases, depending on how I stack them, with the option of upsizing when I max it out (very soon). Prime temperature, prime humidity, and it's insured.

The bulk of my stuff is aging well offsite (so am not tempted to crack into those nice keepers early), and I have the little 28 banger at home for the dailies. Works perfectly for me, and if the Avanti goes bad, heck, another $200 replaces it. So far, no problems.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Do keep in mind that the VKs need to be assembled by you.
PH


PH,

I'm about to outgrow my cellar, so I begining the process of shopping for a unit as well. That, or we'll have to have a HUGE MD offline @ Chez Klymkev!

Was assembly on the VK easy? How do the two compare with noise? Do these units typically need 2x the room to vent, like the Whisperkool units? I have a small shop area that I'm eyeing, but it's pretty small. I'm concerned about venting and how it may cook the room, and the opposite room(where my "cellar" is) in the summer, however.

Gun to your head, if you were to only have space for 1 unit, VK or Eurocave?
Here's a vote for a huge offline!! Razz Wink

Assembly of the VK was a piece of cake. You definitely want to have a helper as there are maneuvers that require two people.

I had to put my VK 500 in my kitchen at the new place, as it was moved intact and wouldn't fit down the stairs. I didn't want to go through the disassembly/reassembly headaches. I had plenty of room so it wasn't a problem to put it there. It is a bit noisier than the compressor on the food refrigerator in the same room. If it's going to be in a location where keeping ambient noise to a minimum is important, the VK might not be the way to go. You're more than welcome to come check it out. We can crack a nice bottle and listen to compressor noises! Razz

Venting is no problem. The unit needs to be 4" from the wall for venting. I detect no appreciable effect on room temperature at all.

Gun to my head, and spending your money it's Eurocave all day. It's quiteter, sturdier and prettier. That being said the VK 500 is currently being offered at Rose Hill Wine Cellars for $1,493 plus shipping. The Eurocave Performance 500 at Wine Enthusiast is $5,495 and is $6,490 with glass doors. Eek The VK comes with glass doors included. $4-5K buys an awful lot of wine.....

PH
quote:
Originally posted by zoepeyt:
I found a Marvel 50 bottle for $1299 and am seriously considering that one....


That is a ridiculously high proce for a 50-bottle unit. Look at this. I perosnally think its a little silly to go with the dual zone, but this one is perfect for you. Holds 106 bottles, has two doors, two thermostats, and costs $250 less than your Marvel unit.

But when you're looking at cost, I think you should consider the "real cost" the per-bottle price. Your Marvel unit that holds 54 bottles comes in at a whopping $24.06/bottle. The Vestfrost unit above is $8.96/bottle. That means your Marvel unit really costs almost three times as much.

And using the same formula reveals that this Venotemp model that holds 450 bottles costs only $4.89/bottle.

I understand that you're sensitive to costs, but you seriously need to pick your price and buy the largest reliable product at that price. 1300 bucks for a 54-bottle Marvel unit is just nuts!
I know there are always loads of Wine Refrigerator posts, so I just thought I would add my questions here. My wife and I just got a gift of a "Wine Enthusiast" branded 48 bottle, double door wine Fridge http://www.wineenthusiast.com/E/details.asp?Ep=An/173//...E4-A3B8-31B2FAE3FBCC.

Questions
1. There is a "Water Cup" in each side directly below the fans. Is this to collect excess water, or for us to add water as a humidity control?

2. If not, is there anything we can do to help keep the appropriate humidity?

3. How long can/should you store a bottle in this type of unit?

4. What are the appropriate temperatures for red and white? Does this vary by varietal or intended storage time?

Thanks for helping out a newbie!

Andrew
Today I bought a Frigidaire 42-bottle "freestanding wine cooler" at Lowe's. It was only $300 and was just something temporary to store some wine in until we move to a new house soon and get a built-in or cellar.

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND this unit to anyone. We can't get anywhere near 42 bottles in there. It MIGHT fit 37 half-size or small dessert wine bottles if you're lucky. I think it's very misleading to say it can fit 42. We have been able to fit 20 normal-sized bottles in there and that's it! But, on the good side - we put a thermometer in there and the temperature is very accurate.

I will be returning this item to the store tomorrow for sure.

Has anyone bought the 180-bottle sized Vinotemp model currently for sale at CostCo? We're thinking of getting that one instead.

Any other suggestions are welcome! Thanks!!
I recently got a Kenmore 36-bottle wine fridge. The temperature fluctuates a lot - more than I thought would be acceptable. It's set on 59, but it varies between 52 and 63. The repair guy from Sears tried 3 times to fix it, but finally just said that amount of variation is expected. That's not really normal is it? Was he just giving us a line so we'd stop calling?
From the little I know of wine fridges and cellar cooling units they are designed for temperature variation within your range.... Test the temperature of a bottle when it comes out and it should be close. You would not want the compressor turning on and off every time the unit dropped a degree. A regular thermoeter or an infrared thermoeter will give you a better idea of its funciton.
quote:
Danby


I returned 2 Danbys because the temp controller was too low. I think the wine cooler is really a beer cooler. The temp could not get above 44 F. I had repair service come and replace 2 thermostats, but to no avail. The thermostat is made in China. Oh one more thing the insulated glass door leaks and is fogged up.

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