Currently living in NYC and looking for a wine fridge to fit in my apartment. My collection mainly consists of Bordeaux (both red and sweet), though there is the occasional champagne and pinot noirs as well.
I am looking through Best Buy and Amazon but there doesn’t seem to any product sold online that doesn’t have a bad review. Hence, I am quite hesitant to buy some faulty product and would love to hear recs from you guys.
- 18 bottle+ (taking into account that 18 bottles can only contain 15 or so should there be bottoms with fatter bases)
- Preferably last a couple of years. The product reviews I’ve read online always have some post saying it breaks down in a couple of months
- Preferable to have dual-zone but not crucial
Thanks for the recs guys and would love to hear your opinions.
A few thoughts:
(1) Are you sure you only want an 18 bottle fridge? That holds so little as to seem not to have much purpose. Statistics show that 99.99% of people who buy wine cabinets very shortly regret that they bought one so small (okay, I made that up, but if anything that number is probably on the low side).
(2) My guess is that they all have lousy reviews because home wine fridges generally suck, and I say that after many years of ultra-annoying experience with multiple ones. Obviously, the best and most expensive brands tend to do better, but as a whole, wine cabinets are somehow 1% as reliable and 10X as expensive to repair as some cheap refrigerator you buy at Sears (again, I made that up, but that’s my best estimate). Not only are they generally poor as far as long-term repair and maintenance, but they all have assorted other annoying flaws, like racks that are too small for half your bottles, humidity that is too high and deteriorates all your labels, make too much noise, etc.
If I were you, I would:
(A) Buy a substantially larger cabinet than you think you would ever need. Rule of thumb: if you think you’re buying a big enough one, you aren’t, get a bigger one than that.
(B) Look on Craigslist and equivalent places, especially since you’re in NYC and there should be large numbers of people nearby looking to get rid of theirs (probably because it turned out to be way too small), and you’ll probably be able to pay well under half the price of a new one.
Best of luck.
IMO - size and type of fridge depends a bit on what your objectives are:
I have a “dual zone” fridge in the den. 12 bottles or so bottles of white / champagne on the “wine side”, plenty of beer/soda storage on the other side. I use it as a staging area for stuff I expect to serve in the relatively near term, stuff that needs to be cold. Reds are stored in a separate cellar.
If your intent is as a staging area for wines only, I would probably still go to something a bit larger which would help ensure that you always have the “right wine” for the evening’s occasion. If it was to house both reds and whites for near term consumption, the dual zone would be great. Here’s a couple examples:
http://www.wineenthusiast.com/wine-enthusiast-silent-48-bottle-double-door-dual-zone-wine-refrigerator-(stainless-steel-trim-door).asp (available at outlet for $449)
(For whatever reason, I can’t get the 2nd two http addresses to fully hyperlink, but if you cut and paste it in it will work)
If on the other hand, you’re looking for something for longer term storage of your wines, I would again go bigger. For longer term storage, I started with a 48 bottle unit, which suited me for awhile. I wouldn’t recommend anything much smaller though if long term storage is the goal. The bottles will start to stack up quicker than you think. While Wine Enthusiast doesn’t seem to offer much of anything 50 bottles or less in a “single zone”, a “single zone” would serve the purpose for longer term storage if found elsewhere at a favorable price.
Hope that helps. Happy hunting!
Couple of extra thoughts…I have 2 - 150 bottle 3 zone commercial grade in the kitchen that came with the house. Boy do they make a racket. 6 zones going on and off independently all night long. Be aware these things can make a ton of noise and think about placement in your apt.
Have you looked into renting space at a commercial wine storage place? In NYC I would imagine there is one convenient to work or home. Just keep 6 or so in the apt for “emergency”.
Michael, what are you looking to spend on this unit?
Probably somewhere around 200 to 350.
Anything on this site will serve your needs at discount prices. Some are mildy scratched or dented, but you can do very well if you watch closely and often.
A quick word about rack sizes in wine fridges that was touched on earlier by Chris Seiber… bottle size vs. rack size. A number of wine fridges, particularly the ones with all steel racks (including my own GE 24-bottle model) will destroy your labels, particularly the larger pinot noir and sparkling wine bottles.
Do pay mind to the amount of space available between each rack and whether or not that will accommodate your Bordeaux bottles (typically, 2-7/8" diameter) up to your Champagne bottles (up to 3-7/8" diameter). Also, I’ve found that the racks that feature a wood frame tend to be gentler on the labels.
Regardless, good luck!