Wine Fridge

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Ghandih
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Wine Fridge

Post by Ghandih » 13:56 Mon 04 Apr 2011

Hello all,

In anticipation of meeting many of you tonight, I'd like to nudge your grey cells into a matter that's been bothering me of late, and seek your combined wisdom...

In a truly careless design failure recently, I allowed the pump for the underfloor heating of the Ghandih residence's new extension to be located under the stairs, where previously my very modest collection of port and wine resided untroubled. There can be no doubt that the temperature in the cupboard now is, at times, most unhealthy for the wines, so they need to be moved, and we don't have another particularly cool place.

For that reason, it seems to us (me and Mrs Gh) that a wine fridge (or storage cabinet or whatever we should properly call it) is needed in our house. Its purpose would be to hold the wines for long term storage, with the facility of instant access (which is why professional cellarage doesn't feel like the right solution). We only need one temperature, I assume, and we'd like capacity for of the order of 140 bottles.

We've done the internet trawl and located some likely looking options, but we'd like to know what the TPF community thinks of such a storage plan, whether anyone else uses such a device (and, if so, which and what is it like, etc) and any other useful thoughts you might have.

I hope that's enough detail, but do ask if I should have said more. All advice is most gratefully received...

Ghandih
A man who likes vintage ports, and we're not talking Carthage

Glenn E.
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by Glenn E. » 01:23 Wed 06 Apr 2011

I have 2.5 wine refrigerators that I use for my storage. 2 have full size cabinets that hold (allegedly) 283 and 260 bottles, while one is a half height unit that holds (allegedly) 52 bottles. In reality the full size units each hold about 170 bottles while the half height unit holds 40.

My prize VP all go in the full size Eurocave unit because, based on research, those seem to be highly regarded units. The other full size unit is an off brand with a brand new compressor and it holds 2 cases of wine, a few LBVs, some lesser VPs, and most of my Colheitas. The half height Danby unit holds Douro wines.

The Eurocave is very nearly silent and produces no vibration that I can detect. To me, this makes it a suitable long-term storage solution for VP. The off brand unit and the half height Danby both make enough noise to hear, but since the units are in a mostly unused room it doesn't really matter. The Danby produces a small vibration every time the compressor starts or stops, but otherwise seems fine. The off brand unit seems to produce a very slight vibration during use, but it doesn't (yet) seem to have affected any of the Ports I have stored in it. The rubies all seem to contain normal sediment and the old Colheitas, which often produce a very silky fine sediment that is easily disturbed, still have it on the bottom of the bottle.

I think that a real cellar, or even a larger walk-in wine storage unit would be better, but since neither is practical for me right now I'm very happy with my refrigerators.
Glenn Elliott

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mosesbotbol
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by mosesbotbol » 02:21 Thu 07 Apr 2011

Do you have a cellar?
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AHB
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by AHB » 13:30 Thu 07 Apr 2011

I have a Leibherr wine storage unit at home that holds around 200 bottles if you stack them nose to tail and use the minimum possible number of shelves. It has just one temperature zone (which I set to about 12C). I've been using it for 15 years and it seems to look after my wine extremely well. I would recommend the particular unit that I have. It sits in the corner of my garage and is great for being able to be used to store odd bottles and things that I will probably drink in the next year or few.

They are expensive to buy, but do a good job and are a very convenient way to keep wine at home in good condition ready for drinking.

My main bit of advice, though, is don't buy a unit that will hold 140 bottles, go for the biggest you can. It will fill up very quickly if Tesco keep doing their "buy 6 bottles of Heidsieck Monopole Blue Label and get 55% off" deal - if you like Heidsieck Monopole, that is.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
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g-man
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by g-man » 14:18 Thu 07 Apr 2011

I have two cheap haiers (200$ each) and they supposedly hold 56 bottles (I've shoved 44 with racks removed).

The temp might swing 7-8 degrees, but it really doesn't concern me as the more bottles you have in there, the more stable the temperature should be for the wine within the bottles.

I actually keep bottles I'm ready to pop in those fridges.

I have a proper basement cellar too anad when I had a party, I took out a 2005 table wine (one sitting in the cellar for about 9 months and the other in fridge for about a year) from both the fridge and down from the cellar and there was no difference in taste, color or smell of the bottles.
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Glenn E.
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by Glenn E. » 19:03 Thu 07 Apr 2011

AHB wrote:My main bit of advice, though, is don't buy a unit that will hold 140 bottles, go for the biggest you can.
This is the most wise bit of advice given so far.

My first fridge was the 52-bottle Danby, because I couldn't fathom needing more than 52 bottles in storage. Two completely filled full size refrigerators later one can see the naivete of that original purchase.

Go big or don't bother. Costco had a 500 bottle refrigerator available at one point for about the price of my Eurocave 283 and I wish I'd bought one of those.
Glenn Elliott

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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by clawhit » 09:19 Fri 08 Apr 2011

We have a Climadiff AV 305 Single Temperature Cabinet and we have replaced the solid shelves for sliding shelves - it is great and would love to buy another when funding allows. Capacity is 294 although as we have maxed it out with sliding shelves to protect labels etc we currently have about 200 bottles in there which is is about right for our drinkers! lol

idj123
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by idj123 » 15:34 Sat 21 Jan 2017

Reactivating this topic as it would seem that my dreams of having a wine cellar under my new extension have been scattered to the four winds; the cost would double the cost of the two storey extension! The only reason that I was looking into the extension and agreed to the extension with Mrs J was my desire for a genuine wine cellar- so that serves me right then!

Anyhow, as a compromise I now need to up my wine storage capacity and so has anyone got anything more to add or recommendations regarding wine cabinets? My thoughts are to go with the 294 bottle Climadiff as that appears to offer the biggest capacity without going to a wider dual door cabinet (which would not fit in the pantry where it's intended). I will then move my current 50 bottle Haier elsewhere.

LGTrotter
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by LGTrotter » 18:30 Sat 21 Jan 2017

I am going to not really answer the question because I don't know about wine fridges and I have a feeling they are not the perfect storage they are often touted to be.

So my non-answer goes like this; surely within this two storey extension there is a wee nook which is located on the north side with a nearby internal masonry wall which doesn't have any heating too near? Perhaps one end of the extension is a little below ground level? Such a nook might even be insulated appropriately and fitted with wine racks for some niggardly sum that would scarcely add to the overall cost of construction. If it was found that the temperature fluctuations were too much then, at a later date, a 'cellar conditioner unit' could be fitted.

But this is no answer, so I will add that Liebherr are supposed to be good.

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mapmap
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by mapmap » 01:10 Thu 26 Jan 2017

It might not be the best idea for you, but here's what I did last year. Since I couldn't afford a real wine cave, I converted a big wardrobe into a wine cellar. I chose a wardrobe downstairs, to make it cooler and less attractive to thieves. I stripped down the walls, to put the best isolation I could find. Added some plastic to keep the humidity inside the cellar, then put up some new walls made for bathrooms (to resist humidity again). Then, I painted it with odorless paint, also meant for bathrooms, and voilà! All left was putting some air controller, some temperature probes everywhere (because I'm a freak and wanted to make sure that floor temperature was almost the same as the top row for wines).

In Canadian money, it cost me a few thousand dollars less this way for the same capacity (~300 bottles), but when the air conditioner will break, I'll only have to pay for that and not for a whole new wine fridge. Plus, I can easily upgrade my wine cellar-like to over 500 bottles for almost nothing if I wanted to.

Hope this can help you SIR! :)

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mapmap
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Re: Wine Fridge

Post by mapmap » 01:17 Thu 26 Jan 2017

Here's a picture if you are curious. I forgot to say that I put a door that it meant for cold winters outside, to avoid losing cooler temperature. The wardrobe/wine cellar goes deeper on the left of the picture.

PS: The two ports are standing up for a good reason on the picture ;)
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