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Reasonable Built-In Wine Refrigerator

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My other half and I are looking for a reasonable built-in wine refrigerator, preferably dual zone with 40 to 50 bottle capacity, racks that can handle thicker Burgundy bottles, and by reasonable I mean under a grand.  I have read quite a few product reviews and all seem pretty good until I look at the actual reviews from customers.  Seems like a certain percentage of reviewers write in after a year or so of ownership to report the unit just dieing. 

Any suggestions on what to buy? 

Thanks. 

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40-50 bottles is one of the short style wine fridges; dishwasher size. How do you plan to install it? 

Is this for short term or long term storage?  I don't think dual zone is really going to work great such a small fridge.  Most just put the stuff they want colder at the bottom of the fridge.  I had a similar size one in my old house.  It was a simple Home Depot one that never gave me an issue in 10 years of use.  Had wire racks and could hold any normal bottle.  Was good for keeping chocolate at good temp too. 

Vinotemp is popular, but most of the big name fridge companies make them too.  I would consider a brand that is in line with what you already have for appliances if it's in the kitchen.

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Good point in the dual vs single zone.  Perhaps I am just hoping for too much with two different zones on an unit that small. 

This would actually be a replacement for a thermo-electric unit that died recently.  Personally I dont think thermo-electric is worth it, so I am looking for a better compressor. 

I'll look for a good single zone one. 

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On 7/6/2018 at 11:01 AM, JoeKitchen said:

  Personally I dont think thermo-electric is worth it, so I am looking for a better compressor. 

I don't think they are worth it either.  I'd go for a replacement and then a larger one in a different room.  You could set both at different temp, but if the wine is cool already, making it colder before serving is pretty easy.  They'll always warm up, so no worries there...

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When we were building our house eight years ago, we tried to go with a built-in undercounter model, but in reality, we found that most models are freestanding and simply are made to just roll into the space and appear to be a built in. I was told that a true built-in would be extremely expensive and difficult to service, if it malfunctioned. 

Long story short, we bought a dual zone Jenn-Aire 48-bottle freestanding model that is no longer in production.  The thing looks like a built in but is not.  It is still with us today and I have gotten my money out of it.  However, I believe it was over one thousand dollars back then. 

My thoughts: dual zone sounds cool, but in reality, I am not sure how accurate these small models really are when it comes to temperature control. Our model, we learned, actually has no adjustment knob, so we cannot adjust the temp even if we wanted to.  In addition, larger diameter bottles are very difficult to fit inside the unit, and when you can get them in there, they take up more space and you have reduced capacity. We have trouble fitting basic champagne bottles in our unit since they are often fatter. 

My experience is that the smaller wine fridges are sort of a novelty, and they don’t really work that well if you have high expectations.  If you lower your expectations, they get the job done (store wine at a decent temperature) but they usually store fewer bottles than advertised, and you never know when they are going to die on you.  

 

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I have a stand alone wine fridge single zone maybe 6 feet high and two feet wide holds 90 bottles. I keep it at the white wine temp level which for me is 53F and this does not hurt the reds at all. One thing to note, it worked fine for 2 years then wouldn't hold temp. turned out issue was we didnt have a dedicated fuse / outlet / socket for it so it was overloading. We put a dedciated fuse  in and has been godd for another 3 years. Looks built in, i will add pic later. Think its an AVANTI...will confirm

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I'm a big fan of Liebherr when it comes to refrigeration and freezing. I believe they make wine fridges of all sizes, mine is one of their bigger ones, that actually doubles as a humidor as well. Not cheap, but definitely among the best ones out there.

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On 8/18/2018 at 12:24 PM, TheMonk said:

I'm a big fan of Liebherr when it comes to refrigeration and freezing. I believe they make wine fridges of all sizes, mine is one of their bigger ones, that actually doubles as a humidor as well. Not cheap, but definitely among the best ones out there.

I have a big Liebherr fridge in our kitchen.  Veggies stay fresh for a long time.  Didn't know they make wine fridges; must be expensive.

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