Advice on refrigerated wine storage unit - Printable Version

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- CalifWino - 08-16-2005

I am would like to purchase a wine cooler. With no room in the house, I am looking at placing the unit in the garage. I live in Northern California, in a pretty moderate area with some ocean cooling. So, it is not real hot in the summer, we would rarely see 90. I am considering two models, one from Vinotemp, the other from Vintage Keeper. I would like to store about 350 -500 bottles.<BR>Questions:<BR>Any eperience with either of these two brands? Are there other brands I should consider - since it is the garage, fancy is not needed. Any suggestions on storing in the garage? What about the winter, when the outside temp can be 40-50 F? Thanks in advance for your advice!

- hotwine - 08-17-2005

Welcome to the board, CW.<P>The only free-standing wine storage unit that I know of that is designed to be placed in an environment with uncontrolled temperature is the EuroCave 260 1-Temp. Its heavy-duty compressor can withstand the high duty cycles required to function effectively in a space where the ambient temperature can far exceed the norm for an air-conditioned room. I bought one a few years ago and put it in my garage, and it works just fine. To my knowledge, all other makes and models of wine fridges are designed to accommodate a temperature differential (between the unit's temp and that of the room in which it's placed) of no more than 20 degrees F. If you're trying to hold a temp of 57F in a unit that's sitting in a 90F garage, most units on the market would be likely to burn out.<P>As to capacity: If the fixed shelves in the EC 260 1-Temp are replaced with sliding redwood shelves, the capacity is reduced from the advertized 260 (Bordeaux-sized) bottles to about 160. And the 260 1-Temp is the only model available with the enhanced compressor, at least to the best of my knowledge.

- CalifWino - 08-17-2005

Thanks. I will check out the EC. I understand the Vinotemp is available with a beefed up cooler as an option, increasing the BTU capacity.<P>Does your unit have a heater? What do you do in the winter time?<P>thanks again,<P>CW

- hotwine - 08-18-2005

I don't take any winter precautions with the EC, and no, it does not have a heater. It's well-insulated, and the garage is also, so the temp in there probably never gets below 40F (although I've never measured it); we move wife's plants into one side of it when we're expecting a frost, especially if going to the mid-20's, and they've never gotten nipped in there.<P>Our old storm cellar, now refrigerated for wine storage, also lacks a heater. Still, it maintains a nice 57F year-around.<P>Be sure to investigate the impact on total capacity when you order special options like beefed up compressors and sliding shelves. Manufacturers seem to predicate their numbers on a user stacking his wines like cord-wood, and that's not the way most of us store wines.

- Drew - 08-18-2005

You get 20's around San Antonio area Gil?<P>Drew

- hotwine - 08-18-2005

Sure do, Drew. The coldest it's been here in my memory was -1 in early 1949.<P>Each winter, somebody leaves that danged north gate open up near Amarillo and lets at least one blue norther in to howl all the way to the Gulf. One of 'em gave us snow at the ranch one weekend this past winter. Farmer's Almanac says we'll get it again this year.