Product submitted for review. Available for around $340 shipped from multiple online sellers including Amazon.
From the manufacturer:
"The NewAir Wine Cooler lets you keep an amazing 33 bottles of wine ready for immediate use. The compressor cooling system reaches temperatures as low as 39 degrees Fahrenheit, with precise electronic controls that let you select the proper setting for your collection. With its sleek black and stainless steel design, it's a great fit for home, bar or wine cellar.
Finish/Color: Stainless Steel/Black
Insulated glass door
Digital temperature display
6 slide out chrome shelves
Soothing interior lighting
Product specifications: 85 watts, 240 volts, 1.3 amps, 60 hertz ETL certified."
If you're a wine drinker who keeps more than a couple bottles of wine on hand, I'm sure you've considered buying a wine cooler. Whether it be to keep reds slightly chilled for the best aging or just keeping white wines on hand and ready to go without having to clutter up the fridge, a wine cooler makes the wine drinkers life much easier.
The question is, of course, which one to buy. And while we aren't going to do a comprehensive review of all the options out there, we've gone through a few wine coolers here at The Reverse Wine Snob so we were more than happy to try out the NewAir AWC-330E Compressor 33 Bottle Wine Cooler when they offered it to us for review. Our main basis for comparison will be the Vinotemp VT-34 TS we purchased at Costco a couple years ago, which is also a compressor unit of almost the exact same size (and which recently died much too young). Here then are some of the pros and cons of the NewAir unit based on our experience with it over the last couple months.
- Keeps a very constant temperature -- We keep our wine coolers in a basement which is 65-68 degrees year round, so it's easy work. Yet the temperature of our old Vinotemp varied by several degrees constantly. Not a big deal, but it was nice to see the NewAir stayed rock steady at its set temperature.
- Very quiet -- We were surprised by how little noise it produced. Granted, it is not in a frequently used living area so noise is not a concern, but we found that it blended into the ambient noise in the room seamlessly.
- Locking mechanism on door -- note that this isn't meant to be a lock to keep someone out who really wants to get in out, it is really more of a latch to keep the door from opening unintended. This is perfect for our situation as we have a very curious and adventurous toddler in the house. (The Vinotemp had no way to secure the door shut.)
- Door handle -- this is really more of a personal preference, but to me the handle on the door adds a nice touch versus a door that just pulls open from the top. (And the handle can be left off if you prefer.)
- There's really only one we've found so far and it is an issue with every wine cooler of this size that we've tried. That is simply the inability to handle any bottles bigger than Bordeaux style without losing capacity. In the interest of keeping the fridge as small as possible the shelves are simply too close together to allow Burgundy bottles (let alone Pinot Noir or Chardonnay bottles) to sit on the racks without restricting space for neighboring wines. Inevitably there will be a few dead spots that are simply too small to fit any type of bottle. Of course the open bottom rack will hold a few bottles but that space will fill up fast, especially for Chardonnay lovers.
Aside from this one universal con we have been impressed with the NewAir unit and are quite happy to have it in use! Of couse the biggest concern is probably the longevity of the unit and at this point we really can't comment on that. We can comment on the Vinotemp which despite it's easy workload and plenty of ventilation (it was sitting completely out in the open) died within two years. Thank goodness we bought it at Costco so we can take advantage of their generous return policy because our experience with Vinotemp customer service was an exercise in futility. We can't comment on how NewAir might compare in this area except to say that it would be darn near impossible for them not to be better.