whytner fridge shelves

What’s The Best Way To Stock A Wine Fridge?

Once you’ve figured out a wine storage solution that will do you and taken delivery,  it’s almost time to get it stocked.

That’s where the real fun begin!

But not so fast – there’s one more step you may or may not need to take first.

If you chose a compressor-type model of wine cooler, it’s best to stand your wine fridge up and leave for a full 24 hours before using it.

whynter 28 bottle wine refrigerator(If you’re still looking for your ultimate wine fridge, take a look at our guide to buying wine refrigerators)

The reason for this preliminary step is that your wine cooler may have been sitting in a warehouse for months on end. In shipping, your cooler may have been placed on its side or back. When that happens, the refrigerant tends to settle in liquid from, in odd places.

Standing your wine cooler upright (the way it’s supposed to be) and letting it stand for a full day before using it is the right thing to do. If you neglect this step, your compressor-based wine fridge might not work the way it’s supposed to – and nobody wants that to happen.

Be patient and give your cooler time to settle. 24 hours is plenty. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to plug it in and position it exactly where you want it.

Finally, it’s time to let the fun begin – it’s time to go shopping.

What to Buy

If you’re an established wine enthusiast, you already know what to do. It’s just a matter going out there and grabbing the most interesting wines you can find and adding them to your collection.

Your temptation may be to fill up your new wine fridge to capacity. After all, anything less would be wasted space, wouldn’t it?

The problem is that the more you get into buying, enjoying, and savoring quality wines, the more interesting wines you’ll discover. Even if you go for a larger model like the 155-Bottle VinoTemp, you’re eventually going to run out of room.

Ultimately this means your collection is forever expanding. As you expand your range, you will consistently make new discoveries.

There are always new wines to try – different rabbit holes to explore. It’s part of the whole wine lover’s experience and for many, it’s something to be cherished, fully-enjoyed and experienced at every opportunity.

Once the love of wine permeates your spirit, it becomes a lifelong passion that creates many magical moments.
As you begin to stock up, the first thing to consider is, what are the wines you like most?

It’s All About Me!

Wine purchasing is definitely a time to be a little selfish.  Buy what you like! 

It’s as simple as that.

We all have different palettes, and like different things.  It’s always a gamble to try a new wine. That’s part of the fun, of course.

But the majority of the wine you buy when first stocking your wine cooler should be time-tested favorites.

These are the proven winners – the wines you enjoy the most. Buying multiple bottles means that you’ll always have a bottle or two ready to go at a moment’s notice.

You also need to designate plenty of space for new discoveries. These are seemingly endless, with new brands, vintages, and blends that often sound appealing.

It’s important to leave a rack or two of your wine fridge open because you never know when or where that next “must have” bottle is going to appear.

What Are The Best Wines For a Foodie?

wine barrel shaped storage rackIf you’re buying wine for a foodie, make sure it’s a quality wine. Foodies pay attention to detail and they care about quality – a lot.

It’s also important to get a wine that pairs well with your foodie’s preferred dish. Ask questions and then show up prepared and you’ll wow a foodie every time.

If you’re serving wine (rather than giving a bottle as a gift) make sure it’s at just the right temperature. You want the wine experience to be as good as it gets and the temperature of the wine you’re serving is the key.

Nothing can spoil a special dinner like a wine that tastes like perfume, berries, or vinegar. And that’s what can happen when a wine is stored outside of it’s recommended temperature zone.

What Wine Is Best For Your Wine Cooler?

Start filling your wine cooler with your personal favorites – as well as the favorites of those with whom you share your living space.

Selected wines of your wife/husband/partner deserve prominent shelf space in your wine fridge. And if you entertain a lot, it’s also important to have some standard “house” wines on hand -preferably both red and white.

It’s also a good idea to have a few of those “special” bottles in the cooler – for special occasions and friends who appreciate the finer things in life.

Maybe you’ve already started collecting, but you’ve got bottles all over the house. Perhaps you already have a mishmash of wines gathered from various sources – and you just needed the proper appliance to house them all.

But don’t expect all those previously gathered wines to be as stellar as you thought they’d be when you acquired them. Improper storage can spoil the wine. If it was exposed to excessive light or heat – your wine could be toast.

But before you buy more the same, it’s important to taste the wine first. It could be fine – even spectacular. Or it could taste like battery acid. One never knows for sure.

You can’t always get a trip to wine country into the schedule, so in-store sampling is a great way to discover delicious new wines. As your interest in wine grows, you’ll be surprised how many people you run into who share the passion.

Over the years, I’ve met a couple of sample servers who really knew their stuff – much more than that job would require of them. That’s one of the beautiful things about collecting and enjoying wine – you meet some terrific people wherever you go.

Keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground. Listen to what the experts recommend. Ask your server at a quality trattoria or steak house what the most popular wine is these days. I

t’s also handy when you’re out and about visiting friends to try their preferred choices.

Other’s lives lead them down different paths and often, somewhere on that path, a glass of wine or two has been enjoyed. Listen in and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Every road you take and many of life’s experiences provide you with an opportunity to discover new wines for yourself. Not only that but this way you’ll be sure to have the wines your friends love most in your wine cooler. So it will be ready to be enjoyed on their next visit.

Everyone has different likes and dislikes. So having some variety in your wine cooler makes sense. But as a base product, you should always have a few bottles of your absolute favorite on hand.

What Are The Best Wines To Share?

The best wines to share of all are the wines that you’ve discovered and loved the most. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

I enjoy red wine most. But on a recent trip to wine country, my wife returned with a bottle of Chardonney that was out of this world. It’s since opened up a whole new world of possibility for me. And now I enjoy more white wines than I ever did before.

When you discover a wine that’s absolutely delightful, try to buy it by the case. You’ll usually save 10 to 15% – sometimes even more. It’s a proven wine – so you know that you’re safe to buy in volume.

But you also want to explore. Try different wines from various regions of the world.

Try more local wines too. Chances are, you’ll discover some fabulous tastes. Sample various grapes as well.

If you’re looking for wine for those home-cooked meals, whether as everyday servings or for those special dinner parties, you’ll want to try wines that have been proven to pair well but the foods you like to serve.

For example, sparkling wine or Chardonnay is good with fish, while a light red like Pinot Noir may be preferred with other seafood, like lobster.

A natural accompaniment to green vegetable dishes is a dry white wine, like Pinot Grigio.

And those big red meat dishes are typically best enjoyed with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you’re having pizza, find a great Zinfandel and everyone will be very happy!

Sparkling wine is a great way to begin a dinner party. Vegetable dishes pair well with whites like Sauvignon Blanc.

Rose is an excellent match for a curry dish.

Pinot Noir goes excellent with fresh grilled salmon or baked lasagna.

Fill That Cooler!  Or Not…

Plan on filling your wine cooler with a variety of wines. That way, there’s always something new and interesting to explore.

Red wines should be served at a warmer temperature than white wines. So you don’t want to get the compartments of your dual zone wine cooler confused.

Wine should be served just right and that means not too warm and not too cold.

Always try to leave a rack or two of your wine cooler open for new discoveries.

Although the temptation is to fill up that space, you want to make sure that there’s always room for that special find, wherever you happen to make it.

What’s great about having your own professional wine storage is that you can pop the cork on any bottle – at any time.

Wine is meant to be enjoyed and opening a new bottle is an occasion in itself.

It brings people together when they can relax and actually have a conversation – instead of staring blindly into their electronic leashes.

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whytner fridge shelves

Whynter Wine Fridge Review – 28 Bottle Freestanding Wine Cooler

Are you in the market for your first ever wine chiller?

If you’re looking for something that’s relatively compact, you should take a look at the Whynter Wine Refrigerator.

Why?  It’s quiet, compact, and has a couple surprises inside.

Let’s explore a little further…

Size Does Matter

whynter wc282ts wine refrigeratorBy most standards it’s small.

Overall, this appliance measures just 18 1/8 inches wide by 20 1/2 inches deep by 29 1/2 inches high – including the door hinge. Despite the small size – it’s a good wine fridge nevertheless – with plenty of advantages.

And it could be the solution you seek.

Let’s face it, for most people just getting into the wine scene – a 28 bottle limit should be more than enough. On the other hand, if you’ve been accumulating more wine than you’ve been able to enjoy, you may want to consider a larger wine cooler like the Allavino wine cooler.

It’s surprising how quickly these things fill up.

Invariably, buyers think they have more than enough space, irrespective of the model they select. But sooner rather than later, those wine coolers get maxed out like a credit card during the Christmas shopping rush.


One thing buyers seem to like most about the Whynter wine fridge is that it features thermal electric cooling. This means that there are no harmful toxins like Freon inside the unit.
It doesn’t require the kind of venting space that most compressor and Freon units do either – so you can fit this unit almost anywhere you want.

And the Whynter, 28-Bottle Freestanding Wine Cooler tends to operate much quieter than compressor driven refrigerators – which is icing on the cake.

Forced air circulation on the inside of the cabinet helps maintain a relatively even temperature throughout the appliance. This helps protect wine which can be susceptible to dramatic temperature changes.

Temperature, Temperature, Temperature

whytner digital temperature readoutIt also ensures that whatever bottle you pull – whether from the top or bottom row – should already be within the range considered just right for consumption.

It’s effortless to manage the temperature inside with the built-in, soft-touch control panel LCD temperature display. Just set the thermostat at your preferred temperature – anywhere between 54 degrees and 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since there’s just one cooling zone, it’s great for those who stick to one type of wine – red OR white. That way, you can enjoy every bottle at the temperature that experts agree is best for that particular wine.

The manufacturer claims that this unit offers an “Adjustable thermostat for storing different wine varietals”.  But I don’t think they meant storing multiple types of wine at the same time.  After all – It’s one open box – so how could you accurately alter the temperature in different locations within that same box?

Like any fridge, there may be slight variations within each opening. But good wine needs to be stored and served within a specific temperature range for maximum enjoyment.

(Want to learn more about temperature?  Read all about the best temperature for wine.)

You can certainly find the proper range with the Whynter wine cooler. But I don’t recommend mixing your red, white and sparkling wines at any one time.

Maybe the answer is to get two of three of these. Or, perhaps you’d be better off with another model altogether – like this one.

Will It Fit?

whytner fridge shelvesWith intelligent design, Whynter has managed to pack a whole lot of usable storage space into a relatively small area. With six attractively scalloped stainless steel shelves, this slick cooler can accommodate up to 28 standard size bottles.

As with most (ahem…all) wine coolers, you’ll get slightly fewer bottles inside if they happen to be something other than standard – like most Pinot Noir or Riesling bottles, for example.

As soon as any larger-than-average bottle is added to most wine coolers, it reduces total bottle capacity – so that’s something you need to be aware of with any wine fridge.

Although 28 bottles is stated as the maximum this cooler can handle, that number might realistically be 24 or 25 if you routinely add oversized bottles to the mix. The shelves inside can be removed to accommodate those larger bottles, whenever it’s necessary.

For anyone bothered by the noise that a standard refrigerator makes, Whynter’s got you covered.

This model features state of the art thermoelectric technology, which minimizes the usual vibration and noise evident with most compressor-based models. It’s what helps make this model one of the quieter wine coolers on the market.

Build It In!

whynter wine coolerThe Whynter Wine Fridge 28-Bottle model is a freestanding unit that can be built right into your existing cabinets – without much of a problem. Just make sure you have adequate space, first.

If you’re building it into your kitchen, you should have plenty of space on the depth. That’s because standard lower cabinets are 24 inches deep. That’s what the fellow told me at Home Depot and when I returned home, I checked it myself, just to be sure.

And If your countertop sits at the proper height of 36 inches, your Whynter wine cooler should fit with plenty of room to spare. As for the width, if you’ve got 18 1/2 inches or more – you’re golden.

Be sure to locate your wine cooler near a power receptacle. Like most appliances in its class, this one features a short cord that will plug into any standard, 120-volt outlet.

If you don’t have an outlet in the right location, it would be a wise decision to pay an electrician to install one where you need it – instead of running a long extension cord that may not be of the required type. For safety purposes, it’s best to have a dedicated outlet for any major appliance and that includes your wine cooler.

And Now On To Advanced Instruction

If the width is excessive, (more than about 1/2 inch on each side) you can always create a built-in look easily and inexpensively. You don’t need to be a carpenter or cabinetmaker either to pull this off.

All you have to do is measure the total gap on each side and subtract half an inch – to get the fridge in and out – if necessary. This will give you the proper width for your filler pieces.

Next, you simply find two pieces of wood (preferably the same wood or laminate-covered material to match your kitchen cabinets) and you rip it to the exact size. Or, if you’re inept like me, you could have it done for you at a local wood shop. I have even had the guys at Home Depot make this kind of cut for me, you could try there too.

Next, pre-drill 3 to 4 holes on the edge of the cabinets that butt up to the wine cooler. This is where you will screw on your filler pieces from inside the cabinet. It’s easier than you think – particularly if you have a couple of clamps handy to hold the piece in the perfect position. Just take your time and the result will be well worth the effort.

You can do the same on the top, though that piece might be wider. If it’s too wide to accept screws through the width, you can always add a secondary piece of wood on the inside. In effect, what you’re doing is creating an “L-bracket” configuration.

The wider panel will be the finished front and the narrow piece of the bracket is what you use to secure it to the top from underneath. Another option is to use a couple of metal L-brackets on the inside edge of the filler panel.

Either way works just fine. Just be absolutely sure you’re using screws that are strong enough but won’t go through the countertop.

It’s a fairly easy job. Just remember the #1 rule of the inept homeowner: measure twice (or 5 times) and cut once. And when it doubt – consult someone who actually knows something about the subject. If you’re the least bit concerned about your ability to do this – the neighborhood handyman might be your go-to guy. But when in doubt – ask!

What Some People Didn’t Like About The Whynter Wine Cooler

One of the problems cited with this model is that it lacks a lock on the cabinet – making it easy for anyone – including children – to access alcohol. Another potential problem is that it’s a somewhat tall and narrow box design, making it more susceptible to tipping over.

In a house with toddlers, this probably isn’t the safest option, despite the other advantages of the Whynter wine chiller. You could add a locking mechanism yourself. But it’ always seems to look better when the lock is factory installed, instead of an after-market add-on.

The winter wine cooler features a soft touch digital control panel. But the only problem is that the digital controls are located inside the cabinet. So to make any adjustments, you have to open the door and every time the door is open, the interior temperature is going to change, just as it does with any refrigerator.

What’s the Final Verdict?

At the economical price offered by Whynter, this wine cooler makes a solid choice for someone who’s just beginning to explore the fascinating world of wine.

It’s more than capable of cooling 28 of your standard size bottles of red or white. All in a compact frame that will fit just about anywhere.

Check out the latest pricing on Amazon.com

sparkling wine in an ice bucket

What’s The Best Temperature to Store and Serve Wine?

What’s the best temperature for wine? Well, that all depends on one primary factor.

Specifically, what kind of wine are you talking about?

For general purposes, let’s divide wines into three categories – reds, whites, and sparkling wine.

Each is very distinct in multiple ways – including optimum temperatures in which they should be served.

Serving wine at a specific temperature affects its aroma and taste. It’s also important to store your wine in the best possible conditions and in the proper temperature zone too. These are important as it doesn’t take much to have a perfectly good bottle of wine spoil.

And that’s the last thing any wine fan wants.

How do you keep wine at the right temperature?

All you can do is follow basic guidelines and hope for the best. You don’t know where the wine you’re purchasing has been, or the degree to which it was cared for before making its way to your wine cooler. Spoiled wine can look fine. So you never really know until you pop the cork and allow the bouquet and taste to penetrate your senses.

Caring for your wine once it’s in your possession is totally under your control. And it’s your responsibility to protect your bounty as best you can. A climate controlled wine cellar or top-drawer wine cooler are the best ways to preserve and protect as your wine ages.

Some wines aren’t made for aging and storing them in ideal conditions won’t do you an ounce of good. Ready to drink wines are already at their peak – so drink up.

But preparation is the key – as it is with many things in life.

If you want to enjoy the ultimate wine experience – you need a good quality wine, cooled to the appropriate temperature. When you serve wine at the optimum temperature you have the best odds of creating the right results.

wine glasses and bottle on a tableWill you get to experience heaven on earth every time? Of course not. But following the basic criteria above gets you into the game. And only by playing the game, can you win.

It seems that the more we enjoy wine, the more we seek to have that magical experience. Even most moderate wine drinkers have had the experience of trying a new wine and having it blow them away.

That’s one of the things I enjoy most about the hobby.

With every visit to the store, I discover something new and worth trying. It’s always a bit of a gamble, but it’s this pursuit of perfection that keeps us wine enthusiasts in the hunt.

Collecting and drinking wine should be a fun experience. Find what you most like and enjoy it frequently. But be willing to expand your palate by trying different brands and vintages. When you discover a new when that satisfies the soul as much as the taste buds – that’s what makes it so enjoyable.

No matter what your personal preference, others have different tastes, as well as levels of appreciation. Before sharing that $200 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, you’ll want to be reasonably sure that your guests will appreciate such a treat.

For some, one bottle of wine tastes much like the next. So you wouldn’t want to waste your high-quality stash on those who can’t possibly appreciate it. Save it for the right time and you’ll get so much more value out of it. Besides, it is so much fun to share good wine with people you know appreciate it!

Now let’s look briefly at each of the three main categories of wine.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wine is traditionally reserved for those special occasions in life – like engagement parties, weddings, graduations, business promotions, New year’s toasts, and the like. Or, if you’re my wife, Sunday.

sparkling wine in an ice bucketAnd it should be served ice cold every time – irrespective of the time of year.

Sparkling wine is meant to be enjoyed right away and not saved for a later time. Once you pop them open, leave the open until the entire contents have been consumed.

To get your sparkling wine to just the right temperature, you can try placing your bottle of bubbly in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.

Alternatively, you can place it in the freezer for about an hour. But do not forget that it’s there – or you’ll have a massive and messy problem on your hands. I personally would never do this, but I know some people do and are fine with it.

You’re much safer using the refrigerator. But let’s face it – you don’t always have the time.

That’s another reason for having a multi-zone wine fridge for all your wines – including sparkling. If your specific wine cooler doesn’t have the perfect “sparkling” wine zone, add yours to the area set for white wine.

Here’s an excellent example of once such wine cooler.

This way you can store multiple bottles and always have your favorite wine on hand ready to go for your complete enjoyment, at the perfect temperature.

It will be already prepped by being chilled. All you need to do is take it out of the wine fridge and then place it in your kitchen refrigerator, which typically runs at a considerably colder temperature to keep all the food fresh.

Remember. You want to your sparkling wine to be ice cold – so be sure to allow adequate time (usually at least one hour) in a cold refrigerator.

Another option is to place the bottle on the table in a bucket of ice. This works well – especially if the bottle came straight from your wine cooler. Let it sit on ice for 30 – 45 minutes before serving.

Ice-cold temperatures help to ensure that the bubbles are small and fine, rather than large and foamy. As with all wines, it’s these seemingly small differences in detail that have a profound impact on the taste experience.

After pouring the first round, be sure to place the bottle back into the ice bucket and leave it open. Sparkling wine is meant to be consumed at a single sitting. You can’t cap it save it for a rainy day.

Sip and savor. Then, have some more. Cheers!

White Wines

White wine should be served cold. But ideally, they should never be served as cold as sparkling wine. If you are using the freezer method (I don’t recommend it, but we have to be practical and know that you may have last-minute cravings) – be sure not to leave it any longer than 20 minutes if you’re taking it straight from your wine fridge and 30 minutes if it’s been sitting on your counter.

chilled glass of white wineSet the timer on your smartphone so you don’t get distracted and forget all about that delicious wine you placed in the freezer.

But, ideally, you’ll either use an ice bucket or your refrigerator to chill the bottle.

What you should end up with is a delicious glass that’s noticeably cold – but not ice cold.

After pouring the initial round of servings, leave your white wine on the table and let the bottle sweat. Resist any temptation to jam the cork back in, or to use one of those wine stoppers sold in kitchen gadget stores.

Leaving it one the table and open is ideal since you’ll want to enjoy the full bottle anyway. As you enjoy wine served this way, you’ll come to enjoy the subtle nuances that make a big difference in the entire wine experience.

You’ll notice that your wine’s character and aroma varies slightly as the temperature rises. It’s something that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

If you’re a complete newbie when it comes to wine, you might not notice this – or the other subtle differences. But the more you indulge, enjoy, and savor each encounter, the more nuances you’ll pick up on and the greater your overall enjoyment as a wine drinker.

It is a fun game to try and notice things. Before you read the description on the bottle, try and distinguish flavors for yourself. Is that raspberry? Black cherry? A hint of oak? The more you train your palate, the better you will get at the game!

Red Wines

red wine and a bookRed wine should be served just below room temperature for maximum aroma and flavor. Try your next bottle of red at 65 degrees and notice how its robust flavor comes to life.

The tasting game, to me anyway, is much more obvious in red wines. I find it easier to pick out the subtleties of flavor with reds.

No matter what your preference – sparkling, white, or red – be sure to leave any wine on the table to slowly warm throughout your meal. That’s how you’ll get to fully experience the character of each and every bottle.

So, what is the ideal temperature to serve wines anyway?

The best temperature range for white wine is between 49°F and 59°F – with 53° being ideal.

The best temperature range for red wines is between 62°F and 68°F – with 65° being perfect.

You may want to try adjusting up or down a degree of two. But if you’re close to these optimum temperatures, you’re going to enjoy your wine that much more.

The reason for wanting to serve your wine at the best possible temperature is that you will increase the odds of an enhanced experience. Serving at the right temperature helps to release aromatics in the glass – arousing your sense of smell – and it also provides the ultimate taste sensation.

If your wine gets too cold, you may miss out on part of the enjoyment. And if it’s too warm – it tends to taste too fruity – like a bowl full of berries.

Some people say they prefer the red wine cold. I did too when I first began exploring wine. I later found out that this preference was based on the quality – or lack thereof – in the wine I was drinking.

Cheap wine is best served cold. But the finer wines need to be fully experienced and savored. And that means serving them at the appropriate temperatures.


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q see camera system

Home Security…Where to Start?

So you’ve decided to get your own security system set up for your house for ultimate protection, but not sure what to look for?

Well, don’t feel alone.

With so many systems out there and different companies to choose from, it can all be a little confusing.

Really, where should a guy start?

First, you should figure out what you need for protection. Do you need just one camera or several?

Do you want to be able to see footage from your smart device so you can stay protected no matter where you are?

Do you want a DVR or NVR and what the hell is the difference?

Confused by TB hard drives and PoE?

What does it all mean and what do you really need to purchase to ensure a kick ass security system?

These questions led me to many interesting systems and information on what to look for to give me exactly what I need in my quest for surveillance.


Defender Pro SentinelFirst let’s look at the difference between analog/DVR, and IP/NVR systems to decide which may be right for your security requirements.

First, the analog or DVR system (which stands for digital video recorder) is connected with coax cables and does not need an internet connection for recording. DVR’s have an internal hard drive for recording and storing the video footage and uses the analog cameras.

The price range of these systems are anywhere from $200 dollars all the way up to $1300 dollars depending on whether you just purchase the DVR itself or an entire system.  If you’re interested, you can read in great detail with our review of the Defender Pro Sentinel 8CH H.264 1 TB Smart Security DVR with Smart Phone Compatibility.  You can also check out the 16 Channel 2TB Q- See QTH916-16BU-2 on Amazon.

A network video recorder or NVR uses an IP camera, which is a digital video camera that sends and receives information through a computer network.

Where the DVR has to have every camera connected directly to the DVR, the IP cameras can be connected with PoE technology, or Power over Ethernet, which is a way to run power and video over the same line.

This technology uses cat5e or cat6 cables and is for wired Ethernet Local area networks (LANS). With a price range of $200 to $400 dollars, both the Night Owl’s NVR10-441 (read our Night Owl security camera review HERE) and the Zmodo SPoE Security System come with 4 Channel NVR with IP Cameras and 1TB hard drive installed.

night owl nvr10-441 systemBoth the DVR and NVR use storage on the TB hard drive, or terabyte, meaning the space is equal to 1024 GB, which is basically a ton of space, and more than enough storage for all your video surveillance needs.

Most surveillance systems come with a 1 TB hard drive, although the more expensive Q-See mentioned earlier, with the 16 CH, or 16 Cameras, comes with 2 TB.

Let’s talk about the channel and cameras for a minute. When the product says “Channel“, this is just the number of camera’s that can be connected and record onto that particular system. These range from the 4,8,16 or 32 Channel systems.

GW Security CameraAs mentioned before, depending on if the system is DVR and uses the analog camera, or the NVR using the IP cameras, you want to make sure it is either an indoor or outdoor or both an indoor and outdoor camera as to where you will place it.

A nice option is the GW Security 5MP 2592×1920 Pixel HD 1920 Outdoor Indoor Network PoE Power Over Ethernet 1080P Security Dome IP Camera with 2.8-12mm Varifocal Zoom Lens. Here’s our full review of the GW Security camera if you want to read a lot more on this option. This 5-megapixel super high-resolution dome camera can be used indoor or outdoor with the option to change the angle of view.

This is a waterproof and vandal proof camera with 30 Infrared LED with up to 80 ft distance. There is motion detection with email alerts and the power of Ethernet with remote mobile or PC viewing.

Now that we have some basic knowledge on what to look for, let’s take a closer look at some of the security system options that are out there and what might fit your needs.

A Couple NVR Choices

We’ll look at a couple NVR choices first. As stated before, two in a good basic do it yourself and don’t break the bank category are the Night Owl’s NVR10-441, which is a 4 channel full 1080p NVR with pre- installed 1 TB hard drive.

1080p is basically a high definition indoor and outdoor day or night vision IP camera.

This NVR is a network video recorder software program that records video in digital format and then stores the footage on the 1 TB hard drive in this device.
For extra security and peace of mind, you can use on a smart device such as a phone or tablet and view live feeds or re-play video or even take snapshots.

This feature is used with both apple and windows.

So whether you are away at work or on vacation, or even just out to dinner, nothing can make you feel more secure than to sneak a peek at our home and belongings on your phone and have that piece of mind that all is well.

It can be used without an internet connection, just recorded to your computer and viewed later. This system has good cameras and has excellent daytime viewing and decent night vision.

Another thing to note on the Night Owl is the different configuring abilities for each camera making personalization of security easier.

Another NVR system worth looking into is the Zmodo 4 channel NVR with 4 x 720p IP cameras and a 1 TB hard drive.

zmodo camera systemThis unit uses 4-720 IP cameras which at 720p megapixel at 1280×720 pixels give a wider and crisper image and video, than a standard analog can.

These cameras also cover more space with more detail with the 2.8mm wide angle lens. They are for use indoor or outdoor and are designed to withstand even harsh or severe weather.

Also great at night with infrared night vision for up to 65 feet. This NVR also includes 1 TB hard drive, although can support up to 2 TB hard drive giving up to 50 days of recording time from these 4 cameras.

swann security systemSticking with the same price range, but looking at the DVR, a security system like the Swann SWHDK-880508-US 8 Channel 720p DVR with 8x Bullet Cameras is a good option to look at.

This system has everything you need from the top of the line DVR with 1TB hard drive to the 8 clear resolution cameras.

Swann offers a free SwannView Plus app, to access the DVR system from your 3G/4G smartphone or tablet. Using SwannLink ‘peer to peer’ technology will allow you to easily connect your mobile device to the DVR in minutes so you avoid any network configurations.

Also in this price range is the Lorex LHV10041TC4 a 4-Channel 1 TB Cloud Connect with 4 – 720p HD Cameras.

Lorex lhv10041tc4Not only do the high definition 720p resolution, ensure an excellent recorded video, but thanks to the advanced picture correction technologies Lorex offers, you can also be confident that the images from the Lorex home security cameras stay clear and vibrantly strong in any conditions.

They also boast of an anti-glare feature to always give a clear image, even in difficult lighting conditions. Their SmartIR auto light helps with any wash-out effects.

The night vision, or Clear Night Imaging technology range is up to 130 ft. in moderate lighting and up to 90ft in total darkness, giving you confidence that even on the darkest nights, your surveillance is still working for you.

Read our Lorex security camera review HERE.

Mid-to-Higher-Price Point Security Systems

samsung p5122 security systemJumping in price to the $400 to $1000 range, you can look at the Samsung SDS-P5122, a 16 CH DVR that comes with 12 indoor/outdoor cameras that are easily customized to monitor and notify you of any motion or if the camera is being tampered with via your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Samsung security offers their free iPOLiS app so you can easily check your surveillance anytime and anywhere.

q see camera systemAnother high-end product as mentioned before, the Q-See QTH916-16BU-2 16CH 720p Analog HD DVR with 12 Bullet, 3 Dome, 1 Pan-Tilt and 2 TB HDD. Not only does this system come with different cameras it also comes with extra storage on the DVR with the pre-installed 2 TB.

The bullet and dome cameras provide up to 100ft of night vision and the entire system can stream live video to a PC, MAC, iPhone or Android, and also email alerts when any motion has been detected.

All these units come with everything you will need to get started including the cables, HMI cable, a mouse, and remote and start up guide.

These companies also have customer service available and many have videos you can view and learn everything you need to get the exact product for all your security needs.

They also have guides for the installation process, but if you feel like this is just way too much work and you don’t want to set the security up yourself, many of the companies also offer installation options.

Summing It All Up

Extra security is always a bonus in giving you the confidence your belongings are safe. Low-cost options that also allow for the convenience of instant viewing with a smart device make deciding to have your own surveillance a no brainer.

With a little reviewing of each of the products listed and the knowledge of what you should be looking for, you too can create and install the perfect security system for your house or business.

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allavino wine refrigerator controls

FlexCount – What Is It? A Complete Allavino Wine Cooler Review

OK, so your search for the right brand and size of wine cooler has landed you here. It’s now our job to help you narrow your selection, so you can make the right pick for you.

Here, we will discuss the Allavino Wine Cooler, another entrant in a crowded market. Rest assured, Allavino produces a quality product and it’s one that’s certainly worthy of your consideration (we’ll get to all the reasons why in a minute).

One of the things buyers like most about Allavino is that they wisely listened to the likes and dislikes of buyers in the market and designed a product that addresses something most competitors completely overlook.

Specifically, what I’m referring to is the attention to design detail that Allavino has applied to its wine coolers successfully. It’s uses something they call “flexcount”.

What is FlexCount and why should I care?

flexcountFlexcount is a design feature built into the shelves of the wine fridge that enables you to store more bottles in the same amount of space – more than virtually any other wine cooler of its size – on the market.

Pretty cool concept, huh?

We thought so too, since most wine cooler makers base their designs on standard size bottles only.

When you open up the door and start loading, you realize that its five shelves can hold up to nine bottles each. And the bottom shelf can fit up to 11 bottles of wine. This gives you a maximum storage of some 56-odd bottles on this particular model.

No big deal, you say?

Well, here’s the kicker… this maximum capacity of 56 bottles can be reached with many different bottle sizes and not just the “standard” bottle.


When you read online reviews of multiple wine coolers, one frequent complaint is that the shelves are just a bit too tight. They house standard wine bottles just fine. But add a slightly larger bottle of Reisling or Pinot Noir and you’ve got a problem.

If you jam it in there, you could damage the label, not to mention what you’re doing to the fridge itself. But with the Allavino – no such problem exists.

After you have kicked the tires on a variety of brands and models, you quickly become adept at spotting the obvious winners – as well as the losers. And by all accounts, Allavino is a winner.

That’s because this company makes an impressive wine refrigerator. To prove our point, let’s take a closer look at the 56 bottle dual zone wine fridge.

Dual Temp Wine Fridge

allavino dual zine wine coolerThe 56-bottle wine fridge offers dual zone temperature controls, which of course make it easy to store both your favorite reds and whites.

But Allavino has gone a step further by providing indicator lights marked “red”, “white”, and “sparkling” to let you know easily where to place the appropriate bottles for perfect temperature control.

Could this be the perfect solution for an inept homeowner?

It’s absolutely idiot-proof.(Did I just call myself an idiot???)

You can’t screw up with this wine cooler… and it doesn’t matter what kind of wines you choose to stock in an Allavino – it handles them all and does a splendid job of it too.

Design, Design, Design

It’s not difficult to tell that plenty of thought went into the design of this wine refrigerator. It features strong metal racks that can handle a full load without any sagging. At the same time, this racking is thin enough to make the most of your available storage space.

That’s masterful engineering at work and it’s a clear indication that somebody at Allavino sure thought things through before introducing their wine coolers to the marketplace.

All wire racking supplied with your Allavino cooler pull out smoothly on ball-bearing tracks for easy accessibility. This alone gives this model a huge advantage over many other wine coolers. The difference in detail between this brand and others out there is like night and day.

Why Choose An Allavino Wine Cooler?

Most wine chillers have shelves that are either fixed in position or only pull out part way. On the few models we found with shelves or racks that actually slide out, most operate with the same lack of ease as drawers on a vintage dresser that’s been stored in a rusty old garage for a couple of decades.

In other words, movement is difficult and anything but smooth. As far as shelving goes, Allavino has got it figured out.

But they didn’t stop there.

Allavino also combines its clever design concepts with state-of-the-art technology to provide an optimum storage solution. They claim that their equipment is 25% more energy efficient and that they use an “advanced cooling system” that not only reduces energy costs but noise and vibration too.

That makes for a pretty powerful package – one that is certainly shaking up the competition – and that’s a good thing for consumers all around.

allavino built in to a kitchenThere’s another thing I really like about the Allavino wine cooler and that is that it can be built right into your kitchen cabinetry or bar area. All you need is enough space for the wine fridge itself to fit in.  Not all wine coolers can be built in due to their exhaust requirements.

You don’t want to make it too tight because, at some point, you want to pull the unit out to sweep out the area or wash the wall behind. If the fit is too tight, it’s like trying to get out of those blue jeans you know you shouldn’t have put on, to begin with.

It’s always best to add a little bit more space than you think you’re going to need so that you can easily pull the machine in or out as required.

What makes this all possible is the venting out of the front of the unit. A lot of wine coolers went out the back, making them less than ideal for creating that stunning built-in look, where your wine fridge fits compatibly with your cabinets and any other appliances in the room.

Is It a Good Fit?

As for overall dimensions, the Allavino wine cooler measures 23 1/5 inches wide by 23 3/4 inches deep wide by 34 inches high.

So it’s perfect to tuck under any standard height (36 inches from floor to surface area) kitchen countertop.

allavino shelf qualityAnd it’s easy for anybody (even me!) to create that finished, built-in look with a simple couple of pieces of wood trim running parallel to the sides of the wine cooler and secured to the cabinets beside.

Another advantage is that it ships with two different styles of handles – a curved handle and a “towel bar” type handle – so you can choose whatever one you want that fits best with your decor.

Who else thinks of doing that?

If you guessed, ‘nobody” – you’re absolutely correct. Only Allavino does this and it’s an added bonus for another reason as well.  If you don’t believe me, check out our Ultimate Wine Refrigerator Buying Guide to see our notes on 9 other models.

Sometimes you want to change things up – without going to the trouble and expense of a major overhaul.

That usually involves a lot of work like prepping and painting, changing the lighting fixtures and flooring – even demolishing the cupboards and countertop and ordering a new custom kitchen from start to finish.

It’s an expensive proposition, to say the least. And you better be prepared to have workers making a lot of noise and generating nasty dust in your home for weeks on end.

But there’s a much easier way to change things – and that’s by making cosmetic changes. One fine example of this is the change the handles on your doors. We did this recently in the kitchen, master bathroom and on the bedroom wardrobes and it turned out great.

It’s a slight, yet noticeable change that refreshes and room quickly and easily at very little cost. Allavino helps you out by providing a second handle free of charge and that’s worth noting.

Allavino Wine Coolers Also Have Most of the Cool Things Offered by Other Brands.

The digital display is user-friendly and super easy to adjust. With two independently controlled zones for storing your red and white wine. Just choose your settings and check them periodically.

allavino wine refrigerator controlsThe upper zone maintains a temperature of between 41°F and 61°F and the lower zone maintains a temperature of between 45°F and 64°F. Tweak your settings as you see fit to give you the optimum, aroma, taste and overall wine experience.

Another advantage the Allavino offers is the system of forced air cooling employed on every wine cooler. This reduces cool down times, so your wine reaches its peak temperature faster than other competing units.

Quickly getting your fine wines in the zone of optimum temperatures is important also because it reduces any dramatic change in temperature – another danger when you’re storing wine.

Some reviewers have reported their coolers running louder than expected. This is a common complaint with wine coolers, kitchen refrigerators, air purifiers, and more – in general. Just check out the reviews in any of these and other categories and you’ll see what I mean.

But “loud” is a relative term. Loud, compared to what? What’s loud to one person seems normal or even quite to another.

Whenever you have electric motors and moving parts, there’s always going to be some noise. It’s really a matter what you consider noisy vs. quiet. It seems odd that a product that would be called “loud” in one review is called “quiet” in another. But that’s exactly how it is here.

The Choice Is Clear!

I’m certain it’s obvious at this point that we at IneptHomeowner are BIG FANS!  Check Amazon for pricing on Allavino’s FlexCount 56 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler.  If this is the size cooler you’re looking for, Allavino offers a host of those “little things” that make a big difference.

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vinotemp 155 bottle wine fridge

The Ultimate Wine Refrigerator Buying Guide

Are you interested in buying a wine cooler, but you’re not quite sure where to turn? Perfect – this page is for you. Chances are, you’ve already checked out the best wine fridge reviews available and you’re now a more informed consumer.

But it still could be a challenge trying to narrow it down to the best possible wine refrigerator to meet your individual needs. That’s the purpose of this article.
Here, we’re going to examine nine different products, from three different price ranges – from large and elaborate (and more expensive) to simpler and more budget-conscious.

The Best Wine Fridge Edgestar Makes

EdgeStar 110 bottle built in wine coolerTo get started, let’s take a look at the Edgestar wine fridge – or more specifically – the best wine fridge Edgestar makes. That would be the 110 bottle built-in dual zone wine cooler. It comes with the standard black cabinetry and stainless steel front.

Its dual zone capacity means it’s perfect for red and white wines. The lower zone has a temperature range from 54°F to 64°F, while the upper zone has a range of 41°F to 54°F. Each chamber has a 55 bottle capacity – giving you a maximum storage capability of 110 bottles. That’s an impressive collection – and this wine cooler makes a solid choice.

The 110 bottle model features a tinted glass door, interior LED lighting, digital temperature controls with an LED display, and wood shelves that slide out. It measures 23 7/16 inches wide by 26 3/4 deep by 54 7/8 inches high.

Important to note is that this EdgeStar model is made to fit wherever you want. This means that it can it can be a freestanding unit or built-in to your existing cabinetry. It’s nice to have this kind of flexibility – something that’s all too rare in the wine refrigerator market.

It offers nine slide out and removable stainless steel shelves that are trimmed in solid wood. The door is a double pane, tempered glass door that’s reversible, so you can have it hinged left or right whatever’s more convenient for you and your location. This means there’s even more flexibility. Although it’s a compressor based refrigeration unit, the rubber bushings installed help minimize and absorb any vibration that’s produced. It’s quiet and reliable.

The only downside I can see is that the racks are just a wee bit too tight for some of the specialty bottles of wine you may or may not collect. With some minor design improvements, like finding a way to add an extra quarter of an inch of space on the interior, it could be even better. That way any size of bottle would fit easily.

If you stick with standard size wine bottles – this wine cooler is top drawer. Even if you wander, it’s still a very good wine refrigerator that scores top marks in most categories.

Shop for the EdgeStar 110-Bottle HERE at Amazon.com

Vinotemp VN T VT – 155STW 155 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

vinotemp with drawer out
If you’ve got the budget, a vinotemp wine cooler deserves your careful consideration. That’s because Vinotemp wine fridges offer superior quality. They are made from the highest quality parts and materials – and they are fully constructed in the United States. Presumably, this means that they have a quality labor force that’s competent and committed to producing a quality product.

When you buy a Vinotemp wine cooler, you’re not just getting a large box with a compressor in the bottom. What you’re also getting is you’re getting 25+ years of experience in building wine storage solutions of all types – from racking to complete basement wine cellars and elaborate cooling systems.

The founder of Vinotemp, Francis Ravel, was an innovator and pioneer in wine fridges. Since first being introduced to the idea of placing a cooling unit inside a cabinet designed for wine storage – this company has flourished.

We’ve seen so much interest in the Vinotemp, that we wrote our own review of the vintotemp wine cooler.

If you’re looking for a larger storage capacity, Vinotemp is one strong option. Their 155-bottle dual zone wine cooler offers separate sections for whites and reds, an easy to use digital control panel, attractive and stylish design and one of the largest capacities you’ll find in a wine fridge designed for the home. This model has everything you need to grow a sizable collection of your favorite wines of any color.

Find it HERE on Amazon.com

Wine Enthusiast’s Classic 166 Bottle Single Zone Wine Refrigerator

wine enthusiast 166 bottle wine refrigeratorThis large freestanding unit made by Wine Enthusiast (love the name) can hold up to 166 standard-size wine bottles. It’s single zone temperature range hovers between 41°F and 64°F and you can set it to the precise temperature you want and still remain within the optimal zone.
If you vastly prefer one type of line over another – like reds instead of whites – the single zone cooler might be ideal for you.

But you’ll need a fair amount of space in order to accommodate this wine cooler – so be sure to measure the area you plan to use for your wine cooler. Wine Enthusiast’s Classic 166 Bottle Single Zone Wine Refrigerator measures 27 1/2 inches wide by 23 1/2 inches deep by 68 1/2 inches high. It’s a towering giant – something that any true wine fan would love to own.

At just 40 dB, it’s a relatively quiet unit. It’s much quieter than some wine refrigeration units. If noise levels are important, you should take a closer look at this model from Wine Enthusiast.

As with most wine coolers, it’s important to allow adequate space for cooling. On this model, the cooling coils are located at the back of the unit. This means you need to allow a couple of inches (minimum) of space at the back for proper ventilation. Don’t overlook this point with this – or most other models – or your wine fridge won’t function properly and you could burn the motor out before its time.

This 166 Bottle Wine Enthusiast model gives you more flexibility in terms of storage options. You can load up all 14 shelves and you still have the bottom and top shelves for the larger, oversize bottles. This is a key distinction if you tend to go for a larger variety of brands and types.

The interior humidity is controlled with a digital thermostat control. The UV tinted dual pane glass front helps deflect any light, serving as a protective barrier for the wine inside.

Shortcomings? Well, this wine cooler looks great and functions well. However, the door is not reversible. So you’ll want to make sure that the swing will work well in your assigned space. For some, it’s not an issue, but for others, it could be a deal breaker.

For me?  This is our choice, and it’s currently quietly keeping my wine collection at the perfect temperature.  If I had one thing to say, it would be to maybe take 1-2 shelves from the cooler top section for whites and move those to reds.  However, it’s easy to keep the more “daily drinkers” in the upper area and just let them warm before serving.  The top shelf has enough room to store a magnum (I have one there now), so this is a very versatile choice if you’re a little more serious about your wine!

Get it HERE at Amazon

Danby TWC 114 BLS DD Designer 38 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

danby wine coolerWith a smaller capacity than the previous models, the Danby 38 bottle wine cooler is probably more suited to those wine fans who are relatively new to the game.

It’s a freestanding unit only – so don’t try to build it into your cabinets unless you’ve allowed for proper ventilation. You also get two distinct temperature zones that can be regulated independently for both red and white wine. That’s an excellent option to have if you like to explore wines of all kinds.

Like so many coolers on the market these days, the Danby is supplied in a black cabinet with a stainless steel trimmed door. It’s an attractive, contemporary look that seems to fit practically any decor.

Unlike some competitors, the Danby wine cooler provides a tempered glass door that is UV resistant and completely reversible. So you can have it hinged on either side – whatever suits your fancy. The thick rubber seal provides maximum protection and helps retain a consistent temperature on the inside of the unit.

A white LED light on the interior of the cabinet highlights your wine collection without providing the added heat of an incandescent bulb. Danby makes it easy to display your collection in fine style.

With wood shelves that pull out, it’s a piece of cake to load this wine cooler.But to fit in 38 bottles and fill it to capacity, you’ll need to alternate the stacking of those bottles, from front to back.

The Danby TWC 114 BLS DD wine fridge certainly feels stable and capable. On the downside, the shelves are wee bit tight. But it will certainly do the job and keep your wines at the right temperatures – and that’s really what it’s all about.

Find a great price on the Danby HERE

Newair AWB 360 DB Bottle Beverage Center

newair wine coolerThe Newair wine fridge features a front-venting compressor, so it’s perfect for those built-in applications. Whether you’re adding your wine cooler to your bar or kitchen cabinetry – it’s going to look like it cost three times as much as it actually cost you – when all is said and done.

This model is not just a wine cooler – but a beverage cooler. So it holds 18 bottles of wine +60 cans of whatever it is you want – making it a more versatile and family-friendly option. Newair AWB 360 also features digital temperature controls and lockable doors. Lockable cabinets make sense whenever there are young children around.

Although it’s made to be a built-in unit, you can also use this as a freestanding model. That’s because it’s finished on all sides, so won’t look out of place anywhere – unlike the under the counter dishwashers that look like they’re missing an exterior housing.

The adjustable temperature range of the Newair goes from 36°F all the way to 72°F. This wider range in temperature is significantly broader than most wine fridges and due to the fact that it’s a multipurpose refrigeration unit, not solely for wine.

While it’s not totally silent (no refrigeration device or electrical appliance is) it’s not irritatingly noisy either. You can generally hear a faint hum – as you can for most kitchen refrigerators. When measured it comes in at 39 dB. That’s not very noisy at all.

The Newair beverage center measures 23 1/2 inches wide by 24 inches deep by 34.2 inches high. This means that it’s perfect for tucking under any standard height kitchen countertop.

The interior racks are both adjustable and removable. As you pull them out, there’s a definite “stop” towards the end, similar to the racks in your oven. To fully extract the shelf simply takes a little bit of wiggling. Do that and they come out quite easily.

This dual zone wine and alternative beverage cooler make an excellent choice as a combination unit. You can conveniently store up to 18 bottles of wine and 60 cans of pop, juice, or whatever –  in individually locked compartments.

The Newair offers excellent value. It’s style and design is similar to GE’s Monogram Beverage Center – at about half the price. Its sleek design means it will fit in with your other appliances and look terrific anywhere. So you’re not just getting a practical storage receptacle – it says something about you and your style.

When your new beverage center arrives, simply unpack it, place it in position and level it. Then wait 24 hours before powering it up. Do this and you’ll have a positive experience every time. It won’t take more than about 30 to 40 minutes for this refrigeration unit to reach its ideal temperature.

Get this unique offering HERE at Amazon

Allavino Flexcount  SWR 56–2 SS RN – 56 Bottle Dual Zone One Refrigerator

allavino wine coolerIt’s clear that this product was originally engineered to address a common problem with wine coolers. That problem is that most are made to accommodate standard size wine bottles only. Any that are slightly larger are problematic in most cases. But the Allavino can easily take care of almost any size of wine bottle you put there.

The intention of the “Flexcount” design concept is to provide storage for more bottle types than the average wine cooler. It features five shelves that can hold as many as nine bottles, plus a bottom shelf that can hold another 11 bottles. This gives you an overall capacity of 56 bottles in total.

Impressive is the steady racking Allavino provides. It’s strong enough to prevent any sagging, even when the shelves are loaded to the hilt. This shelving is also designed to be minimally intrusive by taking up as little of the available storage space as possible. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the Allavino wine cooler.

Shop for the Allavino wine cooler HERE.

Avanti WC 3406 34 Bottle Wine Chiller – Stainless Trim Glass Door

avanti wine coolerThe Avanti wine chiller is another favorite. It measures 19 1/2 inches wide by 17 1/4 inches deep by 33 1/2 inches high and is designed to hold up to 34 wine bottles.

It features a black exterior glass door front, trimmed in stainless steel. And you get full range temperature control from this freestanding design.

The Avanti is great for wine lovers who have gained an appreciation for serving wine the way it was intended – at just the right temperature.

Its easy-to-read electronic display puts temperature control at the touch of your fingers. Buyers love the sleek look and practical function the Avanti wine cooler provides. How nice would it look in your kitchen?

Find it on Amazon.com

Whynter Wine Refrigerator

whynter 28 bottle wine refrigeratorHere’s a compact wine cooler they can fit in any home – no matter what size. Actual product dimensions are 18.1 inches wide by 20.5 inches deep by 29 inches high.

It’s an elegant design that combines beauty, functionality, and ease-of-use. With vibration free cooling (thermoelectric) and adjustable thermostat and fan for circulation this wine cooler does a surprisingly good job at an economical price.

The Whynter wine cooler features six stainless steel shelves in its space-saving design, with a recessed handle. Can any of these interior shelves be removed? Yes, they can.

It is recommended that you swing the door open at least 120° for full access. Doing so makes it much easier to pull the shelf out.

Shop for the Whynter wine fridge HERE.

Wine Enthusiast Silent 32 Bottle Touchscreen Wine Refrigerator

wine enthusiast 32 bottle wine fridgeThis wine fridge features a 32 bottle capacity that’s split down the middle. This means you get a 16 bottle capacity for each of your reds and whites. The upper chamber temperature ranges from 54° F2 to 66° F, while the bottom ranges from 46°F to 66°F.

Like mileage ratings for cars, these numbers (as well as the numbers provided by all manufacturers) are the results of laboratory testing. So they may or may not be realistic numbers for you. That’s just the way it is in any market. You commit to your due diligence and you choose a wine cooler that seems to meet your needs. You also want to know that other people who’ve already bought, have been happy with their experience. But ultimately, you pay your money and you take your chances.

The more you have to invest – the greater your chances of happiness. But you don’t have to spend thousands to find a good, reliable wine cooler.

For an economical price, you get seven chrome pullout shelves in this compact unit. It does the job and cools as advertised. It’s an attractive looking unit too. Set up is easy and runs quietly. As with a lot of coolers on the market, the major downside is that the shelving is configured for standard wine bottles. Therefore larger bottles like Rieslings or Pinot Noirs are a tighter fit.

Find it at Amazon.com


There you have it – nine wine refrigerators to choose from. Chances are, at least one of these will be a perfect match for you.

Check them out and then buy with confidence.

(If you still haven’t found the perfect match, we did an in-depth review of another EdgeStar wine cooler.)

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How Do I Pick A Wine Fridge?

So you’re in the market for a wine cooler and you’ve started looking around. Maybe you’ve just started looking. Or, perhaps you’ve been at it for a while. Now let me ask you a question. Are you confused yet? I’ve been there and done that and I’ve got the battle scars to prove it. And let me tell you, if you’re not confused yet, get ready because if you shop around online, or go from this store to the next – confusion is inevitable.
It’s part of the process, because the more you learn about wine coolers, the broader the field becomes. You see, the more you investigate, the more choices you see available. And that can get pretty confusing in a heartbeat. But the real problem is that when you’re confused, you cannot move forward.

So let’s try to simplify things and help you in your quest to find the best possible wine fridge for you.

close up of the vinotemp 155 bottle coolerWine coolers are tremendously useful appliances for the right kind of people. I say that because if you only drink wine at the Holidays, you probably don’t need a wine cooler of your own. But if you’re into wine the way we are, you’ll love having a bottle of your favorite ready to be served at a moment’s notice. It won’t just be another bottle of wine, though. It will be one that has been cared for, properly stored and served at the perfect temperature, relative to its type.
If you’ve enjoyed a glass of wine from a fine dining establishment, yet haven’t been able to duplicate that experience at home, your lack of a wine cooler may be the underlying reason. You could have the exact same brand from the same vintage and yet, get a completely different taste. It could be that your home wine wasn’t stored properly, or that wasn’t served at the correct temperature.
Wine is finicky and somewhat mysterious. For maximum enjoyment, we need to provide the best possible conditions. And a quality wine cooler can go a long way to providing an optimal environment and increase your odds of a delightful experience with every new cork popped.
But before you settle on any one type of wine cooler, you’ll find it helpful to narrow your search. There are plenty of brands and models out there, so the more you can refine your search, the closer you are to pinpointing the perfect wine refrigerator for you.

The best way to do that is by carefully considering some basic questions such as the following:

Would a countertop, freestanding unit, or built-in wine cooler best meet your needs now and in the future? Think beyond this month and consider coolers that will meet your needs for the next couple of years as your wine collection grows.
Do you want a single temperature fridge, or would a dual zone dual temperature wine cooler be better? If you only drink red wine in your home, you may not need a dual zone cooler. EdgeStarCWF40DZ Wine FridgeThen again, it’s important to consider other people’s preferences – especially your spouse, or partner. If you frequently entertain, you know that personal tastes and preferences vary widely – so you’ll want to be prepared.
Do you have a specific location in mind for your ideal wine cooler? Be sure to measure the available space – width, depth, and height. Actually, check it twice – just to be sure. You need to know what space you have available and whether that space is open or closed in on either side. You also need to allow enough clearance to slide your wine fridge in or out at any time.

Do you need to be an expert on wine in order to get the most out of a wine fridge?

In a word – no. That’s the beauty of wine coolers. Right out of the box, they’re ready to go. And the temperature ranges provided, ensure that you’re well within accepted levels for safe storage and an optimal taste experience. Essentially, these things are idiot-proof – perfect for an inept homeowner like me!
Find a suitable place, plug them in and let the cooler reach its optimal temperature. You have some control over this, so you can fine tune it until your heart’s content. But it’s pretty much impossible to screw things up and ruin your wine. Don’t neglect it, though. Many wine coolers need to be switched back on after a power outage.

And it’s a good idea to monitor the temperature regularly and assess how each bottle turns out as you enjoy it. That’s part of the fun of collecting wine. The mystery is that you’re never quite sure how that wine is going to turn out.
Wine coolers are available in many different sizes. You can find tiny, bar top units to cool a couple of bottles at a time. You can also get a massive stand-up wine fridge, like those found in restaurants and bars. And of course – there’s everything in between.
It all starts with you. Specifically, what do you need now and what would you want, ideally? How much space do you have available for your wine cooler? There’s also the question of budget.
With unlimited funds, I would choose a custom-made wine cellar. It offers the largest capacity, with plenty of room to grow. When wine collecting becomes a passion, having your own cellar is the pinnacle.
Most of us live in the real world where we don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to dump into a wine cellar. You don’t have to spend that much. But it’s going to be several thousand dollars minimum, to build even a relatively small cellar.

At the opposite end of the scale is the most basic wine cooler you could get.

The countertop unit is best for somebody that just wants to chill a couple of bottles of wine. It’s not the best for someone that’s really enthusiastic about the whole wine experience and can see themselves building a collection of fine wines over the years. If that’s the case, you’ll want either a wine cellar or a freestanding cooler that’s large enough to meet your needs.

cool wine rackHowever, a small countertop unit can prove helpful at times, like when your regular wine fridge is stacked with whites, but your visiting friend prefers red – or vice versa. So don’t write off those compact and inexpensive coolers just yet, even though you’re primarily searching for something more substantial.

When it comes to wine fridges and cellars, the sky’s the limit. You can go relatively small and compact with an under the counter unit, or you can go huge and elaborate. It really depends on your specific needs, desires, and budget.
Wine fridges represent the best option for the great majority of wine drinkers. That’s because you can get a wine fridge in virtually any size – to meet any requirement. You can find wine fridges that are inexpensive gift items, or as expensive pieces of furniture that are built into an existing area of your home.

What you want primarily is a wine cooler that’s going to fit your available space and properly house your collection of wines. If it’s a small collection of say, 24 to 60 bottles, you may find a freestanding unit is the best for you. Or, you may want a wine cooler that’s built-in to your kitchen or bar area.
It really boils down to this – what wine fridge option is the best one for you? Only you can answer this question. But once you know where you’re going to put it, how big of a unit you need, and what your available budget is, you have a foundation. And that’s the place to begin your search.
Have an area of your home in mind and an approximation on the number of bottles you would like to be able to accommodate. If you’d prefer a wine cooler that’s built-in to your cabinets, you need to look for something that is vented on the front. This enables the machine to cool down efficiently, without overheating.

Most freestanding units require space on all sides and especially the back because that’s how the motor is vented. You can’t use these as built-ins without the proper allowance for air circulation.

If you’re looking for a relatively small wine cooler you may want to consider a thermoelectric cooling system. These models don’t use the traditional compressor or refrigerant that is standard fridge uses. Instead, these wine coolers function by using a cooling mode that consists of a ceramic tile that has electric current pass through it.

As its current travels through, the outside of the tile heats up and the other side facing the cooler cools down. There’s also a small fan inside to circulate and evenly distribute the air to help maintain a constant range in temperatures.
These thermoelectric wine coolers tend to run quieter than the traditional compressor type and for some people – that’s their top priority. Keep in mind, however, there’s no such thing as a silent wine fridge. Just as there is no such thing as a silent kitchen refrigerator.

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