Which wine cabinet?

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TomVexille

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So it has recently come to my attention that I (and my better half) have a serious need for a wine cabinet.

So the question for the wine aficionados amongst us, which one do we get? And where is the best place to buy one?

There are some serious limitations in play here. First is actual size. There isn't much space to put a cabinet in, so small is good (and there's only a few bottles that need putting away at this stage).

Second is cost. Neither of us make big $'s so how cheap can we go without sacrificing quality?

Many thanks in advance :)

EDIT: End goal is cellaring reds.
 
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docjames

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Vintec small, on sale at DJs 5 years ago for $440.

Had low expectations but it's going strong and relatively cheap to run.

Would recommend.
 

RooFlyer

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Many wine fridges specify that they can't (or shouldn't) be 'built in'.

I bought a Mistral 'Wine Cellar' 12 bottle stand alone fridge, model MBCW35C, I think for about $100 (maybe less) from Big W about a year ago.

It stands alone, 63cm high, 50cm deep and 25cm wide, with glass opening front. Chills to 10 degrees (which isn't quite cold enough for me, so I tend to keep wines in it, then move to fridge when opening is imminent).

There was a thread about this at the time - I recall Markis10 tipped me off on this one.
 

Daver6

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A few points:
* Whatever size you buy now, will be too small in future. I can guarantee that.
* Any fridge is a significant step up from no fridge.
* Whatever the rated capacity is for number of bottles, you won't get that many in. Realistically 80% of stated capacity is more likely with all the different shaped bottles.
* Don't bother with the dual zone ones. You are paying a premium. It really isn't that much effort to chill that white wine down a little further in your fridge before you drink it. In fact bigger Chardonnays are more suited to be consumed at cellar temp (12 degrees or so).

I should add, this is on the assumption you are after a fridge for cellaring purposes, not a fridge to keep your wines cold.
 

RooFlyer

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<snip>

I should add, this is on the assumption you are after a fridge for cellaring purposes, not a fridge to keep your wines cold.

Good point. The fridge I noted above is for short term use, keeping wines cold, not 'cellaring'.
 

TomVexille

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Vintec small, on sale at DJs 5 years ago for $440.

Had low expectations but it's going strong and relatively cheap to run.

Would recommend.

Thanks. Will look into it.

Many wine fridges specify that they can't (or shouldn't) be 'built in'.

I bought a Mistral 'Wine Cellar' 12 bottle stand alone fridge, model MBCW35C, I think for about $100 (maybe less) from Big W about a year ago.

It stands alone, 63cm high, 50cm deep and 25cm wide, with glass opening front. Chills to 10 degrees (which isn't quite cold enough for me, so I tend to keep wines in it, then move to fridge when opening is imminent).

There was a thread about this at the time - I recall Markis10 tipped me off on this one.

Sounds like it could fit the bill as an interim solution.

A few points:
* Whatever size you buy now, will be too small in future. I can guarantee that.
* Any fridge is a significant step up from no fridge.
* Whatever the rated capacity is for number of bottles, you won't get that many in. Realistically 80% of stated capacity is more likely with all the different shaped bottles.
* Don't bother with the dual zone ones. You are paying a premium. It really isn't that much effort to chill that white wine down a little further in your fridge before you drink it. In fact bigger Chardonnays are more suited to be consumed at cellar temp (12 degrees or so).

I should add, this is on the assumption you are after a fridge for cellaring purposes, not a fridge to keep your wines cold.

You are absolutely correct, cellaring is the goal.

All really good information. Thanks.
 

AdMEL

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It's a shame you missed the Penfolds Vintec offer that finished 31 July. About $250 (~ half price) for a 30 bottle Vintec (plus cost of 6 bottles of Bin range) - would've been perfect for what you want.
 

TomVexille

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It's a shame you missed the Penfolds Vintec offer that finished 31 July. About $250 (~ half price) for a 30 bottle Vintec (plus cost of 6 bottles of Bin range) - would've been perfect for what you want.

There was serious consideration about that at the time. Unfortunately we just weren't able to pull the trigger.
 

Virgin Bart

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There was serious consideration about that at the time. Unfortunately we just weren't able to pull the trigger.
I thought about this long and hard but decided against that one because the unit actually doesn't have a heater. I live in Ballarat and the daytime temperature is often below 10 in my house, therefore the main feature which is to keep temperatures stable wouldn't be satisfied.
 

AdMEL

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I thought about this long and hard but decided against that one because the unit actually doesn't have a heater. I live in Ballarat and the daytime temperature is often below 10 in my house, therefore the main feature which is to keep temperatures stable wouldn't be satisfied.

What about heating in the house? I take it you're not around when it's below 10, as that's bloody cold!

As far as I'm aware, none of the cheaper units have a heater. A mate bought a larger fridge from a wholesaler in or near Clayton - it doesn't heat, but it does hold over 100 bottles and cost ~ $800. Unfortunately after 18 months, it's just started playing up. Whilst he lives in eastern suburbs of Melbourne, he doesn't feel the cold, so it often gets below 10 in winter.
 

JohnM

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I've got two Euroart nominally 168 bottle wine cabinets. They are dual zone, which I could do without but they were much less costly than some of the pricey European brands (despite the name, they were made in China) so I took the punt, figuring I could have two for the price of less than one European one. I've had them for about 8 years or so trouble-free. Not sure if the brand is still available.

As noted by Daver6, the actual capacity is less than stated (which is based on Bordeaux-shape bottles; burgundy-shape bottles throw it out). So, somewhere around 260-280 bottles suits me for a steady rotation, plus the usual day-to-day stock that I just keep in a cupboard.
 

blackcat20

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A few points:
* Whatever size you buy now, will be too small in future. I can guarantee that.
* Any fridge is a significant step up from no fridge.
* Whatever the rated capacity is for number of bottles, you won't get that many in. Realistically 80% of stated capacity is more likely with all the different shaped bottles.
* Don't bother with the dual zone ones. You are paying a premium. It really isn't that much effort to chill that white wine down a little further in your fridge before you drink it. In fact bigger Chardonnays are more suited to be consumed at cellar temp (12 degrees or so).

I should add, this is on the assumption you are after a fridge for cellaring purposes, not a fridge to keep your wines cold.

Dont really drink whites anyway, it's only for reds. Champagne on the other hand....

There was serious consideration about that at the time. Unfortunately we just weren't able to pull the trigger.

Plus it's too large for the space. I'm talking two bedroom house where even the dining room is too small for an actual table.
 

Rox

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Do you own the house?
I have seen a below floor cellar using the stabilising insulation of the earth .
You rolled back the rug and lifted up the lid that was built into the floorboards
 

blackcat20

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Do you own the house?
I have seen a below floor cellar using the stabilising insulation of the earth .
You rolled back the rug and lifted up the lid that was built into the floorboards

Sort of. But it's on stumps.
 

Dr Ralph

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Vintec is the only brand I would consider.
 

Captain Halliday

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I also have a Misteral 32 bottle cabinet which was <$300 a decade ago. It's still going strong and it has plenty of work to do in Darwin! Unlike RooFlyer mine is for storage not chilling. Friends have various models of Vintec and I never hear complaints.

Two tips from me:
1. Don't be fooled by dual zones or variable temperature settings. I set mine on 14 degrees when I bought it and have never changed it in 10 years.
2. Apply the 20% rule. That is, don't spend more than 20% of the value of the wine you plan to store. If you're keeping 30 bottles worth $50 each ($1,500), then a cabinet around $300 should do the job.

Good luck and be sure to let us know what you buy.
 
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I've been using Eurocave cabinets for a number of years and can highly recommend. Probably equivalent to the the Transtherm range of Vintec (if that indeed still exists), so certainly at the expensive end of the market, but great peace of mind for long-term cellaring.

I purchased from Macphees in South Melbourne and had it delivered to Brisbane.
 

AdMEL

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I've been using Eurocave cabinets for a number of years and can highly recommend. Probably equivalent to the the Transtherm range of Vintec (if that indeed still exists), so certainly at the expensive end of the market, but great peace of mind for long-term cellaring.

I purchased from Macphees in South Melbourne and had it delivered to Brisbane.

As far as I'm aware, Macphees still exist. Didn't know they sold wine fridges though!
 
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