I find that wine storage is an evolution. It starts out with a couple of bottles of wine purchased at the store to drink that night. Then you might “plan ahead” and buy a bottle or two for next weekend. After that, it’s a small wine rack that you (foolishly) put on your kitchen counter – ‘cause it looks good. And then you wisely store a few more bottles in the back of a closet or a corner in your basement. Finally you start thinking, “Do I need something more? Should I get one of those wine fridges?” And then for some, the thought process goes to “Should I build a wine cellar?” Some people never go beyond a few bottles purchased from the store while others go all the way to the built-in wine cellar. However many wine lovers, and I would guess most, live somewhere in between.
I’ve personally gone through this entire progression. I actually started with some very large boxes of White Zinfandel that would keep in my regular fridge for weeks. Then I would buy a bottle for the night’s dinner and after that it was one of those cool metal wine racks. And then I went with a small wine fridge, and then a medium one, and then a large one – and then another large one. Finally – yep you guessed it – I had a cellar built in my home. But back to the folks in the middle. I know that most people aren’t able or willing to fork over major bucks to build a wine cellar that will house hundreds or even thousands of bottles of wine. But you still may want something that goes beyond the little metal rack in your kitchen. However you store your wines, the things they need most are constant temperatures (temperature swings = bad), storage in a dark place away from direct sunlight, storage free from vibration, and storage on their sides.
Enter the NewAir Wine Fridge
Disclaimer: I was sent the NewAir 15” Built-In 29 Bottle Dual Zone Compressor Wine Fridge to try out from the manufacturer. This post also contains affiliate links for the wine fridge.
Setting it Up
The NewAir wine fridge was delivered fairly quickly without any issues and unpacking it was a breeze. There isn’t much assembly save for screwing on the handle. Just note that you need to look behind the rubber door seal to find the holes. Also, the unit allows for the hinges to be placed on either the left or right side depending on how you want the unit to open. My wine fridge came with the door hinged on the right side, which was perfect for my setup.
Another neat feature of the wine fridge is that it can be used both as a free-standing unit or as a built-in incorporated between the base cabinets of your kitchen. Well, my kitchen is already finished so I used it as a stand-alone unit. And as we have the aforementioned built-in wine cellar downstairs in our home, this was a great addition to our upstairs family room. The only issue is that the kids think they should be able to store their own drinks in there as well. We’re still negotiating that part. But I should note that you have the ability to lock the unit.
After you get the door oriented the way you want and the handle screwed in, you just need a tiny bit of patience. As the unit has been shipped in a truck where it moved around, it is advisable to place it in the desired spot and let it sit for twenty-four hours to prevent any malfunction of the cooling unit. After that short time period, it’s time to plug it in.
Stocking and Using It
At 15” wide, the wine fridge is compact (total dimensions are 22.60” deep (24.25” w/handle) x 14.80” wide x 33.75” high) and has a small footprint which makes it nice for smaller spaces or a family room in our case. It is also a good choice for those that want the ability to maybe buy a case or two of wine here and there but who don’t plan on having a really large wine collection. And yea, its sleek as hell and great to look at. And I’m obsessed with the interior blue light which just really sets the mood. The light, which allows two different levels of brightness, is a cool LED light so you don’t have to worry about harming the wine. The fridge is also fairly quiet which means no loud hum to distract us from our movie watching or game playing in our family room.
The unit is a dual zone wine fridge which means you can store your whites and reds at the optimal temperatures. The upper section is for white and sparkling wines with a temperature range of 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower (and larger) red wine section has a temperature range of 50-66 degrees. Inside the NewAir unit are five wooden sliding shelves that allow you to easily see what is stored in the fridge.
There is a stated capacity of 29 bottles for this unit. Like any wine fridge that I’ve owned previously, the actual capacity depends on the types of bottles that you store in the unit. These bottle counts are usually based on regular Bordeaux-style bottles. So if you are storing Pinot Noir, Rhone, or sparkling wines as well as some of the bigger, thicker glass Bordeaux style bottles (looking at you mammoth Mouton Rothschild) this will affect the number of bottles you will be able to store. On the flip side, if you store long, skinny Riesling bottles or half-size dessert wines, this may allow you to fit in a little more. There is a difference in the clearance between the shelves which allows you to fit in the various size bottles.
The NewAir wine fridge is a stylish way to store and show off your wine. And the small footprint means it is also practical. In addition to this one, NewAir has an entire line of different fridges that can accommodate wine, beer, etc. as well as different bottle and can counts. The specific unit I reviewed is the NewAir 15” Built-In 29 Bottle Dual Zone Compressor Wine Fridge. Model Number: AWR-290DB
And if you’re interested in having one of your very own, you can use my affiliate link below for a $120 discount. Use code KATRINA120OFF
Cheers and happy sipping!