Like most wine lovers, we tend to accumulate wine. We have bottles of wine everywhere! Living in California, though, means that we need to pamper our wine. As a result, we have a number of wine fridges scattered about. So when we had the opportunity to check out a Newair Premiere Line Fridge, we got very excited!
Jazmin from Newair reached out to us regarding evaluating their 29 bottle wine cooler. That sounded great to us, because we have had five wine fridges over time and felt that we had the experience to really give it a good look. Don’t judge, but we have two 7′ tall wine fridges right now and still don’t have enough space! We love visiting wineries and that means that we come home with a lot of wine. We don’t seem to drink wine nearly as quickly as we bring it home, so bottles accumulate. A good problem, but a problem nonetheless. Wine coolers are the only way to preserve our wines through the hot summers of Northern California, and we never seem to have enough capacity. Checking out this new cooler was going to be fun.
The wine fridge (technically called their “AWR-290DB” 29 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler if you want to check out the specs) arrived a few days after we spoke with Jazmin. Shipping a device like this is challenging due to its weight and delicate components. It was very well packaged, with plenty of Styrofoam and crush space to protect it from shipping damage.
Because of the careful shipping carton design, the unit was in perfect condition when it was unpacked! The only assembly required was attaching the front door handle. This was simple to accomplish: just use the two provided screws and the fridge was ready to use. The unit has leveling feet, but no adjustment was required in our situation.
The wine fridge features two temperature zones, one for reds and one for whites. Once I set the temperatures, the desired temperatures were reached within about 15 minutes. I was struck by how quiet the refrigerator was while it was cooling so quickly. We have owned several other similarly-sized wine fridges and the noise associated with most of them was a real issue. This cooler was placed immediately beside the primary TV-watching couch and its silence will really be appreciated. Another plus: the heat from the cooling unit is vented out the front, so it can be built in under a counter or tucked into a corner like we did. The blue-purple mood lights inside the cooler make the bottles made a very elegant statement, too.
The slide-out shelves are arranged to accommodate differing bottle styles and sizes. One shortcoming of many wine refrigerators is their inability to handle Champagne, Pinot Noir, or other, even more exotic bottle shapes. With this unit, though, there is a shelf pretty much for every size and shape. This feature is frequently overlooked before purchase, but could become a huge frustration for the live of the cooler. The Newair designers have it handled!
With the wine cooler at temperature, it was time to load in some wine. The depth of the fridge allows bottles to be doubled up, with the back row of bottles inserted bottom first and the front row of bottles inserted neck first. We started loading the white wine zone of the cooler with some exotically shaped bottles from Acquiesce Winery. The bottles are beautiful and the wine delicious, but storing these wines in many wine coolers is a challenge. We were thrilled to discover that we could easily put 5 bottles on a singe rack! The second shelf took some of our Chardonnay wine from Balletto Vineyards. Again, the generous shelf design handled the large Chardonnay bottles well.
Moving on to the red wine zone of the cooler, we started with some Pinot Noir. We love Pinot Noir, and have a lot of it, but the large, bulbous bottle design has thwarted some of the other coolers we’ve owned. In this case, we were able to shelve not one, but two racks of Pinot! The bottom shelf is shorter, because the compressor takes up some space in back, but the shelf has more vertical space. That let us put in two levels of some lovely Petite Sirah from Eagle Ridge without any stress.
After living with this wine fridge for a few weeks, I am very pleased. Best features: nearly silent, attractive styling (the deep blue interior lighting is fun) and flexible wine storage options. I absolutely love this wine cooler. You can check it out yourself here. If you want one for yourself, use the discount code “WINE150OFF” to save $150. Note that WTB receives a small fee if you use this link to purchase, so consider buying these coolers for all of your friends and family (kidding). This thoughtfully designed wine cooler got us more than two dozen bottles of wine closer to getting all of our wine under control. A quest that never ends!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?