Do you want a wine cooler or do you need a wine cooler? These are two different questions. We have wanted a wine cooler for some time, but after receiving the NewAir AWR-290DB 29 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler as a review sample and using it for almost two months we realize we needed a wine cooler.
How we store our wine
We store our wine several different ways. Some bottles are stored on their side in boxes in our closets, some on a rack in the dining room and others at a wine storage facility. Most of what we have at home is for everyday drinking.
Why we need a wine cooler
Storing red wine like this usually works fine for us. I search my data base to locate the red wine we want and open it. If it’s a special occasion I’ll run down to the wine storage facility to get the wine. The temperature is usually appropriate for a red wine. That doesn’t hold for white wine or rosé, however, which we like chilled a little. If we don’t plan ahead a day or two by putting wine in the refrigerator we are stuck putting wine in the freezer, setting a timer and dashing to the freezer when the timer goes off.
This method is inconvenient and potentially explosive if one of us forgets to set a timer. If friends stop by unexpectedly our chilled white and rosé wine choices are limited and could require the quick-chill method above or worse – ice buckets, ice and water. Not very convenient for hosts or thirsty guests. having a wine cooler also allows us to keep some of the better bottles of red wine at home too, saving a trip to the wine storage.
The NewAir AWR-290DB Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler
The NewAir AWR-290DB is solidly built using an attractive combination of stainless steel, glass and black metal. The styling is clean and the blue lighting (which can be turned off) lends a nice accent.
We have the NewAir AWR-290DB in our combined living/dining room and we can only hear the compressor when we aren’t listening to music or the television. It isn’t noticeable at all over normal conversation. Measuring the noise with an app on my iPhone showed an average of 41 db while our kitchen refrigerator averaged 45db.
There is a panel on the front with dual digital readouts for the temperature display for the upper and lower zones, which can be set to different temperatures. The door, which is reversible, is double-paned and UV resistant to help keep a stable temperature and protect your wine from light.
It took 25 minutes for the upper zone to reach 50ºF from 80º and the larger, lower zone only a few minutes longer. Once the wine cooler reached temperature after installation the temperature stays stable. Using a SensorPush© temperature sensor I monitored the changes in temperature over the day and it stayed within two degrees of the setting throughout. The wine cooler also cools down quickly after being opened to add or remove wine. There is a fan inside the wine cooler to circulate air so there are no cold or warm spots.
The NewAir AWR-290DB Wine Cooler holds 29 bottles if all are standard or Bordeaux-style bottles. If the bottles have wide shoulders, heavy glass, or sloping shoulders, like Burgundy bottles, you will be able to store fewer bottles. I find I get around 20 – 25 depending on the bottle mix. That includes a couple of small dessert wine bottles. Currently we have 25 bottles in a mix of bottle styles in the NewAir AWR-290DB.
To fit magnum or larger-sized bottles you would need to leave out a shelf. Initially the wooden shelves seemed a little lightweight but they hold wine bottles well and slide easily if you place the bottles so they do not rub against the rack above.
The NewAir AWR-290DB is a dual zone cooler so you can store your white wines chilled for drinking and keep your red wines a bit warmer, at “cellar temperature”. Lighter red wines are often enjoyable during hot weather with a slight chill so sometimes we often put a light red in to chill for an hour or so before we are planning on drinking it.
There is a small removable reservoir in the very bottom to catch any wine that may leak. I have never had an unopened bottle do more than seep a little through the cork. Although, if you lay down a previously opened wine with a screw top closure that isn’t completely tight this is a useful feature.
The relatively compact size of the NewAir AWR-290DB, 22.50″L x 14.88″W x 33.75”H, is perfect for use as a free standing unit in an office, apartment or small living space. For a good many people the ability to store up to 29 bottles of wine in a cooler will meet or exceed their needs. The built-in option makes a nice choice for larger spaces. We are using the NewAir AWR-290DB as a free-standing cooler, but it is built to be the perfect size to replace a kitchen trash compactor or a 15 inch wide cabinet.
My only complaint is with the installation instructions. The instructions to place the unit in your desired location for a couple of hours to allow the refrigerant to settle are clear. Leveling the unit and installing the handle was no problem. The next step is to plug in the unit; that’s clear too.
But, I was left with two plastic containers and no instructions as to what to do with them. After searching inside the unit for where they might go, I had to call customer support for an explanation. Customer support was extremely helpful and in no time I had them installed. I found out the black one is the removable container to catch any bottle leaks. You pull out the bottom shelf and there is a nice little depression it fits in. The other item is a small clear plastic bin that you can put some desiccant in if the humidity is too high where you live.
The only other potential problem is that one NewAir Wine Cooler might lead to another. We like the NewAir AWR-290DB 29 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler so much we are considering a second, larger, unit. We live in a small space by choice and closet space is at a premium. It would be so nice to empty our closets of wine.
The NewAir AWR-290DB retails for $649.95 on the NewAir website. Use the discount code: CORK to receive 20% off your purchase. We receive no compensation if you use the discount code.
NewAir also has a line of beverage coolers for cans if your taste is more beer than wine and you could keep a lot of soda ready for the kids or a party without crowding your refrigerator.