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As anyone who lives in Texas knows, it gets hot. When you start buying wines and add up the total cost of those wines, the last thing you want to do is not properly store them and have them go bad. The ideal wine storage temperature is between 50 and 60° F, but you could store them safely up to 68° F. Our house may be different than yours, but our house is never cooled down to 68° and remain at that without fluctuating. That’s when a wine cooler comes in to protect your wine investment.
There are wine coolers of all sizes to fit your needs and we have reviewed different wine coolers in the past. You may learn after those trips to Texas wineries that your wine collection is starting to grow rapidly, and you run out of wine cooler space. If you buy fine wines that should age for more years, those are also taking up space in the wine cooler. That is often when you realize you need to buy a larger wine cooler to accommodate all those wines.
One of the best things to buy at this point is a large wine fridge that is the size of a normal kitchen refrigerator and can hold 170+ bottles. There are a lot of benefits to one of these fridges, but you may find you do not need that much room and the cost for a wine fridge is often very expensive. NewAir has come to help with a wine fridge that meets in the middle between the smaller wine coolers and the large wine fridges.
I was able to review the NewAir 98-bottle Dual Zone Wine Fridge, model NWC098SS00. Since the wine fridge is large, it is only a freestanding wine fridge and not built for under a kitchen counter.
The wine fridge arrived on a pallet and the truck driver needed a pallet jack to bring it to the back of our house. Having had experience with other wine coolers that suggest you let the cooler stand upright for two hours before plugging it in, I was able to go back to work and wait until the workday was over before I unboxed it. The fridge is heavy! I had to cut the cardboard off the sides of the box and it was nicely packed inside to be safe and secure. It took two of us to get it off the pallet and onto a dolly to wheel it in the house and ensure we caused no damage.
This fridge required less assembly than others because there is no external handle. Instead, the handle is recessed into the side of the door. The door is not adjustable so it opens from left to right. The double-pane glass door helps protect the wines from UV lighting. Inside the fridge is soft LED lighting that will allow you to see your wine bottle labels without affecting the wine. The measurements of the wine fridge are 23.5 inches wide by 55.5 inches high.
The wine fridge is a dual-zone which means you can set the top section of the wine fridge to a different temperature than the bottom. With other dual-zone wine coolers I have used, the top section is primarily for white wines and the maximum temperature is usually lower than the bottom section which is primarily for red wines. In this wine fridge, both sections can be set to 40 to 65° F. This is nice because it does not limit you to what wines you can store in the fridge meaning you could store all reds or all whites.
The black wire shelves are adjustable and removable if you need to accommodate different size bottles. You can remove some shelves so you can stack bottles on top of each other, but NewAir recommends not stacking more than three rows of bottles per shelf. While putting wine in the fridge, I discovered the shelves do not pull out very far. You can still get wine into the shelf, but it is a little awkward tilting the bottle to insert it into the shelf. When you have bottles in the back and the front of the shelf, it then becomes more difficult to see the wines in the back because the shelf doesn’t pull out farther. I believe it must be a safety precaution to not allow any possible tipping of the shelf that could result in the dropping of a wine bottle.
I was able to actually get 98 bottles into the wine fridge by stacking some bottles. This is the first wine cooler I have had where I was able to fill it to the stated quantity of wine bottles. Usually, the number you can store is less than the stated quantity. Ideally though, if you stack wine bottles, those bottles are the same so you do not need to get to bottles on the bottom of the stack.
The low-vibration and quiet inverter compressor quickly cooled the temperature inside. Most wine coolers have a temperature display that lets you set the temperature you want it to be, but there is no way to determine if that reading is accurate. This wine fridge is like that. Since I was looking for an inside/outside thermometer for the house, I found a thermometer that had two wireless sensors and purchased that from Amazon. It proved to be a wise purchase since I put one sensor inside the wine fridge and could see exactly what the temperature was inside. This allowed me to adjust the wine fridge’s temperature as necessary. If I didn’t need the second sensor for outside the house, I could have used it in the wine fridge too to get readings from both zones.
You can buy the NewAir 98-bottle Dual Zone Wine Fridge, model NWC098SS00, on the NewAir website. Just for you from Texas Wine Lover, remember to use the Discount Code of TEXAS10OFF for 10% off!
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