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Deluxe or Do-it-Yourself:  The Wine Cooler Solution and Giveaway

At some point in a wine enthusiast’s journey, for reasons practical or aesthetic, there comes a time when a refrigerated wine storage solution jumps onto the wish list.  If you don’t have a wine cooler (or, even if you do) you’re in luck because I’ll be giving a Kalorik 21-bottle wine cooler away to one lucky commenter to this post, a $300 value.

For me, I lucked into a wine fridge as a way-too-generous wedding gift nearly six years ago.  One of my best friends (and a groomsman) gave me a bottle of 1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia and a Danby Silhouette 51-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler.  Getting married in your thirties does yield benefits – the gifts are better, certainly.

Since then, much to my wife’s chagrin, I’ve also managed to overtake the garage refrigerator in addition to using a dedicated full-size 1950’s-era vintage refrigerator (set to cool, but not cold setting) in my basement that I use for reds and whites that are in the drinking queue.  Aside from general cellaring in my basement (no furnace heating so it stays 58 degrees year-round), I have my refrigeration needs well-covered and it all follows a circuitous path to my palate in a system that only makes sense to me.

When looking for a refrigeration solution, the options are clearer.  There are two paths:  The do-it-yourself (DIY) practical path or the aesthetic (read:  cool and more expensive) path.

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If you’re on a budget and not concerned with looks, you should take a look at a nifty gadget called the Wine-Stat II that works with any refrigerator, including the 1970s avocado green model that is probably in your grandparent’s garage.

Hardly a new development, the original Wine-Stat was developed in 1984 before later being replaced by the next generation Wine-Stat II.  Invented and sold by Bill Happersett, the Wine-Stat II is about the size of a television cable box and acts approximately in the way a light dimmer does.

In the same manner that a light dimmer controls lighting to degree of brightness, the Wine-Stat II controls temperature on any refrigerator allowing a wine enthusiast to take the guesswork out of temperature control.

Would you like a perfect 55 degrees for your special reds?  For $149 the Wine-Stat II lets any wine enthusiast turn an old refrigerator into something useful.

On the aesthetic side of the equation, the options are more plentiful.

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Search for “wine cooler” or “wine refrigerator” at Air & Water or Amazon.com and you’ll find more brand names and size options than you’ll probably care to research and all of them are reasonably expensive, at least as compared to a regular dorm size or standard refrigerator.  Yet, they all have the very important aesthetic aspect of having a glass door, temperature control and some level of stainless steel for the modern kitchen look giving them an appearance of a lifestyle tool that can reside where it must combining form with function.

For my part, I’ve been happy with the Danby, but if I were going to supplement with a smaller size unit for my kitchen (countertop or built-in), I’d look at a couple of other brand names including Kalorik, an appliance manufacturer who seems to hit all of the consumer review factors (no Freon, low energy usage, quiet, no vibration) at very competitive prices.

And, kudos to Kalorik and their online retail partner Air & Water for graciously offering to give one Good Grape reader the opportunity to win an absolutely free, shipping paid 21-bottle cooler (link here for details on the wine cooler).

The contest will be open from Sunday, March 27th at 9:00 pm EST to Tuesday, March 29th at midnight EST.  Here’s what you need to do to win: Leave a comment on this post and answer this question:  Which of the wines that you own would you want to put into your wine cooler first?  That’s all.  Did I say the wine cooler is a $300 value?

If you want to want to earn a second entry into the random drawing, simply tweet this:  21-bottle wine fridge giveaway from @goodgrape at Goodgrape.com. Comment at GG to win! Provided by the folks @teamkalorik

Good luck and thanks for reading Good Grape:  A Wine Manifesto.



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Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (75) |


Comments

On 03/27, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I’m a big Pinot guy so the first 6 bottles would be the Sea Smoke that a dear friend just gave me for my birthday. Next in would be the Curran-D’Alphonso Pinots, they the Ampelos Pinots, syrahs, and grenache. Then the 2004 Cahors that’s almost ready to open, and a couple of Caymus cabs, and one of my favorite under-$50 cabs, Frank Family. As for your offer of another entry for tweeting about this contest, it creates a bit of a conundrum because if I tweet about, my odds might go down.
thanks
joe

On 03/27, Jason Hemming wrote:

2007 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon

On 03/27, Jason Hemming wrote:

hit enter a bit early.  Rudius would be my first but have many that need a better home than the basement they are in.

If I had a garage or basement than a DIY project would be appealing, but I doubt my wife will let anything I build go in the living room. So instead I’m still looking for that perfect, affordable 54bottle cooler.

On 03/27, Wine Harlots wrote:

How about a couple of bottles of Cornerstone Howell Mtn cabernet?

On 03/27, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

What an interesting question…
2005 Smith-Madrone Cabernet
2007 Rulo Silo Syrah
2006 Milbrandt Sentinel
2008 Owen Roe “The Kilmore”

On 03/27, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

The first bottle for me has to be a Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It was one of those first wines that really blew my mind.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

White: 2008 Bouchard Montrachet)
Red: 2008 Anne Gros Clos Vougeot

These babies need to sleep for another 10 years!

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I think the first bottle to go in would be a Jonata Todos 2006 and a Dominus 2007.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I would put my Reserve Columbia Crest Chardonnay into the cooler.  Actually, I’ve already finished that one off so I’ll put the next one in there!  Along with my sparkling wines that I’m saving for a special occasion.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I would put a few bottles of Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouvea!! Mmmm delicious :-D

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I would put a 2007 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, heard great things about it, of course.  And I love the wines that are coming out of Arizona, especially the 2007 Caduceus Cellars Nagual de la Naga

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I also tweeted about it (@Gchord88)
http://twitter.com/#!/Gchord88/status/52381552264491008

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I don’t have any wines at this time that I would put in here, but I would LOVE to start collecting and have somewhere to keep them just the right temp.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Probably a few Pinots from Oregon and the newest addition to my Zinfandel collection! Fingers crossed!

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Hanzell Chardonnay ‘04 ... I love the powerful flavor of this wine!

On 03/28, John Cesano wrote:

First bottle in would be NV Champagne Bollinger Rose. After tasting and writing about a sample bottle, I bought a half case. I would love to see them remain perfect. Immediately after would follow a 1997 Carol Shelton Signature Alexander Valley Zinfandel; if it is still drinkable, having suffered poor storage, it would be great to save it.

I also tweeted about this contest (@JohnOnWine).

Cheers,

John

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Would be so happy to win the cooler!:) I’d put the Georgian Tsinandali wine in it:)

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

My first bottle would have to be a Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  I have 1 bottle of 2007 Domaine de la Vielle Julienne that I am keeping for a special occasion.  Thank you for the opportunity to win the cooler.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

The first bottle to go in the cooler would be my 2007 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that was given to me this year as a Christmas present by my brother-in-law who promptly reminded me we’d need to “lay it down.”

On 03/28, Martin wrote:

I’m a CPA so of course it’s a math exercise for me.  I track my wines using Cellar Tracker.  I’d take the 10 wines with the highest average ratings per Cellar Tracker (with at least 10 ratings), and I’d put those in the wine refrigerator.  Add 5 of my choice and leave room for other bottles worthy of a wine refrigerator..

On 03/28, Clive wrote:

First few in… 01 Casanova de Neri, and a series of 01 Medici Vineyards Pinot.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

A ‘06 Tirinto Amarone & 1982 Ch. La Lagune.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Hmmm my first bottle to go into the unit would be the Black Swan my boyfriend brought over for the Oscar party…haven’t tried it yet. Not a gourmet, I’ll admit, but it’s all we’ve got standing since we drank the rest ( we have nowhere to store good bottles yet)!
Thanks for the great give-away offer can’t wait to find out who wins!

~ Kat

On 03/28, Brian wrote:

I’d put as much of much of mine as I could .. and I think it would all fit raspberry

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I have a couple bottles of Paul Jaboulet Aîné, 2008 Parallèle 45 Cotes du Rhone that a friend who is heavy into wines gave me for my birthday.  We shared a bottle over dinner and I loved it so much that he presented me with two bottles for my cellar (also known as my fridge).

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

With all the wineries in Oregon I have become a huge fan of both Pinot Noir and Riesling. So I would rock both of those in there.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I suppose I would most likely go with a Pinot Noir.

On 03/28, Graham Strong wrote:

Hi Jeff,

I have a few nice bottles that I would like to put away in a cooler—although I have them store in the basement, I’m not convinced they are safe from temperature and humidity variations. I never even thought of a wine cooler until recently (I drink red, not white…) but someone mentioned that they are actually useful for both—something that I’m sure is not news to you.

Anyway, the first bottles I’d add are a ‘96 Caymus Cabernet, a ‘97 Robert Mondavi unfiltered (Cab), and a new bottle I just picked up: an ‘08 Jovino Pinot Noir that I plan to drink during the last chapter of Vertical (I haven’t read it yet; I’m holding out for the hardcover, due out this week…!)

BTW, I’m actually in Thunder Bay, ON, but I put Grand Portage, MN as my location—it’s a lot cheaper for you to ship there, and I can pick it up when I’m down next.

~Graham

P.S. will it come with a “Good Grape” sticker on it as well? That would be cool…

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

The first bottle I’d put in there would be the 2007 Waters Winery Syrah Loess Vineyard.

Thanks!

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Sauvignon blanc ftw!

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

We would put in some of the wines we picked up while wine tasting at Rio Seco winery….

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Oh, Man! I would LOVE to win this wine cooler!! Do I get double entry for having voted for your blog during the wine blogger awards? If I won this super duper amazing wine cooler, I would fill it with bottles of dry white Bordeaux and Walla Walla Cabernet, Syrah, Rose and Merlot! And then the last bottle of Beringer Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from my February trip to San Francisco and Napa.

On 03/28, Renee wrote:

I would put in all my new AZ wines!  And I am glad Gina is enjoying what AZ has to offer!

On 03/28, Dee wrote:

Great giveaway!  I have several, but will go with the Rutherford Hill Merlot.

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

A nice Chateau Lafitte would be nice to go in first
baazinga9 at yahoo dot com

On 03/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/#!/lexistar99/status/52560217229103105
baazinga9 at yahoo dot com

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

My favorite is Saracco - definitely would be putting this in there first!!

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Tweeted JenHep

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

i just stated drinking wine and i would love to own this for my Oak Knoll Winery, 2007, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

http://twitter.com/#!/purplelover04/status/52607605612359680

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

We put a rice wine, Chardonny, a reisling. My fiance is into wines so he could fill it up easy

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

http://twitter.com/#!/mellanhead/status/52740555188350978

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I am a huge fan of Navarro in Anderson Valley CA. Since I am in their new release club, I have a ton of bottles sitting in my garage. Those would be the first to go in!

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/#!/PurpleLarkspur/status/52741202944073728

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I would put a little of everything! I’m a big fan of white reislings so definitely a few of those

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Some of my brother’s garage Zinfandel & Chardonnay…

On 03/29, AG wrote:

The first bottle that goes into the cooler on my end is a 2003 Annies Lane Clare Valley Riesling

On 03/29, Steve Paulo wrote:

Which wine would I put in this cooler first? I have two bottles of the 2005 Select Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Marita’s Vineyard in Coombsville. They deserve cooler space smile

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

The first bottles that would go in would be: 2005 Reserve Cabenet Sauvignon from Mazzocco Winery.  Also A 2006 Bordeaux Blend and 2008 Bacigalupi Petit sirah from Matrix Winery.  My 2007 Mount Veeder Cabernet Franc would also be one of my wine babies I would put in!

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

2006 Benziger Giusti Pinot Noir!

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Dancing Bull Sauvignon Blanc

On 03/29, Antoinette wrote:

I would put my prized bottle:
1978 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Riserva (the first year they used a single field for their reserve).
Hope to win the fridge and give it to my friend in Boston for her wedding!
Info on the winery:
http://www.selvapiana.it/ita/storia.htm

Also tweeted to win: @TasteFlorence
Thanks! Love your blog

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

2007 Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I would put in my new favorite: a 2008 Sancerre, by Domaine de la Pierre. It is so delicious and a perfect chilled wine, IMHO.

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

My som inlaw and father bottle their own wines, both have won gold and silver medals with their wines and keep our family busy just trying their wines.

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Definitely the Port I purchased last year in Napa.  Aged in bourbon barrels which gives it an amazing taste!

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I make my own wines.  So to have a nice place to chill them would be grand.  I would definitely put my Spiced Apple wine in their first.

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Robert Mondavi Coastal Cabernet Sauvignon

On 03/29, Fred wrote:

The first bottle I’d put in would be the bottle I want to age the longest, as I’m guessing the Kalorik cooler would allow the wine to age gracefully: a 2004 Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo.

On 03/29, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

The bottle I’m most concerned about storing properly is a 2007 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

My wife and I had the good fortune to honeymoon in the south of France this past August.  We had an idyllic time strolling around the countryside, eating in small, out-of-the-way cafes, and enjoying Provencal and Rhone wines to our hearts’ content.  The highlight of our trip over there was a visit to Chateau Beaucastel—a surprise treat arranged by my new wife’s brother-in-law.  We’re both budding wine connoisseurs, and the special excursion to Chateauneuf-du-Pape was a dream come true.

Alas, after splurging on the airfare to get to France, we didn’t have enough money to bring some of this delicious wine home with us.  Upon our homecoming, however, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the same brother-in-law had already procured a bottle of Beaucastel and left if waiting for us at home.  We planning on saving it for a special anniversary (perhaps our 10th?) to remind us of our time in France and could certainly use a proper place to store it—so that when we do open it, it is just as delicious and memorable as the first bottle we shared on our honeymoon.

On 03/29, Ranndy Kellogg wrote:

Great promo.  Great blog. I would store anything by the Kimmel Family. Probably the 2007 Chardonnay.

On 03/30, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

This might be a trick question….because what if the fridge isn’t working properly?  If you put your favorite wine in their first, then you just ruined it.

Ok, that was just me being a smartass.

The first wine I would put into a new wine fridge would be the Cana’s Feast 2008 Meredith Mitchell Pinot Noir.  The first wine I worked on from Harvest to Bottle.  Because it’s a 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from an awesome vineyard, it could age for decades.  And because of it’s sentimental value, I will wait for some sort of amazing occasion before I drink it.

Just because this is a fun game, here are some other cool bottles from my collection that would go in there:

2006 Betz “Pere de Famille” that I got as a gift from the Betz family for helping them at a tasting.

2001 St. Clemente Cabernet Sauvignon, the first bottle I bought in Napa Valley

2005 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, the first bottle I got from one of my favorite employers

2009 Owen Roe Chardonnay, the first/best white wine I ever worked on.

2000 Dufort-Vivens Margaux, 2005 Royal Tokaji, because those wines are just awesome

On 04/24, Robert S wrote:

@ebag, I loved your list. These wines are worthy of going to the freezer as you said. Among the list, my favorite is Owen Roe Chardonnay.

btw, who won the prize you mentioned in the first paragraph?

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First few in… 01 Casanova de Neri, and a series of 01 Medici Vineyards Pinot.


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