March 27 2011
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.
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.
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.