Wine fridges - advice required

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Wine fridges - advice required

Postby Michael R » Thu May 28, 2009 4:49 pm

Hi All

i've recently been researching wine fridges, but cannot pick a clear winner.
My budget is $3k and ideally would have 150-200 bottle capacity.

Can anyone advise (based on personal experience) on;
the performance difference between Vintec, Kitchener, Liebherr etc?
Brand new models V ex-display?
What is a realistic life expectancy is for above brands?

Many thanks
Michael [/list]
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Postby winetastic » Thu May 28, 2009 5:29 pm

I have a Kitchener and find it excellent for bulk storage on a budget.

With 40+ degree ambient temperature last summer, the temperature inside the unit never got above 16 degrees, the rest of the year it never moves from 15, though you could set it lower.

At the time of my purchase, no other brand could compete on cost per bottle of storage.

The cons? It looks industrial and doesn't belong in a living room, ideal for the garage. Wines that you place at the bottom/rear of each shelf are near impossible to access (this may be a pro depending on your self control), thus planning is required to keep the short term prospects within reach.
Murray Stiles, Winetastic contributer (Up-front aussie wine blog).
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Postby bacchaebabe » Thu May 28, 2009 5:44 pm

I can't comment on how good they are but Grays often have wine fridges for auction at prices a lot cheaper than your budget:

http://www.graysonline.com.au/catalogue ... TYPE=THUMB
Cheers,
Kris

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Postby Michael R » Thu May 28, 2009 5:49 pm

Thank you for the replies,

i'm actually leaning toward a Kitchener, a CT model though, not the Peltier i think winetastic is describing.
I guess my biggest fear is that in 2-5 years its broken and i'd have been better off using professional storage, especially as i've been saving for a while to get a good one.

Again, thanks for the replies.
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Postby Partagas » Thu May 28, 2009 5:54 pm

Have an 80 - 120 btl LG dual zone wine fridge. Cost me $1600 (which was a bargain rrp $2500 at the time) and has worked a treat since. No noticeable temp changes, looks good, has a blue back light that is good for show, has a glass rack at the top (I don't use it, just put Magnums up there). Down fall is capacity where 140 bottles is only without shelves although it does have two fixed shelves. Would probably go Vintec or Liebherr, but the more you save on the fridge, the more you have to buy the liquid to store in it (well with my budget anyway).
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Postby Old Salt » Thu May 28, 2009 7:01 pm

Michael - don't know how much they are now but I bought 2 x 196 Liebherr Grand Cru (single temperature, incl 6 sturdy wooden racks each) about 3 years ago @ $3,100 each. Havent had any problems at all and they look very good as well, burgundy sides with black framed glass doors. Friend saw them and bought two as well, he hasn't had any problems either.
I store 750m bottles only (no mags) and with some of the awkward shaped bottles on the market, fit just over 180 with six shelves in position. 210 in the other fridge but that's with 40 375's.
Well worth a look but as I said, $3.1K was about 3 years ago.
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Postby rens » Thu May 28, 2009 8:38 pm

I have a small (50 bottle) vintec. I know you want biggeer but can testify to their reliability. It cost about $700. Had it for about 3 1/2 years. Never a problem and looks great. I also have wines stored with kennards. Only have about 12 cases, but can hold 16 cases and costs me $30 a month (plus insurance at $1.50 per $1000 covered if you want it- my home and contents insurer chardges about the same if I stored them here and Kennards hads security cameras etc etc.). I decant wines from kennards to the vintec at home every few months. That way the wines stay perfect until I drink them. The brisbane weather is always over 30 in summer.
Best of both worlds.
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WINE FRIDGES.

Postby Muscat Mike » Thu May 28, 2009 11:52 pm

Michael,
go to Ebay and punch in "wine fridge". You might get a pleasant surprise.
Mike.
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Postby PaulV » Fri May 29, 2009 10:07 am

Another for the Kitchener =- had it for a couple of years and going strong - never a problem. Cannot recommend it strongly enough.

cheers

paul
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Postby Rednick » Fri May 29, 2009 11:10 am

I ended up going for the Vintec V155SG e SS,

It won't hold the 166 bottles they reckon although 140-150 should be fine. The Kitchener gives a better storage per bottle cost but I hated the idea of having to stack everything on top of each other. The Vintec allows for individual bottle access.

The units normally retail for around $3000 but DJs have a sale coming up (15% off I think & interest free as well)

Cheers

Nick
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Postby Michael R » Fri May 29, 2009 11:30 am

Thank you all for your input, it has been invaluable.

i was definitely going with the Kitchener, but Rednicks point about DJs sale and interest free offer is interesting, i'll wait until their June sale starts (Monday) before purchasing.
If there are any good offers, i'll certainly post them here.

Cheers
Michael
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Postby pstarr » Fri May 29, 2009 2:14 pm

The $399 Prima 72 bottle fridge at Dinosaur Deals looks decent, not that I'm thinking of buying a wine fridge.
Paul.
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Postby rednut » Sat May 30, 2009 4:52 pm

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Vintec-Wine-Cabi ... 7C294%3A50

Do a search on this site for wine fridges, theres been heaps of discussion in prevous times re fridges etc

I have a Vintec V160 and it is perfect.

http://www.vintec-cellar.com/models/mod ... e=160sp_ss

Cheers
Ian
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Postby Luke W » Sat May 30, 2009 5:21 pm

I have a Kitchener 252 bottle - It was perfect for 5 years until I went away overseas and one of the kids put the bird feed tupperware over the intake for the peltier unit. I came back to wine that was sitting at 25 degrees and a unit that was groaning. I rang Tony Kitchener and he suggested that I wait for a day or 2 for things to settle down. He also indicated the worst problem i could face was to replace some electronic things that would cost me somewhere between $300-600. A couple of days later and it was going fine again and I've had no problems with it since.

One thing to remember is that you're going to fill up whatever unit you have and then start looking for more storage (at least that's my experience). I now hold over a thousand bottles and my containers are all full but I'm also running out of money! If this is you - go for a larger storage unit - also the peltier uses almost no electricity and some of the other units use a bit more.
Make sure whatever you get has no vibration, no light ingress and has the correct humidity.

cheers

Luke
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Postby silkwood » Sun May 31, 2009 10:44 am

Michael, my workplace recently asked me to do some research on available wine fridges (why does fridge have a "d" yet refrigerator does not?). I've found many of the less expansive Chinese products are now extremely good, often using the identical components the branded manufacturers use (as many quality products are now made in China for European or US brands). Look around at the mid priced units (obviously not the budget cheapies from department stores or the internet) and you'll be surprised at what is available, fridges practically identical to "European" products at a lower price.

I'm not going to go into brands because that smacks of advertising (I've made a couple of selections for our stock).

Cheers,

Mark
Cheers,

Mark
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Postby chrisf » Sun May 31, 2009 9:44 pm

Michael,
I have had a Kitchener 380-bottle and a Liebherr 231-bottle for the last few years. Both fridges running with no problems...very happy with both and they amongst the best value (per bottle) on the market.

Like the other guys have said, the Kitchener is quite industrial. However, I think it is also the clear winner. It holds its temperature brilliantly on the hottest of days, and in non-summer months it hardly runs as the insulation works so well (whilst the Liebherr runs far more regularly). I am a big fan and thoroughly recommend the Kitcheners...so long as you don't need something pretty!!
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Postby Michael R » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:28 pm

Went to a warehouse sale of Vintecs in Peakhurst (Sydney) on Saturday.
Picked up an ex display Vintec S190 for $1850.
I got quoted $3k for the same one brand new at DJs so hopefully it turns out to be a bargain.

Thank you all for your input, it definitely helped.
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Postby Lochness Dave » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:34 pm

I have a Vintec 150SG and I can't fault it, it's always a special moment when I open it up to get a wine out.

David...
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Wine fridges - advice required

Postby Cloudy » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:50 pm

Whether you like it or not Liebherr are the best wine fridges because they are precision made, relaible and have excellent after sales backup, they will not bankrupt you with whopping electricity bills either. But not everyone can afford them, so try and find a second hand one.

Eurocave and Kitchener are cheaper alternatives with excellent reputations, see the posts by the majority of satisfied members.

Transthern and Vintec have too many problems, cost an arm and leg to run due to inefficiency of their system. Look ok but do not live up to claims made by them, you would be better off storing whites in a normal fridge and reds anywhere with good humidy and stable temps.
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Postby sparky » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:56 am

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Postby Michael R » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:26 am

Classic, i'm all over it once the powerball drops!
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Postby xsorxpire » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:59 pm

Googled wine fridges and found this thread.

I have just purchased a Vintech 155something. I'm yet to plug it in, but have sorted the wine to fill it up.
I will certainly be looking at the kitchener products next.
They have a nice sale on this month and i was suprised at the low price.

I also have two 72 bottle thermo electric fridges, both are the same, but have different names.
One i got on Graysonline and the other at oo dot com.
Grays was over five hundred, but the one from oo cost me around four hundred.
Both work well in a double brick home in the heat of Western Australia, though they need the coolest room in the house to remain within three degrees of variation.

I bought the Vintech as i had heard they were the best and i got a huge discount.
After reading this thead i now know i can get as good for less.
The Kitchener CT 204 is next on my list.
Thanks for the info.
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Re: Wine fridges - advice required

Postby rednut » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:48 pm

Cloudy wrote:Whether you like it or not Liebherr are the best wine fridges because they are precision made, relaible and have excellent after sales backup, they will not bankrupt you with whopping electricity bills either. But not everyone can afford them, so try and find a second hand one.

Eurocave and Kitchener are cheaper alternatives with excellent reputations, see the posts by the majority of satisfied members.

Transthern and Vintec have too many problems, cost an arm and leg to run due to inefficiency of their system. Look ok but do not live up to claims made by them, you would be better off storing whites in a normal fridge and reds anywhere with good humidy and stable temps.


I'm sorry but I disagree with your comments on Vintec. I have had mine for 4 or so years and havent noticed much change in the power bill at all.
It keeps at a constant temp all year round (minimal difference in really hot weather) and looks the part also.
We have been looking for and expecting a change in running costs but have been pleasantly surprised.
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Postby xsorxpire » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:05 pm

Ok, so after much stuffing i got 137 bottles into my Vintech 155whatever.

I'm a little dissapointed. Not so much in the fridge but the fact that wine makers don't use standard bloody bottles.
Talk about noob problems. I didnt know there was a standard bottle size used as a guide, crikey it's technical....

So now i have another problem.

How to store fat bottomed and tall skinny bottles.
In some instances my Vintech would only take eight bottles to a shelf.
Bottles like Majella, Olivers Tarango, Sandalford and Villa Tinto wont go end to end.
It is alright for the Kays, Foggo's and the Rockford, they have great bottles.
Bloody Voyager Estate's fat bottomed bottles dont even fit between the shelves. *Grumble grumble gumble*

So of course i'm now worried that will lead to problems with the fridge i was going to buy from Kitchener.
How can you stack uneven sized bottles???

Perhaps it was just easier to have them all wrapped in newspaper and bubble wrap then boxed and put under the bed!
Last edited by xsorxpire on Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dave vino » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:08 pm

Take the bottom 2 shelves out
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Postby xsorxpire » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:28 pm

Actually i did.
I used them to stack some of the longer bottles that i want to keep for a while.
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Re: Wine fridges - advice required

Postby xsorxpire » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:23 pm

So, 18 months do the track and my Vintech is about to go back a second time under warrenty.
The dual temp display has gone haywire this time and the fridge has sent my bottles and corks all moldy, plus the fridge has started to corrode.

Then there is my kitchener.
I have the (ct) fridge now set at nine degrees. This keeps the temp in the bottom of the fridge reasonable stable at 12 degrees, while the top varies from 15.7 degrees to a peak of 18.2 degrees. That is without the door being opened at all. (Mind you the door does not seal properly and the manufacturer told me that would not be a problem, but gave me a hefty discount on the buy price)

I now have off site storage.
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Re: Wine fridges - advice required

Postby daver6 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:28 pm

Out of curiousity, where are you using for off-site storage? Been looking into this myself recently too.
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Re: Wine fridges - advice required

Postby xsorxpire » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:35 pm

I've got them at National Storage in Embleton.
I was going to go with the place in Myaree who are heaps cheaper, but was able to negotiate a reasonable deal with the mob closer to home.
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Re: Wine fridges-advice required-MY VINTEC JUST CRAPPED ITS

Postby Cloudy » Thu May 19, 2011 6:28 pm

Vintec has odour problems and other issues see post called: My Vintech just Crapped its Daks. Transtherm Vintec gone broke their buildings for sale http://www.homehound.com.au/listing/det ... 4264878_01
Go with Kitchener or if you have the money Liebherr which is the Porsche of wine cabs.
Last edited by Cloudy on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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