NewAir AWR-290DB 29-Bottle Cooler Review
Best Dual Zone 15-Inch Built-In Wine Cooler

The perfect under-counter wine cooler

OK, not every will agree with my opinion of this cooler and that’s alright. But whether it is the best or simply close to it, this is an impressive cooler! Before I get into the many reasons that this is “an impressive cooler” I want to justify my belief that this is the perfect under-counter cooler.

Obviously, all of its great qualities (which I will discuss soon) all factor into why I believe it is the “the perfect under-counter cooler”. The biggest reason I think this, though, is its size. Some built-in options aren’t quite the right height to slide beneath a countertop. Others are too slim or too wide and are difficult to fit into the space of a typical cabinet. As someone who has renovated a few kitchens in my lifetime, I understand the importance of making things fit just right.

NewAir AWR-290DB 29-Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler

NewAir AWR-290DB Compact 29-Bottle
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I also understand that there is a very particular way in which kitchen cabinetry is created. Stock cabinets are available in more than one width, but you can’t exactly walk into a store and purchase one which measures 14.25 inches. The most popular width of a single stock cabinet is 15 inches, which makes this 15 inch wine cooler the perfect size for sliding into the empty space left behind by a removed cabinet.

Made to Match

Stainless steel is all the rage in both kitchen and bar design these days. That is why I especially like that the NewAir AWR-290DB is made with a lot of flashy stainless steel on its exterior. All too often, wine coolers are made with dark glass doors and black trim. This may work well in a kitchen with black appliances, but the days of black appliances disappeared with the 1990s.

Thick stainless steel trim outlines this cooler’s clear glass doors in quite a masculine way – making quite a statement. It doesn’t allow this unit to fit seamlessly into the flow of the cabinets, but, instead, draws the eye directly to it. The wooden shelves (visible through the glass door) will nicely accent any kitchen with stained or raw wood cabinetry.

Surprising UV Protection

Most people wouldn’t guess it, but the door of this cooler is fully UV protected. It will keep harmful rays of sunlight away from your bottles, even if you see them glow in the light of direct sunlight. Very few clear glass doors offer such protection these days, which makes me skeptical whenever I see a clear glass door on a wine cooler. Rest assured that I took the time to look into this for you, though. I have determined that your wine will be very safe in this cooler and will not be disrupted by UV rays, even if you place it directly in the path of the sun.

29 is an Odd Number

Well, literally, 29 is an odd number as opposed to an even number. What I mean, though, is that it is a strange number. I’m sure that many of you have thought the same thing. It isn’t often that you find a wine cooler which claims a 29-bottle capacity. So, let’s break this down a little bit.

Of course, the number of bottles you can fit in this cooler will depend upon the size of those bottles. The bigger the bottles are, the fewer you will fit in. If you try to fit the largest traditional bottles of wine into this little unit, you will find yourself with something closer to a 15-bottle capacity, with three bottles squeezed onto each shelf.

Smaller bottles fit much better and may actually allow you to fit in more wine in general (that is, if you were to measure the actual contents of the bottles). Smaller bottles can sit neck to bottom, squeezing in up to five or six bottles per shelf. At that rate, you could fit anywhere from 25 to 30 bottles in this small cooler.

What else Makes it Great?

Wow, I really feel like I could go on forever about this cooler. In fact, I could speak in detail about many of the things I am about to briefly cover here. I selected the capacity and appearance to discuss above, simply because they aren’t topics I cover often when discussing wine coolers on this website. Still, all of these other features are worth mentioning (and then some).

Great Circulation – This unit has fantastic air circulation, something very important in compressor-style cooling systems. Since these systems rely on fans blowing cool air around, it is obvious that many of these systems (such as those in typical refrigerators) will have cold and warm spots. You want your wine to chill evenly, so it is good to know that this system features strong fans and slatted shelves which allow air to circulate easily.

Good Temperature Range – Since this is a dual zone cooler, chances are you are looking for something that will independently chill your reds and your whites (and maybe even your dessert wines). The top section of this fridge has a 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit range, making it perfect for desserts or whites. The bottom has a range of 50 to 66 degrees, making it acceptable for certain whites and all reds.

Easy Touch Control Panel – The control panel is inside the cooler, which means that you will have to open it to access the controls. This is a bit of a downside in my books. Still, I am quite happy to see that it is very easy to use, with clear buttons for adjusting the temperature for each section, a button to turn the light on and off, and even one to control whether the temperature readout on the LCD display is in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Overall, this is a clear winner. It’s not be the cheapest options available, but if you head over to Amazon here, there’s a good chance they’ll have it with a discount on the list price.

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