A Super Slim, Highly Flexible and Functional Wine Cooler
In my journey through the wonderful world of wine, wine coolers, and wine enthusiasts, I happened to come across the following question: What should you do if you don’t have space for something that looks like a mini fridge (or even a full size fridge) but you still want to buy a wine cooler that holds a decent number of bottles?
Have no fear. Help is here. Help, that is, in the form of the Wine Enthusiast Silent 18 Bottle Slimline Wine Refrigerator. This is a freestanding “Slimline” upright dual zone wine cooler, and if you don’t like the look of a mini fridge or you want something that takes up a lot less floor space, this intriguing model from the folks at the Wine Enthusiast Companies might just do the trick.
At first glance, it actually looks more like a tall desktop computer tower (the ones that used to go under your desk while hooked up to the computer monitor sitting on top of your desk) than a wine cooler. Either a computer tower or one of the freestanding speaker towers that constitutes a part of a higher end surround sound home theater speaker system.
My point is that this wine cooler from Wine Enthusiast lives up to its name: it is certainly slim, measuring fewer than 10 inches in width. That will definitely save you a pretty decent amount of floor space. And it definitely doesn’t look like a mini fridge. Or a fridge at all, for that matter.
So what does it actually look like? Well, the cabinet of the wine cooler is black, and the color of the door varies, so you have some choice in the matter. The version I reviewed has a door entirely of silver stainless steel, except for the black recessed door handle and the soft touch digital temperature control panel, which is placed near the middle of the door. (This is another reason I thought it was a computer tower at first; the power button for the computer would usually be there right in the middle). The door hinge, which sits on top of the corner of the door, is also silver.
(On the other version, the door panel is black but is trimmed on the sides with silver. On yet another version, the door is black but the cabinet is silver. So you can choose according to your tastes and preferences.)
All in all, a fairly basic, minimalist exterior design.
This is where this Wine Enthusiast model really shines. When you open the door to this super slim wine cooler, you may discover up to 18 standard Bordeaux sized wine bottles inside. It can hold up to 18 bottles in different configurations due to the seven chrome removable and adjustable pull out shelves. Certain of the shelves even allow for bottles of wine to be stored standing upright, something not frequently seen in wine cooler shelving. This allows you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to storing bottles which are not of the standard size. All this in a wine cooler that spans fewer than 10 inches!
Another essential feature of this model is the dual zone cooling. The bottom zone is separated from the top zone by a black divider which keeps the air compartments separate and the temperatures more consistent. The upper zone has a temperature range of 54 to 66 degrees F, and the lower zone has a temperature range between 46 and 66 degrees F. This means that the top zone is ideal for storing basically all red wines, and the bottom zone is suitable for storing most white wines.
One caveat to note is that the ambient temperature (the temperature of the room in which this unit is located) should not exceed 77 degrees F. Exceeding that ambient temperature may cause inconsistent cooling and possibly some other problems. Also, this wine cooler should be properly ventilated (it cannot be installed in an enclosed space, like under a counter) and should not be made flush against the wall or against other furniture.
There is some debate over how quiet this wine cooler unit is. Some say it is extremely quiet, and others say it is too noisy for them. My personal experience was that it was definitely on the quieter side. It uses a thermoelectric cooling system, so it is certainly quieter than a comparable unit with a compressor would be.
The Bottom Line
For a super slim, reasonably quiet, highly flexible and functional dual zone wine cooler that holds a decent number of bottles (up to 18), go with this Slimline model from Wine Enthusiast. Pick one up here at Amazon.com if this seems like your cup of tea.