When we decided to buy a wine cabinet recently, I was surprised to find very little in the way of a Wine Cabinet Buying Guide online. I started at Amazon.com where I did manage to find one or two models with a decent number of good customer ratings. Unfortunately, all of the bad reviews seemed to revolve around shipping problems and damage and horrible manufacturer customer support. With that bit of data, we decided we better shop for one locally. I began scouring websites like epinions, and bizrate but found very few models have been rated at all. I also did a search of the Consumer Reports archives—nothing; Wine Spectator--same thing.
It seemed that any consumer information available was reserved for the upper-end models: I was not going to get any help selecting my McChiller (did I hear somebody say ‘free gun rack with purchase’?). Finally, we decided to hit our local Home Appliance stores where we soon discovered wine refrigerators were not even in stock. Home Depot had a “Magic Chef” unit (yeah, I never heard of it either). My searches yielded a few discussion boards from around 2005 where the majority of Magic Chef owners had picked the unit up on sale for between $149-$177. My HD was selling it for $449. Moving right along…
What have we learned so far?
1. Shipping a wine cabinet can be risky
2. wine cabinets damaged during shipping may take months to get repaired
3. Buying a wine cabinet locally in ‘North East New England’ is not an option
What are we left with? Find a reputable retailer online. That’s exactly what I did. I went to the Wine Enthusiast website where, happily, they have a January free shipping special on a few models. I found a model with 14 good customer reviews. I also opted to purchase the 3 year warranty since most of the rants I read out in cyberspace indicated the trouble started in the 2nd year.
What have your wine storage/cabinet shopping experiences been? Does anyone reading have any recommendations to add or expand on? One tip I found more than once was: Whatever you think your storage needs will be, plan on exceeding it. I know this unit is small but, we are limited by space, and we are in a temporary situation so, it's only gotta get us through the next year or two.
We still have yet to receive the unit. I will definitely post an update here on how it works out for us.
VinoView Silent 35 Bottle Wine Display Refrigerator (Graphite Trim Door)