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Wine cupboards


#1

Thinking of investing in a wine cupboard for my garage to keep my special bottles in for longer periods.

Do any community members have these already ? Any brands to go with or avoid? Considering Eurocave premier or artevino currently.

Also is it worth paying a lot extra for a charcoal filter as most brands (such as Eurocave) will charge several hundred pounds extra just for this feature in addition to the natural ventilation system.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.


#2

Hi there!

Check out a few threads on the matter:

It seems that a ‘Climadiff’ wine cabinet seems to be the go to brand - I guess it depends on how many bottles you plan to store and where - sometimes the garage isn’t ideal as its too cold but some are ok with lower temps.


#3

This is your major consideration aside from capacity (buy the biggest you can fit / afford). There are solutions but many cabinets are not designed to be kept in the cold


#4

Liebherr is a great brand. German and very reliable. I did a lot of research before buying a cabinet from them and would not go with another make - not cheap but nowhere near as expensive as Eurocave that seem to be the most expensive and look quite cool but ive heard mixed reviews.


#5

A vote here for Liebherr. Mine was second hand so is quite old but is going strong. I’ve been through a (second hand) Caple already and another Caple I have is on the way out

None of the models that I own will heat in a cold environment though


#6

The one I purchased and still have to use apart from testing is a Liebherr purchased as a demo model with 33% off, can’t tell from experience but it is well made and the long term reviews are as good as anyones, some for what is still a fridge seem grossly overpriced.

The “can I use my fridge/cooler in a garage without problems” is all dependant on the extremes of temperature encountered, my own garage being a flat roof model really heats up in the summer so not ideal but it depends, the temperature problem is explained in this video and it applies equally to wine coolers.


#7

Not really sure what you mean by natural ventilation? I think all cabinets have and need some fan-assisted ventilation. And if you have that you will need a filter. Otherwise you’ll get filth sucked into the fridge, and it would mark bottles by the air inlet. But I’m not convinced you need charcoal in the filter - filter paper should do the trick. Charcoal removes odours, but if the air around the fridge is good enough to keep bottles of wine, why would you need that? My belief is that the charcoal is used merely to help justify the cost of the filters


#8

Most decent wine fridges come with charcoal filters as standard. They say they should be changed once a year. Liebherr’s cost £20 for replacements. Jancis Robinson posted a picture not long ago of her charcoal filter she hadn’t changed in years and it was black with what it had filtered out of the air


#9

I bought a freezer some years ago to go in the garage (from a reputable department store). Only when I unpacked it and read the small print in the instructions did I discover that it was only to be operated at normal ambient temperatures and unsuitable for use in garages and outbuildings. Research revealed that this is ‘normal’, but Beko did a suitable machine which could withstand -15C. A neighbour put a recent purchase in the garage for it to fail when the ‘beast from the east’ arrived in March.
These are ordinary domestic machines, and I understand that the difficulties started with the removal of CFCs from the refrigerant systems (O level chemistry …failed).


#10

Yeah, but it is the bit of filter paper that filters out the crud and gets black (the charcoal of course is black already, and will not remove particles). Here I take to pieces one of my own old filters…

All this reminds me that a filter change is overdue in my fridges :frowning:


#11

Out of curiousity is the filter change necessary to the working of the wine cooler or not as particles are not going to harm any bottles of wine ? the cost as usual for quite basic paper filters or the others is a rip off a bit like printer ink.


#12

If you use filters at all, you should change them. Otherwise they will block and impede air flow.

But apart from the visual effect of crud on some bottles, I think you could do away with them completely. But that is just my guess - not technical advice. No liability accepted!


#13

Another vote here for Liebherr. I have two.


#14

I built my own wine cupboards. Years ago, I knocked a hole in the north-facing wall of our dining room and asked a brickie to build a cavity-walled “extension”, just deep enough to house the longest 750ml bottles. I finished it off with a tiled roof, a 9x14 wine rack kit, some shelves, cabinet lighting and a pair of smart doors in the dining room. It houses about 200 bottles and works very well, keeping a remarkably consistent temperature, whatever the ambient conditions (in the house or outside)

When the wine collection eventually outgrew that, I built an insulated cupboard from 20mm plywood in an existing brick-and-tile outbuilding with insulated walls and pitched roof. Used lighter ply to make a diamond lattice to hold about 350 bottles. It has a thermostatically controlled heating unit (a propagating heating mat for a greenhouse) and a not-very-successful self-designed cooling system for the summer. Works pretty well, though I’d like to get the cooling system working better.

Some white wines are kept, ready to drink, in an old domestic fridge in the same outbuilding. If the ambient temperature is too low for the fridge to work properly, the wine doesn’t need much further cooling anyway!


#15

An interesting thread as I am seriously considering a second “cupboard” to add to my existing Eurocave Confort. That is pushing 20 years old and has spent the last 16 years in our (integral) garage.

With both cooling and warming functions the Eurocave keeps the temperature at 10.5C +/- 1C all year around - checked with a separate thermometer. Even in the current heatwave it doesn’t run much. No doubt helped by the fact it stands next to an internal wall and the up and over door faces north - ie gets very little direct sun. A detached, and worse still flat roofed, garage would, I suspect, be a much greater challenge.

While the “buy the biggest you can afford” mantra may be correct I would offer one word of warning. When I bought mine, the expert advice was that to run efficiently a Eurocave (and I assume any similar product) needs to be kept as full as possible. The volume of liquid being stored is apparently a big factor in regulating the internal temperature. Heating and cooling air (ie empty space) supposedly uses up a lot more energy. I’m no expert in thermodynamics but another member might be able to confirm or deny this.

The charcoal filter is partly there to help keep strong odours out that could permeate the cork and taint the contents… In a garage there are all sorts of challenges from the petrol lawnmower to tins of paint etc etc. Let alone exhaust fumes if you are one of those rare people who actually keeps a car in the garage! Kitchens and utility rooms also generate a lot of strong smells…

Would be interested to hear reviews of other brands that have both heating and cooling functions as my second cupboard will be in he garage too.


#16

When we moved in 2009, I quickly realised our flat roofed garage was not suitable for wine storage. My wife quickly ruled out a spiral cellar with glass top in the lounge, so other solutions were sort. Went for an insulated box with a Fondis fridge motor that heats and cools. Maintains a constant 13°.
I paint the garage roof with reflective paint every couple it years and have added a temperature controlled extractor fan to ease the load on the fridge motor.
Didn’t realise there was a filter to clean/change.
In 2016 the fridge motor died as the filter was totally clogged. So clean and change that filter regularly.
Guess I have about 600-800 bottles in there. Filled it much too quickly.
Currently in a mess.


#17

Looks lovely - an enjoyable day (week?) in prospect sorting that out sometime soon?!

I invested in a Liebherr wine fridge about 14 years ago (after inheriting a quantity of wine) and it has done sterling service ever since, albeit now full and wine in boxes, somehow keep appearing to add internal insulation to the walls (my lame excuse). Must admit to not having replaced the filter - did do a search for my model number, but didn’t come up with anything useful.

As it’s inside and not in a garage, I’m hoping it’ll be OK. It’s a constant 13 degrees C and only the fact that different bottle shapes complicate the organisation adds any difficulty to owning one - I would recommend this manufacturer.


#18

Hi Gary, @VinoVeritas, find that filter and clean it. As soon as autumn arrives I’ll be having the usual annual sort out and fire sale. I keep saying no more purchases, then the community add another wine to my wish list Or Decanter rates something I really fancy. no willpower !
Although back on subject, always buy the biggest fridge/cellar you can afford/have room for.


#19

@Lincoln I currently have an older model version of the Transtherm Ermitage cabinet which has both heating and cooling circuits…

http://transtherm.com/transtherm_Prestige_Ermitage.php

It lives in the garage (attached to the house but flat roofed), which has a pretty large temperature variation but internal temps seem very consistent. As you mention, filling the cabinet helps minimize fluctuations as the thermal mass of the bottles/wine helps regulate small changes. Water takes an awful lot of energy to heat up!

I’m very pleased with this cabinet - it seems to be one of the lesser known manufacturers but it is very well put together. The fact that I only paid a couple of hundred quid for it on eBay helps a lot!


#20

Thanks for the tip… I’ll take a closer look.