Restauranteurs, avid wine collectors, and party planners all understand the need to keep a large selection of wines on hand at all times. Keeping a larger selection may require the installation of a wine cellar, but space is often a constraining factor. One great solution is the Edgestar 121 bottle single zone built-in wine cooler.
The Edgestar 121 Bottle Cooler
The Edgestar 121 bottle unit, also known as model number CWR1211SZ, is large enough to hold a collection for retail, commercial, or private use. While the name implies that it is intended for use as a built-in unit, it offers a sleek design so that it can be used as a freestanding unit as well. This is a compressor driven unit, allowing it to offer a wider range of temperature settings. The compressor is assisted by fans to eliminate the temperature variations often seen in smaller single zone units.
Edgestar is one of the marquee product lines offered by Living Direct, Inc., KoldFront being the other. Both brands claim to “enhance and simplify your busy life.” Edgestar has been meeting or exceeding customer expectations for several decades. Given their background, you can expect a solid product.
Every product has its pros and cons. The CWR1211SZ is no different. In order for you to make an informed purchase, here are the biggest pros of this unit and several of the most common cons.
- Large capacity: this unit is capable of holding up to 121 bottles of your favorite wines. A few factors may diminish the capacity of the unit, though. If you choose to store high-shouldered or over-sized bottles, you will not be able to keep 121 bottles. Additionally, storing champagne bottles will encroach on the unit’s storage capacity.
- Intriguing design: finished in stainless steel, this model can fit into any décor. The interior features wood trimmed racks and soft LED lighting to further help it blend in wherever you place it.
- Temperature range: being compressor driven, this unit is capable of a wider temperature range. The CWR1211SZ is able to hold precise temperatures between 40 and 65 degrees. Temperature is maintained through a digital keypad, allowing you single degree control over the interior temperature.
- Even cooling: single zone wine coolers are notorious for having shelf by shelf temperature variations. The CWR1211SZ eliminates temperature variations by using circulating fans to ensure the interior environment is always stable.
- Wine protection: the reversible door of the unit features tinted glass protects your wines from harsh lighting and ultraviolet rays. A secondary level of protection is the replaceable built-in carbon filter to protect your collection from outside odors. A third level of protection comes from the rubber used to reduce vibrations that can affect the taste of your wines over time.
- Lockable: the Edgestar 121 bottle unit features a built-in lock. This can be key (no pun intended) if you have children.
- Warranty: this model features a one year warranty on parts and labor.
- Weight: this unit weighs 180 lbs. You are going to need assistance during the installation process and any time you need to change its location.
- Storage: people who have purchased the unit say that while it is possible to store the advertised 121 bottles, it does take a bit of creativity to adjust the shelves to handle that many bottles. The easiest way to get 121 bottles in the unit is to store 6 bottles butt-end forward at the front of each shelf, then 5 bottles cork-end forward at the back of each shelf; the cork-ends of all bottles overlapping in the middle of the shelf. That gives you 11 bottles per shelf.
- Noise: owners say that the compressor is reasonably quiet, but the circulation fans are a tad noisy. The noise of the unit is exacerbated by the fans being timed to run every ten seconds to achieve better temperature control. It may be wise to locate this unit away from common areas of your home.
Overall, this is a solid built-in wine fridge for burgeoning collections or short-term storage in a restaurant setting. The CWR1211SZ is currently listed on Amazon for just over $1000. The noise coming from the circulation fans may be a deal-breaker for some, especially if the unit is placed in a common room or near a bedroom. But given the price and the solid warranty, we give this unit an overall recommendation for most people.