Saturday, December 13, 2008

NewAir Tower

Back in the middle of 2007 I purchased a couple of wine coolers under the Emerson label from Target. Each holds 8 bottles and works under the thermoelectric principle. I like to call them my "Emerson Suites." Wine suites, that is.

Well, 16 slots is not a whole lot. Finally I decided to purchase another wine cooler unit, this time a little bigger. After doing much perusing on the internet, I decided on the AW-280E made by NewAir. Or rather, I should say it is under the NewAir label because I doubt that most, if not all of the brands actually make their own units. I bet they all come from the same factory in China.

This one holds 28 bottles and, like the Emerson Suites, it works using thermoelectric principles. Since it is a lot taller than the other two, I call this one my "NewAir Tower." I ordered it from a company called Air N Water. The reasons I chose them were: (1) good pricing; (2) good feedback on E-Bay; (3) nearby location for fast shipping.

I didn't buy the unit on E-Bay but that's how I found out about them because they sell there. They also have their own website and I wound up placing the order by phone. It shipped out the next day and I received it the day after that.

The box arrived via Fed Express ground in great condition (albeit at 7:45 on a rainy night and the guy didn't have the decency to ring the doorbell. I just happened to look outside and there it was sitting on the porch). The unit itself looks very nice considering the price and seems to be constructed well. It looks exactly like the pictures on the website.

I've had it for a couple of weeks and so far, so good. The manual says it chills down to 54 degrees and that's where I have it set. The actual temperature ranges from 57.7 to 58.5 degrees, however, according to the thermometer I used. That's fine with me and I've come to expect that the temperature on the readout is never as low as the actual temperature anyway. We've been having a bout of cold weather lately so I'd be interested in knowing how this unit does when it gets warmer. It's been very quiet and very steady so far; the fan hardly turns on.

The shelves are on the narrow side but they still accommodate Burgundy and Rhone-style bottles. You just have to alternate facing the necks inward and outward on the shelves.

This was the lowest-priced of the various 28-bottle units I looked at on the web. The most expensive was the Vinotemp. They all look suspiciously the same, with very similar specs. I bet they are all the same, save for slight cosmetic differences that must appear on the order sheet that gets submitted to the factory in China - like do you want the glass tinted, or put a stripe here or there, etc. etc. But in substance, mechanically I think they are all the same. So why pay more?

Anyway.. here's a picture of the NewAir Tower:

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