A few weeks ago I purchased a small wine cooler, the Wine Enthusiast model 272-03-16-A. Here's a picture of it:
That's not my kitchen counter, that's the picture from the Costco product page. I taped aluminum foil over the door glass because I want no light at all shining on the juice inside. I was worried that perhaps the inside light might accidentally turn on but when the room is dark you can see the light at the edge of the foil if it is on, so I'm fine with that.
I bought this from Costco's web site since they don't stock the unit in their warehouse. Why from Costco? For one, the price ($149.99 including shipping) was a lot lower than anywhere else I saw this, and more importantly, Costco has the best return policy in the industry. I don't believe in spending a lot of money for a wine cooler since regardless of price, they are notorious for not lasting a long time. Therefore, why put a lot of money into an iffy investment? But at least buying from Costco gives me the peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, they'll make it right.
How's it working? Fine, so far. I ordered it on a Sunday evening. They drop shipped it from the Wine Enthusiast in New York on Monday and it reached my office in Southern California on Friday in fine condition. No dents in the unit or the box. I have to say, this was very well packed with lots of dense foam padding - not the cheap, stiff styrofoam that splinters into pieces, but the flexible, dense kind that does a better job of protection. There was plenty of cardboard bracing, too.
After letting it sit for a day I plugged it in. After a few hours the unit cooled to what the LED dial on the front panel said was 54 degrees. My own thermometer said it was lower, so I changed the setting to 55 degrees. Since then it keeps the temperature at 54.1-54.3 degrees most of the time. Checking the minimum and maximum temps reveals a range of 53.8 to 54.7 degrees, which to me is pretty darn good. The thing is quiet, too.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to perform in an admirable manner like that. So far, I'm very pleased. It's attractive (though less so with my low class aluminum foil taped to the front door), fairly compact and works like it is supposed to work. The shelving is optimal for Bordeaux bottles (as is pretty much any other wine cooler) but normal Burgundy-type or Riesling bottles should fit with no problem. Egomaniac oversized fancy schmansy bottles or super tall bottles won't fit but then if you buy stuff like that then you should have better storage for them. Oh, and Champagne bottles, same thing. I think most will fit if you don't mind a possibly torn label.
My rating on this unit is thumbs up. For the price, it's a very good value.