Saturday, May 3, 2008

Avanti Wine Chiller

Collecting and storing wine was the next natural step for my wife and I. We've been fans since our college days at UCSB where we frequented local wineries and tasting rooms. From there, it grew to more tasting adventures and learning about wine.
We've had our wine chiller for almost 3 years now and we're finding it difficult to keep it stocked! The WC5100BG model has a single temperature zone and holds 54 standard bottles.

We keep the temperature zone for reds since we will not be keeping whites for very long. Since we live near the ocean in Southern California, keeping humidity in the chiller is never a problem. In fact, it is too humid in there! Though the excessive humidity does not cause water build-up, it does wrinkle some bottle labels. I've considered placing a small dessicator in there but don't want it to get too dry!

As with most chillers, standard bordeaux bottles easily allow the 54 bottle capacity. The top rack is the only location in the chiller where larger width bottles can comfortable snug together. We keep champagne and bigger chardonnay bottles on the top shelf only. While possible to squeeze these bottles in the other locations, they will prevent easy sliding and cause warping to the wooden racks. Non-standard bottles work but you do have to shuffle bottles around constantly to make it work.

Eventually, we'd like to have this chiller built-in to a kitchen where we'll keep our casual and entertaining wines. This model can be used as a stand-alone or a built-in unit. Later, long-term storage will be kept in a larger chiller or a cellar (think big!?).

When we bought this chiller, we stocked it with everything we had including purchases during a recent wine tasting vacation. We also made a trip to the store purchasing some "nice" bottles and casual drinkers. On the most part, we've been keeping it full. Occasionally, we've been buying bottles to age for 3-5+ years. These bottles rest on the bottom racks. Over 3 years of having the chiller, great wine now occupies much of the bottom racks. Recently, there hasn't been much room for casual wines, but that's certainly not a bad thing! Keep it chillin, chillindamos!

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