The Haier HVW18BSS Wine Refrigerator – A Simple, Compact Wine Refrigerator. But Will it Last?
The Haier HVW18BSS wine refrigerator stores 18 standard or bordeaux-style bottles, but if you like Champagne, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, expect it to be less, especially since the wine refrigerator is designed to be narrow and have a small footprint. In addition, the wine racks are wavy wire racks that can’t be adjusted (very common, but also the worst kind), once again fitted for standard bottles, so expect wine bottles with a wide base not to lay properly and hit the upper rack. The racks may even bend after a while.
Haier touts its thermoelectric cooling system because it creates less vibrations than compressor-based systems. While this is one of the advantages of a thermoelectric system, it is not the primary one. The primary advantage of a thermoelectric system (and therefore a favorable characteristic of this wine refrigerator) is a steady temperature or small fluctuations. Providing a steady temperature is the most important thing you can do for wine protection. Thermoelectric systems are also quieter and consume less energy.
The Haier HVW18BSS also provides a double-paned glass door which helps to maintain temperature through increased insulation and provides some protection against Ultra Violet light (tinting of the glass would be even better), but this is a standard wine refrigerator feature.
This wine cooler’s temperature range could be larger. At 50 – 64°F it does not provide adequate cooling for a whole range of white and sparkling wines that are best served at 40 – 50°F. Temperature control is provided by a simple mechanical dial marked red wine on one side and white wine on the other (see Haier HVW18BSS Owner’s Manual). As suggested above they could have omitted the side that says white wine. In addition, a simple dial does not provide accurate temperature control. You can’t serve wine at the proper temperature if you can’t dial in a precise temperature, although you could always buy a thermometer and experiment with the settings.
But, none of these features matter if the wine cooler stops working. Many buyers of this model have stated that it breaks down shortly after its one-year parts-and-labor warranty expires, and while wine refrigerators have never been known for their longevity one should expect to keep it for at least 5 years before replacement. On the plus side, Haiers tend to be cheap so the pain shouldn’t be too great.
Who’ s It For? If you regularly keep less than 20 bottles of red wine on hand that comes in bordeaux-style bottles like Cabernet Sauvignon, and that red wine is primarily the same type or served at the same temperature (because it’s a single zone wine cooler), and you don’t mind buying a new wine refrigerator every year, go ahead and pick one up. But remember, wine refrigerators are for short-term storage (less than a year) and should not be used to age wine.
- Thermoelectric Cooling
- Double-paned Glass Door
- One-year parts-and-labor warranty
- Compact – small footprint
- Cheap (price per bottle = $8.33, based on average price per unit of $150)
- Wavy wire racks designed for standard bottles
- Small temperature range
- Mechanical dial – poor temperature control
- Likely to fail after 1 year