We're now the proud owners of only one Avanti wine refrigerator - the Avanti EWC28 28-bottle Wine Cooler. For a while we had two, one working, and one a perch for the cats. Last year the first one was a great birthday present. We were always running out of room for wines we weren't going to drink right away. This thing fir the bill. It was quiet and kept wine at a nice 56 degrees (according to my 2 dollar fridge thermometer). It was nice and compact. However, we've had two problems, one major, one minor. The major thing is that it stopped cooling after 10 months. The fan worked, but it was only blowing room temperature air. Call me crazy, but that's not too helpful if you want to keep red wine at safe temperature in the summer but you don't have a basement.

When I started doing a little poking around on the internet I found some reviews from people who had a similar problem. Some crapped out after 6 months. One poor sucker had his/her quit after the warranty period and was told that no replacement parts were available. Lovely. Naturally, all the negative reviews I found were written after we got the refrigerator. Luckily the thing was still within the warranty period. Customer service seemed pretty accommodating, and they offered to replace it, no questions asked. Maybe they know their product is sub-standard. Anyway, all I had to do was to cut off the power cord, peel off the serial number sticker, and send those, a copy of the receipt and a check for $15(?) to Avanti. The replacement has been fine so far, but we've only had it two weeks. But to add insult to injury, we had to pay $50 dollars to our condo association to have it hauled away for scrap metal. We seriously considered tossing it in a dumpster at some construction truction site.

Without the gimp, short-lived motor I am a bit disappointed about the shelf spacing, which I think should be a design consideration for any wine refrigerator. The shelves are too close together to comfortably fit Champagne- and Burgundy-style bottles. Champagne bottles require you to take a shelf out, and labels on Burgundy-style bottles get scraped up. What's more is that the cooler is advertised as having space for 28 bottles, though that doesn't mean 28 750 ml bottles. The space between the bottom shelf and the floor of the cooler is useful only for half bottles and slender dessert wine bottles. One customer wrote on Amazon that after complaining about the space, customer service said 28 bottles refers to "standard sized bottles." Standard? Anybody who has assembled mixed cases for customers in a wine store will tell you there's no such critter.

Another little problem, which the new one doesn't have, is that the suction on the door was so strong that the foam-like insulation pad on the door often ripped away from the door.

If you want to buy a wine refrigerator, first, take my advice and avoid this puppy, though I was quite thankful for it as a present. And second, after experience with the spacing, I would go shopping with some empty bottles and test to see whether the shelves will accommodate the wine I want to chill.



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