Wine coolers may not come to mind when you hear the brand name Nutrichef. Instead, you likely think about healthy, home-cooked meals that you can make quickly, if only you had the right Nutrichef products!
Ah, the days of the infomercial. They were great, weren’t they? The glory days might be long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get great Nutrichef products. However, rather than reviewing any of their healthy meals, I decided to dive into their 18-bottle wine cooler to see if it was any good.
Who the Nutrichef is For
To be honest, the look of the Nutrichef wine coolers is a bit gimmicky. Many high-quality wine coolers don’t say the name of the brand on the front, or at least not in such a prominent location. This one says it right at the top.
That being said, this wine cooler offers quite a few features at a reasonable price, so it’s a great choice for those who are looking for a unit that can chill a few bottles until they’re ready to drink them.
They range in capacity from 12-24 bottles, but most stated capacities are the absolute maximum if you were to cram your bottles in there, so they’ll likely hold 3-5 bottles less than that. It’s reasonable to purchase a wine cooler that will hold about 50% more than you want it to, just in case your collection grows.
Every NutriChef wine cooler is meant to be freestanding. There are no options for under the counter installation, so these are meant for people who have room on top of their counter or somewhere on the floor. They can be placed in the corner of a room or as an extension of your countertop.
There are single and dual-zone varieties, some have handles and some don’t and there are many other unique features from which you may choose depending on the model that’s right for you.
If you have children in your home, this wine fridge is a fantastic option, because it has a control lock feature that will keep little fingers from being able to push any buttons, You’ll have to unlock the buttons again before you can use them.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Nutrichef brand of wine cooler features for anyone who might be interested in purchasing one. There is a good number of features for a reasonable price, so if you’re working with a budget, it’s worth a look.
Bottle arrangement options
The wire shelves in the Nutrichef wine cooler allow you to store your bottles in several different ways. If you leave the interior full of racks, you can lay the entire capacity of bottles down, as long as they are standard-sized bottles.
However, the shelves are also removable, so you can store irregular bottles as well. Not only that, but removing a bottom shelf or two will allow you to store bottles upright at the bottom of the cooler. If you open a bottle and don’t finish it, you can keep it for later.
You may also choose to insert your bottom rack at an angle, easily converting it to a display shelf, where you can turn your labels outward for everyone to see.
Keep in mind that the more adjustments you make to shelving, the more it will reduce your capacity. However, this customization may work better for you, meaning that even if it holds fewer bottles, you’re still getting maximum efficiency for your lifestyle.
Nutrichef makes wine coolers with both thermoelectric and compressor systems in them.
If you purchase a thermoelectric system, that means it removes hot air from inside the cooler rather than using a compressor and a fan to cool the air already inside. So while it’s much more energy efficient and quieter than a compressor-style wine cooler, it won’t always work as well.
That’s why it’s better suited for storing red wines than white wines. The temperature range will be somewhere between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Because thermoelectric technology can’t cool as effectively as compressor technology can, it won’t reach temperatures low enough to store white wines.
When you first set the temperature on the wine cooler, it will display the current temperature on the inside until it reaches your desired temperature, which can take some time. It may even drop below your desired temperature for a bit, but it will eventually even out.
It’s able to maintain your desired temperature quite effectively once it’s full.
If you purchase a compressor system, it will keep the temperature of your wines constant. You’ll also be able to store more than just red, because your range of temperatures is much wider.
You’ll never be able to expect a completely silent wine cooler, even if it uses thermoelectric technology, but there are other thermoelectric wine coolers that are quieter than the Nutrichef. However, what you’ll hear is a quiet humming noise as it cools. It won’t be the loud buzzing you hear as your kitchen refrigerator starts up.
If you plan to install it somewhere that you can hear it, you’ll likely be able to ignore it just fine. It will perform well in a high traffic area, as long as the ambient air temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much.
On the other hand, Nutrchef’s compressor system is a bit noisier. However, you won’t experience anything noisier than your kitchen refrigerator, so it depends on what you feel like you can tune out.
The touch button controls are on the outside of the cooler, they’re easy to use, and they seem rather intuitive. The control lock is a nice touch for those users with children who might find the cooler particularly appealing.
It’s also really easy to unlock so that you have complete control over how you cool your wines and when to use the LED interior lighting.
The only downside here is that there’s not an actual lock on the door to protect your wines from damage. Repeated opening and closing of the door can affect the energy efficiency of the unit as well as the quality of your wines.
If you’re planning to drink them soon anyway, that may not matter, but if you’re concerned about little hands getting a hold of something, a lock would be a nice feature.
Some may say the Nutrichef wine cooler is aesthetically appealing, and they’re not necessarily wrong, but I think there are much better options out there. Of course, on a budget, this one isn’t bad.
The wire shelving is tacky, but the soft blue LED lighting on the interior is quite nice. The door is transparent so you can see through it, but by spending a little bit more money, you could get a unit with double-pane tinted tempered glass, which really makes it look classy.
Some Nutrichef designs include a handle that’s flush against the side of the door, while others have a handle that’s mounted on the front. While these are a bit more difficult to install, I think they look nicer.
It makes the door easier to open and it adds a certain aesthetic to the unit that wouldn’t be there otherwise.
Most Nutrichef units have a low profile, which most people like, but you can choose between a black finish and a stainless steel finish. This is nice if you want it to match your other appliances, but I think stainless is always more classy, especially when it comes to wine.
While we already addressed that I don’t like the look of the chrome shelving, the design of the shelving is clever. The bottom shelves are not as deep as the top shelves, so even with every shelf installed, you can still store a few bottles upright.
The shelves are designed to hold 2.75-inch bottles that are 12.6 inches long, but you can store larger bottles if you remove shelving. You can avoid taking shelves out if you arrange the bottles right.
Alternate large and regular bottles on the full-length shelves, and then place them facing opposite directions.
- Attractive design for any space
- Easy touch button controls on outside with lock feature
- Low noise level on thermoelectric models
- Soft blue LED interior lighting
- Bottles can be stored vertically or upright
- Removable shelving in all units
- Easy installation
- Low profile and slim design for tight spaces
- Single and dual-zone models
- No humidity controls
- No door lock
- Compressor system units are noisier
- Wire shelving could be better
If you like the idea of a wine cooler, but you’re not sold on the Nutrichef brand just yet, I don’t blame you. Here are some alternatives you may want to consider before making a decision.
Sunpentown 12-bottle wine cooler
This is also a low-profile wine cooler if you are looking for something that won’t take up much room. You can still collect wine or keep a few bottles for serving, even if you have a very small space for installation. It will sit on top of a counter or in a corner and be out of the way until you need it.
It’s a thermoelectric wine cooler, so it’s ideal for reds only, but it’s affordable. However, It’s probably not the most attractive solution, so tucking it away where it’s not quite as obvious might be the thing to do. It’s quiet and efficient, so no one should notice it.
Koldfront 18-bottle dual-zone wine cooler
If you have to have your reds and whites, this is a good option, because it’s effective and gives you the range of temperatures you need. It also has removable shelves so you can get larger bottles inside if you need to.
It will hold your temperatures consistently, and it’s not too loud. Plus, it’s actually attractive, so you can keep it on display for all to see. It’s a little pricier, but I think it’s well worth it.
NewAir 29-bottle dual-zone wine cooler
If you need an even bigger upgrade, this unit has humidity control, so you’ll pay a little more, but you can store more, and keep everything just a little fresher. It also has a few extra features that the Nutrichef doesn’t.
You get consistent, dual-zone cooling, extra capacity, quiet operation, and an incredibly sleek design, all from a more reputable brand. NewAir is a trusted name in wine coolers, so you can feel good about spending the money on this unit and getting a good product.
Buying a wine cooler can be a big investment, but if you’re planning on spending the money, it’s worth it. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you make a better decision.
Answer: Wine is an investment, too. You might not think of it that way, but getting a wine cooler to protect that investment is wise. It will keep it safe from changes in temperature and humidity and make sure it doesn’t spoil before you’re ready to drink it.
You may not necessarily think your wine is spoiling, but it can happen faster than you realize, so make sure you have a good place to keep your bottles, even if it only takes you a few weeks or months to get to them.
Answer: These units are great for keeping your wine chilled until you serve it. Wine is better served at the appropriate temperature. If you’ve never been a picky wine drinker, you may not care, but once you try it the right way, you may not ever want to go back.
However, they’re also perfect for long-term storage, so if you’re a wine collector, a wine cooler will allow your bottles to age the right way.
Answer: If you’re planning to serve them, white wines should be chilled to 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit and red wines should be between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, within these categories, each varietal will taste its best at a different temperature.
For instance, a Chardonnay may be perfect at 58 degrees while a Moscato is better at 53 degrees. Or perhaps a Moscato from your favorite winery will be better at a different temperature than a Moscato from your friend’s favorite winery.
And every person has their own preference, too. You’ll have to experiment to see what you like.
If you’re planning to store them, you can keep reds and whites at 55 degrees until you’re ready to serve them and then bring them to the correct temperature later.
If I were buying a wine cooler, I probably wouldn’t buy the Nutrichef. I would go with the NewAir, or another reputable brand like Kalamera or EdgeStar. They cost a bit more, but they’re more reliable, look more stylish, and have better features.
However, I do think the Nutrichef is a fabulous option if you’re on a budget and would like something to keep your wines cool before you serve them. It is versatile and a great value for the price. It’s not unattractive, either.
You have a lot of storage options, you can be proud to display it in any room, and it doesn’t operate with a lot of annoying noise, no matter which model you choose. I also like the fact that there are enough models to choose from that there’s something for everyone.