I shopped around on the internet for months looking for not only a good price, but also reading the reviews to determine which wine chiller was right for me. After 15 years, I was moving most of my wine out of a professional, underground facility to my home because of the increasing costs of offsite storage. I decided to move about 150 bottles out of storage.
I searched on Craigslist and found a few wine coolers listed at a little surplus store in Chatsworth, CA. I decided to swing by and take a look. Most of the units were “scratch and dent” items and were marked down about 50% off retail. I kept my search up for a few more months and stopped in this same place a few times to take note of the model numbers so I could do more research online.
I was originally planning on purchasing one of the Avanti, Vinotemp, or N’FINITY Wine Coolers because they were available at this surplus store for about $1200 and it held roughly 160 bottles. Many of the reviews showed that these units were either noisy, unreliable, or had a lot of vibration. Based on the online reviews the Eurocave brand appeared better in many ways. The problem was that the Eurocave cellars at this warehouse were going for about $2400! Then one day, I visited the warehouse and came across a new delivery of wine cellars … and found a EuroCave Comfort 266 Wine Cellar for only $1400. I figured it was mismarked, but I decided to grab it. I negotiated another $100 off plus got six more racks to boot for paying in cash.
Got it home, waited the requisite 48 hours, plugged it in, chilled it down, and loaded the entire case full of wine! Wow, looks great! I was so proud of my great shopping deal! Until three weeks later … I slid out one of the MDS (Main du Sommelier) shelves out to retrieve a bottle of wine. I pulled the bottle and pushed back the shelf. As soon as it touched that back of the cabinet, KAH-CHUNK! WTF? I went to pull the shelf out and sure enough that shelf had derailed and fallen down to rest on top of the shelf below it. So I proceeded to extract each bottle of wine off both shelves so I could see what the hell was going on.
Has this happened to you?
I looked to see if I did something wrong during assembly or one of the brackets was screwed up. Maybe that’s why this cellar was such a good bargain? Since I received additional shelves, I just grabbed another one and tried it in the same slot. Seemed to be okay, so I loaded it up and took the “bad” shelf out to the garage to look at some later time. There was no rush … I had additional shelves …but then it happened again on a different shelf. I finally did some research and found that this MDS shelf derailment is an inherent problem with Eurocave wine cellars! I couldn’t find the solution to the problem and it should have been obvious, but it wasn’t at the time.
So, after looking at the shelving system carefully and doing a lot of measurements, I decided that this problem could be solved. IMO, the design of the tracks that the wheels roll on are flawed. At the rear of each track, where the wheels stop and hold the shelf in place (so it’s not slipping around all over the place) the width of the track decreases by several millimeters. This is enough slack to pop the rear wheel off the track. The solution is to precisely adjust each shelf so that there’s ZERO play. You can’t even have a couple of millimeters otherwise you’ll be sorry.
Being the engineer that I am, I decided to not just play with the adjustments, but rather obtain the exact measurements and bring this problem to an end. Pictures and instructions on how to fix this problem…
Grab a phillips screwdriver and two nickels. Pull out each offending rack and check out the rear corners of the sliding rack. They probably look like the images below. Notice that there’s little or no space where these two pieces of metal come together. The screw visible in the photos allow you to widen the shelf and extend the wheels apart from each other. Loosen the screw, but there’s no need to take it all the way out. Spread the two piece of metal apart.
Now, stick in a nickel or two and re-tighten the screw. The reason I’m using the coin is that I found that when you tighten the screw, the space does not remain in the correct width as you want. Now, pull out the nickel(s) and see if that fixes the problem. Without putting any wine on the rack, just push the rack all the way back and wiggle it from side to side. It should not be loose at all. The rack should also move in and out smoothly. If it doesn’t that means the wheels are too far apart. Adjust as needed.