Sunbeam 8-Bottle Wine Cooler Review

by coolerman on November 4, 2008

Sunbeam 8-Bottle Wine Cellar Review (SCN08SHCBV)


Our Rating:
Based on: 36 reviews/ratings
Approximate price: $90
Capacity: 8 bottles

Features:

  • LED display
  • Interior light
  • Thermoelectric

Pros:

  • Thermoelectric, so energy-efficient and quiet, with no vibration
  • Fairly stylish
  • Small footprint
  • Inexpensive as wine coolers go

Cons:

  • Some reliability problems, although perhaps too early to tell
  • Limited capacity (compared to larger models – true for all 8 bottle wine coolers)
  • Being thermoelectric, cannot cool more than 20 degrees lower than ambient temperature

Sampling of owner comments about the Sunbeam 8 bottle wine cellar:

  • “sleek and compact… fits nicely on the counter…about the size of a microwave”
  • “not quite deep enough for some bottles”
  • “Overall good value for the money” (often stated)
  • “when set on 44 degrees (lowest setting) it only cooled down to 49 degrees (measured by two digital thermometers I have). The room was 71 degrees so that was not an issue.” Note: This is typical of thermoelectric wine coolers – they can only cool down to 20-25 degrees below the ambient temperature.)
  • “Fan is fairly quiet too and I’m very noise-conscious (Note: This is typical of thermoelectric wine coolers, since they do not contain compressors.)”
  • “does fit 8 bottles, but the middle spaces have trouble with taller bottles, due to the fan/heatsink unit”
  • “I have had it 5 months and now I can’t get it to cool less that 65 degrees”
  • 4 complaints of the wine cooler dying too soon – 3 within a year or less, the 4th did not mention a time.

Our review:

The Sunbeam 8-bottle wine cooler, a favorite gift item, is generally well received. Most of the reviews we found commented on it being a nice little unit, especially for the price. No one really exuded excitement over it, though, like we’ve heard about other units.

The Sunbeam cooler doesn’t take up much space – about the size of a microwave – and looks fairly nice on the countertop. Folks comment on it’s being very quiet, which is typical for thermoelectric coolers, since they don’t have compressors. A few commented on the fact that it did not get as cold as they expected, or needed, but that, too, is typical of thermoelectric wine coolers. They can only get about 20 to 25 degrees cooler than the surrounding environment. If you need to store wine in a warmer environment, you’ll want to look for a compressor-type wine cooler.

As is the case with many of the inexpensive wine coolers we’ve reviewed, there appear to be some reliability issues. This particular cooler does not seem to have as extensive quality issues as others we’ve reviewed, but we did find 4 out of 36 owners complaining about the product failing very early on. Of course, many reviews are written right after a product is purchased or received, so there may be more premature failures to come.

Overall, the failure rate was better than average, so for now, we’re recommending this cooler to shoppers who really want a small, inexpensive wine chiller. (We still recommend that people who purchase wine fairly regularly actually move up to a larger capacity wine cooler, something on the order of 20-50 bottles. Larger wine coolers do cost considerably more, and take up much more space, of course.)

Bottom line recommendation:

The Sunbeam 8 Bottle Wine Cooler is recommended as a small, countertop cooler, in a room temperature environment.

Details/Shop

Check out our other recommendations for 8-bottle wine cooler/chillers, and our wine cooler buyer’s guide.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jhoch July 23, 2010 at 7:53 am

my sumbeam 8 bottle cooler died after about 3 years. That is unacceptable reliability.

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