Baumatic BW28BL Wine Cooler Review

What is the Baumatic BW28BL?

Baumatic manufactures a wide range of cabinets for wines and beverage centers, with the 28-bottle BW28BL model which is almost its entry level model at around £ 170. If you need storage for only 18 bottles, the BW18BL is a Smaller option and it costs between £ 30 and £ 40 cheaper. The BW28BL is very compact, has a vibration-free thermoelectric heat pump motor and a full glass door.

That glass door is a strange golden color that we could not love, and the heat pump motor is far from energy efficient. Its lowest configuration is only 12ºC, rather it limits it to red wine, also the interior light is unfortunate. The stable temperature and the lack of vibration are positive points for a good wine conditioning, but the operating costs and design problems limit its appeal.

Related: Best fridge freezer

Baumatic BW28BL – Design and features

The BW28BL and its smaller brother are quite unusual in the sense that they do not use traditional refrigerator compressors for cool your wine They use a thermoelectric cooler, also known as a Peltier effect heat pump.

For technology experts, this is a large semiconductor laminated plate that, when electricity is applied, draws heat from one side of the plate to the other. .

On the positive side, the thermoelectric cooler is small and is screwed to the back of the appliance, instead of occupying a valuable space for the wine. It is also vibration free, which is good for your wine and virtually silent. The only operating noise is a small fan that cools the warm side of the heat pump and an internal fan that circulates the air.

But do not get too enthusiastic about the energy efficiency of the "heat pump". Unlike heat pumps with a dryer, small-scale thermoelectric refrigerators are not very efficient. As a humble "refrigerator" of 65 liters, the BW28L gets an unhappy B-rating for energy efficiency.

And it's not too cold either. The lowest temperature setting is a warm temperature of 12ºC, which essentially limits its ability to cool the wine to reds. Granted, medium-bodied whites could be almost passable at this temperature, but 12ºC is not in the white wine category of any kind at Chez Stevenson. The red wine is.

The cabinet itself is an innocuous satin box measuring 46 cm wide, 54 deep and 74 cm high. It has a full-sized double-glazed glass door with a clear mirror finish. This comes with hinges on the right and has a handle inserted in the left edge.

Baumatic has drilled and hit both sides of the cabinet for the hinges, which makes the opening technically reversible. However, the door handle can not be interchanged on the right side, which practically frustrates the objective. Schoolboy error.

The glass is smoked and dyed with a distinctly yellow-brown color. The light coming in from your kitchen and then reflected from the chrome shelves makes them look golden. Unless you have a kitchen with gold and brass ornaments, that can be a bit excessive. It was certainly for our pleasure.

Theoretically, the interior of the cabinet is illuminated with a switchable on / off LED light. However, the small LED of old technology dome in the upper right part of the compartment has all the lighting power of a candle. A small birthday cake candle in that. This is an image of the BW28BL in the dark with the door open …

Close the door and the LED is almost invisible. However, being next to the control panel, it shines directly towards you, which makes it difficult to see the thermostat knob. Fortunately, the LED can be turned off as it does nothing to show your wine through the smoked glass.

The thermostat itself is a small rotary knob with high and low marks. If you want a precise temperature, you will need a refrigerator and trial and error thermostat. However, we found that in the high setting, the BW28BL hit around 11-12ºC and 18-19ºC in the low. It was a fairly linear progression in the middle, so I might have a good idea.

The operation is simple: insert wine, light, drink wine, repeat … – but we had some initial problems with our sample.

It came from a retailer in a perfectly crunchy box, but the wine cooler had a crushed foot and the filter on the back needed to be bent to prevent the fan from hitting it. Granted, both failures would have to make most buyers simply send it to replace it, but it suggests a less than stellar build quality.

More surprising was the "register your warranty" label on the door. That really, really did not want to leave.

Baumatic BW28BL – How noisy is it?

Thermoelectric heat pumps are virtually silent since there are no moving parts. The heat is simply transferred from the inside of the cabinet to the outside of the thermoelectric plate. That, in turn, gets hot, so it should be cooled with a fan, which makes a noise. There is also an internal fan to circulate the air, which also produces noise.

The Baumatic energy label suggests a super silent 38dB, but we measure a little more than that. With the rear cooling fan and the indoor fan running, it was emitting 42dB closer. The decibels given are a logarithmic scale, that is much louder than the claim of 38dB. It is quite noisy according to the current standards of the fridge and will be noticed in a quiet kitchen.

Baumatic BW28BL – How much can I get?

The BW28BK is a 28 bottle wine cooler. Given the relatively compact dimensions, that is an impressive capacity. The thermoelectric motor that is on the back instead of the base frees more space in the bottle, even if this means that this cooler will not go that far back to the wall.

The storage space is spaced six chrome wire shelves and the floor of the compartment. You can get four bottles in each one. Total, 28 bottles The common images of the BW28BL confusingly show the six wire frames occupying all the space of the cabinet, which would actually turn it into a 24-bottle cooler. See figure.

The disadvantage of approaching the wire grilles to release that additional space in the floor is that it limits the height between the grids. As a result, only Bordeaux-sized bottles with a diameter of 77 mm can comfortably fit. Step to 83 mm round bottles, like the reds in the Rhone area and often Chablis on the white side, and things get tight. You have to lift the grid to put the bottle and then the grid sits on the bottle. That is comfortable and is likely to result in scraped labels.

For more space, you can remove any of the wire grids. This would offer storage space for cans at the bottom, for example. However, the racks do not slip with wine over them.

Baumatic BW28BL – Performance

The ignition of the BW28BL takes a while to reach the temperature. However, the slow reaction motor means that the internal temperature remains very stable. Nor does the temperature bounce too much when the engine is turned on and off. The internal fan emits cold air around the cabinet, doing remarkably good work to keep the temperature uniform from top to bottom.

In its coldest setting (labeled "high"), the BW28BL ran at an average of 11.5ºC. The temperatures on the top shelf, on the middle shelf and on the floor of the compartment were almost identical. An excellent result The variation during the motorcycle was only +/- 0.2ºC in all the shelves. Together with the vibration-free motor, these are excellent environmental conditions to keep wine orderly.

With the thermostat placed in the middle of the dial, the average temperature increased around it. 15ºC Once again, the entire cabinet had a uniform temperature and the variation was minimal. For its medium-bodied reds, such as Merlot and Chianti, it is ideal.

In its lowest configuration, the cabinet rose to around 18ºC. This is almost the same temperature as the environmental chamber in which we tested. Ironically, that meant that the engine started less frequently, which produced a slightly greater fluctuation in temperature stability. Of course, we are only talking about +/- 0.5ºC, so the conditions of Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrah are excellent.

The BW28BL offers exceptionally stable and vibration-free storage for red wine, if you can forgive its energy-hungry nature at colder temperatures.

Baumatic BW28BL: How much will it cost to run?

Operating costs will depend to a large extent on the temperature at which you set up the BW28BL wine cooler. In its warmer environment of 18-19 º C, like the environment, sipped electricity. However, that is a relative term.

For a period of one week in this configuration, it used 1.3kWh, or just under 20p at an average electricity cost of 15p / kWh. During the year that would be a little more than a tenth. Well, but not much less than a counter refrigerator with A + rating with twice the capacity and a much lower temperature.

Operating costs rapidly go to the north the lower the temperature is set. It's a good job that the & # 39; alone & # 39; BW28BL go down to 12ºC, because it is far from frugal. When running this temperature, it used about 3.5kWh over the course of a week of tests under the same conditions. That amounted to 186kWh quite strong for a year, which is around £ 28 at the current rate.

Those figures relate well to the 182kWh of the energy label per year. To put it in perspective, we have tested refrigerator freezers that use that type of electricity for a year. Therefore, for the compact 65 liter storage capacity of the BW28BL and the unfortunate lower temperature, that is very poor. Then, for the heat pump technology.

Why buy the Baumatic BW28BL?

The BW28BL wine cooler offers a solid capacity of 28 bottles in an orderly and compact cabinet. The additional capacity is thanks to the thermoelectric heat pump motor without vibrations. The internal temperature is constant throughout the cabinet and super stable, which results in a very good atmosphere of red wine conditioning. Only a better air filtration could improve the conditions even more.

However, the motor is far from being efficient with an energy index B, and does not allow the cabinet to reach more than 12ºC. That's fine for red wines, but too hot for our tastes of white wines.

In addition, with almost £ 170 to buy, with about £ 30 per year, this is far from an inexpensive red wine storage solution. Composed of a pathetic internal lighting, slightly narrow shelves, noisy fans and the strange golden glass and things do not look so good in general.

We consider that the BW28BL is very difficult to recommend with enthusiasm, despite its very good wine credentials conditioning.

Verdict

The compact BW28BL offers wine storage at constant temperature and without vibrations, but high operating costs and a lower temperature of 12ºC limit its attractiveness.