Considering a Wine Dispenser?

Although not for everybody, a high-quality wine dispenser makes a lot of sense. Not only do most keep your wine perfectly chilled and ready for service, but you can pour a precise glass every time without spillage or handling the bottle, which avoids disturbing sediments and hastening oxidation.

But more than that, a good wine dispenser will normally have a system whereby oxygen is sucked out or otherwise neutralized once the bottle is un-corked.

The great thing about this is that you can slowly consume a bottle of wine over several days or weeks, rather than, at most, the 24-48 hours you have to finish it if merely refrigerated.

I don’t know about you, but there have been many times where I hastily polished off a bottle of wine that I wished I could have enjoyed over time, just because I knew it was bound to spoil overnight.

Perhaps the biggest hesitation most people have when considering a wine dispenser is that of features and cost. These units do run the gamut and it can be confusing at times to understand just what one does compared to another.

Our Thoughts on 3 Popular Wine Dispensers

To help point you in the right direction, we’ve decided to feature 3 of the newest and best wine dispensers currently available to help give you a better sense of the features and price range you are most comfortable with.

Let’s get on with it!

1) Skybar WP0550 ONE Wine Preservation System

Overview

Like most higher-quality units, the Skybar WP0550 ONE is both a wine cooler and a wine dispenser. It also happens to be one of the most popular single-bottle wine dispensers on the market these days.

As far as its competence as a wine chiller, the Skybar ONE is solid. This unit uses a thermoelectric cooling mechanism that can be controlled via a top-dial that has 15 preset storage/service temperature settings based on type and varietal.

The bottle (which can be 750 ml or 1.5L in size) is kept secure in a single chamber that has a generous viewing window and shows off your wine with a beautiful back lit blue LED.

Wine is dispensed automatically from the unit into the glasses of your choice with a push of a button. And after you pour, the Skybar automatically removes oxygen from the open bottle via patented vacuum technology; this is reported to extend your enjoyment of a partially-consumed bottle for up to 10 days. In addition, since the oxygen removal process is achieved through a vacuum, it does not require the use of absorption media or gas cartridges that periodically must be recharged or disposed and replaced. Thus, this system has no hidden operating costs.

Finally, this single-bottle wine cooler/dispenser is undeniably stylish, and is compact enough to easily fit on the bar or counter without taking up too much real estate. The Skybar One comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Anything Not to Like?

Skybar ONE - Functional & Stylish Wine DispenserSo, this all sounds great; but what’s not so great about the Skybar? Despite receiving very good reviews, there are a couple of complaints that seem to come up.

The first is noise. Like most wine refrigerators, there are conflicting reports about how “loud” this unit is. Most find it relatively quiet but there are several comments by users claiming it was noisy, particularly the fan noise. In addition, some reported that the preservation system did not hold wine at its peak up to the full 10 days as advertised, and that the life of an open bottle was closer to 4 or 5 days. This, however, is still very good when you consider the 1 to 2 day life of an open bottle normally.

Price & Value

Selling for just under $200 at the moment, the Skybar ONE is by no means cheap. However, it delivers a heck of a lot of performance and sophistication in a very compact unit. Moreover, the freedom to slowly enjoy a good bottle of wine for several days – rather than several hours – is no small service in our book. And the Skybar One does chill and preserve wine reasonable well compared to other popular units.

Concluding Thoughts

The Skybar One is a great little wine cooler /wine dispenser that not only delivers as advertised, but just looks great doing it. Add to that its very affordable price tag and the wow-factor it brings to any home bar, and we think it’s a smart choice for the budding wine enthusiast.

 

2) Boxxle 3L Box Wine Dispenser

Overview

If you are fan of premium boxed wines, than the Boxxle 3L Box Wine Dispenser is a natural and very cost-effective choice.

This unit is used with 3-liter bags of wine and, due to the lack of dead air space in such wine bladders, the Boxxle can reportedly store your opened wine for up to six weeks! What’s more is that it dispenses wine very well with an above-the-rim pressurized pouring mechanism that adds a touch of class to the pour.

There is very little waste with the Boxxle too; in fact, most users report being able to get just about every drop out of the bag, thanks to the reliable tension-activated pressure system.

If looks are important, you can check that box too. The unit is partially clad in stainless steel, and is remarkably small and compact. It measures just over a foot tall and weighs about 5 pounds. Consequently, this is a very easy wine dispenser to keep close by and handy.

Take note that this is not a wine cooler or wine chiller. That means you need to keep the unit in a room with a suitable service temperature; or, if you can fit it, you can temporarily put the Boxxle into a refrigerator or other “cool room” before serving.

The Boxxle 3L Box Wine Dispenser: attractive and practicalAnything Not to Like?

The reviews of the Boxxle are outstanding, and most users praised it for performing as indicated and looking great. But, like virtually any product, there are some complaints. The only repeated concern that we could find was the unit sometime tore the wine bladder upon installation. However, it appears that this can be avoided by proceeding carefully and should not be an issue after a bit of experience. Overall, however, this was a relatively isolated complaint.

Price & Value

With a sale price hovering around $100, this is not a particularly cheap wine dispenser, especially when you consider that it only dispenses. Nevertheless, it is one of the most reliable and effective bagged-wine dispensers currently on the market, and it is very smart-looking as well. In short, it’s well worth the sales price in our book.

Concluding Thoughts

For boxed-wine lovers not looking for a wine cooler/chiller, the Boxxle 3L Box Wine Dispenser is an easy choice. This little dispensers does exactly what it’s advertised to; further, it is fashionable-looking and has one of the best track records you are going to find in this market. It’s also very reasonably-priced considering that it gives you the freedom to enjoy a “box” of wine for up to 6 weeks after opening!

 

3) Vinotemp VT-WINEDISP2/VT-WINEDISP4 Wine Dispenser

Overview

Two similar Vinotemp models, the VT-WINEDISP2 and VT-WINEDISP4, are both high-tech, commercial-grade wine dispensers that can hold up two (2) and (4) four bottles, respectively.

Vinotemp is well-known for making some of the most-respected wine coolers. And it appears that they’ve taken the same approach towards wine dispensing. Both of these wine coolers/dispensers can maintain wine between 46 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and then serve with an easy touch of a button. A precise metered 10ml-pour is perfect for serving friends or hosting more formal wine tastings.

These units are fitted with a large, insulated double-paned glass door for easy viewing, and the cabinet is illuminated with a cool blue LED light. The digital controls are precise and the crisp LED display allows you to easily monitor the desired set temperature.

Notably, unlike either of the two dispensers above, the Vinotemp VT-WINEDISP2 and VT-WINEDISP4 both use a gas preservation system. Specifically, the unit fills opened bottles with either nitrogen or argon gas, which displaces oxygen and, in theory, is a more effective way of preventing oxidation than vacuum technology.

As such, Vinotemp reports that you can enjoy an opened bottle for up to several weeks after uncorking.The unit comes with 2 cartridges to start you off.

Anything Not to Like?

When these units are working, they are loved. And some users confirm that the high-tech gas preservation system does work as advertised, and that they can keep opened wine fresh for weeks.

The two big issues with these models seem to be (1) their reliability/durability; and (2) the cost of replacement nitrogen/argon cartridges.  Specifically, there are several complaints of the units failing to work for various reasons, and some had issues with the bottle sealing mechanism. But the more common gripe was that the gas preservation system made short work of nitrogen cartridges, which were not cheap to replace.

Price & Value

For a state-of-the-art wine cooler/wine dispener, the Vinotemp VT-WINEDISP2 and VT-WINEDISP4 are actually quite reasonable at their current sales price of around $500 and $800, respectively. Yes, that is a heck of a lot of money, but if you compare this with the thousands of dollars most high-tech gas preservation system units run, they provide excellent value.

Concluding Thoughts

While not for the casual drinker, the Vinotemp VT-WINEDISP2 and VT-WINEDISP4 are sophisticated wine dispensing/preservation units that make a lot of sense for the more advanced wine enthusiast or commercial wine vendor.

We wish that these models had a better record for reliability, but again, there are really no better, cheaper options that we can find that deliver the same level of precision and storage time you can get with gas-displacement technology. And with respect to the cartridges, this too is an inevitable consequence of gas-preservation; we suggest buying your cartridges in a bulk 5-pack to get the best deal. One cartridge should be sufficient for dispensing about a half-dozen bottles.

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