NewAir 116-Bottle Wine Refrigerator, AWR-1160DB: A Dual-Zone Cellar For The Frugal Wine Collector

Last updated on October 14th, 2021 at 01:10 pm

Budget-conscious wine lovers looking for a 100+ bottle capacity wine fridge won’t find many options available on the market in 2021.

In the lower-end category (under cc. 1 500 USD) you most probably come across units with the same specs that inevitably also have the same problems.

On the other hand not many of us can afford a high-end wine cellar with a price tag of 2 000 – 3 000 USD.

The NewAir AWR-1160DB wine refrigerator (Premier Gold Series) falls into the first category. Nevertheless, it is a quite a dependable wine cooler for those who want to keep a large number of bottles stored in good conditions.

By all means, this unit too has some of the common problems that tend to pop up in wine fridges in the lower end of the budget spectrum.

Let’s uncover these general nuisances in the NewAir 116-bottle wine cellar along with the many positive features. This may help you make a sound buying decision!

NewAir 116-Bottle Wine Cooler (AWR-1160DB)

7 out of 10

Capacity: 116 bottles (….in top zone – white wines, … in bottom zone – reds).
Model: AWR-1160DB
Cooling Type: Compressor (inverter type) with interior ventilation
Zones: Dual Temperature Zone: 40 – 66 ºF (5 – 18 ºC): top (white wines): 40 – 50 ºF, bottom (reds): 50 – 66 ºF
Placement: Built-In/Recessed or Freestanding
Dimensions: H: 54.75″, W: 23.5″, D: 26.9″ (28.75″ w handle)
Place Of Manufacture: China (in accordance with U. S. ETL/UL standards).
Price: cc. 1 500 – 1 600 USD

Look & Feel + Build Quality (Cabinet/Shelving)
7/10
Noise Level
8/10
Shelving (Quality/Spacing/Ease Of Use)
7/10
Price Per Bottle/Value For Money
8/10
Zones (Sizing/Temperature Control & Stability)
7/10
Warranty Length
6/10

Pros

A moderately-priced wine cooler with 100+ bottle storage space

Split, dual temperature zones with independent controls

Efficient compressor, triple layer glass door for steady temperatures

Well-crafted wood shelving

Beautiful appliance with stylish look

Cons

A warranty longer than 1 year would be nice

Shelving is a bit tight (more space between the racks would be welcome)

Table Of Contents

double red arrow pointing to the right Powerful Compressor + 3 Internal Fans = Consistent Temperatures

The NewAir 116-Bottle wine cooler is equipped with state-of-the-art compressor aided by 3 ventilators inside the cabinet.

The compressor only runs when it is needed to keep the temperature in the two zones at the set values. The fridge vents in the front through the stainless steel grille mounted on the bottom. Make sure you leave it unobstructed so the warm air can leave the cabinet freely.

On top of all, the NewAir AWR-1160DB works almost noiselessly so you can place in the kitchen, living room or other busy communal areas of your home.

A built-in control panel across the cabinet middle has all the touch buttons as well as the digital readout monitor for each zone you need to operate the wine cooler.

See below how to adjust the temperature!

Humidity Level (Passive) – 60 – 70 %)

The humidity is maintained in a passive way inside the cabinet, meaning that you won’t find a button to control it. The unit comes with a plastic water container that you fill with water and place it on any of the shelves.

This will keep the relative humidity at 60 % (no more than 70%).

double red arrow pointing to the right Door – Three Layers of Glass For Maximum Insulation

The door is made of triple glass that ensures excellent thermal insulation for the fridge’s interior keeping the set temperature constant.

It has a slight tint, enough to filter UV light but not preventing an uninterrupted view of the bottles inside.

You can rest assured that your wines be within a perfect, cool and sunlight-free environment so they will taste the best when you are ready to open and savor them.

The door opens to the left by default but you can easily change the direction of opening with a screw driver in a couple of minutes.

The door has a lock system integrated in the ventilation grid on the bottom, so you can keep your collection secure by locking the door. You will find a pair of keys in the packaging.

What’s To Like?

  • Spacious: you can store more than a 100 bottles at ideal temperature
  • Great price for the size, and other features
  • Striking look with the stainless steel components and the elegant wood racking – will match any contemporary home decor.
  • Soft gold LED illumination with two settings further enhances the elegance
  • Easy access to bottles due to the above par extension of the shelves
  • Quiet operation – despite the powerful compressor it emits only a light buzz. Will let you enjoy family meet ups, dinners, a movie night.
  • You can lock the door – a most welcome feature if you have kids.
  • Power consumption is favorable considering the size of the fridge.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Champagtempertaurenes, and other wider/larger bottles will reduce the overall storage space.
  • Warranty length – longer than 1 year would be great.
  • Red wine lovers might complain that the top zone’s max. temperature setting is 50 ºF. It would be nice if the zone’s have the same range of temperature.

double red arrow pointing to the right Capacity & Shelving In The Two Temperature Zones

The NewAir 116-bottle fridge lets you adjust different range of temperature in its two distinctive zones.

Shelves – NewAir AWR-1160DB Wine Cooler
  • In the Top Zone – you can adjust the temperatuperure between: 40 – 50 ºF, while (great for keeping your whites chilled). It has 5 shelves.
  • the lower zone’s range is between: 50 – 66 ºF (best for red wines). There are 6 shelves here.

In the top zone, which has the colder temperature scope, you can chill whites, sparkling wine, Champagne. 5 roll-out, removable beech wood shelves hold the bottles in the upper section.

As you can see the bottom zone is suitable for red wine storage . Here you can adjust the temperature from 50 ºF to 66 ºF. If your goal is long term storage and aging then it’s best to set it to 55 ºF.

As usual the red wine zone is slightly bigger: here you will have 6 shelves to use for storage (the same unvarnished beech wood as in the top zone).

Sidenote: One of the racks here in the lower zone is more spacious to accommodate larger/wider bottles.

double red arrow pointing to the right More On The Shelves…

The fridge comes with 11 beech wood racks that glide out without a hitch on roller slide assembly. The surface of the wood is polished to smooth so it won’t scratch the labels on the bottles.

The shelves are spaced evenly in each zone:

  • 5 in the upper section (recommended for white wines),
  • 6 in the lower part where the bottom shelf is a bit deeper. This is where you want to put your larger, non-standard size bottles.

You can remove all of the shelves by pressing the levers on the sides of the roller assembly: simultaneously push one up, the other down then carefully lift up and pull out the empty shelf.

double red arrow pointing to the right How Do You Set The Temperature For The Two Zones?

The control panel looksttauss like this. The display window is in the middle and you will find the buttons for the Upper Zone on the left and for the Lower Zone on the right.

  • ºC/ºF button – press it to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit degree.
  • Press the Up button to increase and the Down arrow to decrease the temperature by 1 degree steps.
  • Light Bulb – tap it to turn on/off the LED interior lighting.

What Can You See on the Display Screen Of The NewAir AWR-1160DB?

You can monitor the Upper Zone’s Actual Temperature on the left side of the LED screen (10) while the on the right side you can see the Actual Temperature in the Lower Zone (5).

  • 1 – Indicates the operational status of the whole unit.
  • 3 – Set temperature in the Lower Zone
  • 12 – Set temperature in the Upper Zone
  • 2 – Shows the working status of the Lower Zone
  • 11 – Shows the working status of the Upper Zone
  • 14 – Indicates whether the light is turned on or off

What Do The Working Status Symbols Mean?

Cooling – The compressor is running to lower the temperature.
Maintaining temperature
Heating

double red arrow pointing to the right How Much Power Does The Wine Fridge Use?

Thanks to the high-efficiency cooling technology and the well-insulated door the fridge consumes around 130 Watt electricity a day that comes out to 47.45 kW a year.

It plugs into 110V/60Hz outlet.

Dimensions & Weight

  • Height: 54.75″
  • Width: 23.50″
  • Depth: 26.90″ (with handle: 28.75″)
  • Weight: 183 lbs (83 kg)

double red arrow pointing to the right Placement – To Build-In or Leave It Freestanding?

When it comes to finding the best spot for this full-size wine cellar in your home you have the options of placing is freestanding or integrate it into cabinetry.

TIP: A built-in installation adds a more clean and uniform look to your kitchen/living room or whenever you want to put this beautiful wine fridge in your home.

You shouldn’t completely enclose it though because that would hinder proper ventilation and cause the compressor to run all the time. This would result in increased power consumption and shorten the life of the compressor/internal fans.

Furthermore, to guarantee the efficient working of the cooler place it away from sunlight and heat generating appliances.

Careful placement pays off in the long run. The wine fridge will be able to maintain stable temperatures with optimal electricity use.

Place it at least 2.5″ far from an adjoining or opposing wall to be able to open the door to 90 degrees.

This is a large appliance and quite heavy too especially if it’s fully stocked with wines so make sure the floor is sturdy enough to bear the weight.

The fridge requires a 110 V/60 Hz electrical outlet.

Does The NewAir 116 Bottle Wine Cooler Need Clearance?

It ventilates through the stainless steel exhaust grille on the front bottom so you can build it in.

Do not block it to let the air expel freely from the cooler.

double red arrow pointing to the right How Noisy Is This Wine Fridge?

One of the benefits owners of the NewAir 116-bottle cellar frequently mention is the lack of disturbing sound.

It operates practically soundlessly. In case you want facts, the fridge’s rated noise level is less than 40 dBA. So you don’t have to worry that it will bother you during a family dinner, party, reading or other recreation.

What About Maintenance?

One of the gretaest advantages of auto defrost refrigerators that you don’t have to do a lot of maintenance. Just clean it regularly. This basically means wiping the interior with a wet, soapy, non-abrasive sponge or cloth.

Before cleaning unplug the applaince and remove all the bottles and shelves. Let it dry then you can place back the shelves, plug it in and reload with bottles.

double red arrow pointing to the right Price & Warranty

  • Price: cc. 1 500 – 1 600 USD (12.9 – 13.8 USD/bottle).
  • Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty on parts and workmanship.

The NewAir 116-bottle wine refrigerator is available at a very favorable price in stores. This is especially true if we look at how much does it cost per bottle if you fill it up to full capacity (116 bottles).

The price per bottle is considerably lower that of many other wine coolers – mainly if they are of small/middle size.

TIP: You can find details on the warranty on the official website of the manufacturer.

double red arrow pointing to the right How Does The NewAir 116-Bottle Wine Refrigerator Compare To Other Units?

There aren’t too many choices in this size and price category meaning around 100 bottles storage space and around or under 1 500 USD.

Let’s see the alternatives!

Whynter 92-Bottle Dual-Zone Wine Cooler

It’s smaller than the NewAir AWR-1160DB but it too has two distinct temperature zones and cost a bit less.

Similarities

  • Dual temperature sections: but with the same range: 40 – 65 ºF (5 – 18 ºC) – 40 bottles in top/52 bottles in the bottom.
  • Built-in or standalone placement
  • Lockable, reversible door
  • Compressor cooling (2 cabinet ventilators)

Differences

  • 92 Bordeaux-style, 750 ml bottles is the maximum it can hold.
  • 12 pull-out wood and metal combo shelves (the weight-bearing part is metal with wood accent)
  • Draws 160 Watt (0.205 kW/year) compared to the NewAir’s 130 Watt
  • The cabinet’s depth is smaller than that of the NewAir: 22.25″ (the height and width are the same)
  • Price: cc. 900 – 1 300 USD (cc. 9.8 – 14.1 USD per bottle).

To sum up, the Whynter 92-Bottle dual-zone wine fridge is considerably cheaper but with around 18-20 bottles less bottles count.

So if price is a major factor for you and you want the dual-zone feature then the Whynter unit is a good alternative.

Whynter 100-Bottle Single-Zone Wine Cooler

If split zone is not an absolute must for you then the 100-bottle model by Whynter would be an even better choice.

It has the same features as the 92-bottle unit with the difference that it has one zone where you can set the temperature form 40ºF to 65 ºF (5 – 18 ºC).

TIP: You might want to check out our list of the best-value 100-bottle wine coolers.

double red arrow pointing to the right Conclusion

NewAir 116-Bottle Wine Refrigerator

This is one of the most affordable large capacity wine fridges available on the wine storage market today.
It provides ample space for the prized bottles of any ambitious wine collector in the most advantaegous storage conditions: 40 – 66 ºF and 40 – 50 ºF in the two zones, 60 – 70 % relative humidity, odorless air, and no UV rays.

Winecooler Expert Team

Look & Feel/Build-Quality
Shelving (Quality/Spacing/Ease Of Use)
Sizing
Temperature Control & Stability
Noise Level
Price Per Bottle/Value For Money

Who Should Buy This Wine Fridge?

Wine enthusiasts looking for a budget, large storage option will be happy with this spacious wine cellar.

It has everything you need to preserve your collection’s quality with the added benefit of having a good selection of bottles cooled to the ideal drinking temp.

Highlights:

Dual-zone feature – each zone with its own controls and display. You can keep an eye on both the set and the current temperature in both sections. This is a unique feature in wine coolers. Most models let you see only the current value.

Well-crafted cabinet and 3-pane tinted door, together with reliable compressor cooling guarantee and minimal fluctuation in the temperature.

Almost silent – despite the size and compressor plus 3 internal fans, the unit works nearly soundless. Nevertheless to ensure this, you have to pay attention to properly levelling the fridge and placing it at the most suitable spot in your home (sunlight-free, cool).

Even with non-standard bottles you will probably able to fit in around 100 bottles.

More Pluses:

Good-looking appliance: the stainless steel and black cabinet, see-through glass door, attractive wood shelves and the muted gold interior light result in an understatedly elegant appearance.


Overall Rating

4.7

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