WineCase One is an electrically powered wine cooler designed to keep a bottle of wine cold at the table for a long time and with precision. Can it keep this promise? We have tested it extensively and under everyday conditions.
The first thing you notice when unpacking the WineCase One is that it is not as bulky as you might expect from the packaging and the allusion to the American presidential aeroplane Air Force One. The 45-degree tilted cuboid with its small base looks functional and solid. That fits. The focus here is on function, and that is the first plus point. Even without reading the enclosed instructions, operation is extremely simple. Switch on, select the temperature and off you go.
The first test: a lunch in bright sunshine. The weather is no longer in favour of sitting outside, but the heat is building up in the conservatory. In direct sunlight, where we have placed the WineCase One, which costs almost a hundred euros, it is 26 degrees. The wine from the fridge is a cool ten degrees - and we want to keep it that way.
If the cooler is placed directly on the table, you can clearly hear the continuous fan of the motor. The operating noise also swells again and again. If music is playing or a larger group is sitting at the table, this is not noticeable. For a meal for two or alone, however, it is a little annoying. A place slightly away from the table is the better choice here. The only difference is that the bottle is no longer within easy reach. A good place for the WineCase One was therefore on the carpet. It dampens the noise considerably. But no matter where it is placed, the WineCase works reliably: The wine temperature remains constant.
Second test: We forgot to chill the white wine for the evening and there is no fridge nearby. So at 4.30 pm we put the room-warm bottle into the appliance at a measured 21 degrees, the room temperature is 23 degrees. We have dinner at 9 pm. Before opening the bottle at this time, we shake it a little so that the temperature is evenly distributed, as the neck sticks out of the cooler. The core temperature in the bottle is now 11.4 degrees, in the glass it's 12.4 degrees, which is a little under-chilled for this mild autumn evening, when the temperature of the wine in the glass rises quickly. Next test with a thick-walled sparkling wine bottle: Here we reach 14 degrees in the same period. Admittedly: The experimental set-up is an emergency scenario that at best befalls wine fans at the campsite. But at least the opened bottle in the WeinCase One remains stable at this temperature for the next hour and a half.
The next test is with a bottle of red wine: keeping it at 16 to 18 degrees over a longer period of time is usually quite difficult. It is usually difficult to estimate the temperature of the wine in the bottle in the fridge. And once the bottle is on the table, the wine quickly becomes too warm again. However, you can bring the red wine from room temperature to serving temperature with the WineCase One. But you should think about this in good time, especially if the wine is not coming straight from the cellar in summer. The WineCase manages about two degrees per hour. So if the wine has been lying in the car on a summer's day - which it shouldn't - it's better to get up earlier in the morning. It is therefore better to pre-cool the bottle slightly or take it out of the well-tempered cellar vault. Now set the WineCase One to 16 degrees, in a hot environment to 14 degrees as a precaution. This works wonderfully, the temperature remains stable. This is exactly what no conventional refrigerator can offer.
Now comes the acid test. The imaginary situation: A bottle of white wine should stay really cold on a warm summer evening. Because the temperature stays high until late at night and the wine in the glasses warms up even faster than usual, we chilled the bottle in the fridge to an icy 7.5 degrees. The WineCase One is set to five degrees, its coldest setting, half an hour before the meal. The cooler now has to compensate for an outside temperature of 25 degrees inside. This works well: the first sip is 7.7 degrees, the last, four hours later, is 8.7 degrees. That's cold enough for any summer night.
To check, we placed a second bottle in a normal vacuum cooler under the same conditions. Long before the end of the evening, the wine in it was a mere 14 degrees. A classic cooler with ice cubes would be another option. We also tried this for comparison. As expected, the ice water keeps the temperature much longer. But even here, the WineCase stops cooling precisely.
The last test follows with a bottle that is not drunk from. After all, it is much easier to keep just the last bit in the bottle at the right temperature than the full container. Respect: The measurement results per hour only differ after the decimal point.
However, our tests showed that the temperature displayed by the WineCase One was always one to two degrees below that on our thermometers. Admittedly, we do not work with calibrated devices either. We measured the temperatures in each test with three different bottle thermometers: A digital one, one with a classic column and one with a cuff that is placed around the bottle. It can only measure the temperature on the outside of the bottle. But in bottles that are less than half full, the standard thermometers no longer dip into the liquid anyway because the sensor is too short. However, the temperature difference was clear.
Overall, the WineCase does a good job and fulfils its purpose. It is best to set it slightly cooler than you want to pour the wine. The appliance really comes into its own over long distances: Once the bottle is optimally chilled, it stays that way with the appliance all evening long. Only the noise of the motor takes some getting used to. However, the WineCase One is less suitable as a replacement for a fridge.