Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Classic Sangria + Wine Fridge Review + Wine Storage Tips

Recently I have been enthused by Spanish food and wine.  The idea of Tapas and Pintxos along with sipping some fragrant Sangria is quite inspiring. Perhaps I feel as though I am being transported to Spain or better yet, I think I need to add to my bucket list.  In the meantime, I can create the food and sip on handmade Sangria.  I have a classic Sangria recipe to share with all of you today along with some wine storage tips but first I wanted to share a product review that Staples asked if I would do.

About a month ago the wonderful folks at Staples reached out to me to inquire if I would be interested in reviewing one of their unique products.  As I continued to read the email, I realized that due to my love of wine, the inquiry was for a small wine refrigerator.  Now my eyes lit up like the new lights on the Bay Bridge.  It was an instant YES!

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Staples is the world’s largest office products company and second largest Internet retailer.  They have been in business for 26 years and operate throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand with headquarters in Boston.  They are well known for the easy button and the slogan – “That was easy”.  I think of office supplies when I think Staples, but after reviewing their website and being asked to review a small wine refrigerator, they offer so much more along with outstanding customer service.

Let’s get to this Haier 16-Bottle Wine Cellar with Electronic Controls.  Let me just say that there was some kismet going on.  Hubby and I were actually in the market for a small wine fridge and when the folks at Staples reached out, it was serendipity.  After unpacking the wine fridge, I was impressed how sleek and professional it looked.  The electronic displays were easy to read and adjust along with the right hand button that turned the interior light on and off.  The door closed with ease and sealed well which gives security that your collectible wines will maintain a steady temperature.

Product highlights:
  • Stores up to 16 bottles either red or white
  • Adjustable Electronic Temperature Control with LED Display
  • 20.125”H x 17.125”W x 18.875”D, 32.6 lbs.
  • Thermoelectric cooling system provides a vibration-free environment
  • Automatic settings for reds and whites
  • Double pane insulated glass door and closes automatically
  • 3 full-width chrome storage racks
  • 1-year limited parts and labor warranty
  • Mirrored door makes it attractive to leave out for guests

Hubby and I enjoy wine.  We built a wine cellar in our house that stores a good number of bottles.  We have yet to put in a temperature control unit within the cellar, since where it is situated, it stays relatively cool.  However, with the delicate nature of white wines, we had been contemplating purchasing a wine refrigerator to extend the life of our white wines.  Again – what timing on Staples part. 

Overall, we are enjoying the wine fridge.  We have transferred our whites to the refrigerator and they have stayed cool, a consistent 54 degrees.  The only negative that I see with this particular unit is that with larger wine bottles or uncommon shaped bottles, it is challenging to fit all the same direction.  We had to alternate how we laid the bottles.  For the most part, this should not be an issue unless you have the wide bottom bottles versus the standard size.

We placed the wine cellar in a large built in cabinet that is on one side of our fireplace.  We have enjoyed the wine cellar from Staples so much that we are planning on getting a second one to accompany the one provided by Staples.  In conclusion, if you are looking for a great small counter or cabinet wine fridge, the Haier 16-Bottle Wine Cellar is an excellent choice.

Full disclosure: Staples.com provided me with these products for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of mini refrigerators online.

A wine refrigerator is a great way to store your wine and wanted to also share a few storage tips with all of you:

I chilled a bottle of red wine in my new Haier wine cellar and it cooled it to a perfect 54 degrees.  With my enthusiasm for all things Spanish, I thought why not create a great Sangria recipe.  It is perfect for the warm summer evenings and enjoying either a red or white version with your friends and family.

Classic Sangria

1 Bottle (750 ml) dry red wine, such as Rioja or Cabernet Sauvignon
½ Cup Brandy
¼ Cup Simple Syrup
2 Lemons, sliced ¼ inch and seeds removed
Orange, sliced ¼ inch and seeds removed
2 Limes, sliced ¼ inch and seeds removed
6 to 8 Strawberries, hulls removed and cut in half
6 to 8 Cherries, seeds removed and cut in half

In a large pitcher add the wine, brandy and simple syrup and stir well.  Next add all of the fruit and stir gently.  Let sit for a couple hours in the refrigerator to let the flavors combine.  Serve in pretty glasses with several ice cubes.

Note: To make the simple syrup, add to a sauce pan ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water.  Let heat on medium and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.  Let cook for 3 to 4 minutes and then cool.


  1. Hmmm, your sangria looks so refreshing and good! Enjoy your wine refrigerator ....filled with your wine and looking very nice!
    We put in a larger wine fridge under cabinet when we remodeled our kitchen several years back and we have used and enjoyed it- they are very nice to own if you enjoy wine ;-)

  2. That looks like an awesome sangria!

  3. This is quite awesome to see and I really loved that mini fridge above. I would really love to have this at my home

  4. Sangria is nice to serve during summer when entertaining outside. I never would have thought of Staples for a wine fridge.

  5. What a classic sangria, looks beautiful! I love your decanter too, I would like to get a nice one like that.

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  6. Oh, I would love to have this sangria waiting for me at day's end! (Love the photos!)

    And thanks for letting me know about Staples! I had no idea they offered so many non-office-y products. :D

  7. Love sangria... What a great version!!

  8. Your sangria looks so refreshing; love the summer fruit!

  9. Love the sangria, I love wine in just about any form!! I have always thought about a wine fridge, but I mostly drink red wine - and I like that at room temp.

  10. Your sangria sounds so refreshing LIsa, love that refridg too, it looks perfect!

  11. What a nice review of the wine refrigerator and I love your wine tips. Your sangria is making me really thirsty, too. It's hot here today and this would really hit the spot!


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