Wine Storage. SubZero. And Changing Lightbulbs.

So it's nothing new to readers of The Digital Tavern that I have a passion, penchant and a certain proclivity when it comes to wine. Good wine.

But this fondness comes with a price. Back in the day it was such a find when one uncovered an amazing value wine for less than $10. These days $50 seems to be the value wine. But I'm getting away from myself.

It's not just the price of wine. It's the storage. Sure. It always starts out with a silly wooden rack from Cost Plus or Pottery Barn. Then one moves to a dorm size wine fridge that you might find at Costco or Home Depot during a season. Then you graduate to larger units. Soon enough you're joining a club that provides storage for wine collectors in temperature and humidity controlled self-storage lockers.

But these off-site lockers are merely overflow for what storage you need at home. Here at home I have storage for about 350 bottles of wine. For those bottles you don't want to open on a whim after sharing a couple with friends, it's a nice reassurance that the real special bottles are out of reach and as such you won't wake up the next morning with drinker's remorse finding that one special bottle empty and gone — not even a memory to remind you.

Ahhh. But this doesn't happen when one has good wine storage at home and better storage far away.

At home I have a SubZero wine cellar unit. Like SubZero's refrigerators this is a unit that I had put flush into the wall adjacent to my kitchen. Ventilation and cooling is handled through the top and bottom and therefore requires less depth and can sit flush with other appliances making for a cleaner look. It's a smart unit with hardwood accented sliding shelves, a nice glass door and even one slanted shelf for displaying those trophy wines, should you desire. And of course nice accent lighting that is switchable on full-time, or like a refrigerator the lights come on when the door is opened.

The unit is barely a few years old. But it happened. I opened the door that day and the light came on — and then went out.

Easy enough. Perhaps the light bulb. Investigation leads me to the manual. The manual leads me to the phone. Reason is that the lights are not a user serviceable part. Hmmmm. Wonder why?

Not under warranty, but soon enough I've got a service guy scheduled to check it out. He shows up and can't figure it out. Makes a few calls. Scratches his head and then heads out the door in his Dickies overalls prominently displaying the SubZero logo while carrying his tool box and ear gripping his pencil. “We'll call you when we can come back.”

when the call to set the appointment for the follow up visit I'm told I have to empty the wine cellar of all the wine. Good god. 150 bottles. I can assure you it was much easier getting the bottles in the cellar than it was taking them out. Geeez. This is a lot of wine.

A couple weeks pass and two gentlemen show up to finalize the repair.

Looking at the boxes sitting next to the wine cellar the older man in amazement asks, “Wow. All that wine came out of there?”

“Yup.” I said. “Will you put them back when you're done?” I was kidding. They didn't get the joke.

“We've got the part.”

One guy showed up the last time. But I guess these lighting unit repairs must be demanding.

TWo hours later and I was signing the completed work order and sending them on there way.

I was stupefied at the engineering of this supposedly premium high-quality product. It's nice. But two men, two hours to change the equivalent of a light bulb? Come on! What are they thinking? A perfect example when the thinking in product design falls to the wayside. That's a costly light bulb repair.

Now the joke is on me and them.

How many Subzero maintenance guys does it take to change a light bulb?

And why should they?