Miele KWT 6322 UG Built-under Wine Conditioning Unit Review

Pros

  • Very stable temperatures
  • Outstanding fit and finish
  • Easily reconfigured
  • Excellent interior lighting
  • Virtually silent operation

Cons

  • That asking price…

Key Features

  • Review Price: £3199.00
  • A Energy rating
  • 34 bottle capacity
  • Dual temperature zones and humidity control
  • Active AirClean filtration
  • Anti-vibration motor
  • UV glass

What is the Miele KWT 6322 UG?

The Miele KWT 6322 UG isn’t a wine cooler; it’s a two-zone, temperature and humidity controlled build-under wine conditioning unit. The difference probably has a fair bit to do with your choice of wine. If your tipple of choice is Tesco’s value Pinot Grigio, then move right on now.

If you fall into the connoisseur category of wine lover, then Miele’s luxurious KWT 6322 UK is the answer. Incredibly stable temperatures, vibration- and noise-free operation, an automatic door opener, and superb fit and finish go a long way to justifying its eye-watering price.

Miele KWT 6322 UG – Design and features

The KWT 6322 UG is by far the most ambitious wine cabinet we’ve tested. It offers two independent temperature-controlled zones for different styles of wine, odourless Active AirClean filters and DynaCool humidity control. To ensure your wine is kept as stable as possible, there’s an anti-vibration motor and UV protection. Should the ambient room temperature fall below the set temperature, a heater element will warm the compartment.

This machine is designed to keep your wines in tip-top condition and display them with an unrivalled elegance and luxury.

You can set the temperature for either zone between 5-20ºC, with fully independent controls for each. The lower area has a slightly larger capacity. You can bias your red (warmer temperature)/white (cooler) split either way around. Touch controls are located across the centre panel on the inside to keep the outer look sleek.

The door itself is double-glazed with UV blocking glass. It’s also button- and handle-free. Gently press the glass and the motorised opener pushes the door open a few degrees. You can then grab the frame to open the door. If you don’t, a few seconds later it automatically pulls shut to keep the temperature inside constant. You simply push the door back after you’ve taken your wine and the automatic soft-close mechanism does the rest. That is properly lush.

Fixtures and fittings on the inside take Miele’s legendary build quality and ratchet it up to 11. The three wooden shelves roll out super-smoothly on ball-bearing telescopic runners. This ensures the minimum of vibration when you select your wine.

The shelves are fully re-configurable as all of the wooden runners clip in and out in various positions. For larger diameter bottles – say Champagne, for example – spacing the runners further apart will accommodate those nicely.

LED lighting is positioned in various parts of the compartment to illuminate each shelf. Open the door and the lights gently brighten and fade after the door is closed. You can also set the lights on permanently, with user brightness control, for wine display purposes. The control panel allows you to adjust the display brightness, switch key tones on and off, lock the keypad and engage the DynaCool feature.

DynaCool raises the relative humidity and uses fans to distribute the humidity and temperature-controlled air evenly around the interior. It uses a little more electricity but for long-term, perfect wine storage conditions it is best left switched on.

To the right of the control panel is the Active AirClean filter that filters and conditions air drawn into the appliance. The filter has a life expectancy of around 12 months. A little warning light pops up on the display when it needs replacing.

You can also get smart with your wine storage and conditioning with Miele’s optional XKS 300 Z wireless module (£99) . This allows the KWT 6322 UG to communicate with Miele@home app and display compartment temperatures, flag up warnings and so on.

Miele KWT 6322 UG – How noisy is it?

We’re very much used to top-quality modern refrigerators measuring a whisper-quiet 40dB or even slightly less. That’s a fair bit quieter than, say, a library. We struggle to measure anything below 38dB as ambient sound from wind around the building and a distant road are higher than that.

Miele claims just 36dB noise output for the KWT 63322 UG. That figure is backed up by the same number on the energy label. In fact, that’s the lowest number we’ve ever seen for noise output on an energy label on any appliance. The work done to ensure zero vibrations from the motor, again to ensure the wine isn’t disturbed, has really damped the sound output too.

In the dead of a still night, creeping around the lab in slippers and a onesie, we did measure 36dB. However, that was just about the ambient noise of the lab even with the Miele switched off. We had to admit defeat and say that the KWT 6322 UG was so quiet we couldn’t actually measure it. Wow.

Miele KWT 6322 UG – How much can I get in it?

The KWT 6322 UG is classed as a 34-bottle wine conditioner. That assumes standard shape and size ‘Bordeaux’-style bottles. Fourteen of those will fit in the upper zone and 20 in the lower. Larger bottles and odd shapes can be easily accommodated thanks to the adjustable wooden runners, but obviously, you won’t get so many in. There’s no requirement to stack bottles since each has its own place on a vibration-free shelf.

At the leading edge of each of the pull-out shelves is a magnetic strip with black-board finish. You can clip on magnetic markers or name strips, or use Miele’s supplied chalk-pencil to label the shelf contents. We decided our chalk hand-writing rather let the luxury feel down, so we’d look for some flexible magnetic labels.

There are two fixed shelf areas. At the top, the wine bottles simply sit on a shaped shelf above the control panel. At the very bottom, another wooden rack simply sits in at the base of the appliance.

The temperature in either compartment can be set between 5ºC and 20ºC. The manual suggests a few ideal storage temperatures for those new to the whole wine-buff thing. For example, light, fruity reds are best kept at 14-16ºC, while your Champagnes and sparkling wines (Tesco’s Asti Spumante, always a winner here…) are best stored between 6-10ºC.

Miele also recommends storing wine 1-to-2ºC cooler than the recommended drinking temperature, as it warms a little when poured into the glass. Now we think that is just sort of attention to user detail that this appliance deserves.

Of course, 34 bottles isn’t a great deal of wine, especially for enthusiastic wine lovers. The answer, says Miele, is two KWT 6322 UGs. For just such a set-up, Miele supplies a side-by-side combination linking kit. The door on one of the appliances can be reversed to give you wardrobe-like side-by-side convenience and four temperature-controlled zones for different wines. You also get a hole in your bank balance that could otherwise buy a small car. Still, if you do like your wine…

Miele KWT 6322 UG – Performance

It was little surprise that this Miele produced very consistent and stable temperatures throughout. We tested the KWT 322 UG in our environmental chamber kept at a constant 18ºC ambient air temperature to replicate an average UK kitchen.

We set the upper zone for reds at 14 ºC and the lower zone for white wines at a chilly 6º C. Over the course of two weeks, the top shelf averaged a consistent 14.4ºC and the lower shelf 5ºC. The latter was one degree below target, but given Miele’s suggestion about going a degree or two lower to account for the warming effect of the wine glass, that ties up nicely.

Moreover, the temperatures were super-stable. At the top, the fluctuation was just +/- 0.5ºC through the compressor cycle. The lower compartment was even better at just +/- 0.3ºC on the shelf and +/- 0.2ºC on the bottom shelf. Ironically, if you kept your fruit and veg in here it would last for ages with temperatures that stable.

The machine does do a small defrost cycle every 18 hours or so. Here the air temperature varies by about -2ºC at the top and +3ºC at the bottom for around 20 minutes. Given the short duration, that’s unlikely to have any effect on your premium vino.

Miele KWT 6322 UG – How much will it cost to run?

Given the asking price of the KWT 6322 UG, running costs aren’t likely to be too high on potential buyers concerns we suspect. However, as befits a premium appliance, this wine conditioner uses plenty of Miele’s top-spec refrigerator technology and boasts an A rating for energy efficiency.

That may sound a little low compared to A+ and A++ fridge freezers, but wine conditioners also use electricity drawing in fresh air that needs cooling (or warming) and keeping the humidity precisely controlled. Over a two-week test period, with the temperatures set as noted in the performance section, it used 6.12kWh. Over a year that would equate to around 159kWh, or about £24 at an average UK electricity price of 15p/kWh.

The energy label suggests a little lower at 144kWh, but the figure is going to be highly dependent on the temperatures you set. If you only stored red wines at higher temperatures in both zones then it would use a fair bit less electricity. Conversely, set both zones to chill that value Asti and it will use a fair bit more. Likewise, if you want the LED lighting on permanently, add another couple of quid per year on the running costs.

Why buy the Miele KWT 6322 UG?

While many may consider the KWT 6322 UG’s asking price somewhere north of ludicrous, it does what it sets out to do and does so with unrivalled style and panache. It offers incredibly stable wine storage conditions in an active air-filtered, humidity and vibration-controlled environment that will undoubtedly keep premium wines in premium condition.

We can’t fault the KWT 6322 UG’s technical abilities, features, usability or style, and it’s right up there on our wish-list of appliances in our fantasy kitchen. A pair of them, obviously. If wine is your thing and Miele’s asking price doesn’t put you off, then the KWT 6322 UG is a clear 5-star winner of an appliance.

Related: Best fridge freezers

Verdict

With its unrivalled performance, usability and style, the Miele KWT 6322 UG wine conditioner is the ultimate wine-connoisseur’s accessory.

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