HOME > Chowhound > Wine >

Discussion

Magic Chef 45-Bottle Wine Cooler

  • c

Does anyone have any experience with these? They are currently on sale, really inexpensive... the store model felt relatively sturdy, but the only reviews that I could find were from the store that sells them, and I'm hesitant to wholly rely on those.
Thanks in advance for any input!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. i have the magic chef 50 bottle, have had it for about 2 weeks.
    Its pretty sturdy, it also has a front heat vent which is pretty good, you don't find that too often in cheaper models.

    what i do suggest tho is your own internal thermometer, i actually have my fridge set at 47degrees yet the actual temperature inside NEVER gets close to that. Even the very bottom of the fridge is only 51 degrees (middle is 55 degrees top is about 57-58).

    my biggest problem with magic chef is the way their racks are shaped. Its not as forgiving to odd shaped bottles. It definitely takes some inventory management beforehand to figure out how you want to put it in (alternate between levels of traditional bottles and large profile bottles)

    10 Replies
    1. re: clayfu

      wine is best stored at 55 degrees and 75% humidity...

      you could buy a much bigger, normal fridge on craigslist and it would do the same thing!

      not to mention that with more space you could build cubbies to put into the fridge to organize the wine

      or, you could just use your basement if you live in an older home with a stone or cement foundation

      1. re: kimberlya

        and you can use up more energy with a standard fridge than a wine fridge.
        on top of that buy an adjuster to force the fridge temperature high enough... (at least for cheap fridges which is what i think you're getting at)

        yeah i dont know i'll stick with what i have. And uh.. my fridge has areas which are 55 degrees and optimally around 65-70 humidity.

        A larger stock fridge won't change anything, every fridge in the world will have temperature gradients throughout it.

        1. re: clayfu

          so are you for or against the use of regular refrigerators? i can't quite tell from your post...

          and as i said in my reply to monkuboy, you can get a normal one to get that warm! i can't be the only one that has achieved this (albeit accidentally...)

          1. re: kimberlya

            i don't see the point. You can't just "accidently" get your temperature to set to it, you have to force it (which is a cheap tool really only 14-15$).

            but there are so many things that wouldn't make it efficient. Constant temperature changes, vibrations, and lack of humidity. (a normal fridge is notoriously dry)

            1. re: clayfu

              I'm saying that if I can do it without meaning to, then there is obviously a setting to allow it to do so

              And if the refrigerator method is good enough for master sommeliers, it's good enough for me

              1. re: kimberlya

                i dont know too many master sommeliers that use a normal refrigerator. haha
                and once again, your fridge must be broken to get that high of a temperature

                1. re: clayfu

                  for short-term storage, there's seriously no difference between a wine cooler and a normal refrigerator! esp. for whites/roses/sparkling wines

                  freon is freon....

                  1. re: kimberlya

                    right.. for whites but not for reds which need 10 degrees warmer.

                2. re: kimberlya

                  but a master som is likely at a restaurant with bottles that are in motion... for sale... not going to hang around for TOO long. I am guessing that the person who started this thread is looking to lay wine down for again. I could be wrong.

          2. re: kimberlya

            From everything I've learned over the years, a 'normal' fridge does NOT provide the proper humidity to store wine long-term. Corks can dry out if the humidity isn't high enough. I guess, though, you could collect wine with screwcaps and synthetic corks, or just not expect to store it for that long. Most people don't anyway.

        2. No experience with them but I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing what store and what price?

          5 Replies
            1. re: Cate

              Thank you! Regarding kimberlya's post about buying a normal fridge: can you actually set a regular refrigerator to stay at a relatively high temperature like that? Also, they tend to vibrate quite a bit. If Cate lives in Southern California -- good luck having a home with a real basement, lol..

              1. re: monkuboy

                No idea re higher tempatures. And I live in Brooklyn, so the smaller wine cooler is actually ideal since a second refrigerator isn't an option in a small apartment.
                I went ahead and picked it up- so far so good... keep your fingers crossed!

                1. re: monkuboy

                  i forget that people elsewhere don't have basement...soo odd....

                  i don't have a problem with vibrating refrigerators! maybe if they're not level?? i know some wine experts that keep wine in them and it seems to be okay =) heat/humidity tends to be more of an issue unless you're storing something like a bordeaux for 10 years and it's got to be on lockdown. *shrugs*

                  and i think you can set them that high. sometimes i accidentally bump the setting dial in mine, and it gets that warm, and my food goes bad.....

                  1. re: monkuboy

                    Although storing white wine short-term in a regular fridge is fine, keeping it there long-term is not a good idea: It’s too cold and too dry. Plus, the gentle shaking of the compressor may not affect the mustard, but it is damaging to the muscadet.

                    www.drvino.com

                    it has nothing to do with the fridge being level, the compressor is so strong in a fridge that it rattles and shakes the fridge, you don't see it on a day to day basis but your wine notices it.

              2. You mentioned in a reply to me that it's on sale at Home Depot for $171. That's a great deal because at the one by me, the 45-bottle unit is $299. Same brand.. looks really nice, too.

                3 Replies
                1. re: monkuboy

                  I just bought the Magic Chef 50 bottle fridge at the Home Depot near me for $247 (plus I had a $50 coupon) and it seems to be working well. I definitely noticed that it didn't seem to be the temp it was set to (I actually lowered it to 47 and it still doesn't feel that cool), so an internal thermometer sounds like a good idea. I would absolutely agree that the racks don't fit odd shaped bottles very well. They fit, but with some fiddling around. Overall, I think it's great and a good value.

                  1. re: cjc519

                    i have the same thing as you. Try alternating how you put in your wines (neck in the front and vice versa) then put it in rows of large profile then small profile and etc.

                    where'd you get the 50$ coupon from? i'd love to check that out =)

                    1. re: clayfu

                      The coupon got sent to me in the mail... maybe because I have a HD credit card?? Definitely a nice bonus! As far as the odd shaped bottles, I just removed the bottom rack which holds about 10 bottles and just stacked them on the bottom of the unit. I didn't take the shelves out, just the bottom rack.

                2. I found the same deal as Cate did in my neighborhood Home Depot. I've been having the opposite problems as everyone else: my fridge seems to be too cold.

                  Unlike the MC50, the MC45 doesn't have precise temperature settings, but rather on a dial between 1-7, with 7 being the coldest. I plugged it in today and, having read this thread, set it on a colder setting around 6-6.5. After about 2 hours when the fridge got going, I reached in, and the bottles were colder than the ones in my regular fridge, especially the ones at the bottom. The temperatures between the bottom racks and the top racks were distinguishable by touch alone. I moved the setting to 4, and still they seemed to cold. I'll get a couple of thermometers and report back tomorrow.

                  Nevertheless, it seems like quite a bargain, relative to the other coolers. It seems sturdy, doesn't make any noise. Yeah, the racks are a bit tight but with a little bit of fidgeting, it's okay. I doubt it'll fit 45 bottles though.

                  1. Can folks please comment on the noise level of this unit? How does it compare to a regular fridge? One of our bedrooms is right off the kitchen near the spot where I'm thinking of placing this wine cooler so I'm sensitive about the noise. Thanks in advance for the feedback!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bernalhts

                      At least in my 50 unit one, every 30-40 minutes or so the compressor will turn on for about 5 minutes. I'd say its a decently loud hum. Not so loud you'll wake up from your sleep but you could definitely hear it. (my cooler is in my bedroom). I dont think tis loud enough to go through walls. I never hear it outside of my bedroom.

                      I've had another wine cooler that is deathly silent, so the two are a huge difference.