Vissani 52-Bottle Wine Cooler Review

or... How to beat the heat and keep the wine cool

Well the weather got to me and I had to do it… I had to get a wine fridge.  I had earlier convinced myself that I wouldn’t be storing much wine at home.  After all, I live in Paso Robles, surrounded by wineries, wine bars and restaurants.  I could get by with just a few bottles at home… Ha. Ha. Ha.

Vissani 52 Bottle Wine CoolerI quickly found that wine coolers are generally not cheap. I wanted to keep my investment in the wine, not in the cooler and after a long search I found what looks to be the best value in wine coolers available now.  At Home Depot I bought the Vissani 52-bottle Wine Cooler.  52 bottles sounds good to me and on sale for $148 the price was right on!  Here follows a mini-review of the cooler.


The Vissani 52-Bottle Wine Cooler (MVWC52B) is a very basic medium capacity wine cooler/refrigerator for the budget minded buyer.  Home Depot sells this cooler at a regular price of $199; I bought it on sale for $148.

The official feature set, according to Home Depot:

  • Holds and cools up to 52 bottles of your favorite wines
  • Adjustable thermostat helps you select your desired temperature
  • Compressor delivers effective cooling
  • 4 black sculpted shelves adjust to meet your unique needs
  • Interior light illuminates the cooler for your convenience
  • Amber glass door for visibility and an elegant look

I ended up returning the first unit I bought. The unit constantly ran and couldn’t get the temperature below 70 degrees.  The second unit I got worked fine.  On both units, the doors were installed crooked but were easy to straighten out simply by loosening a couple of bolts.

I found the overall aesthetics of the cooler quite nice.  The unit measures 20.6 x 32.5 x 22.6 inches.  It does have a cheap feel to the metal but the tinted glass door provides an nice look once installed.  The suggested 52 bottle capacity is a bit of a stretch.  This number of bottles would fit only if all of the bottles are average Bordeaux-style/cylindrical-shaped.  Burgundy/Rhone and Sparkling bottles fit well but prevent you from achieving maximum capacity.  35 bottles or so is a more realistic number.

Vissani 52 Bottle Wine Cooler Temperature ControlThe cooler has a seven setting temperature control dial and lacks any sort of thermometer.  I highly suggest buying a separate thermometer like this one to determine the internal temperature.  You’ll generally want to shoot for 55°F for red wines and 45-50°F for whites keeping in mind that the top shelves are a bit warmer than the bottom.  I’m storing my reds on top at 55°F and find that the bottom shelf at 50°F is perfect for the whites.  I’m not convinced that the cooler uses a real thermostat.  I find that on hot days the internal temperature of the cooler runs a bit (~5°F) warmer.   The cooler may use a simple duty-cycle system to regulate temperature.

Vissani 52-Bottle Wine Cooler External ThermometerA traditional mini-fridge compressor is responsible for the cooling.  This is not a low-vibration compressor, but vibration does not seem excessive.  This may be an issue if you are considering using this cooler for long-term aging of fine wines.  In my opinion, this level of vibration should not be a concern for storage of five years or less.

The interior light which is installed on the ceiling of the unit is a wimpy 15W incandescent.  With your shelves full, the light is only strong enough to be of use for the top shelf.  I’ve considered installing stick-on battery powered lights in other locations but have yet to find an option that fits well.

Home Depot was unable to provide any sort of owner’s manual or warranty card with the unit.  In fact, it looks as if all of these coolers are “loose” without any box or information at all.  Both Home Depots I visited had the coolers unpackaged on a shelf.  I was able to negotiate a 10% discount on the cooler because there was no box or information.  The sales manager suggested I download the owner’s manual from the internet but a quick search turned up no information for the Vissani brand.  A bit more digging revealed that Vissani is a secondary brand of Magic Chef which markets this same cooler under that label with the model number: MCWC52B.  I called Magic Chef and confirmed that they would honor the warranty of the Vissani units through their support website.  I also received a copy of the owner’s manual which is available for download here: Vissani MCWC52B owner's manual.

Vissani 52 Bottle Wine Cooler WarrantyI should mention that upon installation it is necessary for the the cooler sit for 2-3 hours before being plugged.  This is especially true if the unit traveled on its side or was tilted for some time.  This waiting period allows the coolant to flow back into the compressor.  I allowed the cooler to come down to temperature before loading any wine into it.  I then added a few bottles at a time over the coarse of a day or so to prevent the compressor from running too long.

An advertisement taped to the front of the cooler I bought showed that the unit was covered under a Limited One-Year Parts & Labor In-Home warranty with a further Limited Five-Year Parts Only warranty on the compressor.  This matches the warranty information in the owner’s manual (see the last page). Home Depot Extended Protection Plan Because this is such an inexpensive cooler and the fact that my first unit was DOA, I have a feeling that the warranty may come in handy.  In fact, I opted to purchase an extended two-year replacement warranty from Home Depot.  Because the sale price was under $150, the replacement warranty was only $17.95; regularly $24.95.  I consider this a great deal as it guarantees three years of operation from this unit.

In conclusion I’m very happy with the Vissani MVWC52B 52-bottle cooler.  The only significant downsides are that it is a touch noisy and shelving requires some creative stacking of the bottles.  But overall, the price can’t be beat and the warranty provides peace of mind.  In fact, if I see these coolers on sale again, I may just buy a second!

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19 Responses to “Vissani 52-Bottle Wine Cooler Review”

  1. Hi, I just saw this same unit for sale at Home Depot and thought it was too good to be true, but your review seems good. How noisy do you think it is? More than a regular full size fridge? Probably not, right? When they say “wine cooler”, is it the same as a wine “cellar”? Can I keep some good wine there to age for 2-3 years?
    Thanks!
    Rob

    • I too noticed that this cooler was on sale again at Home Depot; it’s a good deal. The cooler does make noise, not as much as a full size fridge but it is noticeable. The unit cycles on and off and only makes noise when the compressor is running. I have the cooler in a second small bedroom that I use as an office; the noise can be annoying at times but I’ve gotten used to it. If you ever had a mini-fridge, like those used in dorm rooms, this uses a similar compressor and has similar noise.

      I should note that the first unit I bought never shut off and constantly made loud noise. I exchanged it and was happy with the second unit I got.

      A wine ‘cellar’ refers to a dedicated temperature controlled room some people have to store wine. A proper cellar is both temperature and humidity controlled. This cooler only controls the temperature. I feel that you can easily store wine for up to five years or so in this cooler. More expensive coolers are also vibration free which is important for the long term storage of wine but under five years I wouldn’t worry.

      I am actually considering picking up a second cooler now that they are on sale. It’s amazing; as soon as you have the storage, you find a way to fill it!

      I hope it works out for you. Write back if you choose to get one.

      • I have had one of these for about a year, and no trouble so far.  Would like to pick up a second one so I don’t have to try and jam everything in the first one if I can convince the wife.  I went to this because I had a small thermo-electric but with the high heat we have in the summer the huge temp swings in the cooler were unworkable.

  2. I’m on my second one. The 1st one made a loud popping sound after the compressor shut off. I returned it to Home Depot for another and after the 3rd day it is doing the same thing though not quite as loud.

    The sound it makes is like someone threw a snowball against my glass front door.

    The second one doesn’t get hot across the top and sides of the unit like the first. The manufactured date is blank on my second one but on the first it was 2010.

    Guess I’ll be returning this second one as well. They should have had a recall.

  3. My wine cooler does make a loud “popping” noise too…. Is that not normal? I may look into returning it. I have had it only a week…

    • I don’t think that this popping sound that you and Djrockinsteve mention is normal.  In fact, I just bought a second unit and have had no trouble with it.  I can say that the build  quality of these coolers is not great.  It seems that you may have to try a couple to find one that works perfectly.

      Do note that the warranty on the on the cooler and especially the compressor is pretty good.  I feel that if you get one that seems to work, it will likely work for quite a while.

      Good luck!

  4. I BOUGHT THE UNIT AT HOME DEPOT ABOUT 7 MONTHS AGO ON SALE. ABOUT 4 WEEKS AGO IT STARTED MAKING POPPING SOUNDS AS MENTIONED BY THE OTHER COMMENTORS. WE ARE NOT SURE AS TO WHAT DO DO. IT DOES COOL WELL AND IT REALISTCALLY WILL HOLD ONLY 40 BOTTLES.

    • I don’t believe it should be making these sounds; especially if it started after three months.  I would suggest calling the Magic Chef warranty support line (1-888-775-0202 or http://mcappliance.com/).  Magic Chef is the maker of the Vissani coolers.

      The unit has a one year parts and labor (5-year compressor) warranty.  At least you can ask them if the popping is normal.  If the noise is excessively loud I would insist that they repair the unit.

      As for the capacity, I agree that 52 bottles is misleading.  I have two of these units and just did a count.  I was surprised that I managed to squeeze 49 bottles in to one and 43 into another.  I suggest that you group together all of the skinny “Bordeaux style” bottles.  Those don’t fit well when mixed with Burgundy or Rhone style bottles.

      Good luck; please post back if you do contact Magic Chef.

  5. Had the same popping noise from my Vissani MCWC50DST with ice buildup on the back. Replaced the starter relay as others advised on this forum and it working fine now. Got the relay from http://www.repairclinic.com. Part No. P6R8MD for $27. Took about 15 min to replace. Note there are no screws holding the relay to the compressor. It basically slides onto small electrical pins that are permanently fixed to the compressor. The compressor is on the left side of the unit when you face it from the back. The relay is no bigger than a half dollar.

  6. Last week one of their contracted service men came to check the unit. He told us it was expansion. He obviously did not have a clue what he was doing. He told us he never heard of the popping problem before. I will recontact Magic Chef and have them replace the relay.  It is still under warranty..

  7. I am having a chard time finding a light bulb for my cooler. Any ideas? My wife thinks it came with a blue bulb.

  8. My fridge also has a popping noise….what are the fixes or who do we contact to fix?   thx

  9. It took us a week to figure what the popping noise was in our kitchen. I even laid on he floor one night determined to figure it out. Sure Nuff. It was the wine cooler. I only paid $120 for it at Home Depot. I guess I shouldn’t expect much. Lol.

  10. I have a 6 bottle wine cooler by Vissani that has died. The fan doesn’t work, nor does the compressor. Their warranty booklet says you need a copy of your receipt for warranty. Is this true? if I gave them the serial #, shouldn’t they be able to tell how old it is? it’s only about 2 years old. Not happy that it no longer works!

    • That stinks…

      I would think they could use the serial number to get a rough idea of when it was purchased. But I have a feeling that they’ll be a stickler about the receipt.

      I think your best bet would be to return to the original store from which you bought it (Home Depot) and see if they can print you a receipt. You’ll need to have purchased it with a credit card and you’ll need to know the approximate date you bought it.

      Good Luck!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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