We got a cheapo wine fridge for short term storage this weekend. We got a vissani/magic chef 52 bottle unit for $200. It's a compressor-based unit with a simple 1-7 dial setting.
My main consideration in going for a cheap one is that none of the ones in the $300-500 range seem good enough to warrant the price, and we simply cannot afford anything over $500 anyway. Our good wines are stored off site at a wine storage facility that is a long drive away.
I've been measuring the temperature at the top and bottom rows and it fluctuates pretty wildly at the bottom. It's common to go as low as 42 degrees and high as 56 degrees. The top stays within a 5 degree range and seems ok (57-62).
Is this much fluctuation at the bottom common? Is it going to damage the wines in 1-6 month window we will keep them there?
I'm kind of afraid to put my decent wines in there (currently have nothing worth more than $15-20) but on the flip side I suspect that more bottles would result in lower fluctuations.