What Is the Ideal Temperature for Storing Wine? Why Is It Important?

what is the ideal temperature for storing wine

Have you ever had a glass of wine that was too warm or too chilled? It probably ruined the flavour and enjoyment of the entire drink. So, what is the ideal temperature for storing wine? Knowing the answer to this question will help you avoid ruining a bottle of your favourite beverage. It can even make you a seasoned pro when serving wine to your guests.

From sparkling wine to your favourite pinot noir, we are here to help. Hopefully, you’ll never serve wine at the wrong temperature again.

Wine Storage FAQs

Wine storage temperature should be around 7–18°C, depending on the type of wine that you’re serving. For white wine, keep the temperature around 8–12°C, and for red wine, keep the temperature between 12–19°C.

Should You Keep Wine in the Fridge?

You might be wondering if you should keep your wine bottles in the fridge. As red and white wine have different recommended storage temperatures, there’s no one answer to this question as it depends on the type of wine you’re storing and presenting.

Should You Store It in the Freezer?

Most people tend to serve white wine chilled and red wine at room temperature, but whatever you do, don’t store your wine bottles in the freezer. When the bottle’s temperature becomes too chilled, it can cause corks to freeze up and ruin the oxidation process.

When Should You Chill Your Wine?

Chilling wine can require planning because you’ll want the drinks to reach their ideal temperature before your guests arrive. You’ll also need to ensure that the fridge is properly set up with no hot and extremely cold patches in the appliance. However, if you have cold spots that tend to freeze your vegetables, this means that it’ll cool your bottles quicker.

Should You Use An Ice Bucket?

If you prefer to store wine or chill wine at a colder temperature, you can place a bottle in an ice bucket with the temperature dropping to no less than -17°C. For a bottle of pinot grigio, we recommend keeping it in an ice bucket for around 20 minutes to create a crisp flavour.

How Should You Store Sparkling Wine?

For storing sparkling wines, such as champagne, you’ll want the temperature to be cooler than non-sparkling wine. Keep the temperature around 7–12°C, but you don’t want the liquid to be too cold because this can negatively impact the drink’s crispness. To get your wine to this temperature, you can place a room-temperature bottle in the fridge for up to three hours. Or place it in the freezer for put up 30 minutes. Then place the bottle on the side for several minutes before you intend to serve it at the best temperature.

Should You Refrigerate Opened Red Wine?

If you have red wines, you might be wondering if you should refrigerate an unfinished bottle. Sometimes, when you open a bottle of wine, you’re not able to consume all of it. When this happens, you can keep it in the fridge. Opened wine that’s stored in the fridge ages and oxidises slowly. Then, once you’re ready to drink a glass of wine again, you can take it out 90 minutes before you’re about to serve it to make the serving temperature at the right range again. For red wines containing a high alcohol volume of 14% and above, you should keep them in the fridge for a shorter time frame than those with a lower alcohol percentage.

Why Does Wine Storage Temperature Matter so Much?

Wine is a work of art, and the wine molecules behave in a certain type of way when they’re at specific temperatures. The ideal serving temperature for wine helps the wine’s molecules to become freer, which then helps to enhance the flavour, colour, and aroma of the liquid. If the storage/serving temperature is too hot, this can break down the wine’s structure, enabling the durable ethanol molecules to take over, producing a sharp, alcoholic taste. However, when the wine is served at the optimum temperature, it enhances the flavour and aroma.

Should You Chill Wine Glasses?

It’s not uncommon to wonder if you should chill glasses for wine serving. In a nutshell, the answer is that this is perfectly okay. This is because wine glasses are going to be much warmer than what you want your wine temperature. A big temperature difference between your glasses and wine could impact the overall taste. However, if you’re serving sparkling wines or champagne, you should chill the glasses for around 10 minutes before serving them. You should then check that the glasses aren’t too cold for someone to hold and enjoy their wine.

Alternatively, for red wine, you’ll want to chill the glasses in the fridge for up to five minutes to maintain the perfect temperature for the liquid.

Tips for Storing Red Wine

When you plan for red wine storage, below are some things to keep in mind if you want to keep it at the right temperature and achieve the best results.

  • You want the wine to remain in contact with the cork, which is why you want to keep the bottle on its side rather than upright as you’d see on a supermarket shelf.
  • Keep the red wines away from any vibration, such as a washing machine or gym equipment. The vibrations can contribute to messing up the oxidation levels in the wine, resulting in an unpleasant aroma and flavour.
  • Once you close the bottle of wine, ensure that the bottle is properly sealed by placing a wine stopper or cork back in.

How to Keep a Consistent Wine Storage Temperature

Fluctuations in the room’s temperature (such as opening and closing a window or suddenly putting the heating on) can affect the wine’s flavour. If the temperature goes above 21°C, you risk the chance of the wine becoming untasty. Storage temperatures above 21°C can also spoil wine as high temperature can dry out the cork.

Keep the Fridge Closed

Focus on the consistency of the temperature in the refrigerator by not constantly opening and closing the door. Doing this will serve warm air into the refrigerator.

Upgrade Your HVAC System

Invest in a humidifier to avoid excess moisture levels near your wine collection. You might also want to keep your heating system in a consistent setting.

Have A Wine Cellar

For the best long term storage results, consider storing your wine collection on a wine rack in the cellar where this area is less receptive to sudden temperature changes.

Storing Multiple Wine Bottles in One Storage Space

If you keep multiple wine bottles in the fridge, you might be concerned about getting different brands in one place. It might be a complex issue to think about how to store wine from around the world. If you want to drink wine at the correct temperature that is recommended, you can purchase a fridge with a dual-zone unit that can store red wine and white wine at their ideal temperatures. In fact, you might consider moving the bottles around in the fridge when storing them the night before the event. Therefore, the wine will be at the correct temperature for drinking straight away once served.

A Toast To You

What is the ideal temperature for storing wine? The answer depends on the kind of wine, but in general, a consistently cool wine storage temperature is vital. Whether you love hosting parties or enjoy drinking wine after a long day, a perfect glass of wine is always a winner. We hope we have helped you make a decision on how you would like to store your wine collection.

How do you plan to store your wine? Let us know if you have any additional tips.

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