Should I Refrigerate Wine?

Wine ages best when it has been stored in a cool and humid environment where it can be sheltered from sunlight and vibration.

The best environment for wine is a wine cave or wine cellar. Since most wine lovers do not have the budget or enough wine to fill a wine cellar, what are the alternatives for storing wine? Can you simply place your wine inside a refrigerator?

Storing Wine in the Fridge

The kitchen refrigerator is far too cold and dry for long term wine storage. The ideal temperature for wine is 55◦F with a relative humidity of 70%. A standard refrigerator where you store your milk and eggs is normally set for 38-40◦F with no humidity. When wine is in an environment that is too cold it can begin to crystalize. When it is too dry, the corks begin to dry out and contract, allowing for oxidization. When wine sits inside a refrigerator it is also vulnerable to the smells that live inside a refrigerator, like leftovers or expired goods. The refrigerator is also often the hub of the home, where families are regularly opening and closing the door for snacks. It is not the ideal space for wine storage and should be avoided.

Use a Wine Cooler

The best refrigerator for your wine is a wine cooler. Like a wine cellar but far less expensive, a wine fridge is a safe space for your wine where it can age undisturbed. Wine refrigerators have sturdy wire racking, a cooling system, an insulated door, lighting, and digital temperature control. You can store as little as 2 bottles or up to 300 bottles. Many wine refrigerators have a locking door which means your wine can sit undisturbed for as long as you need it to.

Should Red Wine Be Refrigerated After Opening?

If you have leftover wine after uncorking a bottle there are a few steps to follow to ensure your wine does not go to waste. You may simply place the cork back in the bottle and then place it inside the fridge. Another alternative is to use a bottle stopper. A vacuum pump and stopper are great tools to have on hand because the vacuum will suck any excess oxygen out of the bottle while the stopper will create a seal. There are also products on the market that will use a food-safe gas such as argon to replace the oxygen inside the bottle. Whatever method of re-sealing the bottle you choose, store it upright inside your refrigerator (less surface area exposed to oxygen) and drink it within 2-3 days.

White Wine in the Fridge

After opening, you can follow many of the same steps you would for storing leftover red wine. Close the bottle of wine with a cork or bottle stopper, place it upright in your refrigerator, and drink within 2-3 days. You can also store white wine for cooking by freezing the wine in an ice cube tray. If you choose this method, use the wine cubes within 6 months.

Storing your unopened wine inside your kitchen fridge for longer than a month or two is not recommended. If you are storing leftover wine, replace the cork, or use a stopper and place it inside the fridge, consume within 2-3 days. If you have any additional questions about wine storage, please feel free to contact us with our Contact Form.