It’s easy to tell people that wine should be kept in a cool and dark place. But what is the actual temperature you should be aiming for?
In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of a wine fridge, the temperature wines should be stored in it, and some other tips and tricks for ensuring your wines age the way they are meant to.
Temperature is very important
It’s this simple: Temperature is crucial to storing wines so they age correctly.
If it has been stored at too warm temperatures for long periods of time, the wine will prematurely age, and flavours will become unpleasant.
Wine stored in cold temperatures, on the other hand, will expand and put pressure on the cork and the bottle. At very cold temperatures wine also crystallizes and freezes. When it does, it can pop a cork or crack a bottle.
However, keep in mind that cold wine is unlikely to spoil as quickly as hot wine, so if your temperatures have been too low for a while you are probably still safe.
The benefits of using a wine fridge
All wine fridges are designed to keep your wine at the correct temperature while also protecting it from the other enemies of wine.
- Vibration – Wine fridges don’t have the same vibrations as your kitchen fridge, so you won’t risk any of your bottles getting shaken up.
- Light – Wine fridges have UV filters to stop sunlight from coming through and damaging the wines.
- Humidity – Some models even have humidity control. This means that you can store bottles of wine without worrying about the cork drying out.
What’s more, the cooling unit is also smaller than in a regular fridge, so it won’t make that annoying humming noise all night long.
What’s the correct wine fridge temperature?
The correct wine fridge temperature is 12ºC to 14ºC (53.6°F to 57.2°F).
Any higher, and your bottles will heat up and age prematurely and develop an undesirable flavour profile.
Any colder, and the temperatures may not allow the wine to age correctly, which will also impact your wine’s taste profile. Of course, much colder could potentially freeze your wine, causing the cork to pop out of place or even crack.
Keep in mind that consistency is key: never let your wine undergo significant changes in temperature—this should be avoided at all costs!
Do different types of wine need to be stored at different temperatures?
No, there are not different storage temperatures for different wine varietals.
13°C (55°F) is what most winemakers recommend as the ideal storage temperature for all wines.
Where should the wine fridge be located?
- Out of direct sunlight.
- Away from heat sources such as heating vents or stoves.
- In a cool, dark place where the temperature is constant. Avoid places where the temperature will fluctuate like a garage or shed.
- Somewhere with low humidity. You should aim for a humidity level of 50-70%. You can keep track of the moisture level in your cellar or storage area using a hygrometer.
The best way to ensure your wine fridge will be in an ideal location is to follow these basic guidelines and prepare for installation before you make a purchase.
The best temperature for serving wine
Here’s a quick rundown of the ideal wine fridge temperature for each varietal:
- Red wines are best served in between 15˚C and 18˚C. Typically, a big wine like a Shiraz is at the top end of that scale while lighter reds like Pinot Noir are towards the cooler end.
- Champagne and sparkling wines tend to be best served at about 7 degrees Celcius.
- Rosé should also be served cold but not quite as chilled as champagne or sparkling wines; 12˚C is perfect for most bottles of rosé.
- Chardonnay tends to taste best at 9˚C while Riesling does well at around 8˚C.