What is the Proper Temperature to Store Red Wine?

Optimal Wine Storage Temperature

What is the Proper Temperature to Store Red Wine?
What is the best temperature for storing wine?
Do different wines store better at different temperatures?

Proper storage temperature for red wine is considered to be 55°F. Red wine is generally also served at this same storage temperature. Although proper wine storage temperatures vary depending upon the type of wine being stored, this temperature is acceptable (but not optimal) for all wines. Below is a chart presented in order to keep to keep the average wine drinker honest.

Optimal Wine Storage Temperatures

Wine Storage Temperatures

  • The optimal temperature for storing red wine is generally quoted as 55°F.
  • The generally accepted maximum temperature range for storing wine is between 35°F and 65°F.
  • It’s fine to store white wines and sparkling wines in the refrigerator, especially prior to serving.
  • Never store wine above 70°F or it will begin to cook and then taste flat.
  • Although storage temperature of wine is important, consistency of storage nearly as important (discussed further below).
  • Depending on the type of wine, ideal storage temperatures can vary according to the variety of wine being stored.

  • Wine Temperatures Notes
    Big reds – Bordeaux, Zinfandel, Chianti, Burgandy, Cabernet, Port 55°- 65° This higher temperature helps to mellow the tannins while diminishing the bitter attributes, which will begin to show when red wines are kept at too cool of a temperature.
    Full body white wines – Chardonnay, Viognier, light fruity red wines (like Beaujolias and Pinot Noir), vintage champagnes 50°- 60° This temperature allows all the nuances of full bodied whites to shine and allows fruity reds to be refreshing.
    White Dessert Wines, Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio 45°- 55° These wines can be overly sweet when warm. Storing them in this temperature range keeps them balanced. They will maintain their acidity here and their fresh aroma.
    Sparkling wine, Ice wine, Rosé 35°- 45° If sparkling wines and cheap champagnes are not kept cool enough, the bubbles will become frothy rather than fine. If you need to celebrate quickly, don’t use the freezer. Instead, fill a bucket with ice and water and immerse the bottle for an hour.

    Wine Storage Considerations

    Even more important than the storage temperature of wine is the consistency of wine storage.
    Think you’ll have it for dinner then change your mind and place it back into storage for another day? Not a good practice! The expansion and contraction of the liquid wine with the change in temperature can cause leakage. Leakage from a bottle does not necessarily mean that the wine is ruined, but can cause flavor changes and a mess.

    Don’t ever freeze wine.
    This extreme expansion of the liquid could cause the cork to pop!

    Don’t shake a bottle of wine.
    This will cause any sediment (especially with red wines) to be mixed back into the wine.

    Keep wine away from light.
    Sunlight and artificial light cause wine to age before its time.

    Keep wine on its side for long term storage.
    For short term storage, it’s fine to stand the bottles up. It’s also fine to stand bottles that have plastic corks or metal screw tops at all times. The reason wines are stored on their sides long term is to keep the corks from drying out.

    How does weather affect wine?
    – Extremely dry conditions can dry out the cork causing it to shrink and then the bottle may leak.
    – Extreme humidity (outside of the 50-80% range) can also be problematic for wines. Extememely moist conditions could cause the labels to grow mold, but the wine inside should remain fine.

    Storing wine at an optimal temperature will help to increase it’s shelf life and should provide for optimal wine enjoyment when the bottle is opened.

    What is the Proper Temperature to Store Red Wine?

    Additional Information

    To find out how long wine lasts, see our wine page.

    Find out why boxed wine comes with an expiration date when bottles do not.

    Want to save opened champagne for another night? Check this out.

    Need ideas to use up some old wine? See this post on old wine.

    Can’t bear to throw out a bottle that is emptied of wine but still full of memories? Check out this bottle craft.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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