temperature to store wine

Modern science, when applied to the millennia-old art of winemaking, has let the great vineyards of the world produce many wines that do not need to age in their bottles for extended periods before reaching the peaks of flavor and aroma.

The Right Temperature for Storing Wine

But the question remains of what is the right temperature for storing wine when the journey to perfection will take more time?  A wine cellar is a perfect answer for those who have both the space and the money to indulge in one.  For the rest of us, though, something more modest will have to do.

Click for More Wine Storage Do’s and Don’ts!

Any wine storage which is to succeed will have to be done at the proper wine storage temperature. Finding the right temperature for storing wine is not really a mystery; warm is bad; cool is good. Heat will cause the wine to deteriorate just as it causes fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products to deteriorate. 

Warm is bad; cool is good!

On the other hand, going to far in the chilly direction can also be dangerous; frozen wine, unlike frozen grape juice, does not a Popsicle make.  Frozen wine, in fact, loses forever its aroma and taste.

wine drinking temperature

One of the factors which should influence your choice of wine storage temperatures is the color of the wine itself.  Is it white, or red, or something in between?  Once a bottle of wine has been fetched from wherever you keep it during its long nap, you want it at the optimum serving temperature before you drink it.

Red wines should not be served chilled; the cold will rob the wine of its ability to dazzle your palate with all the sublet tones and nuances of its flavors and aromas.  A temperature of about 65F, or 18C, will show off your merlots, pinots, and burgundies to their best advantage.

White wines and blushes are to red wines what ice is to blood; they need to be thoroughly chilled before serving if they are to have any impact whatsoever. No matter their wine storage temperature where you have been keeping them, get them to 39 F, or 4C, before taking the first sip.

Enjoying The Drink

All wines, no matter their color and their wine storage temperatures, should be given a chance to breathe after they have been opened.  They should be allowed at least fifteen minutes–thirty would be much better– of exposure to the air before they are poured and consumed.

Also, they should never, ever, ever be swallowed without being allowed some intimacy with the drinker’s mouth and tongue. If you are brave enough or drinking alone, you can even try trilling–gently gargling–the wine so that it comes into contact with every part of your mouth.

While the rules for storing wine much be followed, the right temperature for drinking wine is only “right” if you enjoy it.  We preach to “drink what you like”, so if you LIKE ice cubes in your red, or to drink your white wine at room temperature, then go for it. Just be careful no wine-snob is looking. 

To learn more about tasting, read “Any Glass With Wine In It, Is a Wine Glass”!

the right temperature for storing wine
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