Around what temperature should we be storing our wines? Ask The Wine Ladies December 2013

Dear Wine Ladies,

Around what temperature should we be storing our wines? Do the white wines and red require a different temperature?

Marie, Chicago, Illinois


Dear Marie,

The actual safe temperature to store ones wine can range anywhere from approximately 45° to 60°F (8° to 17°).  Optimal temperatures depend on how long the wines will be stored for as well as the wines age. If your wines are to be enjoyed within a year or so, a warmer temperature will speed up the development of the wine, allowing for a more appreciable bouquet, for wines that are intended for longer storage, the temperature at the cooler end of the spectrum is best.

 A good majority of experts recommend a cellar temperature of around 55°  because this is a safe and good starting point for both storage and for serving red and white wines alike. Often times reds are served too warm and whites too cold, this temperature allows a red wine to rest on the table for a short while to warm if necessary, or chill a white for an extra fifteen minutes or so in the refrigerator or a wine bucket should that be needed. Apart from cellering at an appropriate temperature it is also key for wine safety to avoid wild temperature swings, as well as storage close to an area of vibration such as a laundry room.

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