Wines aren’t meant to be stored in standard chillers but rather in specially designed refrigerators called wine cooler. This cooler stores your wine at an ideal temperature, thereby preserving its flavor, taste, and quality of the wine while also bringing it to full maturity.
But do you know all about how to set wine fridge temperature? If no, don’t worry. You are not alone. In this article, we will be educating you on how to set wine cooler temperature for store and serve wine.
But before we delve into it, let’s get familiar with some basics.
Basic Things to Know About Wine Storage
- As a rule of thumb, red wine should be stored at room temperature (60oF to 65oF).
- Rosés and white wines should be stored at a temperature between 50oF to 60oF. While cold, they are generally warmer than most regular kitchen refrigerators.
- Kitchen refrigerators chill drinks between 36oF to 40oF. Hence, if stored at normal temperature, you will have wines with bland flavors.
- For sparkling wines, they are best stored ice-cold. An ice bucket will do the trick.
- For long term storage, wines should be stored at 55oF. This is the ideal temperature often found in wine cellars.
Now that we are acquainted with some wine storage basics, let’s get right to the day’s business. Shall we?
Wine Cooler/ Fridge Temperature Setting: How to Set Wine Cooler Temperature
1. For Dual-zone Wine Cooler Temperatures
If you own a wine chiller with two temperature zones (commonly called dual-zone chiller), one of the best methods to store your wine appropriately is to have one cooling zone set at 60oF for red wines only and another set at 50oF for white wines only. With just the click of a button or twist of a dial (this is dependent on your chiller’s model) you can easily set the temperature to suit your preference.
Then again, users can set one of the chiller compartments at 55oF and have it reserved especially for extended wine storage, while the temperature in the second zone can be tweaked to serve as a chilling pad for wines about to be served.
2. For Single-zone Wine Cooler Temperatures
If you own a wine chiller with just one temperature zone (known as a single-zone), you will need to be more creative and experimental as this is more difficult to manage. You can keep tweaking the temperature until you arrive at one best suited for your wines.
3. Best Temperature for Red Wine
Let’s take a look at the best temperature for storing red wines.
Antique and Fortified Red Wines
Generally, fortified wines such as port or sherry have higher alcohol content than liquor. However, regardless of the dryness or sweetness of fortified wines, they are best consumed warm.
- For antique and fortified red wines, store at 66oF to 67oF
Full-Bodied Red Wines
Rich, deep red wines are best consumed warm. This way, your palate is given a chance to familiarize itself with the wine’s texture and complexity. Full-bodied wines such as Barolo, Cabernet, Shiraz, Bordeaux, red Zinfandel, Burgundy, and so on should never be served overly chilled.
- Store full-bodied red wine at 64oF to 65oF
Medium-Bodied Red Wines
Medium-bodied red wines are lighter and brighter and are best stored at lower temperatures. This happens due to the increased fruitiness and acidity of the wine as it gets colder. Examples of medium-bodied red wines include Merlot, Malbec, and Rioja.
- Store at 64oF to 65oF
Light-Bodied Rosés and Red Wines
You would think these wines are pale but that is far from the case. They are only light in texture but are easier to drink and can be combined with a wide variety of food. Light-bodied rosés and reds are best consumed at a cooler temperature than normal room temperature. This makes them an ideal summertime beverage.
So, if you like some glass of Pinot Noir, Chianti, or Beaujolais, it’s best to have them chilled before serving them.
- Store light-bodied rosés and red wines at 55oF to 60oF
4. Best Temperature for White Wine
Below are categories of white wines and the best temperature to store them:
Full-bodied White Wines
The white versions of wines such as Chardonnay Montrachet, Sauternes, and Zinfandel, all do better when they are served at a temperature slightly higher than room temperature. This is a direct contrast to the myth that white wines should be served very cold.
- Store full-bodied white wines at 52oF to 55oF
Medium-Bodied White Wines
The alcohol content in sweet and dry medium-bodied white wines are slightly less than that in full-bodied white wines. This feature enables wine lovers to chill their wines more without compromising the flavor of the wine. Examples of such wines are Chablis and Riesling.
- Store medium-bodied white wines at 50oF
Light-Bodied White Wines
Light-bodied wines are refreshing, especially when served cold. The cold temperature intensifies the crispy nature and flavor of the drink. Light-bodied white wines such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are best enjoyed chilled.
- Store at 46oF to 48oF
Sparkling and Dessert Wines
Sparkling wines such as champagne and dessert wines are best served icy cold. This way, the rich sweetness of the wine is brought to the fore.
- Store sparkling and the dessert wine at 40oF to 45oF
How Long Can You Store Wine at Room Temperature?
There is no specific time duration for storing wines at room temperature. The duration of storage depends largely on the type of wine. At higher temperatures, oxidation/aging happens fast, especially for white wines. Its effect on wines will depend on the type of wine as well as your preference.
However, to prevent aging and preserve the wine’s quality, it’s best to store it in a chiller as soon as possible (usually a few days after purchase)
To get the best of your wine, take note of the following:
- Wines should be stored in a wine cooler, and not a regular kitchen chiller
- Keep wine away from UV light.
- Do not place the wine in close contact with items that have a strong smell.
- The humidity level should be less than 70% to avoid damaging the wine.
- Do not expose wines to loid noise and vibration, as this tends to agitate the wine’s sediment and disrupt the flavor.
- Serve wine at an appropriate temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wine Cooler Temperature
What is the best wine cooler temperature for serving and storing white wines?
The typical recommended storage and service temperatures for many typical types of white wines includes: Chablis, 87-89°; Chardonnay, 59-64°; Chenin Blanc, 75-77°; dry Furmint (Tokaji) 76-80°; Riesling 75-80°; Sauvignon Blanc, 59-64°.
How should I store my red wines at home?
Most wineries recommend that you store your red wines at 50-55°. However, most temperature controlled wine cellars will offer reds storage temperatures anywhere from 52-60°. This is often referred to as the “red zone.”
Can I chill my white wines like I do my water and soft drinks?
Unless the wine label specifically says it can be served chilled, or you are serving a sparkling wine, it is not recommended that you serve white wines cold. Serving whites too cold may mask their delicate aromas and flavors.
What are some factors that affect how long an opened bottle of wine will stay fresh?
A few factors to consider include the serving temperature, how quickly it is being consumed, amount of air inside your wine bottle, and quality of the cork.
What are some common conditions that affect the taste of my wines?
Each type of grape can produce a wide variety of tasting notes ranging from very sweet to very dry. However most wines will generally fall somewhere between these two:
Dry – completely devoid of sweetness; not astringent. Wines with this characteristic typically range from 0-8 grams/liter (g/L) residual sugar. Off-Dry – slightly sweet; still fairly dry. Wines with this characteristic typically range from 8-15 g/L residual sugar. Sweet – very sweet; fairly low alcohol. Wines with this characteristic typically range from 15+ g/L residual sugar.
Now that you know how to set wine cooler temperature for your store and serve, it’s time to put your knowledge to practice and enjoy the best your wine has got to offer.