Wine Cooler Temperature Guide - 5 Steps For Storing Wine

by Jennifer Kristensen on Jan 27, 2023

Wine Cooler Temperature Guide

If you’re serious about collecting wine (and enjoying its spectacular flavors), one of the best things you can do as a wine lover is to store your wine correctly. Not only will this allow the wine to last longer and stay fresher, but it will also ensure you can enjoy every glass at the optimal temperature.

There are a few essential factors you need to consider when storing your wine, including how long you intend to keep it and what type of wine it is. Once you know these two things, figuring out the ideal wine temperature and configuring your wine cooler is a simple process. Here are the five essential steps you need to take to store your wine properly 

1. Determine If Your Wine Needs Short-Term or Long-Term Storage

The most important determining factor for wine cooler temperature is how long you store your bottles. Wine stored for the long term is generally best kept at a lower temperature that will preserve its flavors, while you should keep the wine you intend to use at a comfortable serving temperature.

If you’re planning on storing wine for a long time, the right temperature should be somewhere between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It should never be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as freezing can cause the wine to oxidize. Storing your wine at the best temperature range will ensure that the flavor doesn’t age and shift with time.

If you plan on drinking your wine at any time in the near future, you should store it at the ideal serving temperature based on its type. Short-term storage temperatures can range anywhere from 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. You should never store wine at temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can “cook” the wine and cause the flavors to flatten.

2. Determine What Type of Wine You’re Storing

The ideal temperature range for storing your wine also varies by what type of wine it is. White and rose wines should generally be kept at very cool temperatures, while dark red wine is often kept close to room temperature. Sparkling wine is kept at an extremely cool temperature regardless of variety. Here are the ideal temperatures for different wines.

  • Sparkling wine: 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Rose wine: 48 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bright white wine: 48 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mature white wine: 58 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Light red wine: 60 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Dark red wine: 62 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit

What Type of Wine You’re Storing

3. Ensure Your Wine Is Stored with Proper Humidity and Light

While improper wine storage temperature can cause unpleasant changes in the flavor of wine, storing wine in the incorrect humidity or light can have the same effects. Ensure that the place where you store your wine has the proper humidity and light to preserve the bottles.

You should keep wine at a consistent medium humidity. If wine is stored in spaces that are too dry, the corks can dry out and allow air to enter the bottles. Too much moisture, meanwhile, can cause the labels of the bottles to peel. You should aim for 60 to 68 percent humidity.

Your wine should also be kept in a dark area. Too much light can cause the wine to develop unpleasant flavors since the UV light disturbs the sediment within the bottle. While the room doesn’t need to be completely dark, you should go for as dark of a space as possible — and make sure that your wine is never within reach of direct sunlight.

4. Store Your Wine Horizontally

If you want your wine to last for as long as possible when it’s stored, you should ensure that it is placed horizontally. This will keep the cork stoppers moist, ensuring that air cannot enter the bottle and oxidize the wine. The only wine bottles that you can store upright are those that use screw-top closures.

Store Your Wine Horizontally

5. Ensure Your Storage Is Properly Ventilated

Lastly, if you want to make sure that your wine is stored correctly, you should make sure that the wine cooler (What Is A Wine Cooler - The Ultimate Guide) itself is allowed to function properly. If the wine cooler has front ventilation, you’re generally just fine placing it anywhere you like — as long as it’s not next to a hot appliance. However, if the portable wine cooler has side ventilation, you should place it in an open space. Ensuring that the beverage cooler can rid itself of hot air will ensure that it can keep your wine fresh.

Store Your Wine Properly With a Wine Cooler

While having a wine cellar just below the home is a dream come true for most of us, it’s safe to say that most of us also probably don’t have access to such an ideal wine storage place. And unfortunately, a fridge isn’t a good stand-in for proper wine storage. To keep perishable foods safe to eat, refrigerator temperatures routinely dip into the low 40s — since the wine refrigerator is opened so often, the wine storage temperature fluctuates frequently.

In such a cold and erratic place, it doesn’t take much time for a bottle of wine flavors to change. Worse yet, the humidity in refrigerators is often well below the ideal ranges — meaning it can cause the cork to dry out and the wine to oxidize. To ensure that your wine collection stays fresh for as long as possible, you should consider investing in a portable wine cooler.

While a portable wine cooler might seem like a big investment upfront, it’s worth it in many ways. Simply put, given that the wine cooler temperature will keep your wine collection fresh, you can consider purchasing a wine cooler to be a way to protect your investment. These wine fridges are designed to keep wine at the optimal temperature and humidity, so once you’ve set the cooler up, you won’t even have to stress about storage conditions.

Final Thoughts

While storing wine might seem hard to do, it’s simple when you know the proper steps. It becomes easier when you can trust the wine cooler temperature control and humidity settings. As far as investing in a wine goes, investing in a proper wine cooler is one of the best things you can do.