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What Temperature is Too Cold for Red Wine

two glasses with red wine

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Wine storage temperature is an important element of cellaring for multiple reasons.

If the wine is stored at too warm of a temperature, it will age more rapidly. Too cold of a temperature, and the wine will freeze. Here are some tips to ensure your wine is stored at the ideal temperature, so it tastes as the winemaker intended.

The Ideal Storage Conditions

Aging wine requires specific conditions. First, the room’s humidity must be between 50-70%, allowing the corks of the bottles to remain moist and sealed. Next, the space should be dark as harsh light, and UV rays can damage the wine. Vibrations should be avoided to prevent the sediment inside the bottle from mixing with the liquid. Lastly, the temperature inside the cellar should be a consistent 55℉ (between 40 to 65℉) for both red and white wines. Temperature fluctuations should be avoided. Wine will freeze between 15 to 20℉, slowing down the chemical reactions needed to age wine. Wine will become damaged at approximately 70℉ and cook at 80℉ or higher.

Luckily, there are many ways to create the ideal storage conditions for wine and prevent it from freezing or aging too rapidly. Of course, a traditional wine cellar or wine cave are the perfect places to house wine long term. A wine cave relies on the naturally cool and damp conditions of a cave. A wine cellar utilizes a cellar cooling system to maintain a steady temperature and humidity. When a cave or cellar is not possible, wine cabinets or wine coolers are the next best alternatives. A wine cabinet is a furniture-like appliance that mimics the conditions of a wine cellar. Inside the wine cabinet are wine racks, a cellar cooling system, as well as proper insulation. Wine coolers are similar to kitchen refrigerators, but they are designed for wine storage.

Ideal Serving Temperature

The right serving temperature for wine largely depends on its specific varietal or style. Red wine tastes delicious when chilled to 58 to 65℉. White wines taste best between 45 to 55℉. You may opt to bring your wine to serving temperature by placing it in a bucket of ice to cool or having it sit at room temperature to warm. Some choose to set a wine refrigerator to serving temperature and filling it with wine ahead of a special occasion. If you have a wine refrigerator with more than one zone, you can set one zone to storage temperature and the other zone for serving. You can find more information about serving temperatures in the chart below.

Wine Serving Temperature Chart
CELCIUS
FAHRENHEIT
WINE STYLE
19
66
Armagnac, Brandy, Cognac
18
64
Full-Bodied Red Wines, Shiraz
17
62
Tawny Port
15
59
Medium Bodied Red Wines
14
57
Amontillado Sherry
13
55
Light Bodied Red Wines
12
54
Full-Bodied White Wines
11
52
Medium Bodied White Wines
10
50
Rosé, Light Bodied White Wines
9
48
Vintage Sparkling
8
46
Fino Sherry
7
45
Non-Vintage Sparkling
*These temperatures should only be used as a guideline.


Are you worried about your red wines freezing? Contact our cellar experts today at 1-800-777-8466 or email info@vinotemp.com.

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