Do You Refrigerate Wine? To Chill Or Not To Chill

    Can You Put Wine In A Fridge?

    There just seems to be a never ending amount of rules when it comes to wine, doesn't there?

    Does wine need to be refrigerated seems like a pretty straightforward question but when it comes to wine, and whether you should refrigerate wine, the answer isn’t always so simple.

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    So let’s try and tackle the question of refrigerating wine so you can get on with the only thing you should be concerned about—enjoying a well deserved glass!

    Do You Refrigerate Wine?

    Wine In The Fridge

    Yes, you do refrigerate wine. You can refrigerate wine for serving and storage but the temperature depends on the type of wine.

    • Store your bottles of white and red wine long term between 11-15 °C (52-59 °F).
    • Depending on the variety serve white wines at between 7-12 °C and red wines between 12-18 °C

    When it comes to serving and storing wine a refrigerator can come in just as handy as a wine cellar.

    But just because you can refrigerate wine doesn’t mean the wine needs to be refrigerated. Depending on the contents of the bottle depends on whether the wine needs to go in the fridge or not.

    You see wine is capable of so much fun and flavour but no matter how much work goes into the vines and the wine if the serving temperature isn’t quite right then the wine may not taste its best.

    Which is why the question of “does wine need to be refrigerated?” may seem a simple one, but it's a very important one, too!

    Should You Refrigerate Unopened Wine?

    Yes, you can keep unopened wine in the fridge but we only recommend putting it in a regular kitchen fridge to bring your wine down to serving temperature and don't store it in a fridge long term.

    Also, to help save sacred refrigerator space wine doesn’t have to be stored in the refrigerator unless you’re planning on opening the bottle soon.

    As long as you have somewhere cool, away from bright light and disturbances you don’t need to refrigerate wine if it’s unopened.

    The wine already has everything it needs in the form of the cork, cap or seal to help preserve it.

    The answer to can you put wine in the fridge is almost always a yes, but as a rule wine can go in the fridge if it’s unopened and needs the help of a refrigerator to reach the right serving temperature, or if the bottle is opened and needs to be stored safely.

    Do You Refrigerate Wine After Opening?

    Okay so you’ve opened a lovely bottle of wine and you’re looking for somewhere to keep it in between glasses, should you refrigerate wine after opening?

    Now this is when it starts to get complicated. Depending on the type of wine you have unopened depends on whether or not you should put wine in the fridge.

    For example, if most red wines become too cold their flavour profiles may become altered. For most white, sparkling and rosé wines, however, some time in the fridge, whether in between glasses or to store an opened bottle, is actively encouraged.

    Do You Refrigerate Opened Wine Bottles

    So should wine be refrigerated after opening?

    You can go with your gut on this one. If you’ve opened a bottle of wine that you’ve been happily enjoying at room temperature then feel free to keep it that way.

    Related: How Long Does Wine Last In The Fridge?

    But if you’ve been enjoying a glass of chilled wine, cold and crisp, then keeping the wine chilled by storing your opened bottle of wine in the refrigerator seems like a smart move.

    What's The Best Way To Chill Your Wine?

    You’ve picked your bottle for the evening, a gorgeous sparkling wine that you’ve been saving for a little while now. And in order to get the most out of it you want to chill the bottle beforehand.

    What’s the best way to chill your wine?

    1. Chill The Bottle In A Regular Fridge

    This is where our refrigerator comes in!

    Placing the bottle in the fridge a few hours before you plan on drinking it means that you’re guaranteed wonderfully cool refrigerated wine when the time comes around.

    Putting your wine in the fridge frees you up to get on with the rest of your day, safe in the knowledge your wine will be chilled as soon as you’re ready for it.

    But what about if you’ve left it too late?

    Well, whilst it's ideal for wine to go in the fridge, fear not, it’s not the only solution when it comes to the best way to chill wine.

    2. Cool Your Wine Using A Salt Bath

    A secret of the sommelier trade is the salt bath.

    When a wine waiter has forgotten to put their bottle in the wine fridge and needs their wine chilled—and chilled fast!—they mix a concoction of water, salt and ice to place their bottle in.

    The salt works to decrease the water’s temperature faster, meaning the wine will also chill faster in the process!

    Of course, salt baths and science lessons are last resort methods, wine shouldn’t be stressful and neither should chilling wine. Refrigerating wine isn’t just for the benefit of the bottle, it helps take the hassle out of your night, too.

    Remember that too cold is better than too warm, you can always take the bottle out ten minutes before to help it warm back up a little bit!

    3. Use a Damp Towel and Chill it in the Freezer

    Wrapping a bottle of wine in a damp towel and placing it in the freezer is another method for cooling it fast. By wrapping it in a moist cloth, water evaporation will accelerate the cooling (similarly to how sweating enables humans to cool down).

    The moist towel will freeze rapidly, allowing the wine to cool in half the usual time.

    For this to be effective, your freezer will need to be reasonably empty to allow for air circulation. If your freezer is packed with various food items, the towel may actually insulate the bottle since the air will be stagnant.

    Be careful though, theres a chance this method could cause the wine to freeze, so be mindful of how long you leave the wine bottle in the freezer!

    What's The Ideal Temperature For Red Wine?

    A lot of people talk about room temperature when it comes to the ideal temperature for red wine and to answer the question of “should red wine be refrigerated?”.

    It’s useful to remember that this rule was made before the introduction of double glazing and central heating to our homes.

    So, should I refrigerate red wine and actually, does red wine need to be refrigerated, I hear you ask?

    Red Wine Temperature

    Well, if red wine becomes too warm it can get a little muddled.

    The balance of alcohol, fruit, tannin and acid can become thrown off so it's always better to be slightly too cold and warm the glass up in your hands, than too warm.

    When it comes to the question of “do you put red wine in the fridge” that would vary depending on the style.

    Wines best served at a warmer room temperature are those with lots of depth, spice and tannins, if it feels warming to drink chances are it’s best it is warm to be served.

    An ideal temperature for red wines such as these is between 15 and 20°C.

    Lighter and juicier reds on the other hand, such as Beaujolais or Valpolicella, can take some time in the refrigerator.

    The predicament of can red wine go in the fridge is often answered with a yes if the red wine is light on tannins but big on juicy fruit flavours. About 11 to 13°C is a good place to start.

    So, do you chill red wine?

    It varies on the wine, so trust your instincts and experiment with putting red wine in the fridge, you might discover a whole new world of refrigerated red wines.

    Browse other red wine type guides here:

    What Is The Ideal Temperature For White, Sparkling and Rosé Wines?

    The answer to “does white wine need to be refrigerated” however, is pretty much always a yes.

    The ideal temperature varies but to make things easier you can leave them in the fridge for the majority of the day and they’ll come out deliciously cold.

    White Wine Temperature

    Bold rosé wines and most white wines are perfect between 8 and 11°C although some younger, greener white wines such as Vinho Verde and most sparkling wines may benefit from an extra chill.

    Between 6 and 8°C should be perfect.

    Something important to remember when it comes to refrigerating wine is that the colder the temperature the less flavour it has.

    Some whites, like white Burgundy or Chardonnays aged in oak may taste better slightly warmer so keeping these white wines in the fridge for only a couple of hours will do the trick.

    You can always place the bottle back in if you think the wine needs further refrigeration.

    Related White Wine articles:

    So Does Wine Go In The Fridge?

    Well if it’s a white, sparkling or a rosé then absolutely!

    And there we have it!

    Everything you need to know when it comes to when you should refrigerate wine and how to refrigerate wine.

    Now the next time you hear someone ask “are you supposed to refrigerate wine?” you’re all set to answer them.

    And if that’s not something to raise a perfectly refrigerated wine glass to then what is?!



    We hope you enjoyed our article on the question of whether you refrigerate wine.

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    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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