ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I live in Singapore, where the temperature is between 82 and 91 degrees F all the time. I do not have access to a proper cellar to store some wine. So what is the least bad situation? Storing on the kitchen counter or the food fridge?

—Matt H., Singapore

Dear Matt,

That’s tough. I think a food refrigerator is OK for short-term storage, say, a few weeks or months. Beyond that, the temperature fluctuation, low humidity and possible vibration make it a bad spot for long-term storage. There’s a step between your kitchen counter and a full-blown wine cellar, and that’s a wine cooler. Some of them are small enough to fit on a countertop (and hold as few as four bottles), and their prices start below $100. Depending on how much you’re spending on wine, it might be a good investment.

If you find you’re collecting more and more wine, a less convenient but perhaps safer bet would be to store your wine offsite, such as in a rental wine locker in a temperature-controlled facility, in a helpful wine shop or restaurant, or even with a friend who has a proper cellar. How much money you invest in these options should represent what you can afford, how much you spend on your wines, and whether your wines are meant for aging or for more immediate consumption.

—Dr. Vinny


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