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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I have several bottles of red wine (Cabs, Zins and Pinots) that were nearly frozen. No bottle breakage, no corks popped. Is the wine still drinkable? It is a lot of wine to drink—am I still able to cellar the wine?
I think your wines will be fine. Keep in mind that wine has to get really cold to actually freeze—down to about 15° to 20° F for an extended period.
The concern about freezing wine—and why you should never leave a bottle in a freezer unattended—is that if the bottle really gets that cold, the water content will expand as it freezes. There’s not much room in a sealed bottle for that expansion, so it can put pressure on the cork or even crack the bottle. You could end up with a mess in your freezer, or if the corks push out, that means some air could get inside the bottle.
Some of my colleagues actually freeze their leftover wine on purpose. I’ve tried the results, and the wines taste good—actually quite fresh for a leftover. I’ve done my own experiment with freezing a bottle of wine topped with a screwcap, and I’ve also done an “experiment” where I forgot a bottle of rosé with an apparent leaky cork in the freezer (it made a mess, and I don’t recommend it).
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash