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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Can you refrigerate red wine?

—Charles, London

Dear Charles,

Sure! Now, I wouldn't recommend storing wines of any color in a refrigerator for a long time—the ideal conditions for storing leftover potato salad and the ideal conditions for aging wine are different enough that an ordinary refrigerator is not your best bet for medium- or long-term wine storage. But if you want to chill down your reds before drinking them, go for it.

In fact, I believe that most red wines are drunk too warm (and that most whites are served too cold). I personally enjoy my reds with a slight chill on them—as in, taken out of a cellar's 55-degree temperature about an hour or so before serving. That's the equivalent of about 30 minutes in the fridge.

Of course, the fastest way to cool down a bottle is in an ice bath. In a restaurant, I've even been known to slip an ice cube or two into my glass of red wine if it's been served at a temperature that's too tepid for my tastes. And if you have an open bottle you can't finish, putting it in a refrigerator for a couple of days will give you some more mileage out of that wine.

—Dr. Vinny


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