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,

I am fairly new to the world of wine. I have discovered that I have made a mistake, and I am hoping that I can correct it. I have been storing several bottles of Champagne in the refrigerator and would like to remove them for proper storage. Can I do this safely?

—Ben S., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Dear Ben,

Sounds like an excuse for a party. Refrigerators are horrible for long-term storage of wine. The temperature fluctuates inside a refrigerator (and it's usually too cold), they often vibrate, and the low humidity can make corks dry out and become ineffective closures. I recommend storing all wine in the cool, dark, still place that is your cellar, and only put a wine in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before drinking.

OK, enough scolding. The problem is, if you take a bottle that's been stored long-term in a fridge, and then you take it out and keep it at room temperature, you can shock it by sticking it back in the refrigerator to chill it again. My advice, seriously, is to find an excuse to pop the cork and enjoy it now. And promise me you'll never do that again.

—Dr. Vinny

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