Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny



Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I have some white and red wines stored in the fridge (mistake?) because I was worried they would go bad stored at room temperature. When I’m ready to drink the red, what should I do to avoid bottle shock?

—Trevor, U.S.

Dear Trevor,

It’s not a mistake to put a bottle of wine in the fridge, but I don’t recommend it for long-term storage. Refrigerators have very low humidity to inhibit bacterial growth. That low humidity can dry out a cork and cause premature aging. Depending on how warm your room temperature is and how much fluctuation there can be, storing wine in your fridge for a couple of months might be the best call between the two, so you shouldn’t worry about that.

And you shouldn’t be concerned at all about “bottle shock” in this scenario. Bottle shock is an anecdotal phenomenon for wines that have just been bottled, or have traveled, when wines just seem a little disjointed and flat for a while. (Most folks think it only takes a few days to a few weeks for a bottle at rest to recover from “shock.”) I think your only concern for taking the wine out of the fridge is to make sure to get it up to serving temperature: Refrigerators are pretty cold, and a wine that’s too cold can seem inexpressive. I like my reds around 60° to 65° F, a little cooler than room temperature.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

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.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers


WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.