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 buying a 124-bottle wine cooler with dual temperature controls. I drink red wine, but the instructions say for best use, have a 4-degree difference between areas. What do you suggest?

—David S., Atlanta

Dear David,

Dual-temperature wine coolers are designed mainly for wine lovers who want bottles kept at both storage and serving temperatures. Wines of any color are thought to be best stored at around 55 degrees F, which is an appropriate serving temperature for reds, but most people like to serve their whites cooler than that, at about 40 or 50 degrees. If your needs are only for storage, it might make more sense to find a wine cooler in your price range that meets your needs for a single-temperature zone.

But if you’re stuck with a dual-zone cooler that you’d like to keep at a consistent temperature (I have no idea why you’d be instructed to have a 4-degree difference between the areas), I’d just split the difference around your target temperature of 55 degrees: set one side to 53, the other to 57.

—Dr. Vinny


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