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.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I recently moved my collection of 70 bottles from my below-grade basement cellar. I have no place to store the wines in a dedicated cellar. I am living in a desert climate and indoor home temps are 80 degrees. I am temporarily storing the wines in my refrigerator until such time as I can purchase a dedicated chiller. Am I doing the wine any harm by storing them in a refrigerator?

—Steve R., Goodyear, Ariz.

Dear Steve,

“Harm” is too strong a word, but if you’re a regular fan of Dr. Vinny (and who isn’t?), you know I don’t advocate storing wines long-term in a food refrigerator, which tends to be too cold and too dry. But short-term storage is OK, and if it’s a choice between a refrigerator and an 80-degree home, I think you’re making the right decision. Hopefully you can move the wine into permanent storage within a few months, before the corks start to show signs of drying out.

—Dr. Vinny


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