Q: Will it harm wine to be stored at a temperature colder than 55 degrees? —Gina
A:While 55 degrees Fahrenheit is the most widely agreed-upon temperature to store wine, some of the greatest Scottish wine collections sold at auction (like the Glamis Castle consignment of 19th-century Château Lafite Rothschild offered at Christie's in the 1970s) were housed in natural underground cellars where the thermometer never rose much above 48 degrees. Many seasoned contemporary collectors have become enamored of the cooler-is-better concept for very old wines, because the slightly cooler temperature helps to retard the aging process. I know of one major New Jersey collector who cellars a portion of his collection at the standard 55 degree level, but places older, rarer bottles in a separate room at 48 degrees. A prominent Ohio collector stores all his wine at 48 degrees. While their approach has not been verified scientifically, I have sampled vintage treasures from these collections and have found them to be in remarkable condition.
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