Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Can you refrigerate red wine?
Sure! Now, I wouldn't recommend storing wines of any color in a refrigerator for a long time—the ideal conditions for storing leftover potato salad and the ideal conditions for aging wine are different enough that an ordinary refrigerator is not your best bet for medium- or long-term wine storage. But if you want to chill down your reds before drinking them, go for it.
In fact, I believe that most red wines are drunk too warm (and that most whites are served too cold). I personally enjoy my reds with a slight chill on them—as in, taken out of a cellar's 55-degree temperature about an hour or so before serving. That's the equivalent of about 30 minutes in the fridge.
Of course, the fastest way to cool down a bottle is in an ice bath. In a restaurant, I've even been known to slip an ice cube or two into my glass of red wine if it's been served at a temperature that's too tepid for my tastes. And if you have an open bottle you can't finish, putting it in a refrigerator for a couple of days will give you some more mileage out of that wine.