When serving a chilled bottle of wine, do you leave the bottle out or do you put it back in the fridge?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

After chilling a wine in a refrigerator and serving it, do you leave the bottle out or do you put it back in the fridge?

—Gabriela, Canada

Dear Gabriela,

That depends on a handful of variables. Was the wine at a perfect temperature when you served it? If the wine was in a regular food refrigerator, the wine might be colder than you want it, so you might leave it out for a while so that it warms up slightly. But that depends on the ambient temperature (I’d have a different expectation on a hot, humid summer day while sitting outside versus a milder day inside a cool home). It also depends on how many people are drinking the wine, and how quickly they are drinking.

If you determine that the wine needs to stay chilled, putting it back in the refrigeration is perfectly OK. You can also use an ice bucket with a mix of water and ice to keep a bottle of wine cold, and there are also insulated coolers than you can pre-chill in the refrigerator or freezer—insulated or double-walled versions will help limit condensation.

—Dr. Vinny

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