How long can I keep a wine in my kitchen refrigerator?

Ask Dr Vinny

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,

What’s the longest amount of time you can keep a white wine in a kitchen refrigerator? Can you then put it back to normal cellar storage again?

—Ronna M., Natick, Mass.

Dear Ronna,

Red or white, wines aren’t going to show their best if they’re stored long-term in food refrigerators, which are too cold and too dry. But in the short term, I think they’re OK, and I usually have bottles in there for immediate consumption (including a bubbly, because I’m always in the mood to celebrate).

I think that after a couple of months in a food refrigerator, the cork might start to dry out, which could prematurely oxidize the wine, so I try to drink up before the 2-month mark. If you don’t think you’ll be getting to the wine in that period, putting it back into proper cellar conditions is definitely the way to go. Its stint in the kitchen fridge isn’t likely to do the wine lasting harm.

—Dr. Vinny

Collecting Storage Cellars Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

How can I preserve an intentionally wine-stained shirt?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the pros and cons of using red wine as a fabric …

Aug 16, 2019

What exactly does it mean that a wine can express "terroir"? Is it a smell? A taste?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the elusive concept and expression of terroir.

Aug 14, 2019

What is the ideal "total acidity" for Cabernet Sauvignon?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains total acidity, and how it interacts with other …

Aug 12, 2019

Are some wines better-suited to being canned than others?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains which wine styles have been most successful in …

Aug 9, 2019

How can a wine taste like fruits other than grapes?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how all those complex flavors and aromas get …

Aug 7, 2019

Why are people so fascinated/obsessed with wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains a few of the reasons we love wine.

Aug 5, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search