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

If most vines are grafted onto rootstocks, why do some grapevines thrive in soils where others struggle?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny, with an assist from U.C. Davis' viticulture department, …

Jul 1, 2020

What does “buttery” mean when talking about Chardonnay?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where "buttery" flavors come from in wine.

Jun 29, 2020

Are French oak barrels for aging wine made from white oak or red oak?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why white oak is the preferred wood for aging …

Jun 26, 2020

Are freezable tumblers OK for drinking a glass of rosé or white wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how freezable plastic tumblers keep beverages …

Jun 24, 2020

What’s the difference between Bordeaux and Burgundy?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains which grapes are used in France's Bordeaux and …

Jun 22, 2020

How do wine critics review wines that aren’t ready to drink?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how experienced critics assess a young wine's …

Jun 19, 2020