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

What’s the best way to remove the cork from an imperial (a 6-liter bottle of wine)?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains best practices for opening—and serving—large-for…

May 16, 2022

Are wine tasting note descriptors listed in order of prominence?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert Dr. Vinny explains that wine tasting notes are not …

May 9, 2022

How can a wine taster distinguish between so many different types of "pepper" in a wine?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert Dr. Vinny explains where some pepper notes in wine …

May 2, 2022

Is it OK to bring a bottle of rosé to dinner at a restaurant?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains corkage etiquette and BYO Dos and Don'ts

Apr 25, 2022

Why don't most 1.5-liter wine bottles have a vintage date?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why many wines are non-vintage, especially …

Apr 18, 2022

Should I apply wax or plastic film to prevent wine corks from drying out?

Wine Spectator's resident wine expert, Dr. Vinny, explains how to prevent your wine corks …

Apr 11, 2022