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

Do Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from Burgundy improve with age?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny consults Burgundy expert Bruce Sanderson on how long to …

Apr 6, 2020

If red meat goes with red wine, what about plant-based “meat”?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny asks food-and-wine pairing master Harvey Steiman for tips …

Apr 3, 2020

Is it OK to store potatoes and other vegetables in my wine cellar?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny consults Idaho's Dr. Potato on storing potatoes in a wine …

Apr 1, 2020

Which grapes are used in the sparkling wine Blanquette de Limoux?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny, with an assist from associate editor Gillian Sciaretta, …

Mar 30, 2020

Should I sip wine with food in my mouth to appreciate a wine-and-food pairing?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains that enjoying wine and food together is all …

Mar 27, 2020

In wine and grapevines, what’s the difference between a “clone” and a “selection”?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny calls in vine expert Carole Meredith to explain how a …

Mar 25, 2020