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,
My wine cooler seems too cold: I can’t get it warmer than 44° F. Is that too cold for storage?
—Chris, from Twitter
There’s definitely something wrong with your wine cooler; you should get it checked out. It might be as simple as the thermostat being off, or something wrong with the temperature sensors. If you call a repairperson, you can tell them a cartoon character told you to ask about the “control panel” and “refrigerant gas leaks.” (The refrigerant gas only applies to systems with compressors, not thermoelectric ones).
The ideal storage temperature is 55° F. Cold temperatures aren’t as dangerous as too-warm ones, although it's believed that cold slows down the aging process. Cold temperatures can also cause a wine to throw harmless tartrate crystals. They can look like shards of glass or rock candy (some winemakers will purposefully “cold stabilize” the wine to get rid of them).