My wine fridge is only 44° F. Is that too cold for storing wine?

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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

Dear Chris,

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).

—Dr. Vinny

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