Is 68° F too warm for my wine cellar?

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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,

The cooling unit in my temperature-controlled cellar broke down, and the replacement won't arrive for two to three months! Until then, the cellar seems to be holding steady at 68° F. Is my wine in danger?

—Joe P., Calgary

Dear Joe,

I think your wines should be OK for the short term, but if you have some very special fragile or expensive bottles, you might want to consider storing them in a friend’s cellar or renting a space at a wine-storage facility.

Wine should ideally be stored in a consistently cool (about 55° F), dark place, free of vibration—that's the environment that will offer your wines their greatest aging potential. Keep an eye on the temperature until your new cooling unit arrives, but a few months at 68° F should be no problem at all; if you notice the temp creeping up toward the 80s, however, you might want to sweat it.

—Dr. Vinny

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