Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I am buying a 124-bottle wine cooler with dual temperature controls. I drink red wine, but the instructions say for best use, have a 4-degree difference between areas. What do you suggest?

—David S., Atlanta

Dear David,

Dual-temperature wine coolers are designed mainly for wine lovers who want bottles kept at both storage and serving temperatures. Wines of any color are thought to be best stored at around 55 degrees F, which is an appropriate serving temperature for reds, but most people like to serve their whites cooler than that, at about 40 or 50 degrees. If your needs are only for storage, it might make more sense to find a wine cooler in your price range that meets your needs for a single-temperature zone.

But if you’re stuck with a dual-zone cooler that you’d like to keep at a consistent temperature (I have no idea why you’d be instructed to have a 4-degree difference between the areas), I’d just split the difference around your target temperature of 55 degrees: set one side to 53, the other to 57.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.