Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

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

Dear Dr. Vinny,

A few days each summer, the temperature inside my house may rise to 80 degrees. At what temperature, and for what duration, will wine quality start to deteriorate?

—Larry J., Auburn, Wash.

Dear Larry,

Your house hits 80 degrees every summer? Yikes! You don't want to keep wine for 10 years under those conditions, that's for sure. If you drink your wine a day or two after you bring it home from the store, you could just pop it in the fridge until then—but if you want to age your wine, that's another story.

For proper aging, my advice is to build a cellar or buy a temperature-controlled wine storage unit. If that's not an option, you should just chill out and do the best with what you have. Try to avoid wine's four biggest enemies: excessive temperature fluctuations, light, heat and vibration. For many people, this means nothing more than dedicating some room in the closet for their wine. At the very least, you could keep your bottles in Styrofoam wine shippers for an extra bit of insulation.

Even so, you'll probably want to pop those corks sooner rather than later. Every wine is different, but a few days at 80 degrees is likely to have a noticeable effect on most bottles.

—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.