The Ideal Temperature to Store Your Wine

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 at 12:00 am

wine temperatureThe optimum temperature for storing wine is 52°F (11°C), but anywhere from  40 to 65°F (5-18°C) will do not harm, as long as there is little short-term fluctuation: erratic temperatures are the most dangerous.

A slow change of temperature of ten or so degrees between winter and summer is not a big problem. But this kind of fluctuation on a daily or weekly basis will cause damage to your wines and age them prematurely. You will notice damage of this nature from the sticky deposit that often forms around the capsule.

In time, as the wine expands and contracts, it will damage the integrity of the cork. When this happens minute quantities of wine may make its way alongside the cork possibly even allowing oxygen to seep back in.

Wines kept at too high a temperature will age faster than wines kept at a cold temperature. Theoretically, wines kept at 68°F will age twice as fast as those kept at 50°F. At 52°F (11°C) wines will age so slowly – with ultimately greater complexity – that you will never have to worry about them.

Wine that is stored too cold can develop deposits or other suspensions in the wine. Finally, keep in mind that white wines are affected far more by temperature problems than red wines.