Is there anything wrong with storing wine in your refrigerator next to your milk, eggs, the rest of your food? This is one question most people will always ask, both new and experienced drinkers. So should you keep your wine in your regular refrigerator? The simple answer is no. Although it only sounds logical to have your bottles stored in a refrigerator, as you might with beer or coke, it is important to understand that a typical fridge at home doesn’t offer the optimum condition that are best for storing wine. Here is all you need to know.
What’s Wrong With a Regular Refrigerator for Storing Wine?
You need to understand that a fridge will maintain a chilly 35 to 38 F temperature. This is just a tiny bit above freezing, and is great for preserving most food without damaging it. But this is far too cool to store wine for any length of time.
What also makes it unsuitable is because it only maintains relatively low level of humidity, mostly in a range of 30%.
What are Ideal Wine Storage Conditions?
Your wine should always be stored under temperatures that range from 45 to 60 F, with 55 F said to be the most ideal for long-term storage and aging of wine. The ideal humidity to improve your wine is around 70 to 90%. This is much more humid than your regular fridge in the kitchen.
Other than just humidity, it is also advisable to always keep your wines free from excessive vibration. Understand that the cooling apparatus in your fridge consists of moving parts and runs around the clock. This normally causes constant micro vibrations and this will affect your wine. Tiny solid particles won’t be allowed to settle to the bottom. Instead, they will continue mixing freely with the liquid portion of wine and upset it’s delicate flavor balance.
Can You Ever Keep Wine in the Fridge?
There are really only 2 cases where you want to use a regular kitchen refrigerator for keeping your wine. First, you might want to put a bottle in the fridge for a brief period before serving. Mostly this will be the case when you have white wine stored at 55 F and you want to cool it down to a more ideal 45 F or so before serving. For this purpose, it’s fine to put the bottle in your fridge for about 1 hour before serving.
The second case is on those rare occasions when you’ve opened a bottle but aren’t able to finish it in one evening. When this happens, you should re-cork the bottle to minimize oxygen exposure and then store it in your fridge so that the cool temperature will help slow down the wine’s degradation. It is best to finish a bottle stored this way in 2-3 days.
When keeping an opened bottle in the fridge remember that it will cool down to below its ideal serving temperature. Red wines should then be taken out of the fridge an hour before serving on the second night, while white wines should be taken out 15-20 minutes before serving.
For long-term storage, and for keeping a number of red wine bottles at ready serving temperature, it is highly recommended to invest in a small to medium sized wine cooler fridge.
To help you find a good wine fridge, you can read all of our reviews HERE.