At What Temperature Does Wine Spoil
Wine can be a delicate, fragile thing. Exposing a bottle to higher temperatures for an extended period of time will affect its integrity and potentially cook the wine. But exactly how hot is too hot? And how long is too long before your wine turns to vinegar? Lets explore how temperature affects wine.
So, youve picked up a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir on an unusually warm Saturday. After you watch the kids soccer games and wait in a particularly long line at the grocery store, you realize that your wine has been sitting in a hot car approaching 80F for a good 45 hours. Or maybe you left a bottle out on the counter during winter while the heat was blasting. Is the wine spoiled? Did you just turn that beautiful bottle of Pinot into an expensive bottle of vinegar?
The answer is, well, possibly.
There are many factors involved in wine spoilage, and no definitive temperature will make a wine go bad. But wine is best stored between 5357F when intended for aging, and temperatures can range from the mid-40s to mid-60s for service, depending on the wine.
Once you creep past 70F, wine falls into the danger zone, and is in peril of irreparable damage.
Ideal Temperature By Unit
For wine storage, coolers are available in single-zone models and dual-zone models. Single zones are often more economical, beginner friendly and ideal for long term storage of all wines. However, if you are looking to have both long-term and short-term storage as well as service temperatures in the same device, a dual-zone cooler is probably best. With dual-zone coolers, you can independently adjust the temperatures of two separate storage areas.
Another consideration is compressor coolers versus thermoelectric coolers. These two different types of refrigerators offer their own unique advantages. While they operate like a traditional refrigerator, compressor coolers can get cooler in warmer climates and are the more popular of the two. Thermoelectric coolers use electricity and heating plates to operate much more quietly, but you wont find them in stock as readily.
Are you exclusively storing wine, or do you have spirits, beer, and mixers to keep cold as well? If the latter is the case, consider looking into beverage-center units. These typically have space for beer/soda cans, standard bottles, and sparkling wine bottles. Not only do these units free up space in your standard refrigerator, but they offer a convenient space for all your entertaining needs and supplies.
Do You Chill Pinot Noir
As weve said, everyones perception and preference differ when it comes serving temperatures, but if it is too cold the tannins and acidic features become more pronounced. Serving your Pinot Noir between 55-60° F will bring out the subtler strengths of Pinot Noir.
While Pinot Noir differs region to region, its flavor profile tend to feature anise and rose petal notes and undertones of berries, clove, and licorice. A very unique varietal, Pinot Noir will excel if served at the proper temperature, slightly chilled.
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The Perfect Wine Temperature
Serving wine at the right temperature will emphasize its unique flavors and improve the taste overall. But choosing how you chill or serve your wine is not as simple as cold for white and room temp for red. Optimum wine temperature depends on the type of wine youre drinking, the amount of tannins in the wine, and of course, personal preference.
That said, for simplicity’s sake, heres a recap of the simple guidelines youll want to keep in mind:;
Theres a good chance you might be drinking your red wine too warm. While highly tannic wines such as merlot can stand to be served a little warmer, lighter and fruitier reds are best when cooler.;
Contrary to popular belief, you can over-chill a bottle of white. To make sure you get the best from that bottle, let white wine warm naturally before serving. Youll optimize the fruity flavors and delicate aromas.
For the perfect serve, remember our tips on how to properly store, chill, and serve wine. Before you know it, youll be enjoying your favorite bottle just as the winemaker intended.
Getting Serious About Collecting Wine
Wine sometimes gets to otherwise sane people. They are smitten with the desire to exchange large sums of money for a collection of bottles that will mature over their lifetime. They scramble for smart or rare wines offered en primeur, as futures, paying for it long before its delivered. They may also fill gaps in their collections by buying older wines at auction, notably from Christies or Sothebys. I find it inimical to buy wine solely as an investment. And in any case wine prices go down as well as up. But, like all forms of collecting, it can bring a great deal of pleasure . Reasonably good record-keeping such as that offered by online cellar management systems is needed to ensure that wines dont languish past their drink-by dates. And some wine collectors need to be reminded every so often that wine is for drinking!;
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Wine Fridges Vs Kitchen Fridges
Wine fridges dont get as cold as kitchen fridges, but they do get cold enough to preserve red wine and prevent it from being damaged by heat. Other than oxidation, heat is the one factor that can seriously damage the flavor of a wine.;
An advantage of wine coolers not getting as cold as regular fridges are that they prevent the bottles from freezing, which can potentially cause the wine bottles to crack. Wine fridges are usually smaller than a traditional fridge as well, which makes it easier to fit them into auxiliary rooms such as game rooms, garages, and bars.;
Even if you only keep half a dozen or so wines on hand at a time, its worth keeping them in a wine fridge to extend their lives as long as possible.
Wine Temperature: The Ideal Temperature To Store And Serve Wine
McKenzie Hagan | February 27, 2020
Some rules are made to be broken. Only pairing red wine with red meat? Only drinking port after a meal? Theres no reason to limit yourself.
Drinking wine is about enjoying yourself, not following rules. However, when it comes to wine temperature, some rules do apply. And there are a few golden tips and tricks that can really make your favorite bottle pop.
Wine temperature has a considerable effect on wine flavor. While a glass of wine served at the proper temperature is a joy to savor, the wrong temperature can be a disaster for your wine collection.
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Storing Red Wine At Temperatures Above 65f
When you store your wine at too high of a temperature, it will age much more quickly, which is why it’s best to avoid storing wine at a temperature above 65°F.
- At temperatures above 70°F, the wine will degrade more quickly.
- In extreme temperatures above 80°F, the wine starts to cook, which removes the subtle flavors and aromas that make wine special.
- Heat can also damage the wine’s seal, which will allow oxygen into the wine and cause the wine to oxidize and develop off flavors and aromas.
- The longer the wine stays at a high temperature, the more damage that is done to the wine, which can quickly render it undrinkable.
Serving Your Wine At The Right Temperature
Its generally known that Americans serve red wine too warm and white wine too cold. A few degrees here or there wont drastically affect the flavor profile of your wine, but you want to loosely adhere to these ideal temperatures for serving red and white wine.
Red Wine Serving Temperature: 55°F 65°F
Serving red wine at room temperature is not always the best call for a red. Its like walking a fine line. If the wine is too cold, the tannins and acidity of red wine are more pronounced. But if its too warm, the dominant taste is bitter alcohol. The recommended serving temperature for a red wine also varies with the variety. Pinot Noir is best served between 55-60°F, while Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are best served between 60-65°F. If youre storing your wine in a warm area, such as your kitchen, put a bottle of red in the fridge about 30 minutes before youre ready to serve it.
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Red Storage Temperature Cheat Sheet
Just as there is an optimum temp to store red wine, there is also an ideal setting for different body types of red wine. This might sound complicated, but Wine Racks America is here to make it simple. To help you determine the right red wine storage temperature, our experts put together the following table:
Optimal Wine Storing Temperatures
Wineware has provided this information as a general guide to help you store your wine; remember this is not the case for all wines and should only be used as a rough guide.
The perfect temperature depends on various factors, including how much fruit, alcohol, and tannin the wine contains. As a general rule of thumb, wine should be stored around 11-14c . Wine storage temperatures should never go over 24c as otherwise, wines begin to oxidise, which negatively affects the wine.
A wine storage temperature should always be kept as constant as possible as fluctuations can cause severe damage to the wine. A bottle of wine needs a constant temperature all year round to mature correctly.
Wineware has provided the tables below to help you know the optimum storage temperature for your wine;.;
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Dont: Keep Your Wine In An Area Of Harsh Interior Lighting Or Direct Sunlight
One way to ease the selection and viewing of your collection is with lighting. The type of lighting used is very important. Your average household lighting gives off heat, which as we now know, is not good. Sunlight and UV Rays are even worse for your wine. Keep your wine away from windows or other sources of natural light. Your best bet for a light source is LED. LED lighting creates a soft glow without giving off any heat.
Follow these easy steps and your wine will thank you. We guarantee it.
White Wine Serving Temperature: 45f 50f
While red wine should be served cool, white wine is best served cold. But a few notches too cold and you might miss out on the flavor of the wine completely. Chardonnay and White Bordeaux blends are typically served at 50°F. Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, however, are ideal served at 45-50°F. Sparkling white and champagne are best served chilled at 45°F. If your fridge was too full for that bottle of white, make sure you squeeze it in for about two hours prior to serving it to ensure that its brought down to temperature.
Chateau Grand TraverseTraverse City, MI 49686 USA
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How To Store Red Wine
- Almost all experts agree that the perfect temperature for ageing wine is 55 ° F .Red wine is usually stored and served at a slightly higher temperature compared to white wine.
- White winemay be stored and served at temperatures ranging from 45 to 55 °F while red wines are stored and served at 55 to 65° F
Freezing temperatures can cause the wine to expand and contract this can push the cork out and result in seepage of air into the bottle. If this happens, the wine spoils quickly.
High temperatures can cause a wine to age faster than desirable. Temperatures higher than 70° F can cook a wine and result in dull flavors and aromas.
Frequent and sudden temperature swings are not great for the wine chemistry either consistency is the name of the game!
Apart From Temperature Other Factors Are Also Important
The ideal humidity for storing red wine is about 70%. However, anything between 50 to 80% is quite alright unless youre laying bottles down for more than a decade, in which case youd better invest in a professional cellar.
Extremely dry environments are detrimental for storing wine.
The relationship between the cork and the wine is a very interesting one.;The cork stops air from entering into the bottle and prevents the wine from being spoiled. The wine, in turn, keeps the cork moist and prevents it from drying out and contracting. Which is why corked bottles should always be placed on their side, so that the wine is constantly touching the cork.;All this is true only for conventional wooden corks, not plastic ones. ;
Placing a pan of water near the wine storage area can help to improve the humidity.
Likewise, too much humidity will probably not damage the wine as long as its sealed properly.
However, remember that humidity promotes mold and it can cause the labels to become faded. Surely, you dont want your precious collection to lose its sheen…
A dehumidifier can help to address high humidity if required.
UV light causes wine to age prematurely.
Fun fact: Wine bottles are tinted for a reason, to act as a barrier against harsh light. Think of the tinted bottles as being sunglasses for the wine inside!
So, wine bottles should be kept as still as possible. Constant vibrations and movement are best avoided.
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How Can You Get The Serving Temperature Right
A wine fridge with temperature control is obviously the gold standard here, but a simple wine thermometer can also help. It might also be helpful to know the temperature of the room youre in.
Trust your gut instinct, too. I cant recall the last time I used a thermometer either at home or in a professional environment, master sommelier Xavier Rousset told; in 2016.
Aside from obvious faults, how balanced does the wine taste?
If a red wine needs warming up slightly, then you can always cradle the glass in your hands to improve things.
Watch out for temperature changes during drinking, though.
The temperature of wine rises dramatically in the glass, so your classic 18ºC Bordeaux becomes 22ºC or more in the glass very quickly, said Rousset.
The hardest thing by far is to maintain the correct temperature throughout the time of consumption.
Wine Storage And Vibration
Beyond sentimental value growing over time, aging wine comes down to creating optimal conditions for a chemical process to take place. Vibration agitates wine which accelerates the chemical process of aging. Therefore, its advised to always store wine in an area where prolonged exposure to vibration is minimized. Some people use wood racking which has a natural dampening effect.
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Invest In A Dedicated Wine Storage Facility
Are you looking for a better way to make sure your red wines age beautifully? Worried about keeping your collection secure? A dedicated wine storage facility can give you total climate control as well as peace of mind.;
At Carls Wine Vault, we handle every bottle with care. Our professional storage facility caters to all types of wines with a cutting-edge climate control system. Rest assured knowing your collection is in safe hands with our multiple redundancy system and airtight security standards.
Dont: Store Your Wine On Top Of Your Refrigerator
Although convenience is important, you have to also think about keeping the wines integrity intact. On top of your refrigerator may seem like the most logical place to keep your bottles , but it is one of the worst places in your home for 3 reasons. First of all, think of all the vibrations your fridge gives off when the compressor cycles on, when it cycles off, when the ice maker spits out ice, when youre using the water dispenser, etc., etc. Without getting too deep into chemistry, vibrations alter the processes happening in your wine, affecting the taste and aging process. Secondly, your refrigerator gives off heat. With a compressor and other internal components working hard to keep the interior cool, a significant amount of heat is given off. Have you ever felt the top of your refrigerator? Its warm. Lastly, the top of your refrigerator is probably very close to your light fixtures. This may not be the case for everyone, but if it is true, this definitely is not a good place for your wine to be. Light bulbs give off lots of heat and can prematurely age your wine.
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Ideal Wine Storage Conditions
- You should not store wine with anything that has a strong, potent smell, as this can taint the wine and cork. Good ventilation in your wine storage facility is preferable as this stops musty odours from entering the wine.
- Wine is best kept in the dark and free from vibration. It is advised that you do not move bottles of wine too much/vigorously as this can spoil the wine. You should store wine away from the light as direct sunlight/fluorescent fixture can ruin the wine.If you cannot keep a bottle shaded from the light, then completely cover and wrap the bottle with a cloth as this will offer more protection. Alternatively, store the wine bottle inside a cardboard box.
- Humidity is vital to the condition of the wine. If the humidity is too high, this offers the perfect conditions for mould to grow and the wine bottle labels to loosen and deteriorate. Therefore it is advised that humidity does not exceed 70%.You can monitor the humidity with a thermohygrometer; this determines the need to either humidify/dehumidify air if required. You can install a dehumidifier to control the moisture conditions of the room.