The Ideal Temperature for Your Wine Fridge [Detailed Guide]
We explain the optimal temperatures for wine fridges according to your wine collection and purpose. Learn the difference between wine temperature for storage and for serving too.
So, you finally bought that wine fridge you’ve long desired.
You've got the right kit but setting it up correctly is equally important. You don't won't to spoil any of the those precious bottles!
But what is the ideal wine fridge temperature?
That depends on the wines it stores and how you aim to use it. But, don't worry we've got a simple guide to follow below.
What is the Ideal Wine Storage Temperature?
The temperature and humidity at which wine is stored has a significant effect on its overall quality. This was actually proven in a 2014 study.
The fact is, it's quite straightforward when it comes to storing wines.
Just think of a traditional cellar, the type arranged in a basement or in an old brick mansion in the middle of a vineyard in Tuscany.
Do you think they have separate chambers for each kind of wine, and each of these chambers has a different storage temperature?
Spoiler alert! No, they don’t.
They keep all wines in the same cellar, at the same temperature. And you know what this means?
It means you should do the same.
In fact, all types of wines must be stored at the same temperature, which is in the range of 53.6 °F - 57.2 °F.
Storing wine at temperatures below this risks stunting their maturation, while keeping them at too warm temperatures will cause premature ageing.
However, things change when you want to bring your wines to serving temperature.
Ideal Storage Temperature vs Ideal Serving Temperature
This is an important distinction to make when it comes to arranging and storing your wine collection.
We learned that all wines like the storage temperature range of 53.6 °F - 57.2 °F.
But, different types of wine must be served at different temperatures.
Reds express their flavor and aromas at higher temperatures. Likewise, whites, sparkling and rosé wines need to be chilled.
This often creates confusion when it comes to choosing the right storage temperature for your bottles.
Not only are reds and whites served at different temperatures, but the storage temperature typically differs from the serving temperature.
So, how do we deal with this?
What is the Ideal Wine Serving Temperature?
We've learned that all wines can be stored in the same temperature range, but they must be served at different temperatures (according to their type)
Some wines taste better at around room temperature, so you’ll need to warm them. While, some taste better chilled.
The general rule is that the lighter the wine, the colder it needs to be served.
This is where wine refrigerators become really useful. Especially those with multiple cooling zones.
A dual-zone wine fridge for example, uses two independently controlled sections of different temperatures.
This means you can keep one section at serving temperature for reds and one at serving temperature for whites.
Collectors may even use one section for long-term wine storage and one section for serving wines.
Let’s see what the perfect wine cooler temperature range is for serving wines.
Red Wine Serving Temperatures
Red wines benefit from being served at room temperature.
When the liquid is warmer, it exposes all those nutty and fruity flavors red wine is famous for.
But this doesn’t mean you should serve it hot like tea.
Red wine should be served at temperatures between 54°F to 64°F.
If you don’t have a wine fridge to keep your wine at this temperature, either chill the wine for 30 minutes in your standard fridge (if you stored it at room temperature), or warm it up for half an hour if it was kept in the refrigerator.
White Wine Serving Temperature
Unlike reds, white wine tastes better when chilled.
White wine is often refreshing, frequently used in cocktails, and pairs beautifully with many light dishes.
White wine should be served at temperatures from 45°F to 55°F.
Something to remember is that wine must never be served with ice. Just make sure you properly chill it before serving and keep it in a wine bucket filled with ice to keep it at serving temperature.
Ice does nothing but dilute your wine, ruining most of its flavors and aromas.
Rosé wine must be served at the same temperature.
Sparkling Wine Serving Temperature
Champagne if one of the noblest wines, fine and elegant. Besides bubbles, it expresses subtle hints of fruits and herbs, a crisp taste and mesmerizing aromas.
The serving temperature of most sparkling wines coincide with the serving temperature of Champagne.
If you don’t have a wine fridge, never chill it in the freezer, as the bubbles can cause the bottle to shatter.
You can either chill the bottle in a wine bucket for half an hour, or on the bottom drawer of your fridge for four hours.
Also, avoid serving champagne in pre-chilled glasses, as the cold glass will alter the aromas and flavors of the wine, making you lose some bubbles.
The Ideal Wine Refrigerator Temperature
With all this in mind, what is the ideal temperature for your wine fridge?
It obviously depends.
What is your purpose? To store a wine collection or to keep wine at serving temperature?
Here are your options and the recommended wine fridge temperatures
Single Zone Wine Fridge Temperature Settings
Remember a single zone wine fridge is only capable of keeping all of the wine at one set temperature.
Pick the temperature and all the wine inside will be stored at this setting.
The ideal temperature for a single zone wine fridge is 53.6 °F - 57.2 °F.
This is the ideal storage temperature for all wines and from this point, it’s easy to either chill or warms up a bottle depending on the type you enjoy.
However, if you want to keep your bottles at serving temperature, just use the ranges above to determine what’s the best temperature for you.
To reiterate, a single zone wine refrigerator is great for:
- Storing all wines
- Readying one type of wine for serving
Dual Zone Wine Fridge Temperature Settings
A dual zone wine fridge is much more versatile. You can both store and chill or warm up bottles in the same appliance.
Most dual zone wine fridges will require you to keep a compartment warmer than the other, typically the lower zone.
However, this isn’t a rule and the manual will always offer details on which compartment should be warmer and what the maximum temperature difference should be between the zones.
Settings for Red Wines
If you drink red wine, set a zone at storage temperature (53.6 °F - 57.2 °F) and the other zone at serving temperature (62 °F - 68 °F).
Move the bottle from the storage to the warming up area at least a few hours before drinking.
Settings for White Wines
If you drink white wines, set a zone at storage temperature (53.6 °F - 57.2 °F) and the other zone at a lower serving temperature (49 °F - 55 °F).
There's a bit of overlap in the bottom of the ideal storage temperature range and the top of the serving temperature range. This makes white wines much more convenient to keep in a wine refrigerator.
Like for reds, you can move the bottle from zone A to zone B a few hours before serving.
Settings for Both Reds & Whites
Do you enjoy both reds and whites? You can set the zones at a temperature slightly higher (reds) or lower (whites) than the normal storage temperature to separate your drinks.
Remember, we've got a bit of a temperature range available when it comes to the ideal wine storage temperature (53.6 °F - 57.2 °F).
For the white, set the temperature in the lower of the range around 53°F.
As for the reds, the upper storage temperature range of around 57 °F keeps the bottles closer to the serving temperature of (62 °F - 68 °F).
Storing and chilling wine is more of an art than an exact science.
While the above temperature ranges are tried and tested, you'll have your own personal preferences too.
For instance, the recommended serving temperature of my favorite Merlot is 61 °F - 66 °F and I like it on the chillier side.
I also enjoy a Pinot Gris that is slightly warmer than it should be.
My point is, see what the best temperature is for you, and adjust your wine fridge accordingly.
But don’t forget, keeping it in the 53.6 °F - 57.2 °F range is ideal if you only want to store your wine for the long term.