If you enjoy a glass or two of wine on a regular basis, it is a great idea to invest in a wine fridge so that you can serve your wine at its optimal temperature. A wine fridge also helps the wine retain its flavor and aroma for longer. In this article, we are going to take a look at the temperatures wine should be kept according to the varietal.
What is the Perfect Fridge Temperature for Red Wine?
Contrary to popular belief, red wine shouldn’t be kept at room temperature. After all, the temperature can fluctuate from day to day and this is not good for the wine. The following guide will help you to store your red wine at the right temperature.
Full-Bodied Red Wines
Full-bodied red wines are characterized by concentrated flavor, dominant tannins, and an ABV of 14.5% or higher. They generally have a flavor of dark berries, such as blackcurrants, black cherries, and blackberries. Full-bodied red wines include wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Syrah, and Red Zinfandel. The recommended fridge temperature for full-bodied red wines is 66F – 67F. This temperature is warmer than for any other category and helps to bring out the rich mouth-feel and complex texture of the wines.
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Medium-bodied red wines have moderate acidity, moderate alcohol, and balanced tannins. They are usually dominant in fruit flavors with a hint of pepperiness. Wines in this category include Grenache, Rioja, Merlot, and Malbec. They should be kept at a lower temperature than full-bodied red wines. The best temperature is between 60F and 62F, and this brings out the fruitiness of the wine and the acidity.
Light-Bodied Red Wines
Light-bodied red wines generally have low alcohol, low tannins, and moderate to high acidity. They usually have floral aromas and red fruit flavors. They are great for summer drinking as they leave a light feeling in the mouth. Wines in this category include Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Barbera, and Chianti. They are best served chilled at between 55F to 60F.
Summary of Red Wine Ideal Fridge Temperatures
Type Examples Temperature
Full-Bodied Syrah 66F – 67F
Medium-Bodied Malbec 60F – 62F
Light-Bodied Chianti 55F – 60F
What is the Perfect Fridge Temperature For Rose Wine
If you are looking for a wine that has more substance than white wine but is not as heavy as red, choose a rose. It is made from red wine grapes but has a shorter fermentation time than red wines. It tastes like filtered fruits and flowers. These wines include Grenache Rose and Pinot Noir Rose. They are best enjoyed at temperatures between 55F and 60F.
Summary of Rose Wine Ideal Fridge Temperature
Type Examples Temperature
Rose Sangiovese Rose 55F – 60F
What is the Ideal Temperature for White and Sparkling Wines?
Both white and sparkling wines are fresh and are great to be enjoyed on a summer’s day. They are excellent when paired with lemon-based meals, creamy mushroom dishes such as pasta, and light seafood. These are the temperatures they should be kept at.
Full-Bodied White Wine
Full-bodied white wine has a high alcohol content, around 13.5%, and has complex flavors. They have fruit flavors such as pineapple and passionfruit, with honeyed notes. If they are aged in oak, they have notes of vanilla and spice. Examples of full-bodied white wines include Viognier, Montrachet, Sauternes, and oaked Chardonnay. They are best served slightly warm, but colder than red full-bodied wines. Set the fridge temperature to between 52F and 55F.
Medium-Bodied White Wine
Medium-bodied white wines contain less alcohol than full-bodied white wines. The ABV is usually between 12.5% and 13%. They are often citrusy and include such wines as Riesling, Chablis, unoaked Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. These wines are best refrigerated at 50F.
Light-Bodied White Wine
Light-bodied white wines are usually dry and contain very little residual sugar if any. They are light and are best served cold. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are examples of light-bodied white wines and they can be drunk on their own or with seafood or salad. For the best drinking experience, store them between 46F and 48F.
Sparkling wine and Champagne need to be served very cold. They are great celebratory drinks that often have flavors of flowers, fresh apple, tropical fruit, lime, and lemon zest. Sparkling wines include Prosecco, Cava, and Asti Spumante. They should be stored at temperatures between 40F and 45F.
Summary of White Wine Ideal Fridge Temperature
Type Examples Temperature
Full-Bodied Oaked Chardonnay 52F – 55F
Medium-Bodied Riesling 50F
Light-bodied Pinot Grigio 46F – 48F
Sparkling Wine Champagne 40F – 45F
What is the Temperature Range of a Wine Fridge?
Most wine fridges have a range between 40F and 67F. Some units will go below 40F but this is unnecessary as wine shouldn’t be served below this temperature.
Are There Different Types of Wine Fridge?
Yes, there are two types of wine fridges. You can get a single-zone wine fridge that has just one temperature. It is economical to use but you can only store one type of wine. If you want to store a couple of different varietals, get a dual-zone fridge. It has two compartments, and you can set a different temperature in each. Generally, the warmer temperature is in the bottom compartment while the colder section is in the top compartment.
The Reasons For Having the Right Fridge Temperature
- If you store your wine at lower temperatures than 40F, ice particles can form in the bottle. In turn, this can force the cork out of the bottle. If it is being stored horizontally, the wine will spill everywhere which will both make a mess and be a waste of money.
- If you keep your wine at room temperature, the temperature may fluctuate, and this can cause the cork to expand or contract. This, in turn, may allow oxygen to seep through to the wine which will oxidize it. It will then not be drinkable.
- If you don’t store the wines at the temperatures we have mentioned, flavor and aroma loss may occur.
- The wines will age well if they are stored at the right temperature. The aromas, flavors, and structures will develop in the way they are intended. This will make your drinking experience more enjoyable.
- If you don’t keep the wine at the right temperature, it will be a waste of your money as you won’t be able to drink the wine at its best.
Tips For Storing Wine in a Wine Fridge
- It is important to place your wine fridge in the right place. If you are in a hot climate, you don’t want to put it outside in an outdoor kitchen or in a garage that isn’t air-conditioned. This could stop the fridge from reaching the correct temperature and your wine will then not be as chilled as it should be. Keeping the fridge in a hot area also means that the motor will work overtime, and this will shorten the life of the fridge.
- Make sure that you only put in as many bottles of wine as the manufacturer advises. If you overfill the wine fridge, it might not be able to provide the correct temperature for your wine. It may not get as cold as you would like for your wine to be enjoyed at the correct temperature.
- It is a good idea to install a surge protector for your wine fridge if you experience electrical fluctuations. If your electricity keeps going on and off, it can damage the wine fridge.
- Put the bottles of wine in the fridge in a horizontal position. This keeps the cork moist and, in turn, prevents oxygen from getting into the bottle. An oxidized bottle of wine will be ruined.
- It doesn’t matter if you can’t fill the fridge. It will work just as well if there are only a couple of bottles in it.
- Once you have set the temperature in your wine fridge, maintain it until you change the varietals. Always check that the temperature is being maintained as changes can affect the quality of the wine. In addition, the cork can contract or expand. This can lead to it expanding or contracting and letting oxygen into the wine. As we have said, oxygen can ruin the flavor and aroma of your wine and it can even taste unpalatable.
- Once you have bought your wine, ensure that you keep it in the fridge for 24 hours at the correct temperature before drinking. This will ensure that you serve it at the right temperature.
- Don’t move the wine fridge with wine bottles inside. The movement and vibrations can affect the quality of the wine. Flavors and aromas can deteriorate for example.
- You should use your wine fridge just for wine. Don’t put food in it that has strong odors as these can transmit to your wine. You don’t want your wine smelling of stinky cheese, nor do you want it tasting of fish.
Enjoy Your Wine Cooled To Perfection
If you follow our guidelines as to what temperatures you should set your fridge to for the different varieties, you will be able to enjoy a delicious glass of wine at the perfect temperature. There is nothing worse than a warm glass of wine or one that is like ice. Of course, if you are a wine connoisseur, you may want to invest in more than one wine fridge. One fridge might not be enough if you like to enjoy a wide variety of wines. You might want one especially for red wines and another for white. Whatever decision you make, as long as the wine is at the right temperature, you will have a delightful experience.