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Wine Fridge - Red vs White #355094 03/26/09 10:31 PM
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winelvr Offline OP
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If I have a wine fridge, do red wines and white wines need to be stored at different temperatures?

Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: winelvr] #355107 03/28/09 05:58 PM
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Peter May Offline
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It depends what you mean by wine fridge.

There's an awful lot of confusion about these devices.

Many which are sold are meant for bars/restaurants(or small ones for homes) and intended to keep wine at the correct temperature for immediate serving. In these cases whites will be considerably cooler than reds.

The other device is meant for long term aging of wines for people who (like most of us), don't have a real cellar. Here the wines won't be stored cold, but in a cool steady temperature and the same temperature is OK for both reds and whites and you'd probably chill the whites in a domestic fridge before serving and bring reds to room temperature before serving.

Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: Peter May] #355112 03/29/09 12:15 AM
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Lisa Shea Offline
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I think people in England keep their houses cooler than we tend to in the US - if most people in the US warmed their wines up to room temperature they'd be serving at 85F or hotter depending on the season smile


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Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: Lisa Shea] #355127 03/30/09 07:10 AM
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winelvr Offline OP
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Peter, thank you so much!

Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: winelvr] #355142 03/31/09 08:33 PM
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Lisa Shea Offline
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So it seems that all of us need at least 3 fridges. One set up for long term storage, in the basement. Then a pair of them in the kitchen - one set at average white serving temperature, and the other set at average red serving temperature!


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Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: Lisa Shea] #355218 04/04/09 08:24 AM
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winelvr Offline OP
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What should the temperature be for storing?

Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: winelvr] #355227 04/04/09 07:55 PM
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Lisa Shea Offline
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I have a page on storing wine here -

http://www.wineintro.com/basics/storing.html

Most wine people I know aim for 55F for their stored wines.


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Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: winelvr] #355456 04/24/09 10:37 PM
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Ladybug1997 Offline
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My wine celler just died on me! As I was reaching for a nice cool bottle I realized the temperature was 77! That's warmer than my house! I have whites and sparkling wines in this celler. What has this done to my wine? Are they still ok to drink? I have no idea how long they have been at that temperature.

Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: Ladybug1997] #355457 04/24/09 10:40 PM
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Lisa Shea Offline
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That's so funny Ladybug - I just a few moments ago ordered a thermometer that shows the temperature on the front of the regular fridge, so I'd always know what temperature it was at! I never thought to order one for my wine fridges, I think I should do that too.

I wouldn't worry too much about 77. Purists will say that it has slightly aged the wine, but it's not like it was 100F and in the broiling sun. You tend to drink white wines quickly anyway, so these aren't wines you were aging for 10 years (I imagine?)

I'd cool them back down and drink them in your normal cycle. You probably would have drunk them within the year, right?


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Re: Wine Fridge - Red vs White [Re: Lisa Shea] #355601 05/10/09 03:41 PM
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Harold Keith Offline
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For long term cellaring, the most important thing is avoid rapid changes in the temperature of the wine itself. You don't want the room way hot or way cold for a long time, but if you can't keep the room at 55F all the time it really isn't that a big deal if you take some reasonable effort to 'insulate' the wine.

And you don't necessarily need a wine fridge or specially air conditioned room. My description for a 'good enough for all practical purposes' storage space:
  • a good closet in the interior of your house (i.e. not adjacent to an exterior wall) that you can keep closed for 99% of the time. If its in an unheated area, so much the better.
  • or a good place in your basement, preferably enclosed (like a cupboard maybe), well away from the heat of the furnace
  • store your wine in boxes, and pile them on top of each other and close together. This is a key point, we are using the wine to insulate itself from rapid temperature extremes.

The key is to avoid rapid changes in the temperature of the liquid. The wine in the bottles in the boxes have sufficient thermal mass that small changes in the temperature of the room will have little effect on the temperature of the wine.

Remember the more full boxes you have the better this will work, because you will have more thermal mass. Also the bottles on the outside of the pile will have more temperature variation than those on the inside, so logically you should put the shorter time wines on the outside and your "Hill of Grace" should be burried down in the middle.

Then it is only when you have long term extreme temperatures, way too hot or way too cold, that you will have problems. Clearly this may not work well everywhere. I suspect those of you living in Tucson or Anchorage will not have much luck with this method.

I have used this method for 25 years in Melbourne Australia and I am drinking 8 to 15 year old wines in perfect condition. I have never had a failure due to temperature. A friend stores a lot of his wine in a corrugated steel shed in his back yard and I have never had a bad wine from him either - and he has some great stuff thats been there for longer than I have been in Australia.

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