Many wine drinkers do not understand the importance of storing their wines at the proper temperature. Not only does keeping your wine chilled make it more refreshing to drink, but it also helps to preserve the flavor and the aroma of the wine. Different wines should be stored and served at different temperatures depending on certain factors. In this article you will receive an overview of the proper temperature at which to drink and store wine as well as recommendations for wine coolers.
Temperatures to Drink and Store Wine
While individual preferences may vary, there is an ideal temperature at which wine should be served. The temperature at which you serve a glass of wine affects the aroma and the flavor. For rich, oaky or peppery reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux, a serving temperature between 63°F and 65°F is ideal. Lighter bodied reds like Chianti, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel should be served a little cooler, between 57°F and 61°F. Juicy and fruity reds like Valpolicella and Beaujolais are best served at 54°F. White wines should be served colder than reds, generally in the 43°F to 50°F range. Light- to medium-bodied whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are best served between 48°F and 50°F while sweet and sparkling wines should be served between 43°F and 47°F.
Just as there are ideal temperature ranges for the serving of certain wines, there are also recommended storage temperatures. The temperature at which you store your wine can affect the rate at which it ages which has a direct impact on the flavor and aroma. If the wine is stored at a temperature too high, it will age quickly and lose its balance and flavor. If stored at temperatures too low, the wine will lose flavor and aroma. The best temperature range for storing red wine is 50°F to 55°F. For white wines, a lower storage temperature around 45°F is recommended.
Dual Temperature Zone vs. Single Zone Wine Coolers
A standard refrigerator is what many people use to store their wine and this is an acceptable option, at least for the short term. If you plan to store your wines for more than a few weeks or months, however, you may want to consider investing in a wine cooler. Wine coolers are specifically designed to achieve and maintain the proper temperature for wine storage and most models can be adjusted, to some degree, depending on the type of wine you are storing. Generally, wine coolers offer temperature ranges as low as 46°F and as high as 66°F, adjustable to a varying degree between these options.
Wine coolers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes with all kinds of useful features. One of the most important features for serious wine enthusiasts is the ability to set multiple temperature zones within the cooler – this enables you to store reds and whites in the same cooler at different temperatures. Wine coolers that offer this feature are typically called dual-zone coolers while standard coolers that offer a single temperature setting are single-zone coolers. If you have a small wine collection or you do not plan to use your cooler to store wine for the long-term, a single-zone cooler might be adequate. For large collections of different types of wine, however, paying a little more for a dual-zone wine cooler may be well worth it.
Tips for Choosing a Wine Cooler
In addition to considering the number of temperature zones you want in a wine cooler, there are some other factors to consider. First, what size cooler do you need? Wine coolers range in size from small countertop models that can hold between 4 and 12 bottles of wine to larger freestanding models that can hold 18, 24, or even 36 bottles. Once you’ve determined the proper size for your ideal wine cooler, think about additional features like UV-resistant glass, LED lighting, adjustable shelves, and attractive hardware. You should also think about upscale features like digital thermostat control, humidity control, and compressor-less cooling. There is a wine cooler out there to suit every need – all you have to do is look for it.
If you want to enjoy a perfectly chilled glass of wine each and every time, a wine cooler may be a sound investment. You do not necessarily need to spend hundreds of dollars on an upscale model, though you certainly have the option of doing so. Before you buy a wine cooler, just take a few minutes to think about your needs and then get to shopping.