How to Organize Your Wine Fridge So No Bottle is Left Behind

The best temperatures for storing wine

Wine and temperature have an important relationship, explains James Sligh, a Brooklyn sommelier who teaches online wine courses called Children’s Atlas of Wine.

“If you serve [wine]The temperature is a knob you can tweak to change how the wine is displayed to you,” he says. “The colder a wine is, the more you notice bitterness. It will feel lighter and sharper in the body, and the flavors will be muted. As it heats up, it thickens, becoming smoother and blooming aromatically. Too warm and it can get a bit sticky and alcoholic.”

If your wine cooler has only one temperature zone, opt for a low cellar temperature, around 55°F. Hayden and Sligh prefer to keep their wine fridges in this area because they find it lends itself well to serving and Store wines in one unit.

White and red are best served at different temperatures. Most wine professionals recommend storing white wines at around 55°F and red wines slightly warmer at 55-60°F. (Although some light reds, like Beaujolais, can be served comfortably with a slight chill.) Sparkling wines and very light whites can be served even colder, 43-48°F.

These are not hard and fast rules, keep that in mind. It’s always flexible – go with your gut about what conditions taste best for the specific wine you’re drinking.

Consistency is key

In addition to temperature, wine coolers keep conditions such as humidity constant, which is key to successful maturation. If your refrigerator has front and back shelves, keep wines closer to the door that you plan to drink over the next few months.

“If you’re storing it long-term, simply storing a bottle below 65C helps protect it from microbial spoilage and heat damage,” says Sligh. “The colder your storage temperature is afterwards, the slower the complex chemical reactions that take place in an aging bottle; A bottle in a 50° cellar ages slower than one at 60°.”

How to organize your wine

Hayden and Sligh organize their wines in a loose chronological order, with bottles they plan to soon place closer to the top and those they keep on the lower or lower shelves.

Sligh said a trick one of his roommates had was to put a red sticker on wines he wanted to keep “so that if he raids his own fridge in the middle of a party, he at least pauses.”

Those with larger collections may want to organize wines by country or region of origin and keep all their bottles from Burgundy together, for example. Others sort loosely by taste, grouping red wines together, white wines together, orange wines together, sparkling wines together, and so on.

When making a purchasing decision and calculating how much space you would need to organize your wines, go bigger than you think. Your wine collection could grow faster than planned.

Even if you’re not willing to invest in new equipment, your wine can still benefit from careful storage, says Sligh.

“Even if a dedicated wine fridge isn’t in your budget just yet, there are still many ways to store wine that may not be perfect, but are a lot better than putting the bottle of salt and cooking oil on the counter next to the stove.” “, he says. Instead, consider “that one room in your home that you turn on the air conditioner for; the fresh food drawer of your refrigerator; the hallway wardrobe.”

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