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Jul 6, 2013 05:59 PM

Refrigerate leftover red wine ...... or not?

In the topic about wine stored in the basement over the summer, Bill Hunt makes the point that gradual temp changes are less offensive to wine than quick changes. I've known that for a long time but am not at all sure I could guess what the consensus here would be about how much is too much and how quick is too quick.

The guy I work for stores our BTG whites in a fridge/cooler at night but leaves the reds out based on Bill's point. I've been told, by other 'experts', that reds should be refrigerated as well. The temps I'm talking about are room A/C temp of 70 and cooler temp of around 36.

Is the 34 degree swing too much..... given its a fridge and relatively quick? Or just too much..... period? Or OK?

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  1. Big fan of refrigerating reds.
    Cooling down is a good thing.

    Tonight I drank a Tempranillo that has been refrigerated for quite a while and while it wasn't at it's best any more it was better than much wine by the glass at restaurants.

    1. I use Vac-u-Vin closures, and also place the reds into a slot in the 'fridge."

      I just have to remember to take those out, to let them warm up, prior to pouring.



      1 Reply
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        This is what I've done for years. Wine keeps a long time without turning this way.

      2. Saving an opened wine in the fridge is doen for the same reason you keep foods in the fridge; it slows down decay.

        I recok unfisnihed red wines and place in fridge and they keep well, certainly much much better than if left out of fridge.

        Try it for yourself...

        Personally I think those vac-u-vin things do no good at all.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Gussie Finknottle

          I personally store opened reds in the fridge all the time. My intent here was to see what others would think.

          My take on VacuVin is that it helps but can lose its vacuum quickly, so it should be re-pumped frequently if it can be. Supposedly there's a new version that has a built-in gauge you can check

          1. re: Midlife

            There is a solution that is far better than either vacuvin or inert gas. The best part is that it is also FREE!

            Small water bottles com in 500ml, 333ml and 8oz. Fill them to the very top with wine and put the cap on tight. If the bottle is not completely full squeeze until the wine is level with the top and then put the cap on tight. Store in fridge for up to a week with no appreciable deterioration.

            The wine gets no air except during the transfer.

            1. re: jock

              I wouldn't choose plastics for wine storage but your point is well taken about screw cap glass bottles, if one has the right amount to fill completely.

              1. re: mcf

                I was not suggesting it for storage. We are talking about such a short term (ie a few days) and the bottles are food grade that I cannot see any problem. I am quite certain from long experience that this is far and away the best way to save a partial bottle for up to a week. It is the only way I know to keep air away completely. I have seen and used half-bottle glass decanters that doe work well but they cannot be squeezed to eliminate all air when the amount to be saved is more or less than exactly half a bottle.

                Vacuvins do not remove all of the air and their seal is highly unreliable. Cruvinets work well but they are for restaurants to dispense wine, not for saving a partial bottle. Spraying inert gas does not work any better than a vacuvin.

                1. re: jock

                  Food grade plastics leach endocrine disrupting BPA and other chemical undesirables, too many for my personal preferences.

                2. re: mcf

                  Jars will do, too, though they don't pour as neatly. I routinely make Russian dressing using the glass-jarred chili sauce that's next to the ketchup at supermarkets. Those jars have metal lids and are just the ticket for leftover wine, and pour neatly.

                3. re: jock

                  I use water bottles all the time - it does keep wine very well. I thought it was my own little trick!

            2. Assuming it's being left out in a very dark place at a constant of 70 degrees - I'd leave the red out and maybe pop it in the freezer for 5 minutes prior to serving if it "feels" warm.

              Except for 3 months during winter - it often kicks up past 70 degrees in various corners of my home, plus it gets a fair amount of sunlight. So leaving it out is usually not safe.

              1. Hi, wine novice here, hoping for a bit of advice. I usually keep my wines in the back of a closet where it's relatively cool and dark. I had to leave town for the month of June, and, worried that a heat wave during my absence might cook all the wine, I put them in the fridge before leaving. (The heat was, indeed, brutal.) I've opened one since my return and it seemed fine. My question is, should I put them back in the closet? Keep them in the fridge? Drink them as quickly as possible? It's not a lot of wine, about a case and a half. They're mostly Riojas, reservas and gran reservas, nothing older than 15 years.


                Edit: they're all reds BTW.

                2 Replies
                1. re: 5secondrule

                  There is nothing wrong with the fridge for short term storage (e.g. a few months). It's not good for long term storage (e.g. years) as the humidity isn't right and the constant vibration of a regular fridge is not ideal.

                  Most people are not trying to age their wines for years. As a result, the fridge is much better than an environment where temperature spikes into the high 70s and 80s.+

                  If you're planning to drink these wines in a year, there is no harm in my opinion in keeping them in the fridge until the temperature stops spiking (say in October) and then taking them and putting them in a closet.

                  If you are expecting to keep these wines for 10+ yrs - I would look into wine storage.

                  1. re: goldangl95

                    Thanks for the advice. I'll take your suggestion and keep them in the fridge for a few more months. They'll probably all be drunk by then, anyway! They're aged Spanish reds at the low-ish end of the price spectrum, and so from what I understand they won't benefit much from more years of cellaring.