Storing Wine in your Fridge :
Temps for Serving / Storing Wine
You know that wine should stay cool. Maybe you live somewhere without central air, and the house gets up to 90F. Is it OK to store the wine in your fridge?
I have an article on proper storage of wines that explains the primary storage requirements. First: temperature of around 55F that is CONSTANT. Second: medium-high humidity. In addition, the storage should be low to no vibration.
Most wine is therefore either stored on its side in a cellar or dark closet, or in a wine fridge. Both of these guarantee that the wine you paid good money for is as tasty as possible when you open it up.
However, what if you're a poor college student and only have an apartment, with no cellar? What if your apartment doesn't have central heat, and even your darkest closets turn into roasting chambers? You definitely know that making a wine too hot is REALLY BAD for it and can vinegarize it almost instantly.
You can't afford a little wine fridge. What can you do?
If you REALLY and truly have nowhere cool you can keep your wine, then a fridge is a last resort. You need to understand that this cannot be for wines that you want to keep for more than a week or so before drinking. Any wines you are aging, keep them at a friend's house with better conditions. But for wines that you bring home to drink later that night, or over the weekend, it should be OK.
Here's the issue. First, food fridges tend to be very vibration-filled. This can shake the cork loose, letting in air, which is the enemy of all wine. It also shakes up the sediment in the wine, which is bad.
Next, food fridges have a much lower than ideal humidity. The reason you care about humidity is again that bark piece stuffed in the mouth of your bottle. As it dries out, air gets in and destroys the wine. Have I mentioned I am a big proponent of screw caps and plastic corks? The number of bottles of wine destroyed by bad corks or dried-out corks is staggering.
Finally, a fridge is simply too cold. Wine is supposed to age slowly and gently over time. The 55F is the perfect temperature for that. If you have the wine instead at 35F (the average fridge temp), it damages its aging. Not only that, but fridges are opened and closed, and the temperature fluctuates around. That is also not good for the wine.
Note that you should NEVER actually drink a wine right out of the fridge. 35F is WAY way too cold for drinking a wine!! Many people who dislike certain wines are actually simply drinking them too cold, and would love the wine at the proper temperature. Be sure to read my Wine Temperature drinking chart and let your wine warm up!
Proper Wine Serving Temperatures
Wine Basics Main Page