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Wine storage temperature guide

Need to know how to store wine correctly? Find out the ideal white and red wine storage temperature and how to keep your wine at its best.

Depending on your wine of choice, some wines are best drunk young to savour the fresh flavours, while other bottles improve with age and are best enjoyed having been stored for several years.

While a dedicated wine cellar is obviously the ideal solution, that might just be beyond the reach of many of us – and we might not be keen on investing in one any time soon.

So how can you store wine so it will age properly if you lack your own wine cellar? Our guide for how to store your wine – including the optimum white and red wine storage temperature – will help you to keep your wine at its best.

If you’re thinking of making a bulk order for that special occasion or want to stock up on some of your favourite RedHeads wine, we’ve got you covered; read our fuss-free steps to storing wine at home.

Shop our delicious range of RedHeads wines.

White and red wine storage temperature

To ensure the quality of your wine, the temperature to store it is a crucial factor.

Many people incorrectly assume that red wine storage temperature needs to be room temperature, and it is often kept in warmer locations than is strictly needed. Too warm, and this can spell disaster for the longevity and successful ageing of wine.

Storing wine at the wrong temperature can spoil the flavour and texture of the wine. Let wine get too warm, and it can flatten the taste and dampen the aromatics, not to mention punch out the alcohol and complexity.

Likewise, if the wine storage temperature is too cold, the acidity, fruity flavours and sweetness can all be affected.

It’s a delicate balancing act that pays to get right so you can enjoy an aged wine at its best.

Wine storage temperature chart

When deciding on the optimum temperature to store your wine, there are a few factors to consider, such as the tannins in the wine, its alcohol level and its fruit content.

To help you store your wine at the right temperature, we’ve put together a wine storage temperature chart to help you store your white, rose, sparkling and RedHeads red wines to keep them at their best.

White wine storage temperature

The best wine storage temperature for dry white wines such as Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay is between 8 and 10°C.

This allows the wine’s flavours and aromatics to reach their optimum level. The ideal storing temperature for full-bodied, dry white wines is slightly warmer at 11-12°C.

Red wine storage temperature

Red wine storage temperature is warmer than white wine and can benefit from being stored at room temperature – but take care to not let your wine storage area from getting overly warm, especially during hot weather.

The optimum temperature to store red wine can depend on whether it is a full-bodied red or a light-to-medium-bodied red wine.

Red wine does not benefit from being chilled. The optimum red wine storage temperature is between 12°C and 19°C. If you plan on storing your bottle of wine for at least a year, it’s best to maintain it at around 13°C. For full-bodied reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Barbera, around 17°C is the ideal temperature to store it, whereas, for light-to-medium-bodied wine, such as Merlot or Rioja, the storing temperature should be a bit lower at around 13-16°C.

Sparkling wine storage temperature

Bubbling favourites like Prosecco and Champagne should be served at around 5–8ºC; the fridge or wine cooler is the best choice.

For the perfect temperature, chill your favourite sparkling wine in an ice bucket for up to two hours before opening.

Rose and sweet wine storage temperature

To fully experience Rosé’s light and refreshing taste, ensure your bottle is maintained at a temperature between 5-8ºC.

From full-bodied reds to our selection of white wines, check out our RedHeads wines.

Close-up of wine bottles in supermarket

White and red wine storage temperature and location tips

Humidity and storing wine

Humidity levels for wine are between 50 and 80%, with 70% ideal.

When humidity falls below 50%, corks can dry out, which allows air into the bottle and can result in the wine being spoilt. However, extreme humidity outside this range is unlikely unless you live in the arctic or desert.

If you live in locations prone to high humidity, it may be a good idea to install a dehumidifier to regulate the moisture in the room. Place a water bowl in the same room where the wine is kept for low humidity.

Obviously, this is less of an issue for RedHeads Wine bottles, as all are screw caps to help ensure the longevity of our carefully crafted wines.

Light and storing wine

Just like us, wine bottles are also susceptible to sun damage and, consequently, premature ageing.

Keeping them stored with dim lighting is recommended, whether you’re storing them for days or years. Any light that emits UV rays, such as high-wattage, halogen and incandescent lights, can potentially spoil the taste of wine. So be sure to avoid putting the bottles anywhere close to these. But if you don’t like the idea of leaving your bottles out in the dark, opt for LED lighting. LED lights don’t emit UV light, and they’re long-lasting.

Vibrations, movement and storing wine

Wine bottles need a sense of calm when stored – so ideally, keep them well away from any sources of vibration.

Avoid storing wine need home appliances and gadgets that can move, such as refrigerators, washing machines, treadmills, music players, TVs and dryers. Such vibrations can speed up chemical reactions, disrupt lees, and accelerate the ageing of the wine.

Angle your bottles for storage

With cork bottles, it’s always a good idea to store cork bottles on their sides, which should prevent the cork from decaying.

Although this doesn’t need to be applied to screw caps, sideways racking is also a space-effective method of storing your bottles and a stylish way to showcase your collection.

Store wine in a clean, smell-free spot

Did you know that corked wine bottles can breathe different smells.

If you’re keeping them in the kitchen, avoid storing them away from pungent foods such as onions, spices and garlic. Likewise, if you’re storing them in a cupboard or garage, keep them apart from strong-smelling chemicals and contaminants such as paint, cleaning products and petrol.

So, where do I store my wine bottles?

Although the fridge seems obvious, it may not be particularly effective long-term; most household refrigerators store food at around 3-5°C, which is lower than the ideal wine-keeping temperature.

Storing your wine in a wine cooler set to the ideal temperature is a good option. However, if you don’t have a wine cooler, keep your bottle in a cool space and use a thermostat to ensure the temperature is correct.

For wines that need an additional chill, like most white varieties, place a bottle in the fridge half-an-hour before serving.

Some possible storage options could be:

  • Household cupboard
  • Space under the stairs
  • A well-insulated garage
  • Kitchen cupboards
  • Pantry

Shop now to order your favourite selection of RedHeads and store them for the perfect occasion.