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Chilling Your Wine in the Fridge Overnight? You’re Doing It Wrong

One glass of white wine next to two glasses of red.
Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock

There are numerous varieties of wine, and many a connoisseur follows strict rules when it comes to how to drink them. For wines that taste the best chilled, here’s what you need to know.

There’s a science to proper wine chilling. The easy explanation, though, is if you chill wine at the correct temperature, it enhances the flavor. Reds, whites, fruit, and sparkling wines can all benefit from chilling. However, you have to chill each type of wine at specific temperatures and for varying amounts of time.

Here are the hard and fast rules:

  • Red Wine: Chill at 55–65 degrees Fahrenheit. You can leave light-bodied reds in the refrigerator for 90 minutes; fuller-bodied only need 45 minutes.
  • Fortified Wine: Chill at 60–65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • White, Sparkling, and Rosé: Whites taste best chilled, but if they’re too cold, it can dull the flavors. Try to keep them between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fruit Wines: These taste best at colder temps. Between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. You can leave fruit wines in the fridge for up to two hours.
  • Champagne: Try to keep these between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don’t have time to chill your wine in the fridge, you can use a salt and ice bath. Just put some salt water and ice in a bucket along with your wine. A rosé will be the perfect temp in no more than 15 minutes.

The fridge is great for temporary cooling, but never store your wine there indefinitely. If you don’t have a dedicated wine cooler, you might consider storing it in a dark, cool corner of your basement.

Also, never put wine in the freezer. If you forget about it, it will freeze (the alcohol content is too low to prevent it) and the bottle will break.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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