Can I Store Wine in the Refrigerator?

Woman reaching for bottle on wine in fridge
UpperCut Images/Getty Images

For whatever reason, the simple question of whether it's OK to store wine in the refrigerator comes up fairly frequently.

It Seems Logical

Maybe it's the general knowledge that wine needs to be kept in a cool, dark environment that makes the standard kitchen refrigerator a sensible first stop when querying where to store a favorite wine.

Or perhaps it's the close proximity to the food prep that leads to wondering whether wines can or should be stored in the fridge.

In a Word, No

No matter how logical storing wine in the refrigerator may seem, the short answer is an emphatic, "No." A typical household refrigerator does not provide optimum conditions for storing wine for more than one or two days.

Why the Kitchen Refrigerator Is Not Ideal for Storing Wine

The common kitchen refrigerator maintains a chilly 35 to 38 F temperature, with relatively low levels of humidity (in the 30% range).

Optimum temperatures for storing wine range from 45 to 60 F, with ideal levels of humidity hovering at around 70 to 90%.

Furthermore, wines need to be kept free from excessive vibration, and that hefty motor that runs around the clock in your kitchen refrigerator would be a source of constant vino vibration.

What About Wine Refrigeration Units?

Wine refrigeration units maintain ideal temperatures specific for storing wine, in the 45 to 60 F temperature range.

They are specifically designed to keep vibration to a minimum while holding the wines sideways in a cool, dark environment. However, the downside to wine refrigeration units is that they are not geared for controlling humidity levels.

Wine Storage 101

While normal refrigerators do not provide an optimum environment for storing wine in the long term, you don't have to invest in a fancy cellar to get the job done.

Just remember to keep your wine cool, keep it dark, keep it still and keep it sideways if you've got natural cork closures in your wine.

If you can add some humidity and maintain consistency in temperature, then you'll have most of your wine storage bases covered.