Have you ever had bad wine? No, not a wine you dislike — but a wine that’s gone bad? If not, I can tell you that the feeling of disappointment (mixed with a punch in the face of vinegar) is not an experience I would recommend.

For someone who has consumed my fair share of wine, I never really thought about how to properly store a bottle. Sure, I bought a cute wine rack when I started a small collection after my first trip to Sonoma. It sat in my dining room, usually half-empty, and served its purpose… or so I thought.

But then I had my first bottle of good (like, really good) pinot noir that turned bad, and it was time to evaluate why. I did a bit of research and decided I’d share my learnings with you.

Just so you know, I am not a sommelier. Just a girl who really enjoys wine. There are countless varieties of wine, and I’m just giving you a best practice overview.

You should definitely seek out a professional if you’re investing in very expensive wine — but for all my Two Buck Chuck homies, this one’s for you.

Lesson #1: You’re supposed to store wine at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wait, what?! Even red wine? Trust me, I researched this thoroughly, because I just didn’t want to believe that red wine should be, well, chilled. But it turns out, yes, you should even store red wine at 55 degrees. Mind. Blown. There is a bit of wiggle room with this number, but anything over 70 degrees can age your wine quicker.

Lesson #2: You don’t have to serve the wine at the same temperature you store it.

Duh, right? The red wine shocked me so much because you don’t drink red wine chilled — but that doesn’t mean you don’t store it chilled.

So, here are some guidelines from VinePair on the appropriate serving temperatures:

  • Sparkling Wine: Ice cold (40 - 50 degrees)

  • White Wine & Rosé: Cold (50 - 60 degrees)

  • Red Wine: Cool (60 - 70 degrees)

Lesson #3: Consistency is key.

Even if you aren’t storing your wine in exactly 55 degrees, it is better to be consistent than have fluctuation in temperature. Think about all of the times you change your thermostat to save energy while you’re at work, on vacation, or even just going to sleep. Those indoor temperature and humidity changes can impact the quality of your wine. Keep it consistent!

Lesson #4: Sideways > standing.

I was at least doing this right with my original wine rack! Storing wine on its side prevents the cork from drying out. Not much else to say on this one, so onward to...

Lesson #5: A wine cooler will solve all of your problems.

You may be thinking, “Why would I need a wine cooler when I have a refrigerator?” Great question! Remember how we talked about that magic 55 degrees? Well, the average refrigerator temperature is usually 40 degrees or below, and that can result in drying out the cork on your wine, ultimately allowing air in and (you guessed it) ruining the wine!

WE NEED TO SAVE THE WINE, Y’ALL.

Trust me. If you’re drinking wine regularly and want to save a few nice bottles, you’ve got to check out a wine cooler. Our favorite is NewAir’s 19-Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler. It’s sleek and efficient. And all of my wine is resting in there right now, like the sweet baby angel bottles they are.

If you’re interested in purchasing your own, use promo code WORKFORYOUR20 for 20% off.

Cheers to never drinking bad wine again!