How Long Can You Store Wine At Room Temperature: Wine Storage Guide

If you’re wondering how long can you store wine at room temperature, you’re not alone. Many wine enthusiasts and novices alike are searching for answers about storing unopened and opened bottles of wine at room temperature. Whether you’ve got a growing wine collection or just a few bottles to enjoy, this wine storage guide will discuss how long you can safely store wine at room temperature.

Let’s talk about room temperature for a moment. In the USA, room temperature means somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. That is 20 to 22 degree Celcius.

When we talk about storing wine, experts generally recommend temperatures around 55 degrees Fahrenheit which is 13 Celsius. Is the temperature of the rooms in your house 55 F / 13 C? Probably not.

Now not everybody has their own precisely temperature controlled wine cellar to keep their favorite wine in. If you want to learn how to properly store wine at room temperature, without the need of a wine cellar or any other fancy equipment, make sure to read this article until the end.


How long can you store wine at room temperature?

Provided that the bottle is corked, placed in a horizontal position and away from direct sunlight, your favorite wine can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months without going bad.

Every wine lover needs a place to store their wines. However, for many of us, having a wine cellar or a fancy wine fridge isn’t always an option due to the lack of space we might have in our houses or our strict budgets that might not allow us to invest in equipment.

So we most often opt for buying wine racks to store our favorite bottles a room in the house. This means the bottle is stored at whatever temperature that particular room in your house is.

How Long Can You Store Unopened Wine and Opened Bottles at Room Temperature?

When it comes to storing unopened bottles of wine, you may be able to store them at room temperature for two to three years, depending on the type and quality of the wine. However, proper wine storage requires a few key conditions to be met, such as maintaining a consistent temperature, avoiding light and heat, and a mild humidity level. Even if you store your wine in these ideal conditions, the maximum storage time for most wines at room temperature is typically two to three years. Beyond that time, the taste and quality of the wine may begin to decline.

However, storing unopened bottles of wine at room temperature isn’t always ideal. If you’re a serious collector or plan to age your wine for longer periods, it’s recommended to invest in proper wine storage, such as a wine cooler or a dedicated wine cellar. These options provide the optimal conditions for long-term wine storage, ensuring your wine reaches its full potential and maintains its quality over time.

When it comes to opened bottles of wine, the story is different. Once you’ve opened a bottle of wine, its shelf life decreases significantly, regardless of how meticulously you store it. The length of time you can store an opened bottle at room temperature depends on the type of wine, how it’s stored, and how quickly you reseal it after opening. In general, you can expect an opened bottle of white wine to last between six months to a year, while red wines may last several months if stored correctly.

To prolong the life of your opened wine, it’s important to reseal the bottle as soon as possible, either with its original cork or a specialized wine stopper. Additionally, minimizing the bottle’s exposure to air, light, and temperature fluctuations can help maintain its quality for longer periods. Even with these precautions, however, it’s best to consume opened wine within a few days to a week to truly enjoy its flavors and avoid spoilage.

In summary, storing wine at room temperature depends on the type of wine, the quality, and whether the bottle is opened or unopened. Unopened bottles can be stored at room temperature for two to three years, while opened bottles may last for several months to a year, depending on the type and storage conditions. To ensure you enjoy the full potential of your wine, proper storage is key, whether it’s at room temperature or in a dedicated wine storage system.

Storing Unopened Bottles of Wine at Room Temperature: Factors to Consider

An open bottle of wine on a wooden table.

When it comes to wine storage, there are several factors to consider in order to ensure that your collection of red wines and white wines maintain their intended flavor. As an enthusiast of wine, you probably already know that the average room temperature is too warm to both serve and store wine in the long-term. In this wine storage guide, we will discuss the important factors to consider when storing unopened bottles of wine at room temperature to prevent any damage or spoilage.

One crucial aspect of wine storage is controlling the storage temperature. For red wines, a lower temp (55-60°F) is preferred, while a slightly cooler temperature (45-50°F) is best for storing and serving white wines. If you plan on keeping unopened bottles of white wine and red wines at room temperature, you should be aware that the average room temperature can fluctuate, which can negatively impact the wine. As such, it is crucial to find a cool, dark space with a consistent temperature to keep your wines.

Wine enthusiasts also need to be mindful of humidity levels when storing their bottles of wine. To preserve the natural cork and prevent it from drying out, a professional wine storage facility would maintain a relative humidity of 60-70%. If you opt to store your wine at room temperature, try to match these conditions to keep the cork in optimal condition, which in turn, will protect your wine as best as possible.

Another factor that wine lovers should consider when storing unopened bottles at room temperature is light exposure. Wine is sensitive to light, especially direct sunlight, which can alter the intended flavor and lead to premature aging. To prevent any unintended damage, store your white wines and red wines in a dark, cool place, away from windows and direct sunlight. As a rule of thumb, the darker the storage area, the better for your wines.

The positioning of unopened bottled wine is another detail that should not be overlooked in wine storage. Ideally, you should store your valuable wine horizontally to keep the cork moist at all times and prevent any air from seeping in. Air exposure can oxidize the wine and alter its intended taste, so storing your wine on its side is a crucial step in preserving its flavor.

To summarize, if you plan on keeping your collection of wines at room temperature, it is essential to pay attention to storage temperature, humidity levels, light exposure, and bottle positioning. By doing this, you can store unopened bottles of white wine and red wines at room temperature without compromising the quality of your collection. With proper care, attention, and knowledge, you can enjoy your wine as it was intended to be tasted.

Storing Opened Bottles of Wine at Room Temperature: Best Practices and Tips

When it comes to wine storage, there is a lot of information out there. If you’re wondering, “How long can you store opened bottles of wine at room temperature?”, you’re not alone. Following some best practices and tips, you can keep your wine at its optimal quality for as long as possible. Keep in mind that unopened bottles of wine have different storage requirements, which we covered in previous sections of this guide.

First, let’s address red wines. While you might have heard that they’ll be fine at room temperature, it’s not always true. Yes, you can store opened red wines at room temperature, but they’ll only last for up to one week. The key is to keep them in a dark and cool place. To keep the wine from oxidizing, you should also use a wine stopper to minimize the contact of air with the liquid.

If you want to store opened white wine or rosé, you’ll need a slightly different approach. These wines should be refrigerated after opening, as they can only last up to three days at room temperature. If you keep them in the fridge, they’ll last up to one week. However, if you prefer serving white wine at room temperature, simply take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before enjoying it.

Now, let’s talk about sparkling wines. You can keep these wines at room temperature, but only for a few hours. After that, you should store them in the fridge to keep them fresh and bubbly. If you’re worried about the pressure from the carbonation, there are special wine stoppers designed for sparkling wines.

If you like fortified wines such as port or sherry, you can rest assured that they can be stored at room temperature for up to a month after opening. The high alcohol content helps preserve them, but make sure to recork them tightly to keep them from oxygen exposure.

Ambient temperature and humidity also affect how long wine will last. Wine storing experts recommend a temperature of 50-65°F (10-18°C) and a relative humidity of 50-70%. So, if you can maintain these conditions at home, your wine will stay fresh longer.

As a general rule of thumb, if you don’t finish a bottle of wine within a day or two, you should use a wine preservation system to extend its life. Vacuum pumps, gas preservation systems, and special wine stoppers can all help keep your wine fresher for longer periods.

Finally, always remember to keep opened wine bottles upright rather than on their side. This will minimize the surface area in contact with air, which can help slow down oxidation.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your favorite wines for longer and make the most of your wine collection. Remember, though, that the taste of wine will change over time, so if you want to experience certain flavors and aromas, don’t wait too long to open your bottles!

Wine Storage Mistakes: How to Ensure Long-Lasting Wines at Room Temperature

As a wine enthusiast, you should be aware of common wine storage mistakes to ensure long-lasting wines at room temperature. Proper wine storage is crucial for preserving the taste and quality of your wines, whether it’s a top pinot noir or a simple white wine. Let’s discuss how you can avoid wine storage mistakes and enjoy your beloved bottles for several months or even longer.

One of the biggest wine storage mistakes is exposing your wine to oxygen. Oxygen can oxidize the wine, leading to a loss of flavor and aroma. When a wine bottle is opened, oxygen comes into contact with the wine, causing it to degrade over time. You can minimize this risk by storing opened bottles of wine in the refrigerator, as cold temperatures slow down the oxidation process. Enjoy your opened white wine within 3-5 days, while some red wines can last up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Temperature plays a huge role in wine storage, yet many wine lovers continue to make mistakes when it comes to room temperature storage. Ideally, you should store your unopened bottles at a consistent 55°F, but room temperature (usually around 70°F) can be acceptable for short-term storage. However, if your room temperature constantly fluctuates or rises above 75°F, you can expect your wine to degrade much faster. Maintaining a cool and stable temperature is the key to keeping your wine in top condition for several months or even years.

Another common mistake when it comes to wine storage is exposing your bottles to direct heat. Heat can cause the wine to expand, potentially pushing the cork out and allowing oxygen to enter the bottle. You can avoid this by keeping your wine bottles away from heat sources, such as sunlight, ovens, and radiators. Store your bottles in a cool, dark place, away from any potential heat exposure, to ensure they remain in ideal conditions.

Humidity is also an important factor to consider for wine storage. Contentious wine collectors recommend maintaining a humidity level of 50-70% to keep the cork moist and prevent it from drying out. Dry corks can shrink, allowing air to enter the bottle and taint the wine with oxygen. Balance is important – too much humidity can lead to mold and label damage. Investing in a quality wine storage solution, such as a wine cooler or custom wine cellar, can protect your bottles from humidity imbalances.

In conclusion, you should always be mindful of the wine storage mistakes that can damage your wines at room temperature. Properly storing your wines, keeping them away from heat, maintaining a stable temperature, and controlling humidity levels are all essential factors in ensuring your favorite bottles remain in top condition for you to enjoy. By following these guidelines, you can confidently store and savor your wines for several months, allowing each bottle’s unique characteristics to shine through with every sip.

Why store wine properly?

Wine may be a tasty drink but it’s also, unfortunately, a bit touchy and doesn’t really get along with heat, light, oxygen and vibrations. Storing wine at a place where it is vulnerable to these elements will result in it deteriorating faster.

Bottles of wine being stored horizontally.

If you’re interested in the specifics, below we will be discussing how each of these elements will affect the quality of your wine.

  • Heat: Heat is a well known catalyst, which means that it speeds up the process of chemical reactions. While you might think that exposing your wine to heat is good because it will speed up the aging process and you won’t have to wait 5 years, this is a misconception. Heat will not only make the aromas disappear, but it might lead to the formation of what is known as “protein haze”, which is completely harmless but unpleasant to look at.
  • Light: “Light struck” occurs in wines when the sun’s UV rays pass through the bottle. The rays excite the vitamins B5 and B2 that are found in the wine and make them react with amino acids. This reaction leads to the formation of sulfur-containing compounds that give off a rotten egg smell.
  • Vibration: This is an issue mostly when it comes to long term wine storage. Vibrations can disturb the sediment in the wine and it will not be able to stay at one place. While sediment isn’t something harmful to your health it’s not that pleasant to look at. So it’s best to avoid vibrations if you’re looking for a clear glass of wine.

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Where to store your wine

Before you decide on where to store your wine, it is important to know if the bottle you’ve chosen is suitable for long term storage. Most widely available wines aren’t meant to be stored for more than a couple of months so they will be fine staying at room temperature.

This category includes wines of the Nouveau type, such as a Beaujolais Nouveau, which are meant to be consumed young, since nouveau literally means young in French, or any wines that are made for immediate consumption and have been aged for some time before being put on the market.

If you prefer red wines that get better with age, like a Nebbiolo or a Cabernet Sauvignon, it is important to find the ideal wine storage conditions, according to your space and budget. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst places to keep your wine bottles if you’re storing wines at room temperature.

It is recommended that you properly store wine in a cool, dark place. Finding the correct wine storage temperature will allow for the best-tasting experience whenever you decide to indulge!

Best places to store wine at room temperature

As we already mentioned, in order to properly store wine, it must be placed in a cool, dark place and in a horizontal position. This principle applies to all types that are meant for long term storage, even sparkling wines.


If you have a basement available then that is pretty close to having a wine cellar. It’s cool throughout the year and away from sunlight so your wines will be at the most ideal room temperature. If you’re a bit of a craftsman you can build a couple of wine racks and have your own cellar without breaking the bank.


Even if you don’t have a basement, you must have a closet. Place your wines at the bottom of your closet, preferably on a rack, and use a container with water to keep the corks of the bottles moist so that oxygen doesn’t pass through.

Where NOT to store wine

You will want to avoid any place that is hot, sunlit and prone to vibrations. Oxygen is a factor that we will have to deal with since we can’t really avoid it.


Many people tend to store their wines in a wine rack on the kitchen counter, and this is something I definitely don’t recommend. The room temperature of the kitchen is above ideal, especially when the stove is on. It’s also generally a sunlit room and since it’s frequently visited it’s also more prone to vibrations. Therefore, storing wines in the kitchen for any length of time is not recommended.

Attic or Garage

These spaces are generally not adequately insulated which means that the temperatures fluctuate throughout the year and wine needs to be stored at a relatively standard temperature all year long. Heat in the house will rise up into the attic.


While you can place your bottle in the fridge to bring it to an ideal temperature before serving it, fridges are too cold and too dry to allow the wine to age properly. You can store wine in the fridge for up to a month if it is corked and for a couple of days if you opened it but didn’t finish the whole bottle, without any issues.

Long term, the fridge is not the place to store your wine.


According to research conducted by the Sonoma State University, most people usually drink the wine they’ve bought within one or two weeks after purchasing it, therefore there is little to no risk of it being damaged by the factors we mentioned. If you are storing your wine at room temperature for extended periods of time make sure to keep it in a dark and cool place in order to fully appreciate its potential.

Carlos Flood

Hello, I'm Carlos Flood. I am a wine writer and the wine editor for The Wine Enthusiast Magazine. I have been writing about wine since 2008, but my love affair with all things grape started much earlier: when I was barely old enough to pick up a glass of vino at family dinners. As a food and drink journalist, my goal is simple: to help people know more about what they are drinking by providing them with information that will inform their decisions.

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