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Storing Wine in the Summer A Wine Lover’s Guide

Storing Wine in the Summer: A Wine Lover’s Guide

Have you opened a bottle of wine from your collection lately only to find it's not quite as delicious as you remember? It may lack the same rich, robust flavors, or the cork was harder to remove than usual. If so, there's a good chance your wine storage needs a summer intervention. Summer's rising temperatures can be a silent threat to your treasured wine collection but don't worry; there are ways to protect your bottles and preserve their exquisite taste. Here’s every wine lover’s guide to storing wine in the summer: 

1. Understand the Importance of Storing Wine Properly

Wine is a delicate drink that needs special care, especially during the summer. How you store your wine can significantly impact its taste, aroma, and quality. The subtleties of the grape, region, and vintage can be preserved or destroyed, depending on your wine storage tactics.

Why is Storing Wine in the Summer Challenging?

The summer heat can wreak havoc on your wine collection. High temperatures in the wine cellar speed up the aging process and, when too extreme, can cause the wine to spoil. It's like leaving a chocolate bar out in the sun. It doesn't take long before you're left with a sticky mess instead of a delightful treat. 

2. Manage Cellar Temperature Effectively

The keyword here is 'stable.' Wine loves stable conditions. The ideal temperature range for storing most wines, regardless of the season, is between 45°F and 65°F, with 55°F often cited as close to perfect. But the number isn't as significant as ensuring the temperature doesn't fluctuate too drastically.

How Do I Keep My Cellar Cool?

wine bottle and glass in a wine cellar with sunlight coming through

Maintaining your wine cellar and keeping it cool during the summer months can be arduous, especially if you're trying to keep costs down. Here are some tips for keeping your wine cellar the right kind of cool:

  • Insulate and Seal Your Wine Cellar: A well-insulated wine cellar can significantly reduce the cooling necessary to keep your wines in optimal condition. Check your wine cellar door to see if it seals correctly and if there is any way for hot air to leak into the floors, walls, or ceilings.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Wine bottles should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Consider using window coverings or UV-protective film on windows to prevent heat and sunlight from impacting your wine.
  • Strategic Bottle Placement: The location of your wine within the cellar can affect its temperature (unless you have an excellent cooling system that ventilates the whole room perfectly). Lower shelves tend to be cooler than higher ones. Store your more delicate wines, like lighter reds and whites, on the lower shelves of your wine racks and heartier wines, like full-bodied reds, higher up. 
  • Proper Ventilation: Good airflow is essential to prevent mold growth and to keep the temperature consistent throughout your cellar. Ensure your cellar has a sound ventilation system, and consider adding a small fan if necessary to keep air circulating.
  • Invest in Wine Cooling Units: Investing in a wine cooling unit for your wine cellar is an excellent way to regulate temperature. These units are designed to maintain a stable environment for your collection, regardless of how hot it gets outside.

Whether you’re storing wine in a cellar, smaller wine cabinet, or kitchen, here's a helpful wine storage temperature guide from Expert Wine Storage.

3. Regulate Humidity

Humidity plays a vital role in wine storage. Low humidity levels can dry out corks, potentially letting air in and spoiling the wine. On the other hand, excessive humidity can lead to mold growth. Aim to keep the humidity in your wine cellar around 70%. 

Managing Humidity in a Wine Cellar in Summer

Cellar management in the summer is crucial. Here are three simple tips to help you keep the humidity ideal during the hot weather.

  • Hygrometer: Invest in a hygrometer to accurately monitor the humidity levels in your wine cellar. This will help you understand when you need to take action to adjust those levels.
  • Humidifier/Dehumidifier: Depending on your cellar's natural conditions and the time of year, you may need either a humidifier or a dehumidifier. In dryer climates or seasons, a humidifier can help maintain moisture levels, while in more humid conditions, a dehumidifier can prevent mold growth and label damage.
  • Avoid Overcooling: While it may seem like a good idea to combat summer heat by cranking up the AC, be cautious. Overcooling can actually reduce humidity levels too much, risking dried-out corks. The goal is a balance: cool enough to protect the wine but not so cold as to harm it.
  • Invest in the right cooling unit. Choose the best wine cooling unit with adjustable humidity control to maintain the recommended moisture level in the wine cellar and protect your wine quality. 

Best Wine Cellar Cooling Systems for Summer

Breezaire WKSL 4000 Cooling Unit

 Breezaire WKSL 4000 Cooling Unit

This cooling powerhouse is a must-have addition to your wine cellar, promising optimal aging and preserving the quality of your prized vintages.

Key features:

  • Temperature Control Excellence: It handles the most extreme cellar temperatures effortlessly, maintaining a consistent environment for your wines to thrive in.
  • Serene Silence: You won't even know it's there! With its whisper-quiet operation, this cooling unit lets your wines age peacefully, undisturbed by any distracting noise.
  • Cooling Mastery: No hot spots here! The advanced split system ensures uniform cooling throughout your cellar, guaranteeing that every bottle enjoys the same ideal conditions.
  • Spacious Support: Designed for larger cellars of approximately 4000 cubic feet, this unit has the capacity to accommodate even the most extensive wine collections, providing the perfect climate for your ever-expanding assortment.


CellarCool CX2200 Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

CellarCool CX2200 Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

Designed to cater to wine cellars of up to 265 cubic feet, this cooling marvel ensures that your wines are kept in optimal conditions, allowing them to age gracefully and mature to perfection.

Key features:

  • Precise Temperature Control: The CellarCool CX2200 maintains a consistent and ideal temperature range, providing a stable environment for your wines to develop their complex flavors and aromas.
  • Compact and Efficient: With its compact size, the CX2200 easily fits into your cellar without taking up valuable storage space. It maximizes efficiency, delivering exceptional cooling performance while minimizing energy consumption.
  • Easy Installation: Setting up your wine cellar has never been easier. The CellarCool CX2200 comes with straightforward installation instructions, ensuring a hassle-free process that gets you closer to enjoying your wines.
  • Designed for Convenience: The CX2200 offers convenient features such as adjustable humidity control, ensuring that your wines are stored in the perfect environment. Its digital display provides easy monitoring and control of temperature settings. 


CellarPro Mini-Split 3000S Split System Cooling Unit

CellarPro Mini-Split 3000S Split System Cooling Unit

Introducing the epitome of wine cellar climate control. This cooling unit is for cellars of up to 600 cubic feet. It ensures that your wines are preserved and reach their full potential.

Key features:

  • Precision Temperature Management: It provides precise and consistent temperature control, creating the perfect environment for your wines to mature and develop rich flavors.
  • Whisper-Quiet Operation: Experience peaceful tranquility in your wine cellar. This cooling unit operates silently, ensuring that the focus remains on the beauty and serenity of your collection.
  • Split System Efficiency: The Mini-Split 3000S employs a split system configuration, enabling enhanced cooling performance and balanced temperature distribution throughout your cellar. Bid farewell to any hot spots and uneven conditions.
  • Energy Efficiency: Engineered with energy-saving technology, this cooling unit minimizes power consumption without compromising its cooling prowess. It takes care of your wines and the environment, making it a sustainable choice. 

WhisperKOOL Extreme 3500ti Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

WhisperKOOL Extreme 3500ti Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

Engineered with precision and innovation, this cooling unit ensures that your wines retain their exceptional qualities as they age – regardless of the season.

Key features:

  • Advanced Temperature Control: The WhisperKOOL Extreme 3500ti effortlessly regulates the temperature in your wine cellar, creating an ideal environment for proper aging and preservation.
  • Unmatched Cooling Performance: This unit boasts exceptional cooling power, efficiently handling even the most demanding cellar conditions. Your wines will be pampered and protected with precise temperature management.
  • Whisper-Quiet Operation: As its name suggests, the Extreme 3500ti operates with whisper-quiet performance, ensuring that your wine cellar remains undisturbed and peaceful. You'll hardly notice it's there!
  • Durability and Reliability: Crafted with top-quality materials and designed to withstand the test of time, this cooling unit is built to last. It combines robust construction with sleek aesthetics, making it a stylish addition to any wine cellar.
  • Easy Installation: With straightforward installation instructions and user-friendly features, setting up your wine cellar is a breeze. The Extreme 3500ti is designed for convenience and simplicity. 

4.  Storage Solutions for Every Budget

Whether you're pinching pennies or ready to splurge, there are wine storage solutions for every budget:

  • Budget-conscious wine lovers: There are wine coolers that are economical and can still offer the right wine temperature and humidity levels, like the CellarCool CX2200.
  • Mid-range budget: A wine fridge is a helpful storage system with precise temperature and humidity controls. Depending on the size of your collection, there are freestanding wine fridges or built-in and under-counter.
    Loft Wine Fridge
  • For the serious collector: A purpose-built wine cellar with a quality wine cooling unit is a considerable investment but provides the best protection from extreme heat for your prized collection. 

Storing Wine in the Summer: Key Takeaways

Whether you have a large, enviable wine cellar or a modest collection, there are different ways to store and protect your wine from summer's adverse effects. Remember, the goal is to provide a stable environment. Keep your wine away from direct sunlight, maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level, and your wine will thank you by giving that delicious taste you love. Summer should be enjoyed by wine lovers, not feared. With these tips, your wine collection will weather the season in excellent condition. Here's to a summer filled with delectable wines and great memories! 


1. What keeps wine fresh longer?

The wine stays fresh long term when stored under the right conditions. These include a stable temperature of around 55°F, humidity at about 70%, and minimal exposure to light and vibrations. To keep opened wine fresh, use a preserver or vacuum pump to remove air from the bottle before resealing. This will help extend its freshness.

2. What is the best way to store wine?

The best way to store wine involves the following steps:

  • Keep the wine bottle on its side: This ensures the cork stays moist, which prevents it from shrinking and allowing air into the bottle.
  • Maintain a stable temperature: Aim for around 55°F. Rapid temperature changes can damage the wine and alter its flavor.
  • Control humidity: Aim for around 70% to prevent the cork from drying out and the labels from peeling off.
  • Limit exposure to light: UV rays can degrade and prematurely age wine. Dark bottles are better for storing wine and should be kept in a dark place.

3. What happens if wine is stored in a hot place?

Storing wine in a hot place can lead to "cooked" wine. High temperatures can speed up the wine aging process, often leading to changes in color and flavor that may not be pleasant. In some cases, extreme heat can cause the wine to expand and the cork to pop out.

4. How to store open bottles of wine properly?

Open bottles of wine should be re-corked tightly or sealed with a wine stopper and stored in the wine fridge to slow the oxidation process. However, they should be consumed within a few days as exposure to air will eventually cause the wine to degrade. Using wine preservation tools like vacuum pumps can also help extend the life of an open bottle.

5. Can you store wine in a regular fridge?

The main issue with regular refrigerators is that they are often too cold for optimal wine storage and have low humidity, which can dry out corks. It’s better to store your favorite vino in a wine fridge for several reasons:

  • Optimal Temperature Control: Regular refrigerators are typically set around 35-38°F to preserve food, which is much colder than the ideal storage temperature for most wines (between 45°F and 65°F). A wine fridge allows for more precise temperature control, which can be adjusted according to the type of wine being stored.
  • Humidity Levels: Regular refrigerators tend to have low humidity levels to inhibit bacterial growth in food. Wine fridges maintain a more suitable humidity level to keep corks in good condition.
  • Vibration: Regular fridges vibrate due to their compressors and motors. These vibrations can disturb the sediments in wine, negatively affecting its aging process. Wine fridges are specifically designed to minimize vibration.
  • Light Exposure: Wine fridges often have UV-protected doors protecting wine from damaging sunlight. Many regular refrigerators are designed with clear glass doors or internal lights, which can expose the wine to too much light.
  • Storage Position: Wine fridges are designed to store wine bottles horizontally, which keeps the cork moist and prevents air from entering the bottle. Regular refrigerators often lack the space to store wine bottles this way, especially if they are full of food.


If you need help or guidance on storing your wine or building your wine cellar, we’re happy to help. Click here to contact the Wine Cellar HQ customer service team. Email, call, or chat with us during office hours. We look forward to hearing from you!

Randy Green

Randy is a true wine storage aficionado and expert in wine cellar design. He gained construction experience as a partner in a general contracting business before niching into and passionately focusing on creating wine storage solutions for clients in 2016. He takes great pride in bringing these designs to life, and is dedicated to ensuring that every wine cellar he creates is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to any home or business. The Wine Cellar HQ team also includes refrigeration sizing experts and licensed HVAC technicians to ensure optimal climate control for your wine cellar, so that your wines can age to perfection.
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