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Wine Storage, Wine Temperatures and Different Types Of Wine Thermometers

Updated on November 4, 2014

Thermometers For Wine

To get the full flavor and aroma experience from wine, it must be served at the correct temperature. Drinking wine that's too warm or too cold can mean the difference between finding your new favorite wine and finding a wine that goes to the top of your "Do not buy" list. Although you can guesstimate the temperature of your wine by figuring out room temperature and the rate of temperature drop in the fridge, it's much easier to just get a wine thermometer. They're available in many styles and there's a wine thermometer for every budget.

Below you'll find a wine temperature serving chart along with my tips for how to properly store your wine. Then I'll show you all the different types of wine thermometers and explain the pros and cons of each one. Hopefully you'll find one that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Ideal Temperatures for Serving Wine

Champagne, Sparkling, and Dessert Wine : 40° F

Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio : 45°-48°F

Chardonnay, Chablis : 48°-52°F

Pinot Noir : 60°-64°

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz : 64°-66° F


My Tips for Proper Wine Storage

Wines need to be properly stored in order to prevent the wine from prematurely aging. Ideally, wine should be stored in a dark area that's relatively humid (around 70%) and maintains a constant temperature of 50°-60°. A wine cellar or a refrigerated wine cooler are obviously the best options, but they aren't necessary.

The 2 most important things to keep in mind are to keep your wine at a constant temperature below 70° and to keep your wine away from light. You can put them in a crate in a closet. Or store them in a cabinet or even just a decorative wine rack that's kept out of direct sunlight. If you don't have anywhere cool enough or if your house experiences major temperature fluctuations, you can store your wine in the fridge. It's not the best place but at least it will keep from getting heat damaged.

Clip On Wine Thermometer

These clip on wine thermometers are the most popular type of wine thermometer. If you're looking for an affordable, accurate, basic wine thermometer that's easy to use, you'll be happy with one of these. Just clip it to your wine bottle and you'll get an accurate reading. There's many styles available. You can choose from a thermal reading or a digital reading. There's also many cuff styles to choose from.

This Kikkerland wine thermometer is the highest rated wine thermometer on Amazon and I couldn't agree more. I've used mine on every bottle of wine we've bought in the last 4 years. The flexible collar expands to fit any sized wine bottle and it gives me an accurate reading in under a minute. As a bonus, the thermometer is labeled with the suggested temperature of many wines.

Adhesive Wine Thermometer

These adhesive wine thermometers are easy to use and usually accurate to within 2 degrees but since they aren't reusable, it can get expensive. If you only drink wine every once in a while, then I'd definitely recommend these. Just peel off the backing and stick it directly to your wine bottle.

This adhesive wine thermometer is actually made to monitor the temperature in a fermenter (for those who like brewing their own at home) but it works just as well for wine. The sticky backing will keep it stuck to the wine and it'll display the temp (between 36 to 78 degrees) right on the front.

Infared Wine Thermometer

This infrared wine thermometer is perfect for that person who likes to use cool gadgets to do ordinary things. If that's the type of person you are, imagine how cool it would be to pull this bad boy out of your pocket at the next dinner party!

This is only 3" long so it can hide right in the palm of your hand. Imagine how shocked people would be if you were to accurately "guess" the temperature of all the wines. Hehehe!

Simply aim this infrared thermometer at the wine bottle label and it'll give you a digital reading right down to a tenth of a degree. Pointing it at the glass or other shiny parts will cause the reading to be inaccurate.

Floating Wine Thermometer

To be honest, I don't know why anyone would use a floating wine thermometer to test the temperature in a bottle of wine when the other types of wine thermometers are way easier to use.

However, if you're thinking about making your own wine, a floating thermometer is a cost effective and convenient way to track your wine temperature because once you put it in, it can stay and just float on the top until you're ready to take it out.

This thermometer floats on top to give you fast and accurate readings. It's an alcohol thermometer with a steel ballast so you don't have to worry about it being toxic.

Screwpull Wine Thermometer

This screwpull wine thermometer is like the swiss army knife of wine thermometers. This kit includes a wine collar, a thermometer and a wine temperature guide. To use it, place the wine collar sideways on the lip of the bottle and slide the thermometer through the holes. It only takes a few seconds to get an accurate reading (in both Celsius and Fahrenheit). Use the included magnetic wine temperature guide to figure out what temperature your wine should be. When the wine is the right temperature, remove the thermometer and slide the collar over the bottles neck. This will catch any errant drips and keep them from staining your tablecloth.

Many companies make wine thermometers and many companies make wine collars, but Le Creuset is the first company to combine the two in this great little multitasking kit.

Instant Wine Thermometer

Do you know how good it feels to look around and know that you have the fastest toy? Some wine thermometers take up to a minute to give an accurate temperature. But an instant wine thermometer gives you the right temperature as fast as you can push the button. And some, like the one pictured here, do soooo much more!

If James Bond carried a wine thermometer, I'm pretty sure he would carry this one. This wine thermometer does everything but drink the wine. First, program your vintage into it (you can even save 4 of your favorite wines to quickly recall later) and choose whether you want to see Celsius or Fahrenheit. After dipping it into the wine, you'll get an instant temperature readout. If your wine isn't the right temperature, use the alarm feature to signal when the wine is ready.

Wine Stopper Thermometers

If you have a habit of opening a bottle of wine and not drinking it right away, a wine stopper thermometer might be what you need. A good wine stopper thermometer will suck the air out of the bottle and seal the freshness in while displaying the wines current temperature.

This wine stopper thermometer will save you from dumping a half empty bottle of wine down the sink. The electric cork vacuum pumps the air out of the bottle and then seals it to keep the wine fresh until you're ready to drink it. The temperature will be displayed until you use the easy pressure release button to reopen the wine bottle.

Need To Cool Your Wine Fast?

If you're a wine drinker, you've probably already experienced the need to cool a bottle of wine quickly. Next time that happens, make sure you're prepared!

This beverage cooler can cool a variety of drinks in a very short time span. It can cool a can of beer or soda from room temperature to 43° in 1 minute. A bottle of wine only takes 6 minutes to chill. Choose between cold (43°) and extra cold (34°).

Which type of wine thermometer do you prefer?

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    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 4 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      There will NEVER be a reason to use a wine stopper in this house! leftover wine??? sacrilege. But we sure could use a thermometer! good choices, I had no idea there were so many!

    • profile image

      aishu19 4 years ago

      I do not know much about wine or wine thermometer but all of these seemed really good!