At what temperature does red wine go bad?

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Wine is such a delicate and fragile thing.

Exposing your favorite bottle to higher temperatures for an extended period of time can affect its taste and integrity, potentially ruining the wine.

So, what exactly is too hot and too long before your vintage drink turns into vinegar. 

How Temperature Affects Wine

To make you understand better, here’s a sample scenario:

You brought a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir wine a warm Sunday. After watching your kids’ basketball game and waiting in line at the market, you realize that your red wine has been sitting in your hot car with 80 degrees Fahrenheit for over 4 hours. 

Is it spoiled? Will it taste bad? Did you just turn that bottle of Pinot into a very expensive bottle of vinegar?

Possibly, yes!

There are various factors that cause wine spoilage and there is no absolute temperature that can make a red wine go bad. 

However, in general, wine is best stored at a temperature ranging from 53 – 57 degrees Fahrenheit for aging and mid-40s to 60s when serving, depending on the wine.

Once your wine felt a temperature that goes beyond 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it falls into the danger zone.

So, does it mean that the bottle you left in your 72 degrees Fahrenheit kitchen for a week can spoil?

Maybe not, but it can accelerate the aging process. So, the wine will go right through its peak then quick decline in taste, rather than developing gracefully. 

What Else?

Well, the wine itself is a key factor. Higher quality wines can withstand extreme temperatures and conditions that may otherwise ruin lower quality wines and still maintain their integrity. 

Higher fruit concentration, tannins, and acids not only provide red wine depth and balance but they also protect it from elements and conditions while inside the bottle. 

Bottom Line?

Be careful in how you store your wine and in what temperatures. 

Wine evolves each passing day. If it is kept in temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit for several days, then be wary, Above the 80 degree Fahrenheit mark that red wine is at risk of losing its integrity with each hour.

When in doubt, you’re better of putting your wine in your regular fridge instead of leaving it out in the open. The cold temperature of the fridge can help stop the aging process as well as preventing the wine from spoiling.

Just make sure to remove it at least every 6 months. Still, the best solution would be a wine cellar or refrigerator that is made specifically to protect those red wines you hope to enjoy in the near future. 


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