Yes, Chardonnay can go in your home refrigerator for short-term chilling before serving, and chilling your chardonnay before drinking is an ideal way of enhancing its refreshing quality and aromas, thereby making your glass of wine more enjoyable.
Also, it can go in a dedicated wine refrigerator for long-term storage or aging before uncorking. What’s more, your bottle of wine can be stored in the fridge for a few days after it’s been opened as a means of slowing down its spoilage.
So yes, in many ways, a fridge really is a godsend for chardonnay; nonetheless, there are some factors to consider when storing or chilling your wine in a regular fridge or wine fridge. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about storing chardonnay in the fridge.
Chardonnay is one of the most famous wines in the world, and it has become synonymous with white wine. Made from green-skinned grapes, it is a versatile wine with flavors greatly influenced by its climate and winemaking techniques.
Chardonnay is a dry, medium to full-bodied wine with fruity flavors best served chilled.
Can unopened chardonnay be stored in the fridge?
White wines like chardonnays do not last as long as most red wines, but the good news is unopened white wine lasts a lot longer than opened white wine.
Regardless of the type of chardonnay (oaked or unoaked), the kitchen fridge seems like the most sensible place to keep it, but we recommend that you shouldn’t―especially if you plan on storing it for several months.
Contrary to popular belief, a kitchen fridge isn’t a good place for storing wine as your wine can get exposed to unfavorable conditions that will put it at risk of oxidation (the oxidation process occurs when a bottle of wine is opened and the wine comes in contact with air: triggering unfavorable chemical reactions).
One such condition is the wrong humidity levels. Chardonnay requires a specific humidity level to ensure the cork is hydrated and undamaged.
However, regular fridges do not offer the best humid conditions to keep a cork’s integrity, which puts your wine at risk of oxidation and spoilage. Some other factors include vibrations, temperature, UV light, etc., but we will get to these later in the article.
If you plan on holding onto your chardonnay for a few weeks or months before drinking it, we recommend that you store it in a cool and dark space, such as the floor of your closet, underneath your bed, or the back of your kitchen cupboard. A wine cellar, wine cooler, or wine fridge are expensive but excellent options.
How long can an opened chardonnay last in the fridge before going bad?
Opened wine doesn’t last very long, and chardonnay is no different. When opened, the wine will gradually lose its taste and freshness due to oxidation. Among other factors, oxidation can cause a wine to go bad; however, a fridge is the best place for an opened bottle of chardonnay.
Generally, full-bodied white wines, such as oaked chardonnays last about 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator after opening, before showing signs of oxidation.
This is because the cool temperature of the fridge slows down the degradation of your chardonnay. So as soon as you’ve drunk enough of your wine, cork it, and stick it in the fridge.
Furthermore, ensure you cork your bottle tightly in order to maintain its integrity and prevent air from sipping in. Better still, you can purchase a wine vacuum pump if you’re a dedicated wine drinker; this gadget will suck all the air out of an open bottle and significantly slow down the oxidation process.
Another trick is decanting your chardonnay into a smaller container to reduce the space that air can take up, thereby slowing down oxidation.
It is common knowledge that unopened wine should be stored horizontally to ensure the cork remains moistened; however, when storing an opened chardonnay in the fridge, we advise that you store it vertically in order to prevent any spillage.
Sadly, regardless of how well you store an opened bottle of chardonnay, it will eventually darken and lose its fresh taste and fruity aromas. A bad chardonnay will taste dull or sour, with a vinegar-like pungent aroma.
Fortunately, although your spoilt Chardonnay may have an unpleasant taste, it is unlikely to hurt you. Its alcohol content will prevent any harmful bacteria from developing. Still, you should probably refrain from drinking large quantities of a chardonnay that’s gone bad, as it can completely ruin your evening.
Should chardonnay be chilled before serving?
The temperature we serve our wine is one of the critical factors that affect the experience of the wine; serve your wine at the wrong temperature, and it will ruin your experience of it.
So should you chill your chardonnay? the answer is yes, but you shouldn’t just stick your chardonnay in the fridge for a few hours, bring it out, and get right to drinking it. No, there is a science to it.
Ideally, chardonnay should be served at 48-60 degrees Fahrenheit (8-15 degrees Celsius). You don’t want it colder than this because the colder the temperature, the more muted the flavors will be.
Fuller-bodied white wines like oaked chardonnays need a chill to enhance their delicate aromas and flavors while lifting the wine’s acidity and adding crispiness to the finish.
For example, before evening dinner, we recommend you chill your chardonnay in the fridge for about two hours. Then try removing it about 20 minutes before you plan on drinking it to let it warm up a bit.
This way, you will get your bottle of chardonnay to its optimal temperature and experience all the flavors coming alive.
A common misconception is that all white wines are created equal, and none should be aged. This isn’t true as many white wines can stand some aging, with chardonnay being one of the age-worthy whites.
Chardonnay ages quite well due to the balance of its acidity and oak-infused tannins. So can chardonnay be aged in a standard kitchen fridge? Yes, it can, but it will require a ton of effort and readjustments; you will be best served with a dedicated wine fridge.
Generally, a kitchen fridge is kept at a chilly 35 F to 40 F temperature. While this is perfect for your perishables, it is not optimal for wine aging (ideally, wine should be aged at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit).
Furthermore, a chardonnay that is being aged needs to be kept from vibrations, UV light, and movements, as all these factors can disrupt the various chemical reactions occurring during aging and render your wine unpleasant. Light, vibrations, and movements constantly hit a kitchen fridge due to being opened multiple times a day.
So while chardonnay can be aged in a regular fridge, you will need to ensure the numerous conditions for appropriate aging are met, which can be challenging.
So what’s your best choice besides a wine cellar? This is where wine refrigerators come in.
A Wine Refrigerator will serve you the best
A wine fridge is your best bet when it comes to aging your wines, chardonnay included. It is specifically for wines so little to no readjustment is necessary.
One of the key factors to aging your wine perfectly is keeping it at a consistent temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A wine fridge will serve as a designated location for your chardonnay with specific temperature settings that will keep your bottles at an optimal temperature.
Furthermore, wine fridges come in different sizes, allowing placement flexibility. Other critical reasons to opt for a wine fridge instead of making do with your kitchen fridge are the issues of vibration and light.
Wine fridges have cooling engines that generate minimal vibrations; specific wine fridges boast of UV-proof glass doors that protect your wine from outside lighting. Besides, without the UV-proof door, your chardonnay will still be out of direct light, as the wine fridge won’t be opened as much as the kitchen refrigerator.
Essentially, a dedicated wine fridge is one of the best options for storing your chardonnay as it keeps your wine at a consistent, optimal temperature; keeps your bottles humid to prevent their corks from dehydrating and falling off; keeps them out of direct light; keeps them horizontal.
Conclusion:: Does Chardonnay Go in The Fridge? (Answered)
Summarily, a regular kitchen fridge saves you from having to throw out a bottle of chardonnay after opening it. Also, it will help get your wine to the optimal temperature that will enhance its flavors and aromas.
However, a regular fridge isn’t the best choice for long-term storage of an unopened chardonnay, nor is it the best choice for aging your wine. A wine cellar, cabinet, or fridge provides the conditions to maintain your chardonnay’s quality adequately.
So don’t be afraid of putting your unopened wine in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill it, and remember, your fridge is your best friend when it comes to slowing down your opened chardonnay from immediate spoilage.