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Drastic temp changes affect wines. The fridge to start is not a good place to store wines given the low humidity environment. Are you chilling whites or taking reds to serving temperature? How many bottles are you talking about? How big is the party? If the problem is space, and you are serving whites, I would rather put the bottles in a large cooler with ice and cold water than stick them in the fridge. If reds, same but less ice more water. I assume you dont mind ruining labels.
I pretty much agree w RBF but I put wine in the fridge all the time. I rarely have ice in the house as we don't really use it for anything and the fridge is just handier. Freezer too for 10-20 minutes or so. Just don't forget about it. I have on more than one occasion.

There are 2 reasons to think about your temp changes, neither of which should really be an issue for you. The first reason is that reactions take place faster at warmer temps and we're not talking about boiling vs freezing temps either. At the normal room temp, a 10-15 degree difference matters. Storing wine at 76F vs 65F over time may result in a different wine. Oxidation, brett growth, and other things speed up relative to the "good" changes you want to encourage, so your wine can be messed up. That's usually a long-term thing tho and in your case, you're talking about real short-term storage.

The other reason to think about it is because of changes in the internal bottle pressure. That's why people say to avoid sudden big swings but that's not entirely accurate because small swings are just as bad over time. Or rather can be bad. There's close to zero definitive science on this but some interesting studies regarding the internal pressure in the bottle.

You have things in 3 different phases - solid, liquid, gas. For all practical purposes, the bottle won't expand and contract under the temp changes you're going to subject a bottle of wine to. And the liquid will only do so marginally. The air in the headspace will experience the largest change in volume. If you get to 75F, it doesn't matter if you got there quickly or slowly. The air expands and has to go somewhere. The question is where?

There are many answers, none satisfactory. Even on this site they have information that may or may not be entirely accurate. But the air that has increased in volume can be dissolved in the wine, can escape around the cork, can escape through the cork, or diffuse into the cork. Nobody can say precisely where it goes, partly because corks are so variable. That's also why they're terrible seals - most of the "information" regarding them is anecdotal and based on myth. We know that cork can work, we don't know exactly why and we don't ever know that a specific cork will work the way we want it to.

At any rate, only miniscule amounts of oxygen are needed to create significant changes over time. So when the volume of the gas has expanded due to heat, there will be less in the headspace and when the temp drops again, there will be some air sucked back into the bottle, again from somewhere that is as yet undefined. I think it's from the cork itself, not through it or around it, but that's not proven yet.

All that said, some of the old-world passive cellars are not as stable as you might think. The mountain caves in Hungary are pretty cold year round. The underground cellars in France and Spain are too, unless they're not entirely underground, or the doors are frequently open. In some of those cellars the temps change with the seasons. And in spite of that, the wines are considered quite fine. So maybe we're all a little too worried about what we consider the "correct" storage conditions.
Originally posted by RightBankFan:
Forget my last comment. Just saw you meant wine refrigerator. Should not be an issue to take it out and put it back if not consumed.

Thank you for the reply. Shortly after my post we lost power for over a week so all of my wine has reached close to room temp. I am one of many in CT that was hammered by the storm. I have about 140 bottles of red in 2 wine refrigerators set at 55 degrees. I like to bring the bottle to room temp and also let any sediment fall to the bottom of the bottle. I am definitely a novice at wine collecting. Thanks for the help.
Originally posted by GregT:
I pretty much agree w RBF .......

Thanks for all the great information. As I stated above I am a novice to wine collecting. It's more of collecting some wine for consumption later. I do know that at many restaurants wine is not stored properly. However, it's not stored for long periods of time either. I just don't want to ruin my wine. Some of the bottles I have I need to hold for at least 10 years.

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