I've seen a few questions about what to do with some wines that have been in the refrigerator. I am planning on opening an unopened bottle of rainwater Madeira (aged 5 years) that has been in my refrigerator for about 2-3 years. I received it as a gift and I live in a hot and humid climate where my job keeps me away for long periods of time, so I ended up storing the wine in the refrigerator, knowing it was not the best thing to do.

I finally have a chance to enjoy this wine in a few days but wanted to know how to best ready it for consumption, whether or not it should be aerated or decanted first, if there are any potential effects of refrigeration I should take into account when serving, and if there are any steps I should take to mitigate and bring out the best of this bottle.

  • Was the bottle stored upright or on it's side? And it looks like rainwater is closed with a cork, is that right or is it a screwcap?
    – Montijello
    Apr 19, 2017 at 4:50
  • @Montijello This bottle is a screwcap so I decided it would be fine to store upright in the refrigerator while I gave a few turns every so often. There appear to be no sediments on the bottom as well.
    – Sudachi
    Apr 19, 2017 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


Madeira is a fortified wine and very very sturdy. Pretty hard to ruin it. I would not decant it but let it settle to the proper temperature. If you have it too cold you miss some of the flavor and too warm the alcohol is too prominent.


It is usually recommended that the wine be served at between 13 and 14º for younger wines while older wines, given their greater complexity, should be served at a temperature varying between 15ºC and 16ºC.

  • I once had a Madeira that was about 225 years old. It was made when George Washington was still alive. It was probably the best alcoholic beverage I have ever had. I think that testifies to how sturdy Madeira is so I doubt that you could influence it one way or another by putting in the fridge. May 2, 2017 at 15:54
  • Thank you for the advice. Letting it slowly come to room temperature was all I had to do and it was excellent!
    – Sudachi
    May 14, 2017 at 9:02

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