These basic guidelines can help you to store wine safely until you are ready to drink it. Where you store wine matters a lot.
1. Cool It Off
The enemy of wine is heat. If you store wine at a temperature over 70 degrees, it will age faster than it should. If the wine gets hotter than that, it could get cooked. Then it would have a flat scent and flavor. You should try to store wine at a temperature of 45 or 65 degrees. 55 degrees Fahrenheit is near perfect. This is not a perfect science, so do not worry too much if you store wine a little warmer as long as you open the bottles in a few years of their release.
2. But Not Too Cold
You can store wine in your refrigerator for a month or two, but this is not a good choice for long term use. Must refrigerators work at under 45 degrees to keep perishable foods safe, but low moisture can dry out corks and let air get into bottles to damage the wine. You never want to store wine in a place where it could freeze. Do not store wine in an unheated area like your garage in the winter time or store wine in the freezer for a couple of hours. If the liquid turns to ice, the cork could be pushed out.
3. Stay Steady
Even more important than stressing about reaching the perfect 55 degree mark, is the need to not let temperatures swing from hot to cold when you store wine. Along with cooked flavors, the contraction could lead to cause seepage or push the cork out. You have to be careful when you store wine. You should always try to keep temperatures consistent, but do not get overly worried about small temperature fluctuations when you store wine. Wines could have to deal with worse during transit from a winery to the store where it is going to be sold. Even if heat has made wine seep out past the cork, the wine does not have to be ruined. It could still taste great, but you won’t know until you open it.
4. Keep the Lights Turned Off When You Store Wine
Where you store wine is important. Light such as sunlight can cause serious problems when it comes to long-term storage. UV rays from the sun can prematurely age wine. That is why glass wine bottles are usually colored. The glass works light sun glasses for the wine. Light from normal household light bulbs won’t damage the wine, but it can cause the label to fade over time. Instead of fluorescent bulbs which give off a very tiny amount of ultraviolet light, you may want try incandescent bulbs to be on the safe side when you store wine.
5. Do Not Sweat It When You Store Wine
You should store wine at a humidity level around 70 percent. Many people believe that dry air will also dry out the corks. It will let air into a bottle and that will eventually spoil the wine. Although this can happen, it usually will not unless you live in the arctic or a desert. It could also happen if you store wine for longer than 10 years, but then we can start talking about professional storage again. You can store wine between 50 percent and 80 percent humidity with confidence. If you put a pan of water in the area where you store wine, the water can help improve the conditions. Extremely damp conditions can lead to mold. Although that will not hurt the wine, it could damage the labels unless a humidifier is used. You must store wine properly for best results.
6. Look Sideways
It is tradition to store wine bottles on their sides so that the liquid is against the cork. That is thought to keep the cork from drying out. If you are going to be drinking the bottles soon or if they have alternate closures like glass, plastic corks, or screw caps, this will not be necessary. Horizontal racking is a great way to use all of your space, and it will not damage your wines. Many people store wine horizontally.
7. Don’t Shake It Too Much
Some people believe that vibration can damage wine over time by speeding up liquid chemical reactions. Many serious collectors worry that even vibrations from electronic appliances can cause problems, but there is not much evidence documenting this. Extreme vibrations could mess with the sediment that is present in old wines possibly making them gritty. You only have to worry about this if you are hosting a rock concert or live above a train station. You also don’t want to go shaking your wines like you are an MVP from the Super Bowl about to spray champagne all over the locker room.
Where Should I Store Wine Bottles?
If you do not have an amazing basement that is not too damp and can be used as a cellar, you can still be creative by adding racks to a safe location to store wine. Stay away from your laundry room, boiler room, and kitchen because of the hot temperatures. You should also decide not to store wine in direct sunlight from a window. Think about buying a small wine cooler and use the same guidelines. By keeping your wine fridge in a cool place, it will not have to work as hard. This way your energy bill will stay down.
You can also use a closet or a different storage area to store wine in. Look for a dark space that it is not too dry or damp. If it is too warm, consider buying a standalone cooling unit that is designed for wine. Although there are some affordable systems for small spaces, professional wine storage is usually your best bet.
If you are wondering when you should upgrade your storage, think about how much money you spent in the last year on wine. If a cooling unit for $1,000 represents under 25 percent of your annual wine-purchasing budget, you may want to think about an upgrade to protect your investment.
Another bit of advice for collectors is that you should double any number that you are considering when it comes to bottle capacity. After you start accumulating wines, you will see that it can be addictive.