You have bought that bottle of wine you like very much, and you can’t take it all. What do you do with it? You will most probably head home and look for a place to store it for a while until you feel you need a drink. You might also be dying to have a wine collection that is personal to your taste in your home. Getting these bottles and bringing them home is not a big deal. What you need to be keen about is how you store them.
Why is Wine Storage Important?
Wine is itself an investment, which means correct storage of your wine is essential in order to protect that investment. If you’re wondering how to store your wine, what temperature to keep it at, and other top tips, we’re here to help. Just follow the guidelines below:
The key importance of properly storing wine is to protect your investment. Without adequate wine storage, your wine may face the following issues:
- Aging too quickly
- Cork drying and disintegration
- Label disintegration
- Wine deterioration
- Wine leakage
To maintain the quality of your wine, even for decades, you need to store it properly. Poor storage is detrimental to the quality of even the greatest wine on the globe. The following tips should help you store your wine until you are ready to use it.
1. Mind the Temperatures
Wine production has always been mindful of the temperatures. To make the best quality wine, it has to be stored at the right temperatures. Too warm or too cold conditions are known to spoil the wine. The ideal temperature for storing wine varies from brand to brand. However, whether you are storing your wine for a short while or for quite some time, the best temperature is around 13 degrees Celsius. Ensure that the temperature remains constant to prevent the cork from loosening and allowing in air.
2. Get a Wine Cooler
However, do not fret if your storage point is a couple of degrees higher or lower. Provided the temperature range doesn’t go beyond 20 degrees C or below -4 degrees C, you are good to go. This is all the more reason to consider getting a wine fridge. Especially for lovers of wine collections, wine cooling systems are the best way to preserve the quality of your favorite grape drink. They come in a wide range of options to choose from based on your preferences, usage needs, and budget. When choosing a wine cooler, some factors to consider may include:
- Cellar size
- Temperature zones
- Installation type
3. Store Your Wine Horizontally
Most wines will have a cork at the top of the bottle. If that is the case for your favorite wine, you need to store the bottles horizontally. This is more important if you are planning on storing your wine for a long time. Storing wine horizontally ensures that the cork remains moist throughout and prevents seepage or premature aging. Screw top wine bottles can be stored in any position, but the horizontal one is preferred to ease access and maximize the available space.
4. Avoid Shaking the Wine
Vibration is said to damage wine by speeding up chemical reactions in the bottles. Although there are concerns that even the slightest tremors can damage the wine, this theory isn’t proven yet. What is known is that significant vibrations prevent the sediments in the wine from settling, ruining the quality of the wine. If you are not storing your wine for too long, this should not be an issue. However, try as much as possible not to shake wine bottles.
5. Keep Your Wine Away From Light
Regardless of the time you intend on storing your wine, keep it in the dark as much as possible. Light is said to damage the aroma and flavor of the wine. If this is lost, then the wine will be a regular drink or something you won’t enjoy at all. Light from the sun is said to be most detrimental and hence the storage of most wines in underground storage units by manufacturing companies.
6. Mind the Humidity
The humidity of the storage point is very crucial. Ideally, wine should be stored in a place where humidity ranges from 60 to 70%. The essence of keeping this range is;
- Preventing the cork from drying out and exposing the wine
- Preventing the wine’s label from peeling off due to excessive humidity leaving all the bottles looking alike.
If you are afraid that the humidity in the area you live in might fail you, have a pan of water around. This will do the trick. However, this should not worry you much if you are only keeping your wine for a few days. It is important to be keen on these conditions if you are planning on long term storage.
While a regular fridge will only keep items dry and cold, a wine fridge will control both the temperature and the humidity at the right levels. The shelves in there are so the bottles will be placed horizontally, which is the recommended position. Wine fridges are thus a good alternative for both short-term and long-term storage.
7. Be Aware that Most Wine Has an Expiration Date
Some wines are not designed to age. Most wines won’t keep for longer than a year or two. Even though the bottle might not have an expiration date, it’s advisable to drink most wines very soon after opening.
Choose selected varietals with a particular balance of sugars and tannins from an experienced wine seller if you want a wine that will improve with age and last for 10 years or more.
8. Avoid Strong Odors That Can Taint the Wine
Although it can seem practical, it’s better to avoid keeping wine in the kitchen. Wine breathes through the porous cork, so keep bottles away from smelly items like garbage and food. Cork odors have the potential to contaminate the wine.
Wine with corks should not be consumed near paint cans in the basement or foods like garlic in the pantry. For optimal results, choose a location for a wine rack that is in a dark closet or corner away from cleaning supplies and other potential pollutants.
Being a wine lover, you need to invest in making sure that you are always getting the best quality. If you intend on having bottles at your place either for a long while or a few months or weeks, you need to know how best you can store them to preserve their quality. Consider the tips given in this piece when storing your favorite wine at home.