If you are a true wine enthusiast, or an oenophile, if you will, you know there’s nothing more relaxing and comforting than coming home to a glass of wine after a long, tiring day. Even if you are a casual drinker, you can totally relate to the feeling.
However, in order to really enjoy your wine, it is important for you to store it properly. Whether you have 500 wine bottles or just 5 bottles in your wine collection, they need to be stored in the correct manner if you want to preserve its actual, rich taste and prevent it from going bad.
Essential Factors for Proper Wine Storage
There are times when you buy some wine, but don’t plan on drinking it right away. Also, not every wine-lover has the luxury of owning a personal wine cellar.
So, in such situations, you want to store your wine correctly and keep it super fresh and delicious until you decide to uncork it one fine evening.
Here is a simple guide on how to store wine properly in order to prolong its life.
Store At The Right Temperature
The first and the most important thing to bear in mind for wine storage is the right temperature. Nothing will ruin your wine faster than the wrong temperature.
The ideal or the best temperature for storing wines is anywhere between 45 and 65 degrees. If it goes even a little bit above 70 degrees, brace yourself for spoiled wine because high temperatures can boost their aging process and ruin essential compounds. 55 degrees is said to be the ‘perfect’ temperature; however, it doesn’t have to be exactly that. Just make sure it stays within the given range and doesn’t exceed 70 degrees.
Simultaneously, try to ensure that the temperature is as stable as possible. Fluctuating temperatures and sudden changes in the heating and cooling systems can affect the quality and taste of your wine.
The Storage Space Should Be Dark and Dry without Direct Sunlight
Sunlight is highly damaging for wines and their longevity because the UV rays of the sun can lead to premature aging, ultimately ruining their flavors and aromas. Sunlight leads to the oxidization of the sulfur-containing amino acids in the wine that can change their flavor and smell. This particularly happens when the wine is stored in clear, transparent bottles because they are highly susceptible to direct sunlight.
This is one reason why most vintners use colored wine bottles as they protect the wine from light and other harmful sources.
The key is to store your wine in a cool, dark, and dry storage space to be able to preserve it for as long as possible. If it’s not possible for you to completely eliminate the source of light, you can store the bottles inside a box or wrap them in a piece of cloth.
Those who drink wine frequently also often get a special wine cabinet made with UV-resistant doors, so that’s also one storage option for you if you have a huge wine collection at home.
Store Horizontally or Sideways
It makes sense to store glass bottles in an upright position because of increased convenience and to save some space. However, when it comes to wine bottles with corks, this is a rookie mistake that you can make which will completely spoil your wine.
Wine bottles should always be stored horizontally because the position helps keep the cork moist at all times and prevents it from drying out. Upright storage dries out the cork, leading to increased oxygen exposure, ultimately damaging the wine.
So, keeping the bottles on their sides is vital for long-term storage. The same applies to other types of bottles with screwcap tops. While they don’t necessarily require horizontal racking, it is still a good idea because it provides easy access to the wines and is also a highly space-efficient way of storing your wine bottles.
Get a Wine Fridge
A wine refrigerator, also often referred to as a wine cooler, is a great alternative for all those who don’t have a proper wine storage space inside their home that is constantly dark, moist, and dry.
As opposed to a standard regular refrigerator, a wine fridge maintains the ideal temperature for wine storage between 50 – 60 degrees and also ensures balanced humidity levels. Having a separate wine fridge also completely eliminates the risk of cross-contamination between the food and the wine.
Keep Wine Away From Strong Odors
Many people find it convenient to store wine in the kitchen; however, that’s another major mistake you can make when it comes to wine storage. A kitchen is typically full of strong odors coming from the trash and the food that can seriously taint your wine. This happens wine tends to breathe through the porous cork on the top, so it’s essential that you keep it away from intense smells.
The ideal way is to keep your wine rack in a designated spot somewhere in a dark, cool corner.
Where Should You Store Your Wine?
Those who have a basement in their home will find it very easy to store their wine because a basement can easily double as a wine cellar. All you need to do is do up the space with some racks or cabinets for the wine.
However, those who don’t have this liberty should completely rule out the boiler room, kitchen, and the laundry room.
The ideal options are a spare closet that you don’t use anymore, or any vacant area in your home that is cool, moist and dark and can be repurposed into a storage space.
If these two options are also unavailable or not possible, you might want to consider investing in a standalone wine fridge or a cooling unit that is specially designed for wine storage. While this may be a costly investment, it will save you from the hassle of storing your wine for the many years to come. Especially if you are an avid or a daily wine drinker, it’s a great storage option for your wine collection.
Nothing kills the whole buzz and excitement of drinking wine faster than wine that has gone bad or tastes really bad.
Regardless of the size of your wine collection, you must ensure proper storage if you want your wine to be fresh, rich, and delicious even after a year!
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