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Whether you have three bottles or over a hundred in your collection, it is crucial to know the basic wine storage rules. Storing your wine bottles properly allows you to enjoy the best characteristics and aroma each wine has to offer.
Here are the basic wine storage tips you should take note of.
1. Store your wine at the appropriate temperature
Proper storage temperature is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to wine storage. Storage temperature is considered the top factor that influences the quality and freshness of wines. Storing your wine bottles at inappropriately cold or warm temperatures are surefire ways to spoil the beverage.
Ideally, wine bottles must be kept in storage at a temperature around 11ºC, but it depends on the type of wine.
Moreover, as some wines require different storage temperatures, make sure to look at the storage instructions indicated in your wine bottles when storing wine at home.
2. Wine bottles should be stored horizontally
Wine bottles with cork are recommended to be stored horizontally to keep the cork moist. Keeping the cork moist is one of the keys to storing wine bottles long-term. Dry corks can cause wine seepage thus resulting in premature aging. Furthermore, keeping corked wine bottles on their side not only helps in preserving the beverage’s quality but is also a convenient way of maximizing storage space. Thus, whether your wine bottles have cork lids or screw tops, placing the bottles horizontally is an efficient way of storing them.
3. Store your wine in a convenient place
Keeping your wine bottles somewhere convenient and easily accessible is another vital factor to keep in mind when it comes to proper wine storage. You may think about keeping your prized wine in a box under your bed to keep it safe against harmful elements, however, it’s not the most convenient way of storing it.
It is best to keep your wine bottles somewhere in your kitchen where you can easily choose and grab one to serve. A wine cellar is also ideal.
4. Keep wine bottles away from direct sunlight or strong indoor lighting
Apart from unsuitable temperature fluctuations, light, most especially sunlight, is another big culprit that can disturb the quality and freshness of wines. The UV light from indoor lighting and sunlight will cause premature aging in wines in long-term storage. This is the main reason why winemakers use dark-colored glass bottles as it serves as protection from light.
When storing your wine at home, it is best to keep it in a wine cabinet that is away from sunlight and household lighting.
5. A suitable humidity level is essential for wine storage
Extreme humidity in your wine storage space can degrade your wine’s quality and longevity. On the other hand, very low humidity can dry out your wine bottles’ corks and put your wines at risk of oxidation. For these reasons, appropriate humidity control is extremely crucial when storing wine bottles.
Ideally, it is recommended to store wine bottles in storage spaces that have around 50% to 80% humidity levels. Moreover, if the humidity in your chosen storage space is too high, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier.
6. Store your wine in a place where there is minimal vibration
Vibration is another factor that affects the quality of wines negatively. It disrupts the sediments inside the bottle and disturbs the sensitive processes that allow the wine to age beautifully.
When storing your wine bottles, make sure to keep them away from various sources of vibration such as your dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, stereo, TV, etc.
7. Invest in a wine fridge
Wine fridges are specifically designed to meet the storage requirements of wines. Investing in one allows you to ensure that your cherished wine bottles are stored safely and that their quality is preserved well. A wine fridge is also one of the best wine storage options as it helps keep wines safe against various damaging factors such as heat and harsh lighting.
Although wine fridges can be quite an investment, you can find a wide array of wine fridges from various brands that are top quality and are reasonably priced.
8. Store opened wine bottles correctly
An opened bottle of wine can last for up to five days when stored properly. The key is to recork the wine bottles immediately and tightly right after opening them. Doing this allows you to retain the freshness and original qualities of your wine.
9. Avoid moving your wine bottles frequently
Vibration and constant movements are other factors that disrupt the quality of wines. As much as possible, avoid moving your wine bottles from one storage to another.
Having wine bottles sit still allows its delicate process to take place and not be disturbed, as a result the wine ages beautifully.
10. Do not store your wine on top of your fridge
If you search for wine storage dos and don’ts on the internet, you will know that storing wine bottles on top of the fridge is a big no-no for several reasons.
Firstly, the fridge produces vibrations that can disturb the quality and the aging process of the wine. Secondly, the top of the fridge also produces heat which can degrade the freshness of the beverage. Lastly, the top of the fridge is not the safest and most convenient place for you to store and access your wine bottles.
11. Remember that not all wines can be stored long term
When collecting bottles of wine, it is important to remember that not all wines are meant to be stored to age for years. Most fine wines you can find on the market have a brief lifespan and are recommended to be consumed within a few months. Thus, one of the top wine storage tips to keep in mind is to look at the wine’s due date that’s indicated in the bottle.
Wines have their own delicate ways of aging. To get the best quality that your favourite bottles of wine have to offer, you must know how and where to store them properly.