Perfect Wine Storage and Wine Storage Temp
Who doesn’t enjoy some nice wine after dinner? If you’re just starting your first serious wine collection– or want to know how to store the wine you already have without ruining it– here are 7 tips for perfect wine storage.
Did you know that Americans spend over $60 billion on wine every year? If you’re a wine aficionado, no doubt your purchases are included in that figure.
But whether you have a cellar full of vintage bottles or you’re hunting for the best bottles of 2018, you won’t get to enjoy any of it if you don’t store it correctly.
Since there’s a lot of misinformation about storing wine out there, we’re here to set the record straight. In this post, we’ll examine 7 key elements of wine storage to ensure your collection stays good for years to come.
1. Store at the Right Temperature
Perhaps the most important factor in storing wine is storing it at the right temperature. Not only do you want to achieve the ideal temperature, you also want to avoid any wild fluctuations.
Leaving wine in your car on a hot summer day or storing it in an unheated garage in the dead of winter is the quickest way to ruin it. If the wine gets too hot, it will age too fast and result in flat flavors and aromas. If it starts to freeze, it could expand enough to push the cork out.
So what’s the best temperature for wine storage? The sweet spot seems to be between 53 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, this isn’t an exact science. Your wine will likely age well if it’s stored anywhere between 45 and 65 degrees, though you should aim to store it as close to 55 degrees as possible.
2. Protect from Sunlight
Another sure way to spoil your favorite bottle of wine? Exposing it to sunlight.
Yes, it may look pretty adorning your dining room table, but all that light exposure is harmful to what’s inside. In basic terms, sunlight “cooks” your wine inside the bottle.
Not to mention the light also causes the label to fade–not something you want for your valuable bottles.
No matter how dark or tinted the bottle may appear, harmful UV rays still penetrate the glass. This causes the wine to age prematurely, bringing out all sorts of flaws and inconsistencies.
Sound familiar? It’s exactly what happens to human skin, too, after too much UV exposure. But since you can’t apply sunblock to your wine bottle, your safest bet is to store it somewhere cool and dark.
3. Find the Right Humidity Level
Unlike temperature and sun exposure, you have a little more leeway when it comes to humidity. Too much humidity can lead to mold growth, while too little can dry out the cork–both of which will ruin your wine.
An ideal humidity level for storing wine is around 70 percent. But most experts agree that wine stores well between 50 and 80 percent. This is quite a large range that encompasses most regions in the world.
Of course, if you live in the Arctic or the middle of a desert, your humidity level is likely a lot lower. In that case, a simple humidifier placed near your storage area should do the trick.
The same principle applies if you live in an unusually damp climate. A dehumidifier can help keep those moisture levels in check so your wine bottles don’t grow mold.
4. Always Store Sideways
If you’re just starting your collection–or you have a few bottles you’re particularly proud of–you may be tempted to showcase them in an upright position.
Don’t do it.
While it’s okay for a bottle to stand upright for a short period of time, long-term wine storage requires the bottle be laid on its side.
Why is this so important? Because it ensures the wine remains in constant contact with the cork. This prevents the cork from drying out, which will oxidize (and ultimately ruin) your wine.
The best wine storage cabinets are designed to store your bottles on their sides. This ensures those corks stay moist and your wine ages properly.
5. Avoid Shaking or Agitation
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning anyway.
Anytime you move the bottle, it agitates the wine. Too much motion over a prolonged period can speed up the maturation process, resulting in an unpleasant flavor and aroma.
If possible, once you’ve moved a bottle to its storage location, leave it there until it’s ready to drink.
And don’t even think about shaking that champagne bottle to spray during a celebration. It may look cool in the movies, but it won’t taste very good–and it will create a gigantic mess in the process.
6. The Fridge Is a No-Go
Since we’re talking about what not to do, let’s discuss a common wine storage area–the fridge.
Placing your wine on top of the fridge exposes it to mild, near-constant agitation. All those vibrations from the refrigerator’s actions will alter the natural aging process of your wine, resulting in an inferior product.
As for storing your wine in the fridge? Most refrigerators are set to a temperature around or below 40 degrees, which is far too cold for long-term storage.
So as tempting and convenient as it may be, the fridge is not the ideal place for wine storage.
7. Don’t Wait Too Long
Our final tip for how to store wine is knowing when you should drink a bottle–or when you’ve waited too long.
Because wine is constantly evolving inside the bottle, it has a sort of “life cycle.” It matures to a certain point, reaches a peak, and then sharply declines in quality.
If you’re uncertain, you can always consult a wine guide to learn when certain vintages are peaking. While a bottle usually tastes good all the way up to the time it peaks, it almost always tastes terrible after the fact.
So if you’re saving a bottle for a special occasion, don’t wait too long. Otherwise, it may not taste nearly as great as you’d hoped.
The Best Wine Storage Cabinets
Now that you know how to store wine properly, the only thing left to do is find the perfect storage cabinet.
Whether your collection is large or small, we have the perfect wine storage cabinet for your needs. Click here to check out our extensive collection of storage cabinets.
And for more great information about all things kitchen related, be sure to check out our latest blog posts too.