5 Basic Rules Of Storing Wine Correctly
While I understand that many people like to purchase a bottle of wine, head home, and begin drinking it that evening, many others prefer to store a number of select bottles for enjoyment at a later date.
Maybe you’ll be hosting a get-together with friends at some point, and you don’t want to wait until that day to purchase the wine for you and your guests.
Or perhaps you like to take road trips once and awhile to local wineries. There, you will be able to check out and sample many different varieties as well as purchase a few of your favorites to bring home.
Whatever the reason, it’s always nice to have some good wine ready to serve and drink when you need it.
But there are certain basic rules you must follow when storing wine if you want it to taste just right.
Allow me to share 5 simple principles that I’ve learned about proper storage.
Too much light can have a negative effect on wine, causing it to age too fast or even spoil.
Strong UV light rays can bring about certain chemical reactions in this product, and therefore it needs to be stored in a dark area.
Hence, many wine cellars are built in underground, cave-like structures with no outside light source.
This is also the reason why many types of wines come in tinted bottles.
The manufacturer is attempting to help the buyer minimize the effects of light on the beverage inside.
If you must keep them out and exposed in your home, try to use incandescent light bulbs instead of fluorescent ones where the wine is kept.
Maintaining the proper temperature when storing your wines is vitally important to keeping its quality and taste at an optimal level.
Usually temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees are best, but certain types such as whites, reds, and sparkling choices respond better to individual settings.
Check out my article “How to Store Wine like a True Connoisseur” to learn more about the best temperature range for various flavors.
Household refrigerators are designed to preserve food and are usually too cool of an environment to store your favorite wines.
Another reason to find an alternative place for storage is, due to the frequency of opening and closing the door, the temperature will fluctuate inside and therefore not be an ideal setting for such purposes.
Avoiding unnecessary vibrations is also a key factor to preserving your wines.
Any big-time wine enthusiast will agree that you must store your beloved collection in an area that is calm and free of disturbing motion.
You see, shaking the bottles can hasten the process of aging.
It may also have a negative effect on the taste by stirring up the sediment in the bottles and giving the drink an unpleasant granular quality.
It is recommended that you store wine bottles horizontally instead of upright, especially if you don’t plan on drinking them for awhile.
This is to keep the cork from drying out, and thus allowing air to get inside of the bottle.
If oxygen enters the bottle, the wine may oxidize or spoil. Such an occurence will certainly ruin your experience when you finally pop it open for a sip.
Even if you follow my advice above and store your bottles of wine on their sides, the part of the cork that is not touching the liquid may still dry out over time.
The result will be same as mentioned in tip #4.
Wine needs to be stored in an area that is not only the correct temperature, but also has enough humidity to keep the cork moist.
Usually around 50 to 80 percent is a good range of humidity, but be aware that too much humidity can also have an adverse effect on your wine storage.
Luckily, most modern wine coolers are designed to provide the right humidity for such products.
It’s simple and straight-forward advice like this that we often overlook, and can make a world of difference down the road.
Trust me, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are hosting an evening with friends, and the wine you’ve poured for them causes everyone to make a sour face…UUUgggh!
By following these 5 tips and applying your own common sense, you should have plenty of memorable occasions and shared smiles.