Immersing yourself in the rich world of wine tasting will eventually entice you to buy and store your own bottles at home so that you can enjoy an exquisite glass of wine with friends, family, or even by yourself whenever you want. However, properly storing wine is not as easy as placing the bottles in your pantry and forgetting about them. Poor storage can spoil the wine, so it’s crucial to pay attention and learn how to take care of this noble beverage.
If you’re interested in learning about the do’s and don’t of storing high-end wines at home, we’ve gathered a few tips and advice that will help you on your journey.
Store the Bottles Horizontally
First off, everyone should understand that horizontal storage is the most efficient way to store your wine bottles, especially if you don’t have a lot of space to start your collection and need easy access to your bottles. When it comes to corked bottles, keeping a moist cork is crucial if you’re planning long-term storage. Otherwise, a dried-out cork may cause premature aging and seepage.
One exception to this rule is wine bottles with screw tops since they can keep out more than corkscrews. Why is this so important? Because too much air can lead to oxidation, and it can ruin any high-end wine since there’s nothing you can do to undo the process. Whether you have a wine cellar or buy a wine fridge, always try to prioritize horizontal storage.
Use a Wine Fridge to Control the Temperature
The temperature may be one of the most crucial factors influencing the quality of any stored wine. Whether you leave the bottles too warm or too cold, any temperature fluctuation can ruin your wine collection when you least expect it. Most experts agree that the ideal temperature for both long-term and short-term storage is around 13°C or 55°F. However, this may vary from wine to wine. If you want to make sure that your wine doesn’t go sour, you should never keep the temperature below -4ºC or 25°F so that your wine doesn’t freeze, or raise the thermostat above 20°C or 68°F. Otherwise, you may mess around with the wine’s aging process and destroy volatile compounds.
Not only will temperature fluctuation affect the wine, but the cork will also contract and expand, allowing air to seep in. For that reason, investing in wine cooling equipment that provides a dark, cool and moist environment is a must. The specialized cooling system also allows you to ensure that there’s no cross-contamination from food odors and provides the ideal conditions for your wine to retain its quality. Look at your wine collection as an investment, and the best way to protect your investment is by getting a high-quality wine fridge.
Avoid Drastic Humidity Changes
Another crucial factor in maintaining your wine collection in perfect conditions is having full control of the humidity levels. If you store your bottles somewhere with too low humidity levels, your corks can easily dry out, losing their sealing effect and allowing air to get in contact with the wine. On the other extreme, too much humidity may cause bottle labels to peel off, which can make it difficult for you to recognize or display your wines, while also affecting the aging process. The consensus here is to maintain your wine cellar humidity between 60 and 68 percent and making sure that there are no drastic changes left unchecked.
Don’t Expose Your Wine to Light and Vibrations
Regardless of how long you’re planning to store your wine, you must keep your wine away from the light as much as possible. Avoiding direct sunlight hitting your wine bottles is crucial since UV rays can damage the wine’s flavors and aromas, resulting in your high-end wines losing their quality over time and eventually going to waste.
At the same time, keep your wine cellar away from any sources of vibration, such as stereo systems, washers, dryers, or even exercise areas. Any movement can disturb sediment formation in the bottle, disrupting the wine’s delicate aging process.
Any type of high-end wine is a product of the collaborative effort between winemakers and consultants who work to deliver only the best experience. Regardless of your favorite type of wine or how much you spend on it, all wine bottles need special care and attention when you store them in your wine cellar or fridge. Making sure that you have a well-constructed, dedicated space for this purpose will guarantee that you and your house guests will get to enjoy the finest flavors and aromas.