Ever wondered if you’re preserving your wine in an optimal manner? Learn now how to store wine with our guide below. Temperature, humidity, angle, vibrations, darkness & smell are some key points to keep in mind to ensure that your wine has the best chances of long-term survival and optimal aging. Let’s take a closer look at each.
How to store wine: temperature
Keep your wine cool! Heat and wine do not mix. The ideal storage temperature range is between 11° C and 16 °C, or 52° F to 60° F. The perfect temperature is often cited as 12° C (55° F). Any hotter than 70° F and the wine begins to “cook”, and age at a faster pace than is typically desired which can flatten the wine’s flavor. Conversely, wine should never get too cold. The temperature shouldn’t fall below -4° C (25 ° F). Consistency in temperature is also essential to keeping your wine in prime condition. Drastic temperature fluctuations should be avoided if possible. When the temperature shifts around too much, the wine expands and contracts within the bottle which can cause the cork to pop off or the wine to seep out. However, don’t sweat the small temperature changes!
How to store wine: humidity
Wine should be kept circa 65-70 percent humidity. If wine is stored in a very dry environment, the cork can dry out, rendering it ineffective as a seal. On the other hand, an overly humid environment can create mold. Mold shouldn’t affect a well-sealed bottle, but it can certainly damage the label. Additionally, cellars have the best humidity for storing wine when they’re located on the North side of the house. Generally, unless you live in a very extreme climate, the natural humidity of your storing space is likely safe.
How to store wine: which angle?
Oxygen is the number one culprit of spoiling wine. The cork of a wine plays an essential role as an airtight seal. However, if the cork dries out, it is no longer airtight. For this reason, wine bottles are typically stored on their sides to keep the liquid up against the cork. The ideal angle is horizontally at 45 degrees.
How to store wine: vibrations
It is theorized that some vibrations can speed up the chemical reactions in the wine, damaging it in the long term. Larger vibrations can prevent the sediment in older wines from settling, ruining the texture. Things like electronic appliances can create small vibrations that could potentially disturb the wine (especially very old wine), but as long as large vibrations like the rumble from a train station aren’t present, short-term, your wines should be fine.
How to store wine: light or dark?
All types of light can potentially damage a bottle of wine. Sunlight in specific can be especially harmful due to the UV rays, which can prematurely age the wine. This premature aging process can drastically impact the flavor of the wine. One of the reasons why wine bottles are made of colored glass is because of the UV protection they offer (but not necessarily full protection). So, your wine storage area should be away from direct sunlight.
How to store wine: odours
Wine bottle corks are spongy, and scents can sneak in and be absorbed by the wine. So it is best to store wine in an area that is aroma-neutral. Strong scents such as vinegar, cheese, meat, paint, but even home fragrances should be kept away from your wine storage area.
Dievole updated this post on July 5, 2018
Words by Lydia Palumbo