Wine Storage Tips
Most wine lovers will inevitably evolve into wine collectors. Whether it is just a few bottles or a few hundred, a wine’s future development and enjoyment is the overall goal. Here are a few factors to ensure the future pleasure of all our precious bottles.
Temperature:Wine should always be held at a constant temperature between 50°F and 59°F. Too much heat is one of wine’s greatest enemies, prematurely aging the wine with the potential to spoil it. Cool and constant temperatures during the aging process will provide the optimal environment needed for the development of a wine’s greatest complexity. Look to store your wines in the coolest part of a home or a wine fridge for those who don’t have the luxury of a cellar.
Light:Exposure to direct sunlight can be extremely harmful to a wine’s longevity. Therefore storing wine next to windows or heavily lit areas is a bad idea. A dark storage location like a closet or wine fridge is critical to the taste and longevity of your wines.
Humidity:For wines that require long cellaring and have a natural cork humidity becomes a vital factor. A moderate degree of humidity is beneficial to prevent the cork from drying out and leaking. A range of 55-75% humidity tends to be the industry standard and is best achieved by the purchase of a wine fridge that has humidity controls.
Orientation:The idea behind bottle orientation is to keep the cork moist through contact with the wine. Like humidity, this is only vital for wines that contain natural corks. It is accomplished through storing wine bottles on their sides or upside down. Wood racks, wine fridges, or case boxes will help achieve this.
Security: A lesser known issue of wine storage is keeping a still environment. Maturing wine that is agitated can disrupt the sediment and interrupt the delicate aging process. Rubber racks and quite locations can improve this tremendously and are most important for older, more fragile wines.
With wine being one of the few commodities that can improve with age and American’s are drinking and collecting more wine than ever, proper wine storage is now becoming an important issue. Although most wines are meant to drink upon release there are many that will unlock their magic when given the right conditions and enough time. These are the wines that turn a wine lover into a wine collector.
Dane Campbell, CSW – ZM Wine Educator
Posted on: Sep 29, 2011