Do’s and Don’ts of Storing Wine

24 Apr

enjoy-better-tasting-wine

Things To Do:

Keep your wine chilled.

Average room temperature is too warm to both serve and store your wine. The warmer the ambient temperature, the quicker the wine will age and go bad. If you’ve ever left a bottle of wine in your car during the summer and then wondered why it tasted like pure alcohol or maybe even a little vinegar-like, you know what heat can do to a bottle.

Keep your wine at a constant temperature.

Fluctuating temperatures can negatively affect the aging and chemical processes happening in your wine. This is why cellars and wine refrigerators are fastidiously temperature controlled. A mild, constant temperature is best.

Store your wine on its side.

Two words: cork moisture. Keeping your bottles on their sides, with wine constantly in contact with the cork, you won’t run the risk of having a “corked” wine.

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Things to Stay away from:

Don’t keep your wine in your kitchen fridge long term.

Many people think the way to remedy the temperature conundrum is to keep their wine in the refrigerator, but unless you are using a wine refrigerator, this can be equally harmful. Your average kitchen refrigerator is not only too cold for your wine, stunting its development, but it also dries out the wine’s cork.

Don’t store your wine on top of your refrigerator.

On top of your refrigerator may seem like the most logical place to keep your bottles, it is one of the worst places in your home for three reasons. First, think of all the vibrations your fridge gives off when the compressor cycles on, when it cycles off, when the ice maker spits out ice, when you’re using the water dispenser, etc. Vibrations alter the processes happening in your wine, affecting the taste and aging process. Secondly, your refrigerator gives off heat. With a compressor and other internal components working hard to keep the interior cool, a significant amount of heat is given off. Have you ever felt the top of your refrigerator? It’s warm. Lastly, the top of your refrigerator is probably very close to your light fixtures. This may not be the case for everyone, but if it is true, this definitely is not a good place for your wine to be. Light bulbs give off lots of heat and can prematurely age your wine.

Don’t store your wine upright for long term.

For the same reason it’s recommended to store wine on its side is why it is not recommended to store it upright. When your bottle is upright, the wine is not hitting the cork. The cork will then begin to dry out, resulting in a musty, malodorous wine. With that said, it is okay to store your wine upright for a short amount of time, which is why many some convenient or liquor stores can get away with it; they are banking on a timely sale of the bottles. I wouldn’t recommend keeping bottles upright for more than a few weeks.

Don’t keep your wine at room temperature long term.

As we stated earlier, room temperature is typically too warm for serving wine and also too warm for the long term storage of wine. Warm wine is dull and flat and, in extreme cases, overly alcoholic or vinegar tasting.

Don’t keep your wine in an area of harsh interior lighting or direct sunlight.

One way to ease the selection and viewing of your collection is with lighting. The type of lighting used is very important. Your average household lighting gives off heat, which as we now know, is not good. Sunlight and UV Rays are even worse for your wine. Keep your wine away from windows or other sources of natural light. Your best bet for a light source is LED. LED lighting creates a soft glow without giving off any heat.

Follow these easy steps and your wine will thank you!