Tips for Storing Your Wine Properly at Home

It’s said that wine is a living thing. While tasting wines and learning about them can be interesting, collecting wines to curate your personal wine collection is an investment.

Since wines are very delicate, chilling wines in a good wine cooler is as important as choosing your wine collection.

If preserved correctly, wines can be aged well and kept for decades, growing in value.

bottles of wine on a wine rack
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Below, we look at ways to store wine correctly

1. Correct Temperatures: One of the most important factors for stored wines is storing them well in correct temperatures.

The temperature for storing wine should be neither too cold nor too hot. Though the temperature for storing wine may vary for different wines, usually 13°C is considered ideal.

Warm or room temperature may speed up the ageing process and may make your wine “cooked”, while wine stored below -4°C can also aggravate the ageing process.

It’s important to keep the temperatures stable, as fluctuating temperatures may cause the cork to expand or contract, causing the air to seep in and oxidize your wine.

2. Balance Humidity: Along with temperature, it’s important to ensure that where you store your wine has balanced levels of humidity.

Storing your wine in a cellar or closet without sufficient humidity will lead to the drying of the cork, oxidizing your wine. Higher humidity levels can also wreak havoc with your curated collection and impact its lifespan.

Ideally, keep the humidity in your cellar at 60 percent or keep a humidifier if there is lack of humidity.

3. Use Proper Storage: Wines with corks should be stored horizontally in the wine rack. This will keep the cork moist, preventing the air from seeping in and causing oxidation.

If kept straight, the cork may dry out, leading to a bottle of corked wine or spoiled wine. However, horizontal stashing of wines is only necessary for corked wine; screwtop wine can be stored vertically.

4. Avoid Lighting: Wines are best kept in dark, moist cellars. It’s important to keep your wines in as much darkness as possible since harsh sun rays may spoil the flavours.

While storing wines at home, keep in mind that lights give off heat, which is bad for the wine. If there is no dark area, store your wines in a place with LED lights since these lights are soft and don’t give off heat.

5. Keep Away from Vibrations: Vibrations tend to interfere with the ageing process of wines, thus affecting the taste. Keep your vino away from appliances like refrigerators, stereos, washers, dryers, and the like.

6. Use a Wine Fridge: If you’ve got a few bottles of wine to be stored but don’t have a dark, moist, and cool area to store them, it’s advisable to invest in a wine cooler.

Wine coolers keep your wine at an ideal temperature and humidity, unlike the fridge, which tends to spoil the wine with its cool dry temperature and vibrations.

Since the wine breathes through the cork, odours from other foodstuff kept in the refrigerator can seep into and interfere with the flavours and taste. A wine fridge is important to preserve your curated collection.

7. Don’t Disturb Your Wine: It’s best to stash your wine in individual stacks as moving wine bottles too often also disturbs the ageing process.

If you stack one on top of the other, you will need to move all bottles every time you want to drink wine. Ideally, after storage, you should move a bottle only when you want to drink it.

8. Check the Expiry Dates: While you may want to store your wine for 10 to 12 years, most wines today come with expiry dates and are best consumed within a few months.

Red wines usually last for two to three years, whereas white wines for one or two years.

For collectables that can be stored for years, consult an expert wine vendor who can help you select the correct varieties.

9. Properly Store Open Bottles: You can extend the life of an opened wine bottle by recorking it promptly and tightly.

A properly sealed bottle can last you for three to five years. To recork the bottle, use a rubber wine stopper that creates a tight seal. You can also use a wine vacuum pump, which takes the air out of the open bottle, creating a tight seal.

How to Serve Wine Properly

Before serving wine, bring your stored wine to the right temperature. Red wines should be served just slightly below room temperature, while white wines can be served colder than red, but keep in mind not to over chill it as that can interfere with the flavours and aroma.

Sparkling white wines and sweet wines can be served colder than whites. Champagne can be served the coldest.

Tips for Choosing a Wine Cooler

Storing wines in a good wine cooler can keep your wines well preserved.

Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect wine cooler:

bottles of wine in a wine cooler
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Choose the size of a wine cooler correctly: This would depend on your consumption on a daily basis and how much you entertain people.

A small wine cooler can store up to 25 bottles while a large fridge can store more than 50 bottles.

Do you need a single zone or a double zone cooler?: A single zone cooler comes with a single unit for temperature and moisture control. This is ideal for those who want to store a single type of wine.

Whereas a double zone cooler has two temperature-controlled units in one zone, and you can store your reds and whites together at different temperatures.

Conclusion

Following these suggestions, you can preserve your precious collection at home in a safe manner.

Remember to keep your wines at a stable temperature and away from any vibrations.

Though a wine cooler is ideal to store wine, you can also store it in a closet or a cupboard, but make sure it’s not a cupboard in your kitchen or a shelf over your fridge.

If kept within the correct temperature, moisture levels, and with minimum exposure to light, you won’t have to worry about consuming your wine now or a few months later.

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