Wine Storage Tips
Certain conditions are of vital importance if you plan on storing and aging wine . The way in which wine is stored can affect the quality of the drink and how it will age. The information below will help you maintain your collection to the best of your ability, but you may also want to check out our Guide to Electric Wine Chillers and Storage Units.
A good storage unit will keep the wine away from light and vibration. Furthermore, it will maintain a high humidity level and a low temperature.
- Temperature: A stable and cold temperature is imperative for storing wine; this should ideally be 10-13 degrees. Wine that is too warm can age too quickly, and if is too cold, deposits can develop. If temperature fluctuates, the cork might shrink and permit oxidation.
- Humidity: A high humidity level keeps the cork from drying out and causing oxidation; however, if humidity is too high, mould can grow and cause spoilage. An ideal storage unit will ventilate to maintain levels. The unit should also be designed to allow bottles to rest horizontally. This allows the wine to keep in contact with the cork, preventing the cork from drying out.
- Light: Keep bottles away from direct sunlight and ultraviolet rays. Though most bottles today have UV ray filters built into the glass, long-term storage can still allow enough rays to reach the wine and cause it to become “light-struck”. When this happens, the wine picks up the taste and smell of wet cardboard.
- Vibration: Vibrations from constant handling, motors, generators or nearby automobile traffic can negatively affect the wine. Once a wine is laid down, it should remain there until it is opened.
- Odours: Foreign odours can permeate through the cork and contaminate the wine, so keep your storage area free from strong aromas.
- Age: Not all wines improve with age; know what you are aging. Reds can be stored for anywhere between 4-10 years while whites should be consumed within 2-3 years. Aging does not generally benefit Champagnes or sparkling wines and they should be consumed as they are purchased..