Here at Xtrawine we want to make sure that each and every one of our customers get the most out of the wine that they buy from us. This is particularly true for those who are new to the world of wine who may not know quite what they should be doing in terms of storage. Properly storing your wine can make all of the difference when it comes to taste and quality, so it is crucial that you follow these simple steps to ensure that your wine is stored as it should be so that you can get everything you should out of it.
Keep It Dark
Ultraviolet light can play havoc on your bottle of wine, so it is always a good idea to keep it in a dark location before your choose to open it. Not doing so could lead to the wine becoming ‘light struck,’ which ends up giving the drink an unpleasant smell. Of course, this is something that you should be looking to avoid if you want to enjoy the wine’s bouquet before you drink it.
You can generally store screw-top bottle standing, but cork bottles must always be stored on their sides. By placing such bottles upright, you run the risk of the cork drying out and cracking, which can result in air getting into the wine before you have had the chance to open it. This will change the complexion of the wine considerably and ay even end up ruining it entirely.
This is one of the areas where many people who are new to storing wine tend to struggle at first. The trick here is to keep things fairly cool, without it becoming too cold, while also ensuring that the temperature remains constant as far as possible. Your storage temperature should not go above 75 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, as this results in the wine starting to oxidize before it has been opened. For a mixed collection of reds and whites, a standard temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit is a good middle-ground. Any cooler and you will find that you end up slowing down the ageing process in your reds. Keep this constant, as all sorts of problems related to premature ageing arise of the temperature keeps changing.
Keep Them Still
Ideally, your wines should stay as still as possible when they are in storage. This means positioning them in such a way that you don’t need to move a bunch of bottles in order to get to the one you want to drink, while also being wary of vibrations caused by traffic or the use of a washing machine in the home.
Much like with the temperature, finding the right humidity for your storage area is something of a balancing act. You need to ensure that there is moisture in the air so that you don’t run the risk of your corks drying out, while also being wary of it being too damp as this can lead to the growth of mould, which will make your wines very unappetising indeed. Ideally, you should maintain a humidity level of about 70%, as this offers you the best conditions. By purchasing a hygrometer you will be able to keep track of everything and make sure you don’t have too little, or too much, moisture in the air.
Keep It Isolated
Your wine needs space to breathe, else it may end up absorbing the smells around it, completely changing the complexion of the wine in the process. As such, you need to make sure your storage area is located away from anything that has a strong and pungent aroma. Try to make sure the area also has adequate ventilation, so that there is no risk of unwanted odours permeating the cork and changing the wine completely from what it should be.
A lot of people assume that they can leave red wines in storage for as long as they want and they will just improve as they age. This is not always the case, as wines tend to have a peak time for consumption that you need to understand before storing. Some can be kept for very long times, whereas others may hit their peaks after a couple of years. Naturally, your white wines need to be consumed much faster than this in the majority of cases.
Once you have made the decision to pop the cork in a bottle, your storage issues become slightly more challenging. You will only be able to keep the bottle for a limited number of days after opening, so it is important that you maximise this time by placing it in the correct conditions.
White Wine – For a white wine you will want to reseal the bottle as well as possible, either by recorking or screwing the lid, and place it in a cool location. A cellar will work, but many people prefer to use the fridge. You will have about three to five days before the wine spoils completely and you can no longer enjoy it as it was.
Red Wine – As long as it is properly resealed, red wine can be returned to its original storage location without too much hassle. Again, it is important to remember that you only have a limited amount of time to drink it though, so be sure to remember that the bottle is opened.
Your Storage Options
Many wine enthusiasts tend to dedicate certain areas of their homes to storage. For example, those who have cellars may choose to customize them to the point where they can store a number of bottles of wine in what are considered to be ideal conditions. White wine enthusiasts may also end up purchasing a dedicated wine fridge that offers them the chance to make adjustments to temperatures that suit their wines.
The Final Word
We hope we have offered you a greater insight into the difficulties related to storing wine and that you can now use this information to get the most out of your bottles.