When it comes to wine, storage can have a huge effect on its quality, flavor, and aging. Unlike other alcoholic beverages, the alcohol component does not protect it, and its other ingredients can end up reacting together, causing the wine to go bad when stored incorrectly. So, instead of having the wine spoil, it is important to make sure that it is stored in the right conditions.
Here are a few tips on how to store wine in your home.
Choose the Correct Temperature
One of the main tips for storing wine at home involves using the right temperature in your storage area. Because heat can harm the wine, storing wine in temperatures less than 70 F can make the wine age in a shorter period. Not only that, but it can start to cook and lead to flat flavor in the wine when exposed to temperatures higher than 70 F. To keep it stored properly, it is best to store wine in a temperature between 45-65 F.
Don’t Store in Refrigerators
Knowing that wine’s enemy is heat might indicate that storing wine in a cold, refrigerated area is essential. However, the experts at WIneCellarHQ.com explain that because refrigerator temperatures fall under 45 F, this can cause drying of the corks. As a result, the wine quality will be damaged as the air seepage to the bottles increases. Other factors should also be considered, such as avoiding placing wine bottles in freezers as converting liquid wine to ice will eventually cause expansion and lead the cork to pop.
When choosing a storage area for your wine at home, avoid areas with direct sunlight. When wine is exposed to UV rays from the sun, it is at risk of damage and aging. It is most likely to find wine being stored in colored wine bottles in an attempt to protect the wine and as a form of shade from any direct sunlight. You’ll find many wine storages or cellars are in the basement for that reason as it is easier to make sure it’s not exposed to sunlight and are in controlled temperature.
Just like sunlight, certain types of lighting also affect the quality of the wine or at least result in the fading of the labels. To avoid any damage to the wine or the bottles, it is best to use incandescent bulbs rather than fluorescent bulbs as they only emit small doses of ultraviolet light.
Store Wine Bottles Horizontally
If you’ve ever seen wine storage, you’ll find that all bottles are stored horizontally, and there’s a good reason for that. When stored horizontally, the risk of the cork drying out is prevented as it keeps the cork moist, an essential factor for long-term storage. Because dried out corks can create seepage, aging and affect the quality of the wine, it is always recommended to store wine bottles horizontally on their sides. It is also a great way to make use of space and store more bottles together.
Avoid Highly Humid Areas
Just like heat and light, humidity can also end up damaging the wine and the amount of time it lasts. This is because as the humidity increases, the cork tends to dry up, damaging the wine. It can also affect the labels and bottles, making them seem old and rusty. To make sure you’re storing your wine bottles in the right atmosphere, the humidity levels should range between 60-68 percent.
Consider a Wine Cooler
Instead of trying to keep the entire storage area under a certain temperature, humidity, and darkness, you can instead get a wine cooler with all the specs you need. The difference between a normal refrigerator and a wine fridge lies in the cooling temperature, moisture, and humidity levels, as well as the storage space available to be able to stack a bunch of wine bottles and keep them in your home. It is also fit for smaller amounts of wine bottles rather than having an entire wine cellar.
Whether you’re a wine collector or produce your wine, having large amounts of wine bottles in your home makes it essential that you store them properly to be able to keep them safe. Because wine is at risk of premature aging when exposed to sunlight, humidity, or heat, it is best to follow these tips when storing wine and make sure it’s taken care of.