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11 Key Tips to Long-Lasting Wine Storage

11 Key Tips to Long-Lasting Wine Storage

Your wine collection is an investment, so you will want to put effort into protecting it. The chemical properties of wine will deteriorate and change over time based on where and how the wine is stored. Proper wine storage is essential to maintaining the quality and desirable aspects of your chosen wine. A great deal of time and effort goes into creating a fine wine, so be sure you are taking the proper steps to keep that wine at its best.

11 Keys to Properly Storing Your Wine Collection

Maintain the Proper Temperature

Keeping wine at an appropriate temperature is extremely important. Like any consumable product, wine begins to change and deteriorate over time. A cool temperature will slow this progression, allowing the wine to maintain its flavor and composition.

Most wine should be stored at temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Some wines do better in slightly cooler or warmer environments. Many wine coolers offer multiple cooling zones so you can keep different wines at the perfect temperature.

Keep Temperatures Steady

The temperature of your wine should always remain as consistent as possible. Temperature fluctuations can upset a wine's delicate balance and damage the taste or aroma of the product. For best results, keep your wine in a cooler can that can maintain an exact temperature. Even a change of as little as 3 degrees can be a problem for wine.

Store Wine at the Right Humidity

The best humidity level for wine is at about 60%. Most wines can tolerate a range of 50% to 70%. If the humidity is higher than that, mold becomes a problem and labels can be damaged. At a humidity level of less than 50%, corks can become too dry.

Protect Wine From Light

Light is not good for wine, so you should make sure that your storage area is dark. Ultraviolet light will quickly deteriorate wine, which is why so many bottles are made with tinted glass. Be sure to keep wine away from ultraviolet rays, and never store wine outdoors in the sun. Some coolers include LED lights that allow you to better see the labels when you are choosing a wine. These are a good option because LED lights are cooler than other types of light.

Know the Expiration Date of Your Wine

While some fine wines are often stored for many years, most wine is meant to be consumed within a shorter period of time. Wine can usually be stored for a year or two before the quality deteriorates, but it depends on the wine. Talk to an expert when you buy a bottle of wine to find out its expiration date. Then be sure to keep a record of how long the wine should be stored before it is served.

Do Not Expose Wine to Odors

Many wine bottles are closed using cork because it is a material that allows the wine to breathe and air to circulate. This also means that odors can be carried into the wine. This will disturb the proper chemical reaction that happens as the wine ages, and it can ruin the taste of the wine. Refrigerators are notorious for introducing odors that damage wine. Be sure your wine is kept in a storage facility without odors.

Limit Vibration and Movement

It's important that you do not disturb your wine once it is stored. Moving bottles or allowing them to move will create problems with your wine. Even a small vibration can be a problem, so keep your wine away from electrical appliances that may move or shake. This could be washing machines, refrigerators, or dishwashers.

Keep Wine Horizontal or Tilted Toward the Cork

For the best wine storage, corks must remain moist. This is best achieved by keeping wine bottles either horizontal or tilted downward. Too much air entering the bottle can cause the wine to spoil, and a wet cork helps to allow the right amount of air to come into the bottle. Also, a horizontal bottle means that any sediments settle toward the bottom of the bottle.

Allow Air to Circulate for Proper Wine Storage

You do want some air to move through your wine bottle because this keeps mold from growing in your wine. Making sure that there is proper air circulation around your wine bottles will take care of this issue. Wine coolers allow for the right circulation and protection from stale air.

Use a Wine Cellar or a Wine Cooler

Many wine collections are kept in cool, dry wine cellars where the product can be kept away from light. This is a good choice if you have the space and the budget for building a wine cellar on your property.

If you cannot afford or find space for a wine cellar, a wine cooler is a perfect alternative because it allows you to completely control all aspects of the wine's environment. Many wine coolers also have special features that can provide easy access to viewing labels and maintaining the proper environment for various types of wine.

Store Open Bottles Correctly

Once a wine bottle has been opened, it will begin to deteriorate at a faster rate. Most people put open wine bottles in their refrigerators, and this can be okay for a few hours or a day. If you want to store open bottles longer than that, consider a wine preservation system. This may allow you to pump excess air out of the bottle or introduce a different gas to act as a seal.

You put time, energy, and money into choosing the right wine for your collection, so it's crucial to be sure that you make the effort to keep your wine as protected as possible. Wine is always changing and is very much affected by environmental factors like airflow, temperature, and humidity. Allowing your wine to age as flawlessly as possible involves placing it in a location where these factors can be controlled. Invest in proper storage from Wine Cellar HQ and keep your wine at its highest quality until it is consumed.

Randy Green

Randy is a true wine storage aficionado and expert in wine cellar design. He gained construction experience as a partner in a general contracting business before niching into and passionately focusing on creating wine storage solutions for clients in 2016. He takes great pride in bringing these designs to life, and is dedicated to ensuring that every wine cellar he creates is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to any home or business. The Wine Cellar HQ team also includes refrigeration sizing experts and licensed HVAC technicians to ensure optimal climate control for your wine cellar, so that your wines can age to perfection.
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