In recent years it has become increasingly popular to store your wines at home. You may have a large collection of wines or just a very good quality collection of fine wines, in this case wine storage is going to be a major concern.
In this guide we will give you nine tips about wine storage that can help with the long term storage of wines and will inform your on ideas such as temperature control, wine bottles and different types of wine storage.
Wine racks are the best investment you can make as a storer of wine, costing very little and offering many benefits. They provide the optimal rotation to keep the cork wet and prevent air getting into your bottle.
They also help you control the temperature and humidity of your wine more stable as they are housed within the rack. They also reduce the light hitting your bottles preventing UV damage and are an essential for anyone who is serious about wine storage, especially longer term. You also have the option to opt for a wine cooler, although it is considerably more expensive, it is also a great way to store wine and control the temperature.
Ideally you want to store your wine at below 70°f as this will cause your wine to age faster and depreciate the quality. You also want to avoid cooking the wine which will occur if it is stored at too high a temperature environment, this will result in your wines flavours and aromas flattening.
Ideally you want to keep your wine cooler than 65°f, but you can afford a few degrees warmer as long as you plan on opening the wine within its first few years.
Although you don't want your wine to get too warm you also don't want to allow it to get too cold. Ideally, look to keep your wine above 45°f as this can damage the cork allowing air to sneak in and damage the wine.
Although you may be safe to store your wine for short term use in the fridge it is definitely not recommended anywhere above a couple of months as this is when the damage starts to happen.
It is suggested that you do not store your wine anywhere that it could freeze, an unheated garage or a freezer for example, as it will begin to freeze the liquid causing it to expand and therefore pushing out the cork.
Also air can get into the wine causing it to turn into vinegar over time, something you really wouldn’t like to drink in the evening.
Trying to keep your wine around the 55°f temperature can be a difficult task but it is widely seen as the best temperature to store your wine at.
Don’t worry if you find it difficult to stop minor fluctuations in temperature as the wine has probably been through worse in transit but any more extreme fluctuations in temperature can be more harmful to the wine as it can cook and also push the cork out, so keep your wine away from radiators and stoves.
UV rays can degrade and damage your wine so it is essential to make sure there are as few UV lights hitting your wine as possible. Keep out of the way of sunlight in a controlled environment.
Household bulbs may not affect your wine but can take effect on the labels over time. Incandescent bulbs are recommended over fluorescent bulbs as they amit less UV rays and will cause less degrading to your wine
Wine is often stored on its side so the liquid will rest against the cork, in theory meaning it is less likely to dry the cork out. If you are storing for a short term purpose then this isn’t completely necessary but if you are unsure then this is the suggested method of storage.
If your wine doesn’t have a cork and instead has a plastic, screw cap or glass top then this isn’t necessary. However if you have invested in a wine rack and have the space then it is a space saving effective storage solution and make the bottle easier to identify.
Humidity is an important thing to consider when storing wine. You want to be aiming to hit the 70 percent level of humidity. This is so the air doesn’t dry out the cork, as it would at low levels of humidity. Anywhere between 50 and 80 percent should be a safe bet for your humidity levels and can be helped by placing a bucket of water near your wine to help improve the conditions of your room.
However it is also important to consider how levels of humidity too high would create mold, which although it is unlikely to affect your sealed bottle of wine, is not an ideal or safe environment to live in. If your humidity levels are too high a damp trap or dehumidifier could help reduce those levels.
Vibrations can cause wine to get damaged by speeding up the process of aging, by increasing the amount of chemical reactions in the liquid. Noticeable and significant vibrations can cause the wine to become unsettled, causing them to go somewhat gritty.
As long as you can find an appropriate place to store your wine long term then it isn’t too much to worry about but if you live near busy roads and loud noises it might be worth considering external storage for your wine, as the vibrations could potentially damage it over time.
These tips are here to be used as a guide for any beginner looking to get into wine storage and although we covered a lot of ground there may still be more questions you have. We suggest speaking with your local winery to find out their tips for home storage. If you have concluded that you may be unable to store wine at home then there are plenty of places that are willing to store wine for you externally for long term storage.