Wine Storage Basics for the New Wine Drinker
So you've caught the 'wine bug' and now you want to make sure you always have a steady supply on hand. Congratulations you oenophile, you! (no offense meant, oenophile = lover of wine)
SO... in order to get to the point and give you the best, most immediate practical advice, I'm going to make a few assumptions about you:
- You don't currently have a 'wine storage solution'. e.g. A dedicated wine fridge, wine cellar, or similar.
- You're mainly interested in keeping a supply of 'ready to drink' wines handy, but when you find a wine you particularly like, you want to be able to put a few bottles away for a future 'special occasion'.
- As your wine passion and know-how grows, you'd like to be able to have your storage solution(s) grow with you.
If those things sound like you, then read-on. If not, there is a TON of great information out there regarding more involved and 'mature' wine storage solutions. But to keep this short, I'm going to focus on those of you who meet those criteria and choose to keep reading…
The most important things to consider:
Light – UV light is particularly bad for wine. For your purposes, simply make sure that the wine is never in direct sunlight. Some recommend putting your wine in a closet or other dark area, but personally, I like to see my wines. It makes me happy. But if I had a special bottle I wanted to keep, make sure it is not in sunlight at a minimum.
Temperature and Temperature Fluctuations – High temperatures kill wine, but temperature variations will also kill it. That means any location that is close to heat (oven or stove or window) is NOT the best place to keep your collection. Position your wines where they are away from extremes of heat and cold, and ideally where you can see them to enjoy every day.
Things NOT so important:
Vibrations – Most wines contain a small amount of sediment. Vibrations tend to stir things up and sediment can spoil the flavor. So make sure you store corked wine on it's side, and then let it stand up for a few hours before serving to allow the sediment to settle. A lot of websites tell you to worry about motor vibrations, moving the bottles around, even footsteps! This is way overkill in my experience for 99% of wine lovers.
Isolation – Wine corks are amazing things. They do a lot more than just keep the wine from spilling out. They allow air in and of the bottle as the wine matures. Many people will tell you never to store an unopened bottle in your refrigerator, as they fear that food odors – especially strong ones like onions and garlic – will pass through the cork and taint the wine. The thing to consider here is time. Leaving a bottle in the fridge for a month? No worries. A year? Maybe not a good idea. If you're like me, space in your fridge too valuable to keep occupied by an unused bottle of wine for a year!
That's it. Keep wine away from light, somewhere where it won't heat up and cool down over and over, and ideally, somewhere where you can enjoy looking at it. I use the Vinsi Wineform as it not only looks like a piece of art, it saves a tone of space when I use it in my fridge. Am I biased? Of course I am! But that doesn't mean it's not a great wine storage solution! Check it out at www.vinsiwineform.com
Happy Drinking! – Brian P.
1. Small Home Wine Storage
2. Chilling White & Sparkling Wine
3. Decorative Wine Storage