According to Wine Spectator, there are very few fine wines that benefit from long term aging. That means when you purchase a bottle of wine, it’s best to consume it within a few years of buying it. Whether you’re thinking of going whole-hog and creating your own wine cellar or you just want a place to store a few bottles, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Don’t Store It In the Warmest Room of Your House
This is important if you live in a particularly warm climate or you like to keep your house warm. Temperatures that are higher than 70 degree Fahrenheit will make a wine age faster than you want. Anything above 70 degrees might “cook” your wine and you’ll wind up with wine that’s flat in aroma and taste. The best temp to keep your bottles at is between 45 and 65 degrees (with 55 degrees being considered “perfect”). If you want to store your bottles in the refrigerator, that’s fine for a few months, but the cool temperatures and lack of moisture can dry the corks out and let air into the bottle. The worst place to keep your wine? The garage. Below freezing temperature could cause the wine to expand as it freezes and push the cork out.
Dark Is Good, Too
Cool and dark is the best storage combination. Sunlight in particular can prematurely age the wine, which is why vintners use colored glass bottles. Think of it as UV protection for the wine. Regular light from your house’s lightbulbs probably won’t cause any issue, but it can fade your labels and if you’re a collector, this can be heartbreaking.
Sideways Versus Upright
The reason you always see wine being stored on their sides is to keep the liquid against the cork. In theory, this means the cork won’t get dried out. If your wine isn’t going to be stored for a long period of time, don’t worry about how you’re storing it.
The Best Places to Store Your Bottles
Remember that if you’re planning on drinking your wine within a couple of years of purchase, you can store them any place that’s dark and cool. But if you are wanting to start a collection or you have some bottles you’re saving for a (distant) special occasion, then you’ll want to think about some longer term storage. If you have an area of the house that isn’t very cool, you can always purchase a wine cooling system. According to Vintage Cellars, these units can properly maintain the temperature and humidity of where you’re keeping your collection. These are great for things like empty closets or some other empty storage area. When should you invest in a wine cellar? Consider it if your $1000 cooling unit is less than 25 percent of your wine budget every year.
Making fine wine your hobby can be quite fun. Not only do you get to taste some of the world’s best, but you also get to have something pretty neat to brag to your friends about.