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How to Store Wines


Anyone with a few bottles of wine at home can benefit from these easy-to-follow guidelines on how to store wine.

1. Keep it Cool

Ideal wine storage temperature is around 55°F, heat will wreak a bottle of wine. Consistency in the temperature is important, as dramatic temperature fluctuations could negatively affect a stored bottle of wine. Avoid storing in the fridge, as the temperature is usually below 45°F.

2. Store it in the Dark

Consistent direct light can degrade the flavor of the wine, and cause premature aging. White wines are more sensitive to light, but red wines will too be affected. Most colored glass bottles act as filters, but this does not offer full UV protection.

3. Keep it Still

For whatever reason, the top of the refrigerator seems to be one of those places that people naturally tend to keep their wine. This is one of the worst places to keep wine. First there’s the heat and the direct light, then there’s the risk of losing bottles out of the rack every time the fridge is opened and closed, but there’s also the vibration from the refrigerator itself. The constant vibration of the refrigerator or other major appliances in close proximity just agitates the wine and can keep the sediment from settling in a red wine. Constant or consistent vibration will wreck a wine.

4. Store it Sideways

By intentionally storing a wine on its side, you will help keep the cork in constant contact with the wine. This will keep the cork moist, which should keep the cork from shrinking and allowing the enemy of wine, oxygen, to seep into the bottle. When oxygen comes into contact with wine the result is not good – the wine starts to oxidize (think brown apple) and the aromas, flavors and color all begin to spoil.

Other options:

Wine coolers, wine storage units. While most of us don’t have on-site rock wall, wine caves or underground cellar accommodations for our favorite wines, there are plenty of options to mimic these conditions. Since, light and heat destroy wine in very little time, make sure to protect your bottles from both by finding a cool, dark spot to safeguard your wine. Basements are ideal storage facilities – since they typically meet the cool and dark requirements. If a basement is not an option, then just keep the bottles in a cool closet. Or if you want to be more intentional with these prime storing conditions then consider one of the many wine refrigerator or wine storage cabinets on the market.
Storing wine can be easy, just remember to keep it cool, dark, still and sideways and you’ll find that you can successfully store wine for both the short and long term with confidence.

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