1. Identify the strain of grape in your wine to determine the proper length of aging.
• Red Bordeaux: 5 to 20 years (fruity, oaky).
• Cabernet Sauvignon: 5 to 15 years (mild to hearty).
• Merlot: 2 to 8 years (mellow, compliant).
• Barolo: 5 to 10 years (thick, complex, flowery).
• Chianti: 0 to 7 years (strong, bold, fruity).
• Pinot Noir: 0 to 5 years (more complex, less fruity).
• Shiraz/Syrah: 5 to 12 years (peppery, berry/plum).
• Red Zinfandel: 5 to 10 years (fruity, spicy).
• Vintage Port: 10 to 20 years or more (rich, sweet).
• Red Rioja: 4 to 10 years (bold, berry taste).
2. Store red wine for aging.
3. Lay the wine bottles on their sides (a sturdy wine rack works best) in a wine cellar or basement in cool temperatures at a steady 55 to 65 degrees F (12.79 to 18.36 degrees C).
• If you do not have a basement or cellar there are many specialized refrigeration units for wine on the market that will maintain your investment and do all the work for you.
• Keeping the temperature at a constant is crucial to slowing down the aging process.
• Extreme changes in the core temperatures will expand and contract the wine which will push or pull on the cork, resulting in oxygen entering, thus spoiling the wine.
• Keep a digital air thermometer on hand to monitor the temperature.