First off, it’s useful to remember that only a small percentage of fine wines in the market benefit from long-term aging. Most wines are best enjoyed within a few years of release. If you’re looking to buy wines to mature, you should really consider investing in professional-grade storage—a totally different ballgame.
For everyone else, however, following a few simple guidelines should keep your wines safe until you’re ready to drink them.
Keep Air Out
A good wine can be easily spoiled by being exposed to excess amounts of air. Exposure causes the wine to oxidize, losing its freshness and creating a foul taste similar to vinegar. As a proper aging method, all wines are bottled with some air to begin with, but it is crucial to make sure the cork stays moist. A moist cork ensures that there is no cracking or shrinking, and thus, no extra air!
Store in Dim Light
Exposure to light should always be kept to a minimum. Keeping your wine stored in a dark place not only ensures cooler, more humid conditions, but prevents UV rays from hitting the bottles and causing an unpleasant aroma.
Maintain the Proper Temperature
The optimal temperature in which to store your wine is right around 13°C; this will work for both red and white wines if you don’t have a dual zone wine cooler. It is also necessary to keep this temperature consistent, because fluctuations, as well as high temperatures will negatively affect your wine.
An easy fix for this is to use a wine cooler, which will also keep all of your bottles visible.
Another factor to keep in mind, closely linked to keeping the proper temperature, is maintaining humidity. The best humidity for wine storage is around 65 – 75%, which should be easy to maintain if you are properly considering your light and temperature factors. The higher humidity also helps to ensure that the wine cork keeps from shrinking.
Limit Vibration to a Minimum
Too much vibration can interfere with the aging process and shake up the sediments.
Keep it Sideways
It is important to make sure the cork and wine are in constant contact with each other. So, along with storing the bottles in a dark, cool place, keep them lying on their side or cork side down to keep the cork from drying out and allowing air to enter through the cork. This ensures that the cork does not dry out thus prohibiting oxygen from seeping in, which quickly spoils the wine.
Keep it corked
There’s been a lot of controversy in the wine world recently debating traditional corking methods versus plastic corks and metal screw tops. What many people don’t understand is how crucial the cork is to the wine.
Traditional cork harvesting methods travel back centuries with countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea flourishing in the cork oak tree. Harvesting cork, believe it or not, does not actually hurt the tree; the bark naturally replenishes itself after being stripped. Along with losing the traditional romance factor, plastic and screw tops lack the ability to let your wine breathe the way a traditional cork permits.
Source: Wine Cooler Direct
Posted by Wines Et Al