Storing wine has been a tradition practiced by humans for nearly 8,000 years. In that span of time, those who stored wine did so for different reasons. Whether it was for spiritual reasons, as practiced by the ancient Greeks, or solely for its taste, the methods used in saving wine have been well developed over many generations.
Today, in most cases, wine lovers either want to store their wine so that it can age further or they are saving it for a special event. No matter the reason, specific considerations should be adhered to when storing wine for a prolonged period. This article is intended to provide you with some tips on how to store wine.
The Best Environment For Wine
Since the entire process, from its production, bottling, and the aging involves delicate chemical reactions, it is imperative that your wine is stored in nearly perfect conditions. If you do not have a place in your home adequate for wine storage, it is a good idea to find a storage unit that can provide the right conditions for your wine. Below are some environmental conditions best suited for storing wines.
- No fluorescent fixtures and no direct sunlight. This is because the ultraviolet light will penetrate the bottles and cause degradation of the wine.
- A temperature that does not exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit, while 54 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
- Temperatures should be as consistent as possible. Fluctuations in temperature cause the wine to over breath which leads to premature aging.
- Humidity of approximately 70 percent. Low moisture will lead to the cork drying up. Overly humid conditions lead to the cork rotting.
- Proper ventilation and no sharp or musty smells. Since wine breaths as it ages, it will breathe and absorb whatever smells its around.
- Try your best to store wine in a place where only wine is stored.
The Best Handling Methods For Storing Wine
As mentioned above, the taste of wine is achieved through a series of chemical reactions taking place during the fermenting and aging processes. As with any process involving chemical reactions, wines must be stored in areas that are conducive to preserving it. Likewise, wines must also be handled and saved in places that will not disturb the process. Below are some things to consider.
- Store wines in a place that will not require you to move it again until you are ready to drink it.
- Avoid storing your wines in a place that has vibrations.
- Always store wine on its side rather than upright, as the cork will dry and air will contaminate the wine.
- Be sure to store the wine with the label up so you can easily see the sediments.
- Store your wine for the correct amount of time. Low quality and inexpensive wines will not age, so there is no suggested time frame for them. Red wines can be drank after two to 10 years of aging. White wines, on the other hand, should be drank within two to three years of aging.
Best Serving Temperatures By Wine
When the exciting time has come to pop the cork on your bottle of wine, it is a good thing to remember that serving the wine at the correct temperature is as important as anything else. Below is a list of wine types and their best serving temperatures.
- Deep red wines: 59 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit
- Light red wine: A consistent 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Blush rose and dry white wines: 46 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sparkling wines and champagnes: 43 to 47 degrees Fahrenheit
In conclusion, if you are new to storing and aging wines, there is a lot to consider when looking for the perfect place to store your bottles. Everything from temperature fluctuations to small vibrations caused by passing traffic can ruin an excellent bottle of wine before you can enjoy it. Before you start the storing/aging process, be sure to know what kind of wine it is and what is required to provide it with the ideal environment for its aging process.