How to Store Wine?

By | February 27, 2015

Introduction

The storing of wine is certainly not a simple thing and thus should not be taken lightly. In this article you will find wine storageinformation about the storage of wine, what to look at, what you can do and what you cannot do in order to best preserve wines and most importantly how. This is true for everybody who wants to store wine and especially for the professional. As a collector of wines it is of course very important to know how to keep your collection, as you do not want your wine to change into vinegar! So read on and I will help you discovering how to store wine best.

Some background

Wine is often purchased on impulse. If a particular wine is on a discounted sale people often immediately buy in great quantities and store them. This is not really sensible, as you should never buy so many wines without having tasted one. Moreover for you or your guests it may sometimes be fun to try a different wine (something special). Go on an adventure and regularly try a different wine, an old or expensive one or a wine from a different grape to what you drink normally.

 There are still lots of people who think that every wine gets better as the wine is aged. Nothing is less true! Most wines (certainly more than three quarters of the annual world production) are meant to be drunk within a maximum of 4 to 5 years. Only a small percentage of wines can be kept longer. This must be done under suitable circumstances; otherwise it is a waste of wine, time and money.

Not every place is suitable for the storage of wine!

It is important that the room is not too dry and not too hot and definitely is draft free, dark and vibration free. I will go over each one of these aspects.

Storage temperature

In a good wine cellar, the temperature is between 10 and 12 degrees C. This is an average, slightly higher or lower wine storage temperaturemay be, but you should definitely avoid any abrupt changes in temperature. Make sure that the wine is never below 0 or above the 25 degrees C. This can have fatal consequences for the wine. At higher temperatures, the wine will expand somewhat, so that the cork has a tendency to slide out of the bottle neck. This can cause fatal oxidative phenomena. Wines that are constantly preserved warm (but not above 25 degrees), will develop faster at best, but that way they will never achieve the complexity that they otherwise would have achieved at the right temperature. In addition, a wine will sooner be on its peak and then quickly deteriorate.

At low temperatures, the wines will also develop less well. Some white wines can have tartaric acid deposition at low temperatures. This – incidentally, completely harmless – phenomenon reduces the freshness of the wine. The wines can be stored for a shorter period as well.

Humidity

Extremely important is that the bottles are to be stored lying, so that the cork cannot dry out. This would lead to oxidation and eventual loss of the wine. The ambient air should not be too dry, because the wine will evaporate through the cork, which also leads to oxidation. The air should also not be too moist, in connection with any mould. The musty smell in that case rapidly penetrates the cork. You can influence the humidity by putting some gravel or sand on the ground. You can also use specially developed waterproof wall coatings.

Nowadays a lot of bottles, especially from the new world countries, do not use corks but plastic screw caps instead. In this case the humidity problem does not exist any more.

Draughts

A draught is something completely different from ventilation. A proper storage must be well ventilated. Wines that are in a draughty area tend not to develop properly. You could say that the wine develops a ‘cold’ and will not recover any more. This happens often in (bad) restaurants: wines are kept indoors in large racks, often caught between the front door (draughts) and the kitchen (warm and vapours). In these circumstances, each wine will deteriorate.

Vibrations

Wine that is to be preserved for a long time must be able to rest. Only then the wine can develop fully. Large and definitely old wines are very sensitive to vibrations. Next to a busy road or rail you should not keep expensive wines. Also not under the stairs, as so many people do. It is also affects your ordinary wines that will take you for a vacation or any trip. A long journey, especially in summer or winter, is a real abuse of wine. So let them rest for a few weeks after the trip before you open them.

Light

wine and lightLight can be dangerous to your wine. Because of the influence of UV-radiation the chemical composition of the wine may change. Light (sun or artificial light) mainly affects the polyphenols, which determine the colour of the wine. These will dissolve and the colour will change. The flavour is negatively affected. The wine would have a ‘light’ taste. Therefore never buy a wine that stood near the shop’s window or even worse in the window. Also never buy a wine that was located under a fluorescent tube or a bright spot light. Always choose a bottle that has been lying in the dark. So when purchasing wine at stores, pay some attention to where the wine was stored.

Smells

This component is very often overlooked. You should avoid strong smelling substances or products to be in your storage room or close to it. E.g. do not store potatoes or onions in the same basement as where you store your wines. The smell of the potatoes and onions will draw into the wine, and will certainly be noticed when tasting. Also note if you paint near your wine storage room (over a longer time) even the smell of the paint could pull in the wine.

Recommendation

Nowadays a lot of houses are being built without paying much attention to cellars and many houses do not even havewine cooler a cellar or the right kind of cellar. A very good alternative to building or having and maintaining a wine cellar is the use of a wine cooler cabinet. If you want to build a stock of fine wines, but not necessarily need wines to store for five to ten years or more, then a cooler cabinet can certainly help. These cabinets are most similar to a refrigerator, although with a glass door. The advantage of these cabinets is that the wines not only remain on storage temperature, but they can also be set to serving temperature. Your wine is always at the right temperature! See wine cooler reviews here.

Great wines, kept in good conditions, can develop up to unprecedented levels.

In red wines, the colour slowly changes from purple to red tile, with an orange twist. Depending on the original colour intensity of the young wine, the colour of an old wine will vary from orange-brown to reddish brown.

In contrast white wines gain in colour with age and tend to turn gold, golden-brown or amber colour. If you are buying wines for long storage, with higher quality and therefore more expensive wines, you should regularly check how they develop. Consulting a good wine magazine, website etc. can be of great importance. Sometimes the wines develop surprisingly well or bad. You should open a bottle regularly to check the development of your wines.

On this site I like to give you access to the great Chardonnays. Find some excellent ones plus reviews in the category product reviews or click on the three images on the right hand side (for mobile users just under this text) to find a list of world best Chardonnays. Chose the market that you are located in, so that delivery can take place.

If you have any comment or questions, please feel free to leave them on my site and I will be back to you within 24 hours.

8 thoughts on “How to Store Wine?

  1. Sam Li

    I like the fact you shared about new world countries not using corks but plastic screw caps instead on wine. Storing wine is vital to the preservation of the wine’s quality. If I were to store mass amounts of wine, I would work with a professional service in order to give me the proper guidance.

    Reply
    1. Jerry Post author

      I am glad I could be of help. Wine covered with a cap can be stored standing upright, as it will stay airtight.

      Reply
  2. Christina

    I do believe that all that you say is true. But I have always been curious about wine tasters. How many people can actually taste the difference between the effected wine and the good ones all else being comparable?

    Reply
    1. Jerry Post author

      Everything in my post was indeed researched and double checked. After all I like to be of good help to people who like their wines, but are interested to know a little bit more of what they are actually drinking. If I go by myself, I taste a difference in virtually every type of wine I drink, although I would not be able to tell you all about it. There are people who can tell you which grape, the region it came from and sometimes even the vintage. For you and me this is not necessary, because each one of us develops their own taste. A cheap wine is not necessarily bad and an expensive wine does not always have to be to your taste. In the end it is what you like and not what everybody says you should like. In fact this is exactly why I am developing this website, just for people who like their wines, in particular Chardonnays, but who like to find as many a good wines as they can, simply because there are so many! Please let me know if my response was on the mark! You can see my reviews on Californian and Australian Chardonnays. Cheers, Jerry.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.