If you’ve visited my website before, you will know that I’m an avid lover of wine and wine collecting. However, I haven’t stopped my journey in the search for the perfect way to keep this delicious beverage, and due to some recent research I thought it would be a good idea to give you some information on if you should or shouldn’t store your wine.
You may think this odd since there are plenty of reviews here about wine coolers and how they can benefit both wine drinkers and collectors alike. But you should know I’m here to share with you all the information I come across, and I think this can help you on your journey too.
To Store or Not to Store
Well, that’s the question isn’t it! The fact is that many wines both red and white are mass produced, and these brands are definitely made for drinking.
It’s simple when you think about it. What’s the point in a winery producing millions of bottles if it’s not going to be consumed for several years? There isn’t any.
So, as a rule of thumb think about this. If the bottle you’ve just bought is on the cheaper side the chances are it’s better off being opened than sitting in a wine cooler for years. In fact, (and this stands more for whites than reds) you could be doing the wine damage by storing it away!
Aside from price, you should also be aware of the type of grape the wine is made from. For instance a tannic grape is one that should be kept away from uneducated handlers of corkscrews. Reds such as Burgundy, Bordeaux and Barolo are normally made from this type of grape, so these will benefit from aging for a few years.
Some Tips on Storing
It doesn’t matter if you’ve bought a bottle of wine that won’t benefit from being “aged”, it still needs looking after if you’re going to get the best from it. So below are some tips that will help you do just that.
- If the bottle has a cork, it should be stored on its side. This keeps the cork moist. If it dries out (and this can happen pretty quickly), the cork will shrink, causing something called “oxidation” (air getting at the liquid inside). The overall result is poor tasting wine and you could even end up with it evaporating.
- Temperature is something to think about as well. Scattered about my website, you will find all sorts of information on the best temperatures for various different wines, but the overall point is to make sure the temperature is constant. Fluctuating temperatures can do the same to the cork as mentioned above.
- Light and humidity are potential hazards for your wine and these can also cause oxidation.
- Lastly, vibration can be an issue, especially with reds. If the sediment is constantly disturbed the wine inside won’t get the chance to settle and this also causes oxidation.
What to Do
If you don’t intend on ageing the wines you buy, look for a place in your home that’s dark, has a constant temperature and is free from humidity. This may sound like the hardest thing in the world to do without the aid of a wine cooler, however your basement is a good place and will keep cheaper wines at their best for a year or two. You could also opt for a dark closet that isn’t used very often (remember vibration).
If you’re thinking about using your fridge then don’t store wine here for more than a week. Fridges will keep wine at too low a temperature, and will dull the taste. Plus, you have to think about strong odors such as onions or garlic that can get to the wine, which certainly won’t help the taste!
Whilst there are things you can do for short term storage, if you intend to keep a few bottles of the “special stuff” for ageing, the only way to make sure it’s properly stored is by using a wine cooler.