So you went out wine tasting and splurged on a couple bottles. You’ve decided to save them for a special occasion in the future. How do you properly store them until you’re ready to pop the corks?
By following these simple guidelines, your wine will taste great when you decide to drink it.
1. Keep your wine stored in a place that doesn’t get a lot of light.
2. If your wine bottles have corks, store them on their sides (or even upside-down) so the corks are in contact with the wine and don’t dry out.
3. Wine wants to be as still as possible so plan to keep your bottles in an area without any vibrations or where you’ll need to move it often.
4. Wine is in its happy place at about 55ºF but if you haven’t got a spot that stays quite that cool, find someplace with a consistent temperature. Drastic temperature changes can be a wine’s worst enemy.
5. To prevent the corks from drying out, store your wines in a location with higher humidity.
A few Wine Don’ts:
Don’t store wine beside anything smelly (like a half empty gas container)– those pungent odors will leach through the cork and into the wine.
Don’t let your wine bottles get moldy– that mold can also seep through the cork and taint your wine.
Don’t forget to take inventory of your wines– there’s nothing worse than realizing you kept a wine for too long and should have enjoyed it much sooner.
A note on white wines
When you fall in love with a special bottle of white wine, find out if it can be aged. Some winemakers produce white wines that can be cellared for years, while others should really be consumed within a year of bottling.
A note on red wines
Don’t assume that bottle of red wine is meant to be cellared for too long either. Many red wines on the lower end of the price scale are intended to be enjoyed young. If you’re buying from a winery tasting room or wine shop, the staff should be able to tell you the wine’s peak drinkability. Otherwise, visit the winery’s website for more information. If you’re using an app or online cellar tracking inventory system, other users may have already added tasting notes and additional comments about the wines you own.
Portable wine refrigerators are becoming more common, available at big box and thrift stores these days. From 7 bottles to 600 bottles, there are many storage possibilities no matter how large your collection. A word of advice– if you plan to get serious about wine, buy the largest unit you can afford, even if it seems a bit extravagant. If your love of wine continues, you’ll soon fill the refrigerator! Why not buy something you can grow into?
If your wine storage space isn’t up to snuff for your precious bottles, consider a wine storage facility. This option is also good when you can’t trust yourself with those tempting bottles. Here in Portland we have a number of conveniently located storage facilities that offer both wine lockers and cellar rooms, depending on your budget and how much wine you own.
No matter if your collection is small or large, be a good steward of your wines until you enjoy them. The winemaker went to great lengths in producing that bottle of wine. And a properly stored wine should reward your efforts with wonderful aromas and flavors when you decide the time is right to drink it.