Are you someone who likes to unwind at the end of the day with a nice glass of vinegar? Chances are that your answer to that question was a shocked and wide-eyed "Absolutely not!" But that is what you just might end up doing if you don't store your wine properly.
If you're a regular wine lover, you probably buy a few bottles of wine each shopping trip. And if your storage isn't adequate, your wine will go bad fast.
And before you respond and say you're "aging" your wine, here's something you may not know: most store-bought wines aren't meant to be aged. They have an expiration date, and that date can come quicker with bad storage.
Temperature and lighting are essential to appropriate wine storage. If you want to keep your wine from going sour, you'll want to keep it in a cool dark place.
If you wine enthusiasts want to maintain your wine's delicious flavor, read on and learn everything you need to know about proper wine storage.
A Cool Dark Place Is Key
Heat and light are the prime factors in spoiling your wine. Binwise says that light and temperature negatively change the wine's chemical compound. Specifically, sulfurous compounds form in wine more quickly with heat and light exposure, causing a foul odor and a sour taste.
This is why you need to keep your wine in a cool, dark place. While wine expert Scott Jones tells HGTV one should not obsess over temperatures, the wine should still be kept between 50 to 70 degrees.
Wine Storage Rules And Methods
There are several ways to store wine at its proper lighting and temperature standards. However, they are going to differ due to a number of factors. For one thing, if you live in a hot area without air conditioning, you won't be able to store your wine at room temperature.
Other factors include wine types. There are different ideals between red wine and white wine storage temperature. So that must be kept in mind as you choose a wine storage method.
With that in mind, you have plenty of options available to store your wine and keep it tasty. Let's take a look at a few of them.
Wine Storage Racks
This isn't so much a method as it is a rule. Or at least a serious recommendation. Regardless of where you place it, which we will get momentarily, you should store your wine horizontally on a wine rack.
Storing your wine bottles vertically will eventually cause the cork to dry out and shrink, allowing unwanted oxygen into the bottle. Horizontally, the liquid continues to touch the cork keeping it moist.
Wine Storage Closets or Cellars
Now that you know that you want your wine stored horizontally, you'll want to decide where to store that rack. If you only need eight to ten bottles at a time, you can probably just store your rack in a cabinet or even on a counter if there's no light exposure. But if you are a serious collector, you may want to consider building a wine cellar or closet.
These are walk-in closets or even entire rooms with several racks for storing large quantities of wine bottles. These racks are often built on the walls, with rack-style shelves around the area as well.
This is a great option if you are a serious collector, and it should prevent unwanted light. However, make sure the area is well ventilated for an ideal temperature. And also make sure you have a rotation system, as most store-bought wines usually expire in one to two years.
Another option for storing your wine is to use a wine fridge. These fridges are made to keep your wine at a low temperature, which is great for homes within hot climates with minimal ventilation These are also excellent for white wine storage, as white wine should be kept at a chilled temperature.
That said, wine fridges are dry and humid, which can dry out the cork. Granted, the horizontal storage should have the wine moisturizing the cork. Still, it is better to not store wine bottles in fridges for more than two weeks.
More Wine Storage Ideas And Tools
So now you know a lot more about long-term wine bottle storage. However, there are more factors you should think about when it comes to wine storage. Such factors include how to store an open bottle, how long that open bottle can stay out, and even wine glass storage.
Thankfully, there are tons of tools that can help with these issues. You can use a wine thermometer to ensure that the wine is at the ideal temperature before you pour a glass. If you see it's getting too high, you can store it in your fridge for a while. As long as that open bottle is kept at the right temperature, it should last for one to two days.
Also, be mindful of wine glass storage. Wine glasses are typically very fragile, so they should have some distance between them to prevent chips or cracks. And store them upside down to keep dust from getting into them.
And just as a side note, as you collect more wines, consider collecting more glasses as well. Different glasses are ideal for different wines. For example, larger bowled glasses are good for letting red wine breathe while chilled white wine should be kept in a thinner glass to maintain a crisp flavor.
More Tips For The Wine Connoisseur
Now that you know how to properly store your wine, you're bound to have a much more pleasant drinking experience. Follow all of these tips, and you won't be drinking vinegar.
To further enhance your wine knowledge and drinking experience our blog has insightful articles on subjects including wine origins and paring guides. We also offer accessories such as thermometers and aerators to help maintain wine temperature and enhance its flavor. On behalf of our hardworking lab techs, I'd like to welcome you to the Cork Genius family; explore and enjoy!
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