For hundred of years, wine has been stored in underground cellars because the perfect conditions can be met: cool, dark, humidity and ambient.
Remember that only a few wines will be at their best after a long-term aging; mostly of the wines that you can buy are better enjoyed after a few years from the release.
Here are a few guidelines to keep them in good shape until you’re ready to enjoy them!
- a wine needs the optimal temperature, heat is a big enemy for wine. Too hot: aging would be too fast and flavors would be cooked; too cold: aromas and texture could be lost. The ideal temperature range is between 45º F (7º C) and 65º F (18 Cº). It should be constant, fluctuation in temperature would ruin the cork.
- a wrong humidity could damage a bottle of wine: it is perfect between 50 percent and 80 percent. Too dry could seriously ruin the cork causing accelerated aging and potential oxydation. Keeping the bottles on their side will keep the cork moist, in constant contact with the wine. If the cork shrinks, oxygen can attact the bottle oxidizing the wine.
- keep it dark: colored wine bottles have UV filters incorporated, they’re like sunglasses, but remember that every kind of light could cause premature aging.
- having the bottle with the label facing up: this will allow you to see it easily without damaging the label and to avoid flipping the bottle. All the sediments will form on one side: looking at that will reveal the storage conditions and if decanting is necessary.
What are the best places if you don’t have a wine cellar, a wine refrigerator in your home or a basement? Avoid kitchen and laundry: maybe you have a vacant, dark and cold storage area in your home that could be used for storing wine on a wood rack!
Storing wine is easy: just keep it cool, dark and sideways!