How to Store Your Wine Collection Like a Pro
Wine is among the few agricultural products you can safely store for years and even decades. Wine has an incredibly long shelf life, but just like any food and drink, it can go bad if you don’t take care of it.
Knowing how to store your wine collection is the difference between enjoying your favorite wine in its prime and accelerating its decay. So, how do you store wine properly? Here’s what you need to know about wine storage, including tips and best practices. Wine can only show its best if you take care of it first.
Why Does Proper Wine Storage Matter?
Wine’s worst enemies are direct light, heat, movement, and oxygen. Light will damage the wine at a molecular level, changing its profile. Heat will accelerate its evolution. Movement accelerates the chemical changes in the wine, and oxygen oxidizes it, changing its color and aroma. Storing wine is all about protecting it from these elements.
Storing wine incorrectly can be costly, especially if you’ve assembled a fine wine collection. However, even inexpensive wine bottles benefit from correct storage conditions. How susceptible is wine? And is there anything we can do about it? Here are some best practices for storing any type of wine.
Tips for Properly Storing Wine Bottles
- Store wine in a dark or dim-lit place, away from sunlight and fluorescent light.
- Store wine bottles horizontally to prevent the cork from drying. Dry corks allow air to permeate the bottle.
- Store wine in a cool place. Too cold, and the wine will evolve slowly. Too warm, and you’ll accelerate the wine’s evolution. Any temperature between 10-16°C (50-60°F) is ideal.
- Protect your wine collection from heat sources, like radiators. Isolate the cellar if possible.
- Don’t use strong-smelling chemicals near your wine collection since corks are porous, and chemical scents can taint the wine.
- Prevent excessive movement or vibration.
- Store open bottles in the fridge for a few days after opening, ideally using a vacuum pump and a tight stopper.
Should Different Types of Wine Be Stored Differently?
For long-term wine storage, there’s little difference between wine styles. All wines will evolve nicely by following the tips above. However, keep in mind that less than 5% of wine is meant to age.
Most white wine and rosé are best enjoyed immediately and up to three years after the vintage. Red wines are more resilient, and you can still expect the wine to be in good shape at the five-year mark. Only concentrated wines meant to age will evolve for years and decades, and you know what these wines are. They’re often the most famous and expensive labels.
For the long term, store all wines at an average cool temperature. However, if you’re planning on opening the wine soon, you’ll want to store it closer to its ideal service temperature: between 4-10°C (39-50°F) for white, rosé, and sparkling wines and between 10-16°C (50-60°F) for red wines.
Wine Storage Equipment & Accessories
Storing wine properly involves more than keeping it safe from the elements. Storing wine orderly is essential too, not only for the aesthetics but for your own sake. Here’s where wine storage and equipment come in handy.
You might only need a few racks if you have a dedicated cellar at home. However, wine refrigerators and coolers are a good alternative for most wine enthusiasts. Wine fridges and other storage solutions come in all sizes, so consider your wine habits before purchasing.If you plan on storing wine on the go, explore Grassl’s wine storage solutions, including the extraordinary Grassl Voyage Wine Glass Travel Case. Traveling with wine is one thing, but traveling with the proper stemware is something else entirely. It’s best to be prepared.