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Wine Storage 101!

As your collection continues to develop so does the cost you have put into it, in my opinion this is an investment like any other, and it needs to be protected. There are several key factors that are essential to your aging collection, if you have as few prized bottles as 6 or have amassed a collection in thousands it is equally important to protect your wine. Although there are several important factors, the most important in my opinion is temperature.  Wine should always be kept at a temperature between 55° F and 65° F (approximately 13° C to 18° C), there are some that may suggest even as low as 45° F but I personally believe that is too cold.  With regards to temperature, do not be concerned about if you have the right temperature, as long as you are within these guidelines you wine will be safe, the most important note regarding temperature is not to put your wine through extreme temperature fluctuations, wine bottles remaining at a constant temperature in storage with not more that 2 or 3 degrees of fluctuation is most ideal.  Secondly, and almost as important as temperature is light, do not store your wine in an area subject to bright light, especially sunlight, this can be very harmful and prematurely age your wine, protection from sunlight is exactly the reason why wineries bottle wine in dark colored bottles, this is a protection mechanism.  Lay your bottles down on their sides so the wine is touching the cork, this will prevent the cork from drying out, this is extremely important for those bottles that are your long term aging partners. Prevent shaking, this is harmful to wine, once you have a secure location do not continually move your bottles around, shaking can speed up the chemical reactions in the wine and alter the long term flavor as well as have an effect on sediment. I will lastly mention humidity, some may argue the contrary, but I believe this is the least important factor in storing your wine, as long as a wine bottle is sealed properly humidity cannot effect the contents of the bottle, between 50%-80% humidity is ideal. It is unlikely even for long term storage that a cork can dry out and allow air into the wine, very few climates are this dry. When it comes to humidity it is worth noting that too low can dry out and cause labels to peel and excessive humidity can cause labels to retain moisture and mold.  This is definitely a topic that will be continued and that will necessitate further discussion, I welcome all feedback and suggestions. More to come in the future on wine cabinet analysis and reviews, the more informed we are about our storage options the more protected our investments are. Happy storage! Alla Salute!

 

Summary:

1. Temperature – Keep it consistent (55° F and 65° F or 13° C to 18° C)

2. Light – Protect your bottles from light, especially sunlight

3. Horizontal Storage – Let the wine touch the cork

4. Shaking – Prevent movement and extreme shaking

5. Humidity – Keep it constistent, it is a less remote concern but a concern nonetheless

*Unrelated to protection but a storage tip I have learned: label your wines with a small labelling sticker around the neck of the bottle, I include the drinking year range (i.e. – 2020-2032) and the score of the wine.

 

Links of suitable storage cabinets:

http://www.vinotheque.com/

http://www.lecachewinecabinets.com/

2 thoughts on “Wine Storage 101!

  1. Mike, what do you think about some European winemakers’ habit to rotate the aging bottles from time to time? They are saved horizontally, with the liquid drowning the cork, but the winemakers used to rotate the bottles on its longitudinal axis.

    1. Rafael, rotating the inventory is completely fine, the least amount of vibration in the movement process the better. As long as the wines are not shaken, the air gap, or ullage, should not stir up the wine.

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