Wine Storage: Dont Make These 3 Mistakes

Several years ago, my wife and I began collecting wine from our U.S. wine trails adventures. At first, we used our basement to store the wine, graduating to a handsome wine rack a few years later. Only after a few bottles didn't meet our taste expectations did we learn the importance of proper wine storage.

A few years ago, we brought home a few bottles of wine we'd thoroughly enjoyed at a New Mexico winery. We stored the wine and a few months later decided to serve it at a dinner party with some friends. To our disappointment, the wine tasted nothing like we'd remembered. After a few apologies and some investigation the next day, we discovered we'd stored the wine improperly.

Improper Humidity Affects Taste

While I hate humidity, a stored bottle of wine requires moderately high humidity to maintain its taste. We stored our wine in a very dry area of our home, which accounted for the uneven taste of the bottle of white we served our guests. If you're storing wine, aim for 50% to 70% humidity levels. Wine cellars have humidity controls built in, so if a wine cellar is your storage choice, you'll be fine.

Proper Temperature

Extreme temperatures are an enemy to wine, whether it's too hot or too cold. Wine is best stored at 55 to 57 degrees. A good wine cellar takes temperature levels into consideration and even allows you to arrange different temperature zones for specific storage needs. Also, air circulating fans should be designed into wine cellars to help maintain a constant temperature and humidity level.

The Less Light The Better

Infiltrating light is the last of wine's big three enemies. Always keep your wines away from excess sunlight. Even wines in dark colored bottles should not be exposed to direct sunlight as in addition to the ultraviolet rays, sunlight affects the internal bottle temperature. Make absolutely sure your wine cellar or other storage area has minimal light, especially if you're storing white wine or sensitive red varieties.

Other Tips

Believe it or not, vibration is another enemy of stored wine, so keep your wine storage area as vibration free as possible. A lower traffic area is always better, as vibration will tend to be less. We learned long ago that when bringing home wine from our U.S. wine trail trips, store the wine within the car vs. the trunk. Temperature and vibration conditions are much worse in the trunk.

The keys to proper wine storage are optimal temperature, humidity, and low light conditions. As you become more interested in wine, you'll find that attention to these details will enhance the wine's taste and your ultimate enjoyment of your purchase. Cheers!

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Wine Guide:
Wine Storage Cellars Red Wine Temperature Storage
About The Author, Jimhofman