Wine Storage: Do’s and Don’ts [According to the Experts]

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Wine storage seems to be a topic that many wine drinkers know little about or its reasoning. 

Wine Storage Do's and Don'ts

The truth is that storing your wine properly will not only help you preserve its flavor and aroma but can also help extend its lifespan. 

There is also a saying that the older the wines are, the better they become. Aging actually keeps the wine in better stead, but there is a possibility that it could get spoiled with careless exposure to contamination.

 Especially wines are bound to be preserved for a long time; a careful method of storing them actually prolongs their life and evades the risk of spoilage. 

Wines also come with a natural flavor and odor that is perfect for people to get boozy. However, the longer you keep or expose it to the risk of contamination, the freshness it owns goes for a toss. 

Hence, being a little cautious about how you store wine can go a long way in maintaining its originality. 

Good wine can last many years past the purchase date when stored correctly. There are a few key factors to consider when choosing the right storage for your wine. This article will review some useful tips to help you properly store your wine.

Make Sure Bottles Are Stored Safely And Correctly

wine storage

Whether the wine is stored horizontally or vertically, wine bottles should always be stored with the wine label facing upwards. 

When wine bottles are stored upside down, wine can collect on the sides of the wine bottle, which may cause wine corks to absorb wine tannins that can cause wine corks to weaken over time. 

This weakening of wine corks can allow the wine to leak or even let air into wine bottles which may lead to wine spoilage.

When it comes to wine racks, it’s important to make sure wine bottles are well-supported so they will not be damaged if wine racks are moved. 

In most cases, the best wine racks are made of metal or wood, either welded or screwed together. Also, the pieces should be sturdy enough to support the weight of full wine bottles without bowing under pressure. 

Avoid Temperature Fluctuations

avoid fluctuations

The ideal temperature for storing white wine is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for red wine is a bit warmer, at around 60 to 65 degrees. 

As you can see by the range, both types of wine should be stored somewhere close to a constant temperature. The wine should not be exposed to direct sunlight or moved quickly from one area to another. 

Rapid fluctuations in temperature can have a damaging effect that can lead to changes in wine taste and aroma or even cause wine bottles to break, and thus should be avoided at all costs. 

If you are storing wine for long periods, make sure that the room you choose can hold wine at the ideal temperature range.

Avoid Exposure To Light

avoid exposure

Light exposure is another factor that can dramatically affect wine, especially white wine, which tends to be more delicate in flavor and aroma. 

When wine is exposed to light, it causes wine bottle chemicals called tannins that give the wine its color and body and compounds called anthocyanins, which help create wine’s rich red colors and bold aromas. 

Light exposure can lead these chemicals to react together, creating the chemical compound hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide gives the wine a “stale” or “corked” smell and taste, though the naked eye cannot see it. 

The effects of hydrogen sulfide are usually not noticeable until long periods of light exposure, so it’s important to store wine properly. 

Use Wine Bottle Stoppers

wine bottle stopper

When stored properly, white and red wines can last up to two weeks after opening, but if you plan to store them for longer periods, wine bottle stoppers are a must-have. 

Wine bottle stoppers prevent the oxidation process that can lead to spoiled wines due to exposure to air.

There are many different kinds of wine bottle corks, including cork, rubber, and plastic, each with unique properties, so it’s important to research which ones will work best for your individual needs. 

When using a cork wine bottle, stoppers must be wet before placing them in the bottle, so they’re pliable enough to insert.

Keep It In A Cleaner Place

keep it in clean place

Storing the wine bottle has its own intricacies and protocols. Since wines are generally meant for long storage times, they actually come in sturdy bottles that withstand temperature fluctuations. 

However, it must be positioned away from contamination-prone products since the spoilage could be instant. 

Keeping it in an unsanitary place might lead to the risk of wine being affected or inundated with bacteria affecting the sanctity of the drink. 

Since it has been stored for a longer time, the access for the wine to get spoiled with a mere touch is more. Hence, handling it well or even keeping it away from dirt-filled places could prolong its shelf life and keep it fresh for days together.

Make Sure It Is Corked Properly

cork it properly

This seems to be a trifling point, but keeping the wine fresher for a considerable amount of time is very important. People tend to uncork the wine when using it and not cork it properly due to some emergency. 

They would just place the cork above and forget to lock it airtight. This will lead to the wine easily exposing to air or even any temperature fluctuations. 

The wine could also lose its punchy flavor, and all the odor it had when it was fresh would vanish. There is also a slight chance for evaporation of the liquid or the wine being melted. 

Hence corking it properly after its usage deems significant when you value its lifetime longer than its purchase date. 

Don’t Store Wine In Refrigerators

store it in fridge

While storing wine in your refrigerator may be tempting, it’s not a good idea for many reasons. 

First, when you place wine bottles in the refrigerator, they are exposed to temperature fluctuations, leading to hydrogen sulfide and other chemical reactions such as cork degradation. 

Second, when you take white and rose wines out of refrigeration, you need to bring them up to room temperature to ensure that their taste and aroma haven’t been altered by refrigeration. 

If white wines have been stored in a refrigerator for too long, they will need anywhere from 30 minutes up to an hour for every hour they were stored in the refrigerator to allow these temperature changes.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a casual wine drinker or a connoisseur, it’s important to take proper care of your wines.

Keeping wine stored properly is crucial for its delicious taste and complex flavors. 

Knowing the best places and storage conditions, you’ll enjoy your favorite wines for years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should you avoid temperature fluctuations while storing wine?

The ideal temperature for storing white wine is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for red wine is a bit warmer, at around 60 to 65 degrees. Rapid fluctuations in temperature can have a damaging effect that can lead to changes in wine taste and aroma or even cause wine bottles to break, and thus should be avoided at all costs.

Why should you avoid exposure to light while storing wine?

Light exposure is another factor that can dramatically affect wine, especially white wine, which tends to be more delicate in flavor and aroma. 
When wine is exposed to light, it causes wine bottle chemicals called tannins that give the wine its color and body and compounds called anthocyanins, which help create wine’s rich red colors and bold aromas. 

Why should you use wine bottle stoppers?

When stored properly, white and red wines can last up to two weeks after opening, but if you plan to store them for longer periods, wine bottle stoppers are a must-have. Wine bottle stoppers prevent the oxidation process that can lead to spoiled wines due to exposure to air. There are many different kinds of wine bottle corks, including cork, rubber, and plastic, each with unique properties, so it’s important to research which ones will work best for your individual needs. 

Why should you not store wine in refrigerators?

First, when you place wine bottles in the refrigerator, they are exposed to temperature fluctuations, leading to hydrogen sulfide and other chemical reactions such as cork degradation. Second, when you take white and rose wines out of refrigeration, you need to bring them up to room temperature to ensure that their taste and aroma haven’t been altered by refrigeration. 

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