Understanding Wine Storage Basics

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Are you thinking about buying some exotic wines? If you’re a wine aficionado who has just bought some pricey wine bottles, it’s time to understand the wine storage basics. The wine bottles that are not meant for immediate consumption should be stored properly. As a wine collector, you need to determine where and how to set up your wine storage area. You must already know that too much heat can harm your wine. Now, you must be wondering what this too much heat is. In simplest words, you’re not supposed to stack the bottles in a closet or sunny corner.

If you want to ensure long-term survival and optimal aging of your wine, it’s crucial to consider some factors before putting your wine away for a year or longer. Wine storage is all about maintaining the perfect temperature, light exposure, and humidity. If any of these factors go wrong, your expensive wine will go bad. Usually, wine collectors choose places like a basement or garage for storing wine. However, a garage might not be the right place if its outer wall receives direct sunlight or if the temperature falls to sub-zero degrees in the winter. Typically, the basement is suitable for wine storage, only if it is not too damp. However, this issue can be solved by placing a dehumidifier.

So, if you are planning long term wine storage, it is best to build a wine cellar. But even if you don’t want to invest in a full-fledged cellar, make sure you consider the following factors while storing wines for the long-term.

Temperature

You might already know this but here’s a quick reminder- always keep wine at a cool place. But cool doesn’t mean freezing temperature. The ideal temperature range is between 45° F and 65° F. A temperature higher than this can cook your wine and below this will interfere with its aging. If there’s no place in your home where this temperature can be achieved, you’ll need to invest in a wine cooler.

Humidity

It is also vital to be mindful of humidity. Similar to temperature, here also avoid extreme conditions. The storage area should be moderately humid- between 55-75% humidity is safe, and 70% is ideal. Too much humidity can cause mold issues while too dry may cause cork shrinkage.

Light

You should choose a dark place for wine storage, away from sunlight. The UV sun rays can make your drinks age faster and impact its taste. Proper lighting plays a crucial role and even prolonged exposure to fluorescent light bulbs can impact the aging process. It’s best to place special low-UV lighting around your wine storage area or cover the wine racks with a cloth to prevent light from reaching the bottles.

Positioning

The position of the wine bottles is another important factor to consider. Wine bottles are stored sideways so that the liquid stays up against the cork. The traditional wooden cork bottles should be stored horizontally because it prevents the corks from drying out and shrinking. Besides this, try to avoid vibrations. Wine bottles should be kept as still as possible. Frequent movements and vibrations can affect the flavor of wine give it a gritty taste.

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