If you plan on drinking your wine within a few days after purchasing it, simply keeping it in your refrigerator will work just fine. However, if you are going to age your wine or if you are starting a collection, you will need to know how to store wine properly in order to protect your investment and on this page we will give you some tips on exactly how to do that.
Keep Your Wine Cool, But Not Too Cool
If your wine gets too warm, bad things start to happen. Once the temperature reaches 70°F, wine will start to age more quickly than it should and if the temperature gets too warm, the wine will lose its flavor and aroma. The temperature that is agreed upon by most people to be as close to perfect as possible is 55°F although a range of 45 to 65° will suffice for most wines.
Some wine experts warn against keeping wine too cool. A lot of people simply store wine in their refrigerators and that is fine if you are going to be drinking the wine soon. However, if you are keeping wine in your refrigerator, the temperature inside the refrigerator will fall below 45° on a fairly regular basis and low humidity inside the refrigerator can cause the cork to dry out. If the cork becomes too dry, air may seep through the cork and come in contact with the wine. When this happens you get oxidation, which can degrade your wine very quickly.
Avoid Exposure to Light
Over a short period of time, light is not a problem. However, over longer periods of time light, and especially sunlight, can degrade your wine. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can be very damaging to the wine which is one of the reasons why wine bottles are made from colored glass rather than clear glass.
If you keep your wine in your refrigerator, the small amount of light that the wine is exposed to from the lightbulb inside your refrigerator or ambient light from your kitchen won’t be a problem. If you are storing your wine in a wine cooler, many wine coolers have clear doors so you will want to make sure that your wine cooler is not being hit by sunlight very often.
Store Wine Bottles on Their Sides
If you are keeping wine in your refrigerator, you may be tempted to store it upright, but you really shouldn’t. There is a reason why wine cellars are designed to store bottles on their sides. Storing a wine bottle on its side allows the wine to come in contact with the cork. This prevents the cork from drying out and allowing air to seep through, leading to oxidation as mentioned above.
If your wine bottle has a plastic cork or a screw on top, it won’t matter whether you store the bottle horizontally or vertically because air will not be coming in contact with the wine. If you will be drinking your wine shortly after purchasing it, you won’t have to worry about oxidation either. However, if you will be storing your wine for any length of time, storing it horizontally will be your best option.