Budding wine enthusiasts, amateur collectors and connoisseurs alike will face the question of wine storage solutions at some point in their journey. The art of wine production is one of great finesse; subsequently, wine bottle storage may require some attention to detail. There are many wine storing ideas; however, the best storage solutions for your vino may differ. Explore the various wine storage options, including wine fridges, and how to enjoy your collection best.
How should I store unopened wine?
Selecting wines is part of the pleasure; they were discovered in memorable moments or chosen through an anecdote or heritage. How you store your wine is crucial if you want to enjoy the greatest enjoyment. There are a few key factors involved. While most wines will fare quite well around the home, you may want to invest in a home cellar setup or a dedicated wine fridge to manage the delicate balance of these factors.
Different varieties require specific storage temperatures; naturally, your choice of red, white, rosé or sparkling wine will determine the perfect temperature. Addressing the average temperatures – red wine is best stored at around 12°C to 18°C, while white wine and rosé can be stored anywhere between 6ºC to 12ºC, according to your preference for serving. To bring out the rich bouquet of sparkling wine, chill consistently between 6ºC to 10ºC. Generally, wine should always remain below 20°C when stored to avoid the ageing process that spoils wine.
You should realise that the position in which you store your bottles affects the quality of the wine. Bottles sealed with a cork should be stored horizontally to keep the cork moist and avoid oxidation and premature ageing. Screw-top bottles don’t face the same challenges as those with corks and can be stored upright; although you may have purchased the wine off the shelf in an upright position, this doesn’t indicate that it is the ideal way to keep the bottle.
The complex flavour and aroma of wine can easily be affected by UV rays, and direct sunlight is particularly detrimental to wine as it can accelerate ageing or spoil the wine; additionally, vibration from household appliances can disrupt the sediments within the wine bottle. It is best to keep the wine in the dark storage area.
The longevity of wine is greatly affected by the humidity levels of its environment; for example, low humidity levels can see corks drying out and oxidising the wine, while high humidity levels may spoil the outside of the bottle and destroy the labels. The approximate humidity range for storing wine is 50% to 70%, with 60% being the most ideal.
Are wine fridges worth the money?
When considering the careful balance required between elements in the environment that affect the quality and taste of wine, investing in a wine fridge could save you plenty of time and attention while better preserving the actual investment, the wine itself. A wine fridge will monitor and maintain the perfect environment for your vino, notably the temperature and humidity levels. Standard household fridges are notoriously cold and dry, not the ideal place for long-term storage; however, that recently opened bottle of white or rosé that you plan to finish with dinner will hold reasonably well in the refrigerator for a couple of days.