So you’ve finally got a hold of some delicious Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay but have no plans of drinking it this weekend. How do you properly store this delightful wine till you’re ready to celebrate?a
Off the bat, never forget that only certain types of excellent wine benefits from aging. It is best to enjoy the bottle within a few years of its making.
Wine experts believe that storing and aging wine is a beautiful art which requires patience and knowledge about storing wine. It is foolish to believe that stashing a bottle of expensive wine in an old box and expecting it to magically age to perfection in both texture and taste.
To make sure that you get it right, we’ve gathered the best tips from experts around the globe about some simple rules you should keep in mind while storing your beautiful bottle of wine.
The proof is in the bottle
Your wine may come from old world regions like Germany, France, Spain or Italy or new world regions such as Chile, South Africa, India, New Zealand, etc., but the variants remain the same- full-bodied, medium or light. Pay attention to the fact that light bodied wines often come in tinted, dark bottles which as extremely sensitive to light.
Keep your wine where you can see it
No this isn’t a joke! Make sure to store your wine in a place where viewing it and selecting a bottle is easy. This is important because you need to know the ones in your collection and where to find what. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have a bright display of all your wine bottles.
There’s no such thing as hot wine
Just like the words ‘hot’ and ‘wine’ don’t go together, neither do the real things. Temperatures higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit will not only ‘cook’ it but will also make it lose its flavor and aroma. Ideally, wine should be stored in temperature between 45-65 degree F to prevent loss of flavor and undesirable aging.
No ‘wine’ing in the kitchen
The kitchen is probably the worst place to store wine in because of the rapidly fluctuating temperature. The wine will not only lose its flavor, but also the cork may come off causing seepage.
Also, a kitchen can get extremely damp which could promote the growth of mold and ruin your expensive bottle of chardonnay
Not so cool
Storing wine in your refrigerator for a couple of months is fine. But if the temperature falls below 45 degrees F, the corks may eventually dry out causing air to seep into the bottle and destroy the delicate wine. Also never make the mistake of storing your wine in a freezer as it will eventually turn the wine to ice causing the cork to come off.
Store it on its side
The reason for doing this is because when the bottle is placed upright, the wine does not touch the cork and hence eventually causing the cork to dry out leaving a musty, flavorless wine. However, if you want to store wine for a short amount of time, place it upright like they do in convenient stores. It isn’t recommended to store the bottle upright for more than a couple of weeks.
Lights off, wine on!
If you plan on storing your wine for a more extended period, there is no worse enemy than sunlight. The sun’s rays can not only degrade the quality of the wine but also cause premature aging. That’s one of the main reasons wine comes in colored glass bottles. They act like sunglasses for your delicious drink and protect it from the harmful sun rays. Light emitted from bulbs at home will not damage wine, but it can ruin the labels in the long run. So in case you decide to store wine in a room, make sure that the place has fluorescent bulbs or LEDs instead of incandescent ones as they emit a smaller amount of UV light.
Don’t shake it
This is expert advice from winemakers. They believe that vibrations can damage the wine by speeding up the aging and also by causing disturbances to the sediments. The worst part about the latter is that your expensive wine can end up tasting gritty. Unless you are into hosting rock concerts or live above a train station, it is unlikely that your wine will get ruined during storage. And as tempting, it may be to shake the bottle, don’t do it!
Separate wine from everything else
The wine has the tendency to get tainted or absorb the smell of things around it. This is especially true if elements with strong odors are placed around opened bottles of wine. Also in a new wine fridge/cooler, the smell of plastic/chemical smell can be absorbed by the wine or the labels. Clean the unpleasant smell from the fridge before using it by placing mounds of baking soda. The baking soda will absorb the chemical smell and protect your wines from ruin.
So where should I store my wine?
If you aren’t one of those blessed souls who have a cool cellar with the perfect temperature, turn your basement into a wine cellar by improvising with simple racks. Your boiler room, kitchen and laundry room are not suitable at all to store your wines so rule that out.
Invest in an affordable wine cooler if you feel that any celebration is incomplete without wine. The rules for storing wine in the wine cooler are same as above; keep the cooler in a cool place to avoid high electricity bills.
If you’re not willing to get a wine cooler, make the best out of any vacant storage area like an unused closet space that isn’t too dry or damp.
If you follow these tips, opening the beautifully aged and adequately stored wine on a particular day will be the most magical experience ever.