Wine is a delicate beverage which can easily get spoilt if not stored properly at a correct temperature or environment. Once you open a wine bottle, it is important that you store it properly so that it ages and matures correctly.
If you learn the tips and tricks to store your wine properly then you would be able to enjoy a deliciously matured wine but if you don’t then you won’t be able to enjoy its real taste.
Storing and aging wine is not an easy process and cannot be learned overnight, it requires a lot of information and practice and can sometimes take years to master. However, you can still follow a few simple tips to ensure that your wine is properly stored and matured.
For proper aging of wine, you need to control the storage conditions which can be done with the help of a wine cellar. That’s not the only way though, there are several other ways in which you can accomplish maturity of a wine.
How to Store and Age Wine Properly
Here are a few tips to make sure that your wine is stored and matured correctly.
Tip 1: Keep your Wine Cool
One of the most important things to keep in mind when storing a wine is that heat is the enemy of your beverage so your wine needs to be stored in a cool place. A lot of people might think that kitchen would be a good place to store your wine but this is actually untrue.
A kitchen has a varying temperature from the stove’s heat to the cold fridge which can be a bad place to keep your wine to mature. You need a place which will remain constantly dark and cold in order to enjoy a deliciously aged wine.
If you are dedicated to storing and maturing your wine then you can purchase a wine refrigerator. This is an amazing option for anyone who doesn’t want to purchase a wine cellar and is also a cheaper and simpler option for the users.
A wine refrigerator will give you the ability to set the temperature which should ideally be around 13 degrees Celsius for the wine to mature correctly. You can store your wine in a closet or a storage area but a wine refrigerator is bound to do a better job of providing a cool environment to your beverages.
Tip 2: Store it in a Dark Place
Another important tip to keep in mind is that you need to store your wine in a constantly dark and cool area. If your wine is exposed to light, it might produce unexpected results in your wine. The exposure to UV rays can prematurely age your wine and will certainly alter the taste of it. The light can oxidize your wine and can produce discoloration or a bad odor which means that your wine is not suitable for drinking anymore.
Thankfully, this issue can be solved quite easily. This is why wine bottles are often dark in color so that they can stay protected from the light and you can further help this cause by storing your wine bottles in a dark. If too much light gets exposed to your wine then chemical reactions occur which leads to the spoilage of the wine, so keep it away from light at all times.
Tip 3: Maintain the Humidity Level
Make sure that you keep your wine stored in an area which has high levels of humidity, somewhere around 70 percent. It is said that dry air will result in a dehydrated cork which will lead to the failure of the cork seal.
As a result, dry air will enter the wine bottle and oxidize the wine which will result in the spoiling of your wine. Although this doesn’t happen frequently, unless you are staying in a desert, it is important that you store your wine in an appropriately humid area.
You can store your wine in a closet but you will need to ensure that the humidity level is properly maintained inside this space. You can keep a pail of water to help the conditions but ensure that you don’t produce too much dampness otherwise the label of your wine bottle will suffer. This is why a lot of people usually invest in a wine cellar or a wine refrigerator to offer perfect humidity conditions for the storing of wine.
Tip 4: Keep a Close Eye on the Bottle Orientation
In the storage and aging of wine, the bottle orientation plays a crucial role which a lot of wine drinkers are not aware of. If you want the best results then make sure that you always store your wine horizontally. This is the reason behind wine racks being designed so that the wine bottle is kept on its side instead of being upright.
This position keeps the cork damp and protects it from getting dried out to ensure that the wine doesn’t spoil after some time. This is why a lot of wineries often ship their wine bottles in a horizontal position to make sure that their wine corks remain moistened even outside of the humid conditions.
Apart from keeping the cork moistened, the horizontal position of the wine bottles also help in efficient space usage and allows you to store more wine at your place.
Tip 5: Get the Proper Equipment
If you really serious about storing and maturing your wine then it would be wise to invest in a storage equipment. While a wine cellar would be the best choice, many people can’t afford it or have enough space to store it at home.
In such situations, you can purchase an electrical aging equipment like the wine refrigerator which will offer you control over the humidity and temperature conditions. Although you will need to store this refrigerator in an area where it would be experiencing minimum light and disturbance.
You will find several freestanding units which are easy to handle or you can purchase a built-in cooler if you want to age your wine correctly.
Tip 6: Avoid Too Much Shaking
It has been found that too much movement or shaking of the wine can disturb the slow chemical reaction which results in the maturing of wine. It can speed up the aging process which can alter the taste and smell of the wine quickly.
Although a little vibration might not be a cause of great concern, studies have shown that significant vibrations can affect the sedimentation of wine and can make them unpleasant to drink.
So, make sure that you store your wine bottle in a place where it won’t be disturbed too much to allow it an appropriate time to maturely slowly and carefully.
Where to Keep the Wine Bottles?
As mentioned above, the storage of your wine bottles is of utmost importance if you want to savor it and mature it carefully. While a wine cellar would be the aptest place to store your wine bottles, not all of us can afford to purchase one and store it in our house.
So, you can easily store your wine bottles in a cool and humid basement if you own one. Make sure that you don’t store the wine bottles in your laundry room, kitchen, boiler room, etc. where the heat fluctuations could spoil your wine. Also, avoid places which let in too much light and can cause the wine to oxidize.
If you have a small, dark, slightly damp room or closet then you can simply store your wine bottles there. If not, then it would be better to invest in a wine cooler to store your wines. However, purchasing a wine cooler depends on your annual consumption of wine. If you drink wine frequently then a wine cooler will make sense else you should skip the idea.
More Tips for Storing and Ageing Wine
What Kind of Wine Cooler to Purchase?
Wine Cooler is one of the most effective ways to store your wine bottles without exerting too much effort or money. It is a standalone unit which can be used to control the temperature and the humidity conditions and is often more useful for serving wine than storing it.
A wine cellar, on the other hand, allows you to store your wine bottles at an optimum temperature for a long period of time and can be as big as a cabinet or an entire room.
When you are looking for an appropriate wine cooler for yourself, consider the ease of access and visibility when making a choice. Check if you would be easily able to get a wine bottle from the cooler or not.
Also, consider the rack size and the bottle size that you usually purchase so that you buy a wine cooler which will easily fit your wine bottles. Another thing to check is the door type of the wine cooler.
Do you want it to be transparent for easy inventory or do you wish to protect it from the light? You will find many doors which are tinted or UV-resistant which can protect your wine from getting oxidized and will ensure proper maturing of the wine.
Make sure that you consider the material and the price of the wine cellar before making the purchase. A good wine cellar will offer you more control and will produce less sound making it quite efficient for storing the wine.