An Uncomplicated Guide to Storing (Cellaring) Wine
Chances are if you are getting into wine or have joined a wine club, you are starting to grow a bit of a wine collection. Congrats! One thing I get asked about wine a lot is – How should I store my wine? It’s a great question and one that has an array of answers, as with most things concerning wine.
A few things to note about wine:
- It can be damaged by light. That is why many wines are in amber colored bottles. Some wines are in clear bottles, such as rosés, so take extra care with these wines.
- Your wine can become “cooked” if overheated (above 80 degrees) which causes the closure on the bottle to be compromised and leads the wine to oxidize.
Here are our best practices:
Storing Wine in the Fridge – And by this I mean your regular food fridge. This is okay for the short-term. Over time the lack of moisture could dry out a wine closed with a cork therefore leading to oxidation. That being said, I’m a big fan of having a Chardonnay chilled in the fridge, you know, just in case. If that is you too then you should plan on enjoying that wine within a month or two. Honestly, who can keep a chilled wine in their fridge over a week and not drink it?
Store Corked Wine on it’s Side – Wines that are closed with a natural cork should be kept on their side for long-term storage. This keeps the cork from shrinking, causing the wine to… oxidize, this is seeming like a trend.
Store in a Cool, Dark Place – You want to hide away your wine, especially your wines you are saving for a special occasion. This both helps protect the wine from that scary word – oxidation and it keeps you from drinking it before you intended to. They say to keep your wine between 45 and 65 degrees and that is where a wine fridge comes in because I don’t know anyone that keeps their house that cold. You should be okay if your wine stays in the upper 60’s to low 70’s in a cabinet or closet that stays at a fairly consistent temperature.
And just for fun, here are some wine storage scenarios that make us cringe.
- Displaying wine in a windowsill
- Seeing wine in a hot car
- Your wine collection in the garage or attic
- Keeping a wine so long that the cork starts to pop out of the bottle
- Frozen wine either in the fridge or freezer