Storing Wine the right way protects and enhances the quality
Like most things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to store wine. Wine is an unusual item, because unlike many other food items, it can improve with age; vastly so. That means wine storage has two goals. First, the way the wine is stored should protect all of its qualities including flavour and colour and other important features. Second, wine storage should help the wine age gracefully.
You do not have to be a wine connoisseur, investor or collector to care about wine storage. Every bottle of wine you purchase costs money and you expect to get a certain level of enjoyment from drinking the wine. It is very disappointing to open a bottle of stored wine to discover it has been ruined due to exposure to too much light or the wrong temperature.
Pamper Your Wine
You can think of wine storage as a chance to pamper your wine. Pampering your wine will make sure it retains its excellent flavour when you are ready to open the bottle. The basic aging of the wine needed before the wine is drinkable has been done at the winery. However, your wine will continue to age after purchase which is another reason why you need to pay close attention to how you store it. This is especially true for red wines.
The first storage consideration is the temperature at which you should store the wine. Wine should be stored at 10º to 12º Celsius, but you also need to pay close attention to the fluctuations in temperature which can occur wherever you have the wine storage. It is the temperature fluctuation which can cause the most damage to your wine, and the temperature should not fluctuate more than 2º to 3º Celsius.
The reason this is true lies in the fact that cork will expand and contract like wood. If the cork shrinks and allows air into the wine bottle, the wine will suffer. One of the indications the cork has shrunk and wine has evaporated is the appearance of a wine residue around the cork. At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, if oxygen reaches the wine, the bottle is doomed.
Wine likes to be kept in the dark. Exposure to light will cause wine to age too quickly or it will cause deterioration in the quality. That is why so many wines are bottled in dark glass bottles. Ultraviolet light can ruin the flavour and aroma of wine.
The humidity in the wine storage location should be around 70% but it can fluctuate between 50% and 80% without harming the wine. You notice humidity can get fairly high, but when there is not enough humidity more serious problems can occur. In low humidity there is a greater probability the cork will dry out and air will reach the wine.
Bottle Angle While Stored
Anyone familiar with wine has heard stories about always needing to store wine on its side. This is partly true. Table wine should be stored horizontally to preserve the cork. When wine is stored on its side, the cork is kept moist by the wine.
Of note fortified wines need to be stored standing with the exception of port.
When you store wine properly, it is going to pamper both the wine and your tastebuds. The proper storage of wine as a minimum protects your wine quality, but in all likelihood will help to enhance it. It is very satisfying to open a bottle of wine and discover the rich or exotic flavour and aroma are simply perfect and perfectly preserved.
It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. Licence No. LIQP700373350