Whether you’ve got 5 bottles or 5 cases, knowing some wine storage basics will help keep your wines in good health during the hot summer months. Assuming you don’t have a personal wine cellar under your home, there are some easy tips to keep your wine fresh until you’re ready to indulge.
First of all, we’re not talking about long-term wine storage as only a small percentage of fine wines on the market benefit from long-term aging. We’re more interested in keeping them drinkable for a few months at most. Let’s be honest, if you’re buying wine to keep as an investment, you probably already know how to store it properly.
How to Properly Store Wine
The Right Temperature
Keep it chilled. The warmer the ambient temperature, the faster the wine will age and go bad. A wine kept at room temp will not be able to fully express itself making it taste dull, flat, and overly alcoholic.
Don’t keep it too chilled. The average fridge is too cold for wine storage over more than a few days as temps that low will stunt its growth. A refrigerator also removes humidity which can cause the cork to dry out leading to musty smelling “corked wine”.
Avoid the Fridge
Speaking of the fridge, as tempting as it may be to store them on top of it, it’s one of the worst places to keep it for a couple of reasons. Your fridge vibrates every time the compressor cycles, the ice maker kicks on, or even when you open it repeatedly. Vibrations alter the processes happening in your wine, negatively affecting the taste and aging process. Your fridge gives off a lot of heat from the top which as we mentioned above isn’t good for wine.
Sideways is Best
Keep it sideways. By keeping your bottles horizontal, the cork is constantly moistened by the wine, so it won’t dry out. If you plan on drinking it within the next few weeks, you can keep it upright as the harmful effects only take place over longer periods of time.
Avoid Direct or Harsh Light
You’ll want to keep your wine out of direct sunlight or harsh interior lighting. Direct sunlight or incandescent light can adversely react with phenolic compounds in wine which will quickly lead to ruined wine. Light-bodied white wines run the greatest risk from light exposure, and for that reason, they are often packaged in tinted wine bottles that offer some protection from light.
Consider Investing in a Wine Fridge
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to accomplish all of the above without building a fancy European wine cellar, is to pick up a wine fridge. A wine fridge is built specifically to store wine at the perfect temperature, humidity, lighting and in a stable environment. Avanti makes several sizes for consumer use, but we recommend the Avanti 12-bottle wine cooler as it fits easily in most areas and provides the most ease of use.