Firstly, only a very small percentage of fine wines benefit from long term ageing so its best to enjoy the wine within a few years of release. If you are looking at buying wines in order to mature – then you might consider professional grade storage instead.
For the most of us, who like to buy wines and enjoy them relatively soon then the following tips will help you:
1. Keep wine cool
Heat is enemy number one for wine. Temperatures higher than 21’C will age a wine more quickly than is usually desirable. And if it gets much hotter, your wine may get too hot which will result in flat aromas and flavours. The ideal temperature range is between 7’C and 18’C. Don’t worry too much if your storage runs a couple degrees warmer, as long as you’re opening the bottles within a few years from their release.
2. Not too cool
Keeping wines in your fridge is fine for up to a couple months but it’s not an ideal situation for long term storage, as the lack of moisture could eventually dry out corks, which might allow air to seep into the bottles and damage the wine. Also don’t keep your wine somewhere it could become too hot or cold e.g. a garage – as temperatures vary a lot during the seasons.
3. No light
Sunlight causes problems for long term storage of wine and the UV rays can degrade and prematurely age the wine. Preferably a dark place is ideal.
4. Sideways please
Wine bottles have traditionally been stored on their sides in order to keep the liquid up against the cork, which theoretically should keep the cork from drying out. If you’re planning on drinking these bottles in the near- to mid-term, or if the bottles have alternative closures (screwcaps, glass or plastic corks), this is not necessary. Horizontal racking is a space-efficient way to store your bottles, and it definitely can’t harm your wines.
5. No shake rattle and roll
Keep wine bottles “quiet” and there is no need to shake them up unless you are a Grand Prix winner and shaking up the champers.
So where should I keep my bottles?
If you haven’t got a cellar then you can improvise with some simple racks in a safe place. Rule out your kitchen, laundry room or garage, where hot temperatures could affect your wines, and look for a location not directly in line with light pouring in from a window.
Perhaps there is a little-used cupboard or other vacant storage area in a bedroom that could be repurposed for storing wine? If you have a suitable dark, stable space that’s not too damp or warm, then this should be ideal.
For more interesting facts and a day of wine tasting, why not join us on one of our Winery Tours! You can check them out here: