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If you love wine, then you need to know about wine storage. The temperature, conditions, and position that you store wine in all depend on the type of wine and whether it is open. Read on to find out more and get all of your wine storage questions answered.
Wine Storage: Before the Wine is Open
Control the temperature of the unopened wine. It should not be stored above 70F/21C. Any heat above this may cause your wine to age more quickly or go bad. However, it’s also important that you avoid keeping your wine in the fridge for a long time. This can make the cork dry out, allowing air into the bottle, which could ruin the wine. If you can, make sure that the wine is kept at a consistent temperature.
As a general rule, lighter wines can be kept cooler with heavier wines kept at warmer temperatures.
Another way to preserve your wine is to keep it in the dark. UV rays from sunlight or fluorescent light can cause the wine to take on an unpleasant smell, known as the wine being ‘light struck’. Whilst dark bottles can protect the wine it won’t completely prevent light from entering the bottle. If you do not have a dark space to store wine, try wrapping the bottles in cloth or putting them into a closed box.
Unopened wine should be kept on its side to keep the cork moist and make any collected sediment visible.
Wine Storage: When the Wine is Opened
Replace the cork or screw cap and return the wine to a dark place. A wine that is open should not be kept on its side as you risk spillages and it increases the surface area that is exposed to oxygen.
You should be able to keep an opened red wine for several days. A white wine can be returned to the fridge and should keep for 5 to 7 days. Try to prevent drastic temperature changes as they can cause the wine to break down. If you do need to gradually warm a red wine or cool a white wine to return it to the fridge, use warm or cool water. This will help the wine to reach its temperature without a shock.
Another great way to preserve your wine is to replace the cork or cap between each glass pour.
Wine Storage: Solutions for Your Home
If you are storing lots of wine, then you may want to invest in a storage solution.
Building wine racks in an underground space to create a wine cellar is an easy way to control the temperature and humidity of the wine. If you do choose this option, you may need to develop a storage system so that you can quickly find your wines.
You could also select a wine cooler or cabinet. These will vary from single temperature to multiple temperature zones. They also protect the wine from light.
We hope that our exploration of wine storage has given you some hints and tips that will help you to keep your beloved wine fresh.