8 Tips for Proper Storage
Storing wine properly is important to maintain the quality of your reds. One key factor is the storage temperature. Another factor is how the bottles are placed and where for storage.
Find answers to these and a few other key tips to help maintain the quality of it for both short term and longer term storage.
- The best red storage temperature is somewhere around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Those stored at a warmer temperature age faster, which does allow it the time it needs to bring out its complexity. Storing wine at a cooler temperature slows down the ageing process so wines need a longer storage period before they are ready.
- Reds are damaged in temperatures at or over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The biggest threat at this temperature is storing it in the car while wine tasting or after picking it up at the store. Be careful and do not store it in the car for too long before you get it home.
- It is also damages it when it is moved quickly between extreme temperatures. When storing wine, do not move it from a hot place to a cool place too quickly such as from your hot car directly to the cool basement cellar. Give it a little time in between to cool down slowly, so the temperature change does not damage it.
- It is best to store your reds in a cool, dark cellar. Set the humidity level between 65 and 75%, if that is an option. This gives it the perfect environment in which to age well. If you have the room and extra money, another popular option is to store it in a dedicated fridge that regulates the temperature between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Both keep the temperature consistent and allow it to age properly.
- Make sure your red wine storage is in a location where it does not move around a lot. If you store it in a cellar, ensure that the rack or other storage unit is solid and does not shake too much. Make sure the rack or storage unit is also level or on stable ground. If the rack is stable, but it is on an uneven surface or unstable ground, that could also affect the aging process. Constant movement in storage damages it.
- Lay all bottles on their side for storage. This is to ensure that the cork does not dry out. Experts also notice a difference in the aging process between bottles stored upright and those stored on their side, as storing it on the side improves the aging process. Double-check your storage to ensure that it is not only lying on its side, but that it is keeping the cork from drying out.
- Store it in a location where it does not get direct sunlight. Pull the shades or close the door if sunlight is hitting the bottles directly. Storing red wine (or any wines) in the sun increases the temperature and the flavor of it changes.
- Some red wines tend to get even better with age and can be stored for a few months up to a few years. I also expanded on this point a little to explain the length of time needed for storing wine. Read the article Time Needed for Proper Aging to learn more.
Finding a nice solid storage rack or refrigerator is key to ensuring your wines do not move around too often. If you have a cool place, then a storage rack is all you need.
However, if the temperature varies quite a bit in the room you plan on storing wine, then you should look into using a wine refrigerator.
Once you are ready to drink it, make sure you serve it at the proper serving temperature. Different types of wines bring out the proper flavor at slightly different temperatures.
There are different techniques to keep in mind when storing opened wine. Here are some great storage tips that extend the flavor in your reds for a few days after you open it: Storing Opened Bottles.
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