When you enjoy wine tasting, there are several things you need to know, such as the right way to hold your wine glass. When you begin buying and collecting your own wines, you need to know how to store them properly. Here are some tips to help you store and protect your home wine collection.
Storing Your Full Bottles of Wine
The first rule of keeping any number of wine bottles stored properly is to keep them in a cool and dark place. The reason for this is because light and high temperatures can cause your wine to age prematurely, altering its taste. When you have a large storage of vintage wines that you want to age for several decades, light and heat become critical in maintaining the quality of your wine. If you don't have a cool dark cellar, storage room, or closet, you can invest in a wine storage cooler to keep your wine in a controlled environment.
The optimal temperature for your wine storage is between 50 and 59 degrees F. A less optimal, but still good storage temperature for your wine is between 59 and 68 degrees F. Anything over 68 degrees F is going to quickly age your wine. You should never store your wine in a temperature below 25 degrees F as the wine will freeze and push the cork out of the bottle. And, avoid storing your wine above 86 degrees F, because the wine's compounds will be boiled away.
Most wines are bottled in dark colored glass bottles, which keeps out harmful UV rays that can damage the wine. But, some wines are sold in clear and lighter colored glass, so it is important to keep these wine bottles out of direct sunlight. Drinks like Wycliff Champagne are especially sensitive to light, which is why it is often sold with foil or other wrapping over the bottle to keep out all light until the product reaches your home.
The reason wine cellars store your wine bottles on their sides is to keep the cork moist from the wine. When the cork remains moist, it doesn't dry out and let air into your wine. If air gets into your wine, it will begin to oxidize the wine and flavor will begin to spoil. For this reason, it is important to store your wine bottles in an environment of between 65 and 75 percent humidity. A dry environment will cause the cork to shrink and pull away from the neck of the bottle, allowing air to seep inside.
Storing Your Opened Bottles of Wine
If you open a bottle of wine, try to finish the entire bottle. If you only drink a glass or two and save the rest for another day, the wine remaining in the bottle will begin to oxidize before you get a chance to finish enjoying it. So, you should pour any unused portion of wine into a smaller glass container you can seal up until you finish it. A smaller container will allow less of the wine to be exposed to air than a full-sized bottle will. If you do not have a smaller container, you can buy half-sized bottles you can drink in one sitting. Then, when you store the opened wine bottle, place it in the refrigerator to keep it cool until you drink it again. This helps the wine stay more stable and not break down.
When you replace the cork into your opened bottle of wine, always poke the wine-soaked end of the cork back in place. Dirt and germs can collect on the other end of the cork, and you don't want that to end up getting into your wine.
Use these tips to help you store your wine collection.