Who doesn’t love good-tasting wine? To ensure that wine can retain its flavor and balance, it has to be stored at an optimal temperature. Wrong temperatures can lead to premature aging.
Wine storage is a common but confusing topic. The majority of wine experts recommend storing wine in 52-55 degrees, though this could depend on the type and variety of your wine. However, finding a high-quality cellar where temperatures could not fluctuate can be a tough job at times.
According to research, if the temperature in a cellar rises by 10 degrees, wine will end up doubling its aging speed. That said, how do you set the right temperature for your wine?
What Wine Are You Looking to Store?
First, you have to identify the variety of wine you would like to store. Different varieties of wine need different storage conditions. Let us discuss the requirements for each of them:
- Red Wine
Red wine is the most popular type of wine used for various celebrations; however, it’s also the most poorly stored. The ideal temperature under which it should be stored is between 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A common misconception is that red wine is best served at room temperature. However, it actually tastes way better when served cool.
When serving red wine, it is not compulsory to let it sit in a bucket. Instead, let it rest on the table to allow it to warm slowly.
- Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine, on the other hand, should be served as cold as ice and should be stored between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the bubbles will remain fine instead of becoming foamy.
Moreover, sparkling wine should be refrigerated for at least an hour before serving. Do take note that storing it for longer could affect its quality instead. In case you need to pop it in less than an hour, get an ice bucket and let your bottle sit in it for half an hour. The results will be similar. As you serve sparkling wine, make sure that the open bottle remains in an ice bucket until it is finished.
- White Wine
Both rose and white wine should be served cold and are best stored between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve the coldness, place it in a fridge immediately after buying. In case you bought it hoping to drink it over a meal, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before serving.
As you serve, it is not necessary to return the bottle in the ice bucket. However, let it sit on the table and allow it to sweat out. The aroma and taste could slightly change due to the high temperature, but the change will be minimal, and the flavor will be loveable.
What Options Are There for Storing Your Wine?
Now that you know the ideal temperatures to store different varieties of wine, it’s time we talk about some effective storage options to keep your beverage’s taste quality unaffected. They’re as follows:
- Wine Cellar
A wine cellar is regarded as the standard and ideal storage option for any wine bottle. A cellar is capable of controlling temperature and humidity effectively. Moreover, it’s quite affordable and allows for customization since you can organize the bottles in different ways, even according to the origin of the wine.
- Closet Wine Cellar
If you’re a wine enthusiast, then you might want to consider a makeshift cellar. It offers a fast and straightforward way to store wine bottles of any size. There are numerous tutorials available on the internet to guide you on how to make your makeshift wine cellar.
The problem with a makeshift wine cellar, however, is that it lacks a temperature and humidity control system. It does make the best pick for an everyday wine drinker, though it doesn’t work really well when it comes to long-term storage.
- Wine Cabinet
If you’re looking for a reliable storage system that will maintain a preset temperature for your bottles, then you should invest in a wine cabinet. It is common among wine merchants and professionals. Apart from that, wine cabinets also come in different sizes to suit wine bottles of varying sizes.
NOTE: Despite your preferred storage option, whether it is a cooler, refrigerator, or cellar, the degree spectrum for each type of wine remains the same.
Wine Storage Conditions to Consider
Apart from the ideal temperature and storage option for your wine, you still have one important factor to consider: the wine’s storage condition. Here are some things you have to know:
- Humidity Levels – The recommended humidity level for storing your wine should be less than 70%. When humidity exceeds 70%, then there is a possibility that mold could grow, and the labels on the bottle could deteriorate and loosen. To monitor the humidity, you can use a Thermo hygrometer to guide you on whether to humidify or dehumidify the air. If your storage setting is damp, you could use cellar sleeves or plastic protectors to protect the wine labels.
- Scent – Your bottle of wine shouldn’t be stored near anything with a strong scent. The cork and wine could pick up the scent and end up getting tainted. Remember, proper ventilation is advised to prevent musty odors from reaching your wine.
- Vibration-Free and Dark Area – You should NOT move your wine bottles often and vigorously. Too much movement could end up spoiling your wine. Also, wine is best stored away from light. Direct sunlight, as well as fluorescent fixtures, could ruin its taste and quality.
- Freezing Temperature – It’s not recommended to not leave your bottle in a freezer for more than 20 minutes. It can affect your wine’s quality as the bottle freezes, expands, and crack or shatter due to the very cold temperature.
- Storage Duration – You have probably heard that all wines tend to improve over time. Well, this is not accurate for all types of wines. Remember to store wine for its appropriate duration, depending on the kind of wine. Usually, cheap wines don’t improve over time. Red wine can be stored for as long as ten years. The duration of storage depends on the amount of sugar it has, tannin content, and acid. A lot of fine wines can stay for as long as 100 years. White wines can be stored between 2 and 3 years. However, some white wines such as chardonnays can be aged for more than 20 years.
- The Bottle’s Positioning – If you store wine in a horizontal position, the cork will remain moist, hence minimizing any chance of it drying. Meanwhile, if the cork dries up, which is the case if the bottle is stored in a vertical position, it could shrink and allow air into the bottle.
Always keep in mind that different types of wine need different storage options. Also, you have to consider storing wines in ideal storage temperatures depending on its type. Fortunately, there are a variety of storage options you can choose from, and the option you choose will mostly depend on your budget and storage needs.
Just make sure to observe proper storage temperature to preserve the quality of your wine. Also, some types of wine get even better with age. Therefore, if you want to have a glass of the best-tasting beverage, then you should pay extra attention to how your bottles of wine are stored.