How should you be storing your wine at home? I’m sure you’ve heard lots of things and haven’t been able to quite figure out which ones you should believe, so let me help you!
Wine is alive! (Not in a «The Blob» kind of way, don’t worry!) But it is forever changing in the bottle and there are certain ways you can store it to help maximise those changes or slow them down. Be careful though, sometimes the way we store it can have a negative effect on our wines and accelerate that oh so important ageing process.
When you buy a bottle of wine, it’s always a good idea to ask the shop assistants what they would recommend as to storing it: drink now, keep it, store it, etc. As a general rule, most winemakers these days produce wine for us to enjoy! They go to all the effort of ageing it both in barrels and bottles BEFORE they put it on the market so all we have to do is enjoy drinking it!
So why are you writing this article then I hear you ask…
Even if we buy most wines to drink relatively quickly, there are some that will benefit from further ageing in the bottle. So here’s my 3 tips for keeping wine at home.
#1 STORE BOTTLES HORIZONTALLY
This is very important. The majority of bottles of wine all have a traditional cork stop in them. Cork is natural product, just like the wine, and allows the breathing process (a restricted flow of oxigen to the wine) to happen inside the bottle, ageing the wine. If the cork dries out, it cracks and the pores become bigger allowing more oxigen into the wine and ageing it much faster than desired.
Storing the bottles horizontally means that the wine is touching the cork, keeping it moist throughout storage and preventing to much oxigen getting into the wine. The ageing process is much more natural this way, it’s slowed down and makes for better wine!
#2 KEEP BOTTLES AWAY FROM DIRECT SUNLIGHT
Wine doesn’t like being near the sun, especially in the direct heat of it. Did you know that the bottles are dark green for red wines to help protect them from the direct light?
Keeping your wine rack in a part of the house away from windows is a good idea if you want to keep those bottles in their prime!
#3 KEEP THE TEMPERATURE MORE OR LESS CONSTANT
Obviously there is going to be some difference in temperature from summer to winter, day to nightime, but if possible, it should be more or less constant.
As an idea, anything between 16 and 20ºC is good.
This means not keeping your wine in a funky looking rack at the side of the oven, or on the work surface in the kitchen where the temperature fluctuates constantly throughout the day as you cook. Or not storing your wine next the radiator in the hallway or the living room…
So tell me. Where so you keep your wine? Do you have a special wine cooler or a more traditional wine rack to store it?
I’d love to hear your comments!
Cheers for now!
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