If you’ve recently bought some wine that you’re planning to keep for a while, then you might be wondering how to store it safely so it doesn’t go off. You may have made a bulk wine purchase and you want to lay it aside to mature for a few years, or you might be working on your own wine cellar.

Whatever your reasons, there are a few core rules you should follow to keep your wines in good condition until you get to them.

Stay cool

Excessive heat is your wine collection’s nemesis – anything over 70F will cause the wine to age too rapidly and if it really gets warm, the flavors can be cooked out, effectively. Most experts recommend that wines are stored at between 45F and 65F, although a degree out here and there isn’t a disaster.

Cool but nor frosty

Keeping a wine in your refrigerator for a few weeks is OK, but long-term coldness can dry out your corks, leading to air getting in, which is game over, usually. Also, if the wine starts to freeze, the expansion of the liquid could push out the corks or even crack the bottles.

Keep your temperatures consistent

It’s actually more important to keep the wines at a fairly constant temperature, as expansion and contraction of the liquid and air inside the bottles can cause the corks to move a bit. This can mean seepage or air getting in, so you should take pains to avoid this.

Stay in the dark

Light – UV light in particular – is a real problem as it can age the wine too early. This is one reason why wine tends to come in green bottles! Minimise your wine’s exposure to UV by keeping bottles out of the sun and use LED lights or incandescents rather than fluorescents.

Relax about the humidity

You’ve probably heard about the magical 70% humidity that prevents your corks from drying out and letting air in. Most areas of the world have a reasonable level of humidity and anything between 50% and 80% is OK. If your cellar is especially dry, try using a tray of water to dampen the air a bit.

Sideways or horizontal – you decide

We always imagine wines being stored on their sides as this prevents corks from drying out. If, however, your wines have glass or plastic corks, or screw tops, this doesn’t matter. Racking your wines horizontally saves a lot of space though.

Don’t shake the bottles

Some people believe that vibrations can speed up the chemical reactions that age wines and strong vibrations can definitely stir up sediment in older wines, making them cloudy and gritty. A regular household isn’t going to have too many vibrations going on, unless you live in a train station, so don’t worry too much.


Image Credits;

Copyright for the image within this blog post is owned by ‘Jag_cz’, and has been licenced for use on this blog post through Big Stock Photo for editorial use (stock photo ID: 157363946). For questions relating to this image please contact the copyright owner directly.