Wine has been there for you in good times and bad. Wine has had your back through celebrations and heartbreaks. Wine doesn’t ask for anything in return.
So why would you forsake your favourite drop and keep it stored on top of the fridge like a common cereal box?
Whether you see wine as an investment or a recreational hobby, knowing how to store your wine bottles is key to keeping it in its best possible drinking condition.
1. Keep It in the Dark
Treat your delicious drop like a vampire and keep it away from light at all costs – especially fluorescent lighting and direct sunlight.
Exposure to UV light can lead to nasty chemical reactions and the formation of hydrogen sulphide (you know – the stuff that smells like rotten eggs) in your wine.
Light can be particularly damaging to wine in clear or light-coloured glass bottles, as darker glass can help to filter the light before it hits your wine. The darker and more opaque the bottle, the more protection provided; darker green or amber glass bottles provide more protection than clear glass.
But it’s best to avoid the risk regardless of the bottle by storing your wine in cases and keeping natural and artificial light to a minimum.
2. Avoid Movement
Much like yourself when you’re downing a plate of pasta, wine doesn’t like to be disturbed. Even small vibrations from your downstairs bar fridge or washing machine can disturb sediment in the bottle and cause chemical reactions that dull the flavours.
If you have no idea how to store wine at home, putting space between your bottles and any appliances or other sources of vibration/movement is a great place to start.
3. Maintain the Temperature
Sure, some wines require maturation to reach peak flavour. But did you know there’s such thing as prematurely aging your wine? And too-high temperatures are to blame.
On the flip side, too-low temperatures can stunt maturation, which can be just as bad news for your palette.
The experts at Wine Ark advise the ideal temperature to store wine is between 12°C and 18°C.
It’s not just about finding the right temperature, either. It’s also important to maintain the temperature, as fluctuating temperatures can impact the wine’s flavour and aroma.
4. Keep Humidity Around 65-70%
Wine bottles are the Goldilocks of humidity. If the humidity is too low, it can cause corks to dry out and shrink, allowing air into the bottle and leading to oxidation.
If it’s too high, it can lead to mould or, at the very least, peeling labels – affecting resale value.
For conditions that are just right, according to Wine Ark, you’ll want to aim for humidity at around 65-70%.
5. Store Natural-Cork Bottles on Their Side
Corks are used to protect your wine from oxidisation. If they dry out, they can crack and shrink, letting air into the bottle and prematurely aging your wine.
If your wine bottle has a natural cork, you should store it horizontally or on a downward angle to keep the cork moist and prevent it drying out.
You don’t have to worry about this with synthetic corks and screw-caps – these bottles are best stored standing up and as still as possible.
Does storing wine at home sound like a lot of fuss and bother? National Storage has partnered with Wine Ark to provide specialised climate-controlled wine storage – whether you have one bottle or 100. Keep your wine collection in ideal conditions and enquire about our wine storage today.