Having a variety of wines can be a huge luxury for the wine connoisseur. Yet, there are plenty of people who have just a handful of wines that need to be preserved. And while having a wine cellar would be nice, most homeowners do not have such a space. This raises the question of how you go about storing the wines? Don’t worry. There are ways in which storing wine properly can be accomplished. Read on to find out everything you need to know to keep your collection pristine.
Keep it in the dark
Have you ever wondered why wine goes into colored bottles instead of clear glass bottles? The answer is sun exposure and preservation. Wines do not like the light. Exposure to the sun can damage the wine just like the sun can damage our skin if exposed to it for prolonged periods of time. Look for areas where there is not a lot of UV lighting. Storage units can provide you with this space as you control the amount of light that is within your personal space.
Avoid spaces that have fluorescent bulbs as these give off UV light, though in small amounts. The best lighting will be LED lights. Storing wine properly in a basement or dedicated room requires that you ensure that there is minimal lighting and that the lighting which is provided will not fade the labels or damage the wine over time.
Don’t get it too humid
Traditionalists on wine will state that you need to keep the humidity of the room around 70%. This is mainly for the preservation of the cork over anything else. The thinking is that if the cork is compromised then the wine can become compromised. Yet, this is not true. If you have anywhere between the low 50s and the low 80s on humidity you should be fine. The 70% rule only applies to wines that you intend to store for 10 years or more, in which case it would be best to store them in a dedicated wine storage facility to ensure the wellbeing of the wine.
Keep in mind that humidity should not be excessive in any storage location. Moisture can breed mold which is not good for anything in storage. If you find that there is moisture on the walls, a damp smell in the air, or if you see any fungus or mold in the area around the storage area, avoid placing your wine or any other valuables in the space until the humidity is controlled.
The perfect temperature
In addition to the humidity, wines should be stored at the proper temperature. Too hot and you will cook the wine, too cold and the wine could freeze or have ice accumulation in the bottle. Neither of these is ideal for keeping your wine in good condition. Find a location which has climate control. Again, this is where a storage unit would be a great choice. Look for climates which are regulated between 55ᵒ and 65ᵒ. You can go a bit lower to the 45ᵒ range. However, there is a risk that the wine could become too cold and lose some of its flavor.
Many would say that the ideal temperature for storing wine properly is 55ᵒ. This temperature is known as the close to perfect wine tasting option. Yet, there is no research that really backs up this claim. It is more of a preference among wine enthusiasts than anything else. The rule of thumb is to keep it from freezing and keep it from sweating and losing flavor.
Don’t wrap the bottle
You may have the urge to wrap your wine in bubble wrap or in a cloth when preparing to store the wine for some time. Do not do this. Wrapping the bottle may cause the wine to become too hot and sweaty. This could in turn affect the stability of the cork. Specifically, it could dry out the cork and thereby cause air to get to the wine, compromising the flavor. If the bottle is wrapped, then the sweat from the bottle could compromise not only the wine but the label on the wine.
Turn the bottle sideways
For storage, it is best that the wine is stored within a wine rack, sideways. This will allow the wine to press against the cork, minimizing the risk that the cork will dry out. Additionally, the side storage allows for quick reading of the labels without excessive shaking of the bottles. Vertical storage may cause you to have some settlement on the bottom of the wine bottle. While you may get some settlement from the horizontal placement. It is really a matter of preference and about the moisture of the cork. Those storing wines for a short amount of time can store bottles vertically as there will not be enough time to dry out the cork.
Avoid the shakes
When retrieving your wine for drinking, you may have the urge to shake the bottle. Do not do this. Let the settlement go to the bottom of the bottle if there is any by letting it sit for a moment. Then pour. Settlement on the bottom of the bottle when pouring is ok. When storing your wine, look for locations that have minimal vibrations. This means that you should keep the wine away from electronic devices such as washers and dryers which cause floor vibrations.
Storing wine properly
The best way to store wine properly is to have the wine in a cool environment, horizontal, and with a controlled temperature. Storage units offer the perfect area to store wine temporarily. As there are several units that offer climate control, you do not have to worry about keeping a basement or a room under certain conditions. Additionally, as the light is only turned on within your unit when you are there, you do not have to worry about us.
Any wines which are to be stored over 10 years should be stored at a professional wine storage unit to ensure that the conditions remain ideal over the length of storage.