Wine, especially expensive wine shouldn’t just sit in a cupboard until it is ready to drink. Some wine benefits from long-term aging whilst others should be drunk within a few years of being bottled. If you are looking to wine storage in the long-term then there are some things to remember when laying it down.
Keeping the temperature right
If you keep wine that you are maturing above 21 degrees Celsius then it will age much more quickly than you would like. If it gets cooked, when wine is heated too much, it kills the flavours and aromas of the wine. The best temperatures to keep your wine at range between 7 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius this way it avoids being cooked and equally prevents the corks from drying out at low temperatures which can lead to your wine being damaged by the air.
One of the most important things to remember is never keep your wine in the freezer or an unheated garage during the colder months. The wine can freeze forcing the cork out of the bottle or freeze and break the bottle it is stored in.
You should also make sure that the temperature you keep your wine at is constant, ideally at 12.5 degrees Celsius to prevent seepage and the wine expanding too much and forcing the cork out of the bottle. Check your wine storage solution has the right temperature.
Keep it in the dark
Long-term storage of wine in sunlight or artificial light can degrade your wine and cause it to age prematurely. UV rays are not just bad for the skin but bad for wine as well. The coloured glass bottles that vintners use to bottle their produce act as UV filters for the wine but they can’t keep all the UV rays out. By keeping your wine in the dark you avoid the problems of UV rays aging your wine and let it age at a gentle rate. Dark wine storage is better than light wine storage.
Humidity and its effect
Humidity for long-term wine storage should stay at around 70% but it isn’t too much of a worry if it is slightly above or below this. If you are laying down wine for more than ten year then you will need to keep the humidity at a constant rate, but if you are storing wine for a shorter period of time then keeping it between 50% and 80% won’t damage the wine or the corks.
It’s called laying it down for a reason
Stopping your cork from drying out is important as the cork keeps the air from getting to the wine and damaging it. By laying your wine on its side it keeps the wine up against the cork to stop it drying out and also makes for the most efficient way of storing your wine when you have lots of bottles to lay down. Even if your wine has a plastic cork, a wax seal, a glass cork or a screw cap laying a bottle on its side doesn’t damage the wine.
Keep it still
Vibrations can damage your wine, small vibrations won’t damage the wine too much but larger vibrations can disturb the sediment in older wines and keep them from settling when you lay them down that can cause the wine to become gritty and unpleasant to drink even if they have a fantastic flavour. Living next door to busy railway stations, music venues or party scenes can be problematic for wine storage but other than that you should be fine.
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