The correct wine storage is essential for all wines but especially for fine wines. So, we have put together the best fine wine storage tips for your collection. Whether you have bought your wine for drinking or storing it as an investment, it’s good to know how to keep it at its best.
NOT ALL WINE SHOULD BE KEPT LONG TERM!
It’s a popular misconception that any wine will improve with age. Most wines are best enjoyed within a few years of their release, and many need to be drunk within the first couple of years. Even some fine wines that are left too long and are not correctly stored can oxidise and turn to vinegar!
If you are planning on storing wine as a long-term investment, then it is wise to store these types of collectable fine wines at a bonded warehouse so they are kept in perfect condition and well protected. If you’re planning on investing in wine for the first time, we recommend following the wine collectors guide to ensure you have all the relevant information required.
If you plan on storing your fine wine at your own premises, here are our best fine wine storage tips to help you store wine successfully until you are ready to enjoy drinking it.
- HOW TO STORE WINE AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
Wine does not like heat! Fine wines should not be stored above 24˚c (75°F), and their optimum storage temperatures are between 11-14˚c (52-57°F). When wine is kept at a higher temperature, it can degrade the quality of the wine, leaving it devoid of flavour.
Wine also doesn’t like to be too cold! It may seem perfectly fine to keep your fine white wines in a fridge, but that is not an intelligent move for long term wine storage, especially if they are corked bottles. If the wine gets too cold and the cork dry’s out, the wine can oxidise and spoil. If this does happen, push the cork inside the bottle, decant the wine and taste it, there is a slight chance it could still be drinkable. Keep your wine in a specific wine fridge to prevent these issues.
Storing your wine in a room or area that tends to remain at an even temperature is best.
- AVOID RAPID CHANGES IN TEMPERATURE
When you invest in fine wines, you want to ensure you get your money’s worth, whether that be enjoying the wine at its best or increasing the value of the wine. Temperature fluctuations are damaging to fine wines. When wine is moved too often or stored in a place that does not have a consistent temperature, you risk the liquid expanding and contracting. When the wine does this, it can cause corked wine to move, and seepage can occur!
To help prevent humidity from being an issue, you could consider using a dehumidifier in a damp room or a bowl of water or a humidifier in a room that is on the drier side.
- KEEP THE SUNLIGHT AWAY
Wine likes conditions very similar to vampires, neither like direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can degrade and prematurely age wine. If left in direct sunlight, it can spoil very quickly indeed! Coloured bottles do help protect wine, just the same as sunglasses protect eyes. Even household lights can degrade wine over time, especially fluorescent ones, which can often be used in cellars and garages. So, keep your wine in a room without too much light, and it should be happy.
- STORE SIDEWAYS OR THE RIGHT WAY UP?
Fine wine bottled has traditionally been stored on their sides to ensure the wine stayed up against the cork and prevent it from drier out and ruining the integrity of the wine. Today stoppering (the term used to seal wine bottles) usually consists of several different types of cork. These range from traditional cork, synthetic corks, glass and zorks. If the wine is sealed with the latter three, or you will be drinking the wine in the not too distant future, there is no need to store the wine sideways. Laying your wine on its side is efficient and necessary if your wine is corked, so perhaps let’s continue this tradition.
- HOW TO STORE OPEN BOTTLES OF WINE
Once you’ve opened your delicious bottle of fine wine, you perhaps won’t want to drink it all in one go, especially if it has been for a wine tasting experience. When stored properly, fine wines can last around three days. The key to preserving the quality of your wine is to recork it swiftly and securely. The ideal way to preserve your opened wine is to use a wine saver vacuum pump that sucks the air out of the bottle and then seals it. The second option is a rubber stopper that isn’t ideal for fine wines but will be fine for good quality wines.
Our final piece of advice is to double the wine bottle amount if you’re considering investing in fine wine because once you start enjoying fine wines or collecting wines, it is incredibly hard to stop.