Whether you’re a casual drinker or an avid collector, as long as you have wine at home, you must know how to properly store it. Proper wine storage helps keep the flavor, aroma, and taste of all wines. If you know how to do it, you can enjoy your glass of wine on a whole new level.
Since many people have no idea about this, we’ve listed down all the basics you should know when storing wine at your home. Let’s get started!
1. Keep at the Right Temperature
Temperature is very important when it comes to wine and its proper storage. Too cold or too warm temperatures will surely spoil your wine and may result in off-flavors. In general, the ideal storage temperature of all wines for long and short-term storage is around 55ºF (13ºC). Although the specifics may vary depending on the kind of wine, that is the average temperature you should keep your wines.
Never go beyond 70ºF because it can age your wines more rapidly than you like and can “cook” them. Extreme heat would cause the aroma and flavor to go flat, which no one would like. At the same time, if you store wines at extremely cold temperatures, the wine can lose its natural flavor and aroma.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about storage temperature. Serving temperatures are a different topic and wouldn’t matter much if you want long-term storage for your wines.
2. Store Wine Bottles Horizontally
This is important, especially for wines with natural corks. Although placing them in a standing position is better for displaying them beautifully, it’s really not the best option. You store bottles on their sides to keep the liquid up against the cork. This act keeps the cork hydrated and prevents it from drying out, which is key for long-term storage.
Although it’s not necessary to do this for wine bottles with screwtops, storing them horizontally is still an efficient way of storage. It helps you maximize your space for a better space-saving setup and easy access to your drinks. Not only that, horizontal racking can never harm your wines so there isn’t any other reason for you to have second thoughts.
3. Maintain Steady Temperature
Aside from storing your wines at ideal temperatures, it’s also crucial to ensure that the temperatures stay consistent. A steady and consistent temperature prevents undue stress on both the cork and the wine molecules, which is only possible if there are frequent large temperature changes.
Drastic temperature changes can cause the wine to expand and contract which can push the cork out of the original place over time. This can lead to early oxidation and result in off-flavors in your favorite wines.
4. Monitor the Humidity
Humidity is essential in wine storage. It helps keep the corks hydrated and moist, preventing the potential oxidation of your drinks. If there’s improper humidity in the storage, the cork will dry and become brittle and crumbly. This will make it hard to remove and the crumbled particles may even fall inside the bottle and mix with your wine.
To avoid such situations, you must ensure proper humidity levels in your storage option. Acceptable humidity levels range from 50% to 80% and are considered safe for your wines. Luckily, most indoor conditions fall within this range.
If you want to improve humidity conditions in your storage, you can place a pan of water inside or near it. However, try to avoid going too high since too much humidity can encourage molding on the corks and may peel off the labels on the bottles. If you have too high levels, you can use a dehumidifier instead.
5. Limit Exposure to Lights
You’d want to store your wines in the dark as much as possible. The less light, the better for your wines. This is because light, especially sunlight, can cause issues with long-term storage. The UV rays from the sunlight can degrade and prematurely age wines, resulting in damage to the flavors and aromas. This is why almost all wine bottles are tinted and dark in color.
If you want to add a light source to your storage, the safest option is to use LED lights. LEDs don't emit UV light, unlike fluorescent bulbs. Still, it would be best to hide your bottles from any light for long-term storage.
6. Avoid Vibrations and Movements
You shouldn’t disrupt your wines too much, either manually or not. Vibration and movement can damage your wines by speeding up the chemical reactions in the liquid. This will cause your wine to age more quickly.
Avoid storing your wine collection near anything that can produce vibrations. This includes electronic appliances like the washer and dryer, the stereo system, and even some kitchen equipment and cooling appliances. You can instead store your wines in the basement, or anywhere in the house where they won’t be disturbed and moved.
7. Use the Appropriate Storage Unit
Lastly, you must store your wines in the proper storage and there are a lot of options for this. You can use wine fridges, cellars, cabinets, and racks but not in regular refrigerators. Your standard refrigerator wouldn’t be able to provide the ideal temperature and humidity conditions for your wines.
It would also be best to have separate storage for your wines only so you can maintain the appropriate conditions they need. Depending on your preferences, buying capabilities, and storage needs, you need to check the pros and cons of each storage option you have.
It’s also important to ensure that you can place the storage unit in a place or area in your home where you can maintain the proper conditions for the wines.
If you want long-term storage but can’t afford a wine cellar or you think a cellar would be too big for your collection, we suggest using a wine storage cabinet, like Vintiquewise Wine Storage Cabinet. It features a great and creative storing space for your wines and you can place it anywhere you like.
Proper wine storage is important to ensure that you enjoy your wines to the fullest. With the basics, you can now ensure that the right conditions are maintained so your wines can age properly.
Never forget the last part – using the right storage unit. You should know that the right storage unit can help you achieve the other basics. If you want to check options, you can visit and look through our top-rated wine storage collection to find one that matches your storage needs.