How do you store your favourite wine? Are you guilty of throwing your weekly shop everywhere and anywhere, just to get it stored? Maybe you know a thing or two about wine storage, with a dedicated wine rack? Or perhaps you already appreciate the tricks of the trade, with your very own grand cellar?
We know that a large proportion of UK households unfortunately do not have the latter. So, to help our customers store their wine with ease whilst getting the best out of their favourite bottle, we’ve teamed up with Elite Wine Refrigeration for this blog.
Keep reading for 5 top wine storage tips, straight from the storage experts’ mouth. You’ll soon be glad you didn’t waste thousands on a cellar.
No myths here
Before we jump into our wine storage tips, here’s a disclaimer. There are no myths here. You may be fed up of scrolling through blogs and how-to guides, sharing how different wines should be stored at different temperatures, locations and for unlike time frames. This isn’t a realistic or true outlook on wine storage, especially without a man-made, underground home.
So, we’re stripping back the basics. The traditional way of storing wine to elevate and prolong its value and taste. If you’re looking for new hacks, you’re at risk of devaluing your next bottle…
Tip #1 – Protect from surplus UV light
Think about our skin as humans. Surplus UV light exposure can result in irreversible damages. This is exactly the case for wine.
Unfortunately, its glass casing doesn’t protect it from UV exposure. Surplus display can result in damages, including changes to its taste, sweetness or bitterness, disparities to its natural chemicals, discolouration and even disrupting the ageing process.
Overtime, light will also change its temperature, resulting in an unpleasant bottle to consume. So before fashioning your wine rack next to a suntrap, think about the damage it could cause. An unseen area in your home will do the trick.
Tip #2 – Avoid over the top vibrations
Living in a family home will result in vibrations. Any form of movement will create excess energy, disrupting the natural atmosphere. Now imagine this degree of movement, placed next to your wine.
Vibrations can cut straight through your wine, causing layers, disruptions and splitting. Ingredients are likely to fragment, the ageing process will stop, and natural chemicals will become uneven. Not only will this affect the taste and body of your wine, it will hinder its lifespan.
The best way to store your wine in a busy household is to select a constant home for your collection, set away from key activity areas. Avoid unnecessary touching or movement, up until you’re ready for serving preparations.
Care for your wine and it will return the favour. Place it in a dark and quiet place until you’re ready to consume.
Tip #3 – Avoid cool or hot temperatures
If you’re a myth advocate, look away now… All wines, no matter their colour, ingredients, price, age or brand should be stored at 12°C. This is the ideal temperature for all wines, future-proofing their optimal condition.
If wine is stored in cooler temperatures, there’s risk of oxidization. Here is where excess air will enter the bottle, commonly as a result of a withered cork. This air can water down the wine, adapting its taste, body and consistency.
If your wine is stored in hot temperatures, the sought-after ageing process will stop, obstructing the chance to reach its optimal condition.
Although serving conditions should differ for all wines, responding to the myth, storage should remain at 12°C. As this can be tricky to maintain in a functioning home, purchasing a high-quality wine cooler may be the answer.
Tip #4 – Stay away from lingering smells
We’re all partial to storing our wine in the heart of the home, our kitchens. Yet, consider the variations of smells in that one room. From strong cleaning products, to lingering ingredients, there’s actually risk of contamination.
Think about a time where you’ve been situated next to an unpleasant smell. This smell may have grabbed onto your hair or clothes. Overtime, this contamination can happen to your wine, entering and damaging its contents. Sometimes ranking as non-consumable, this can waste a once perfectly tasting and smelling bottle.
Following these storage tips will help to decrease the likelihood of contamination. Alternatively, an air purifying tool will improve the quality and smell of air surrounding your wine collection.
Tip #5 – Keep humidity at bay
Causing just as much damage as excess heat or light, unmaintained humidity levels can result in non-consumable wine.
Understandably, maintaining humidity levels can be difficult without a cellar. Yet, usually, if you’ve got your condition right, with an optimal temperature, humidity should be easily manageable.
Your humidity levels should fall between 55-80%. Above this and you’re looking at the risk of mould. Mould will damage your wine, ranking it as non-consumable and very unpleasant. Below this and oxidization is common down to the dry and dehydrated atmosphere. In both situations, the quality of your wine will reduce over time, making it an unworthwhile purchase.
Make sure your wine is consumable by considering its place in the house.
Although this may seem like a large job for the sake of an alcoholic beverage, once mastered, it is easily maintained. For a wine fan, this is very important, helping to preserve their collection, expensive bottle or weekend favourite.
You never know, you may soon be the lucky owner of a pricey number, with the aim to uphold its value for a special moment. To do so, you will need to follow these tips by Elite Wine Refrigeration:
- Keep your wine in a dark area, set away from surplus UV light
- Care for your wine by placing it in a quiet, untouched area of your home
- Keep your wine at 12°C, until you’re ready to serve
- Store your wine away from lingering smells, usually found in the heart of the home
- Keep your humidity levels between 55-80% to preserve its taste, body and lifespan
Although you may not have a grand cellar in your home, by following these wine storage tips, you’ll have the next best thing.