How to Properly Store Wine?
At What Temperature Should Wine Be Stored?
We answer these and more questions in this article on storing wine correctly.
Here are 6 things to consider when storing wine:
1. The Right Temperature
The most important tip for wine storage is related to the room climate. Wine should always be stored at the correct temperature and humidity. As a rule of thumb, the ideal temperature for both short-term and long-term wine storage is around 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the perfect storage temperature can vary slightly from one wine to another. Regardless of the wine or grape variety, wine should never be stored at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), as this can lead to wine freezing. Similarly, temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) can be detrimental to wine. Elevated storage temperatures accelerate the wine's aging process and may lead to issues like cork taint. If the storage location is a few degrees too warm, the wine should be consumed within a few years of bottling.
In addition to the ideal storage temperature, it's important to avoid temperature fluctuations caused by weather changes or heating and cooling systems. The more consistent the temperature, the longer the wine will remain in good condition.
2. Protect Wine from Light and Sunlight
Another factor that can affect the shelf life of wine is the impact of light sources during storage. Therefore, wines should be kept away from all light sources, including direct sunlight and fluorescent lights. White wine stored in clear bottles is particularly susceptible to direct sunlight. Transparent glass provides less protection compared to dark green and brown bottles.
Tip from Max & Moritz: You can identify a wine fault due to light and sunlight exposure by a subtle smell resembling cheese. This wine fault is called "light-struck."
3. The Right Humidity
In general, the storage area should have a humidity level between 60 and 70 percent. Deviating from this range may reduce the wine's shelf life.
If the humidity is too low, corks can dry out, making the wine vulnerable to the effects of oxygen, which increases the risk of wine oxidation. High humidity can lead to mold growth on the corks. Another, purely aesthetic effect of high humidity is the deterioration of wine labels, which can peel off the bottles over time.
4. Store Wine Bottles Horizontally
When storing wine with natural corks, it's important to store the wine bottles horizontally. This keeps the cork in constant contact with the wine, preventing cork drying and minimizing the risk of wine oxidation.
5. A Wine Cooler Isn't Just for Professionals
Short-term storage of wine in a regular refrigerator is not a problem. However, vibrations in a typical refrigerator can harm wine over time. The chemical structure of the wine is altered, and sediment is disturbed. To avoid these risks, in addition to a consistently cool, dark, and humid wine storage area, a dedicated wine cooler is ideal. Unlike a regular refrigerator, which keeps food very cold and dry, a wine cooler is designed for a perfect temperature of 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-59 degrees Fahrenheit) and the right humidity.
6. Storing Open Wine Bottles
Properly stored, an open bottle of wine can remain good for up to 7 days. The key to extending the life of an open bottle of wine is minimizing exposure to air.
The rule of thumb is: The more wine remains in the bottle, the longer the open bottle will stay fresh. It's important to recork the bottle after pouring. For more tips on the shelf life of wine, you can check out our