A great pleasure of designing your own custom home, is being able to create a beautiful spot to store your wine collection (or finally start curating one!).
Many factors influence the quality of your stored wine. And temperature is possibly the most important. Just like Goldilocks, the temperature needs to be just right. Too cold or too warm, and you’ll spoil that wine.
Ideal temps depend upon the wine, but the general rule of thumb is that wine should never be kept below 25 degrees Fahrenheit or above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The best temperature, for both long-term and short-term wine storage, is around 55 degrees.
One of the most vital parts of proper wine temperature, is to keep it stable.
This is more for bottles with corks, as it keeps the cork moist, which is best for long-term storage. A dry cork can cause wine leakage and premature aging.
Screw-top bottles don’t need to be kept on their sides, but horizontal storage is a more efficient (space and access) and also much more aesthetically pleasing!
Whether storing for a day or years, keep your wine in the dark. Sunlight, indirect light and too much artificial light, can damage flavor and smell.
Interestingly enough, excessive movement or vibrations aren’t good either. Think near your garage, washer and dryer, home gym or even stereo system. Too much disturbance can agitate the sediment, which is a key part of the process to wine aging well.
Humidity can effect the longevity of your wine. Too little humidity and corks dry out allowing too much oxygen to get into your wine bottle. Too much humidity might not negatively influence the wine itself, but it can most certainly cause labels to peel off.
Humidity of your wine cellar or wine fridge should be between 60 and 68 percent.
You hopefully already know this, but when you don’t have room in a cellar that is cool, moist and dark – then a wine fridge will be your next best friend. Keeping your wine at between 50-60 degrees and the right humidity, as well as away from your main fridge compilation of odors, is a great investment.
Serving wine at the proper temp is just as important as storing.
Once you’re ready to remove that wine from storage and enjoy it, allow time for it to get to the proper serving temperature – called coming up or coming down – to ensure the greatest release of aroma and flavor.
Reds should be served slightly below room temperature, between 58 to 65 degrees. If the wine is older, better to be served at 61-65 with younger wines on the colder end. And of course the darker Reds with stronger tannins must not be served cold.
Whites should be kept chilled at 45-55 but not so cold as to affect the flavor, and of course champagne must be served the coldest, at 38-45.
An open bottle of wine, if kept and stored properly, can last from 3 to 5 days.
For corked wines, re-cork it with wax paper around the cork, placing it back into the original position in the bottle. A rubber wine stopper can also establish a tight seal or invest in a wine vacuum pump to create an airtight seal.