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So, How Exactly do you Store Wine?
No matter what your tipple is; white, red, pink or sparkling, storing your wine correctly is essential. Simply putting your favourite bottle above the fridge and forgetting about it for a year could drastically alter the taste. Consequently, then, when you come to enjoy it on that special occasion, it might not be as favourable as you hoped.
Despite wines being a perishable commodity, properly caring for and storing your wine can actually improve its’ aroma, flavour, texture, and complexity over time.
Step 1: How long are you storing your wine for?
The first decision to make is how long you are planning to store your wine. Generally, short term storage is 3 to 6 months. This is the most economical storage time for less pricey, less cherished wines. Now, long term can mean decades and should be reserved for your quality, precious wines.
Step 2: Correct storage conditions
Whether it’s short or long term storage, the same rules apply. First and foremost, the bottles should be laid horizontally instead of upright. Why? This ensures the cork remains moist. A most cork stops it from drying out.
It is essential to keep the wines in a vibration free environment. Why? Wine should not move about in storage. So, storing long term on top of electrical appliances or a place subject to external forces (i.e. from a subway) should be avoided.
Wine can be greatly affected by its surrounding temperature. Did you know that the ideal temperature for wine storage is roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12°C). Bottles should be kept out of drafts. Also, any temperature change should be very gradual.
Additionally, light can negatively impact an excellent wine. This factor is why some wine bottles are made of coloured glass. Wine must be kept out of direct sun light. Why? Well, too much light can react with proteins in wine, causing some to form a haze. This haze can cause bad aromas, and bad aromas will directly pollute its’ flavour.
For long term storage, the correct atmospheric conditions are required. Humidity has to be very high, approximately 70% or more, in order to stop the cork drying out and to reduce the chance of wine evaporating. Also, when storing long term, consider the wines surroundings. Ensure there are no other foods or liquids that could be absorbed into the wine itself. Substances with strong aromas ,for example fuel or vinegar, must be kept elsewhere!
Step 3: Enjoy…
When the time comes to pop the cork and savour all your hard work, drink responsibly. Hey, do try to finish bottles within a few days of opening. Why? Did you know that as soon as the wine is exposed to air it starts mixing with oxygen? This is known as oxidation. This also alters the essence of the wine. Enjoy!
Correct wine storage is fundamental for any serious wine lover, enthusiast, or even hobbyist. The most effective storage is in a wine cellar. Since numerous bottles can be kept conveniently out of sight, yet in the perfect conditions.