February 10, 2022
The Ultimate Guide On How To Store Your Wine Collection
Buying a few bottles of wine for an upcoming special event or celebration is one thing. But stocking a whole collection of wine at home is a whole different story. There are different reasons why many people love to have their own wine collection. Some do it as a hobby. Others may do it to resell them, while others simply love to drink wine and want to ensure they have access to it anytime.
Regardless of what reason you have behind collecting wine, it’s only essential that you know how to store your wine collection properly. Otherwise, even the most expensive and great-tasting wine you have will spoil in no time. Meanwhile, when stored and preserved correctly, your collection can surely last for years, or even centuries, while growing better and finer in value, taste, and quality.
How To Properly Store Your Wine Collection?
Fine wines, whether they are from France, Italy or the United States, are generally expensive. The last thing you want is to drink them only to find out that they’ve already tasted like vinegar due to improper wine storage. Thus, this guide below will give you some pointers to remember about storing your wine collection properly.
1. Pick A Storage Room With Proper Temperature
Many factors can influence the quality of your stored wine, but temperature plays the most crucial role. Keeping your wines in unsuitably cold or warm temperatures is a surefire way to spoil their taste. For example, when a wine is stored in a room that’s too hot, the aging process will accelerate, and its flavor and aroma will become ‘cooked,’ resulting in an unpleasant taste. Meanwhile, if the temperature’s too cold, sooner or later, the cork will suddenly pop, or the bottle will crack and lead to oxidization.
Thus, always observe the ideal temperature for your storage room, which ranges from 45° F to 65° F. To be exact, 55ºF (13ºC) is considered the ‘almost perfect’ temperature. This general rule applies to both short-term and long-term storage. You can also consult the manufacturer for more recommendations about proper temperature on specific labels or types. Most importantly, make sure you have full control in keeping the temperature stable as much as possible to avoid temperature fluctuations. If your budget would permit, consider investing in temperature and humidity control units for ease and convenience.
2. Invest In Proper Wine Storage
Suppose you already have a designated storage room for your wines, and you’ve already bought the specific labels and types of wines you wish to have. After investing a lot of money in your wine collection, it’s important that you also invest in the proper storage of that wine, to prevent it from aging too quickly or going off. There are plenty of wine storage solutions at Winecellarhq.com to help you with this, including wine racks, wine cellar cooling units, wine cabinets, and wine cellar furniture.
With proper wine storage, you’ll also be able to store your wine bottles horizontally. Positioning them horizontally may sound like it’s for aesthetic purposes. But the truth is, horizontally placing your wines will keep the cork moist, which is crucial for long-term storage. An exsiccated cork will only cause leakage and premature aging.
However, this rule may not apply when the bottles are under a screwcap, which means you can place them in any position. On a side note, arranging your bottles horizontally is also an efficient way to maximize your storage space and provide easy access, so you might as well do the same for the rest of the bottles.
3. Protect Your Wines From Direct Light Exposure
Have you noticed in movies when a scene is shot inside the wine storage, the room tends to be dim or completely dark? That’s because light exposure, especially sunlight, is bad for your wines. The sun’s UV rays will only oxidize your wines and cause them to age prematurely. That’s why vintners would use colored wine glass bottles as they work as the wine’s sunglasses. Wines in clear bottles are more susceptible to sun exposure. So, whether you’re storing your wines for days, weeks, or years, always keep them in the darkroom and avoid exposure to both the sunlight and fluorescent fixtures.
While the light from your household bulbs may not necessarily spoil the wine’s taste, it can cause the labels to fade in the long term. This is something you would want to avoid, especially if you’re planning to sell your bottles in the future.
If you’d like to install one bulb in the wine cellar, you can go for an incandescent bulb instead, as it only produces minimal amounts of UV light. Just make sure you only turn them on when necessary.
4. Avoid Any Vibration Sources
Besides the light, you should also protect your wine collection from vibration sources like a dryer, stereo system, washer, and other electronic appliances that produce vibration. Vibrations will only fluster the wine’s sediments and disrupt the delicate aging process of the wine. Thus, if you live near a train station or there’s a major construction within your area, you may want to consult vintners on how to reduce the impact of vibrations on your prized possession.
In addition, make sure you also avoid picking up a bottle and putting them back in place. Moving the bottles around or picking them up too frequently can disturb the wine’s sediments and eventually spoil them. That’s why wine storages are designed in racks or cabinets so you won’t be able to move or disturb the other bottles every time you remove a single bottle.
5. Watch Out For Humidity
Similar to the temperature, the humidity levels of your wine storage room can also affect your wine’s longevity. When the air’s humidity is too low, the corks could dry out and cause the wines to oxidize. Meanwhile, higher humidity levels will only cause the labels to fade or peel off, making it difficult to sell them.
To help regulate the humidity of your wine cellar, invest in a humidifier or place a small bowl of water along with the bottles. Generally, the room’s humidity level should be around 60-68%.
6. Use A Wine Fridge
Suppose you don’t have proper storage space for your bottles, mainly when you have limited room in the house. In that case, you can use a wine fridge instead. A wine fridge is significantly different from a standard fridge. While the regular refrigerator keeps your food cold and dry, the wine fridge has a temperature of 50-60˚F (10-15˚C) with proper humidity levels, perfect for storing wine bottles. Furthermore, keeping your bottles in the wine fridge will keep them safe from cross-contamination from the food odors on the regular fridge.
Treat Your Wine Collection With Care
Starting a wine collection can be an exciting hobby or business to have. So, take this guide with you when you plan to start your own collection. Remember, investing in a wine collection can take time and patience. Thus, learning how to store your wine collections would guarantee you positive returns in the long run.