How you store your wine can have a direct impact on its shelf life. This post features proper wine storage tips to improve your wine's shelf life. The following is a guest post from Firstleaf wine membership club. This post is not sponsored, however they did send me a bottle of their wine to try.
The special occasion — a new job, an anniversary, a new addition to the family — is finally here. You’ve been saving a bottle of wine just for this. Maybe you got it at a long ago winery visit. Maybe it’s a bottle you’ve been saving from the day of your wedding.
Now it’s time to finally open it. But wait! The cork has dropped into the wine! Or the liquid looks grainy and separated. Or has an off smell. What happened? Suddenly all the good vibes from the special day are gone.
Unfortunately, improper wine storage can lead to unhappy moments like these. The wine subscription service Firstleaf has put together a guide to make sure this never happens to you.
How to Build Wine Storage covers everything you need to know about keeping wine for longer than a few weeks.
- The science behind wine storage
- An overview of the main types
- How to build your own
Why Is It So Important To Store Wine Correctly?
The flavor of wine is actually quite delicate. Even a few minutes in a hot car trunk could ruin it. But if you store wine properly, it will not only stay delicious, it will develop deeper flavor that you can enjoy when you drink it.
It’s okay to keep wine on the kitchen counter if you plan to drink it in the next few weeks, but any wine you plan on storing for more than six months requires some sort of refrigeration, or naturally cooled location like a basement. Wine must be kept close to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for long-term storage, and most of our homes are a lot warmer than that!
A few other things to know:
- Avoid direct sunlight, which can quickly heat the wine up even on cool days
- Keep the wine horizontal. This keeps the cork moist. If the cork dries out it shrinks and may drop into the wine.
The Main Types of Wine Storage
There are three main types of wine storage.
A wine rack goes in your kitchen or bar area. It has space for 10-15 bottles to lay horizontally. A wine rack is for short-term storage of wine you plan to drink in the next few months. Wine racks must be hidden away from direct sunlight, and shouldn’t be kept next to anything that gets lot, like the stove or your toaster.
A wine refrigerator is the simplest option for long-term storage of wine. These appliances are designed especially for wine and will hold a certain number of bottles. They keep the wine at the proper temperature and humidity to ensure quality.
Traditionally wine was kept in underground cellars, which stayed cool year-round. But many of us live in homes without basements — or if we have them, we heat them. So a modern wine cellar is usually a room that is build especially for storing wine, with custom heating and cooling elements.
How to Build Your Own
There are a few interesting options for DIY wine storage, especially racks. They make a good beginning woodworking project. See Firstleaf’s guide for more details.