“Life is too short to drink bad wine” – We have all seen this quote and agreed wholeheartedly, but how exactly does one keep their GOOD wine from going BAD?? Most wine enthusiasts will invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars into their wine collection and the worst thing you can do with all that beautiful wine, is to store it improperly and let it go bad!
Not only do you waste money but you have no good wine to serve at Thanksgiving, give as gifts for Christmas, take to that couples wine party, or drink alone when you are celebrating Friday (everyone does that right!?). So here are the facts winos…
1. Wine likes to stay in the “cool” crowd.
Keep your wine at about 55 degrees or at least between 45-65 degrees if you want it NOT to age faster, degrade, lose all its aroma and be flavorless. That means you should store it in a cool, dark place where heat cannot find it. Try to keep it closer to the ground than the ceiling and if you are in a multi-level house keep it on the ground floor or in your DRY basement. Also, avoid storing it in the kitchen, laundry area, boiler room, or any other place it can get hot and humid! When you are wine tasting, don’t leave your purchased wine out in the hot car in the sun! Try to put it in your trunk, park in the shade or bring it in with you to your next wine tasting stop!
2. Wine hates the snow.
Do not freeze your wine, ever. Your wine hates extreme temperatures and if you have a corked wine it will pop that sucker right off and overflow into a slushy mess in your freezer. Hey, if you have leftover white wine fill up those ice trays and serve in your Sangria, but don’t put the bottle in there!
3. Wine is not happy in the sun!
UV rays are harmful to wine and can degrade it making it “cooked” and smelly! Wine is bottled in darker bottles for this reason to filter the sun from affecting it and should be shielded from sunny areas or lots of light. If you have a light near your wine or in your wine cellar, try to use LED lights for less heat output. 50-80% humidity is ideal and keeping it happy will keep your palate happy when you drink it!
4. Wine likes to sleep when corked.
Lay your wines down in their rack horizontally so that they keep their liquid love in contact with the cork! That way the cork stays moist, it doesn’t dry out, therefore not letting in damaging air that causes your wine to go bad and taste funky. Wine with a screw cap can be stored upright or sideways but don’t move it around from one to another – just leave it until you are ready to drink it.
5. Wine hates headbanging.
That’s right, DO NOT shake your wine around like a rock star. Wine has ingredients that will cause a chemical reaction when shaken and disturbs the sediment.
6. Wine likes to be alone.
Don’t store your wine in a pantry next to smelly foods or spices, fruits and veggies, a scented candle, a can of coffee or any other substance that has a strong aroma. Your wine breathes through it’s cork and will inhale those smells and taint your wine causing a strange tasting experience when it’s opened.
7. Wine needs love.
If you have an extensive collection, plan on storing your wine long term, have inadequate spaces or live in extreme temperatures without climate control, it is wise to invest in a professional wine storing facility, a wine cooler or a custom made cellar. Wine collection is an investment to be protected so storing it the right way can save you in losing a lot of money if it all goes bad. There are plenty of wine coolers that are affordable and fit in closets, under counters, next to your bed (oh ya!)..etc. Local wine storage facilities are EXPERTS at storing wine and can offer you peace of mind and there are professional wine cellar contractors that can convert a closet, a pantry or your chosen space into a stellar place to love your wine.
8. Once your wine is opened these are the approximate guidelines depending on your wine:
Wine, Rose’ or Blush: Store in cool wine cellar, cooler or fridge tightly sealed for up to 5 days
Red Wine: Left out with cork stopper or wine topper for a few days
Sherry or Port: Left out with cork stopper or wine topper for up to 5 days
* If your wine is left out a bit longer you can always use it for cooking!
Sometimes you will open a bottle of wine after doing all the right things and it is still bad, or you will maybe store it in a bit of an unideal way and it still tastes great, it really depends on the quality of your wine, it’s age and how it was handled before you purchased it!
It is great to get your wine from an actual winery opposed to a store or wine bar and try to tour their winery facility to see how it is processed, what goes in it and how it is stored.
These important details make the wine worth the purchase!