Wine is easily affected by changes in its environment, whether it’s an expensive collectible or a cheap bottle from the grocery store. To ensure proper storage, it’s crucial to know the factors that can spoil wine.
Wine may last for decades and increase quality and value if it is properly stored. Unfortunately, poor storage may ruin even the finest of spirits. Of course, we don’t all have our own cellars here, so it’s important to know the right way to store your bottles before you can uncork them and drink.
How to store a wine?
Proper wine storage is essential for preserving the quality and taste of your bottles. The ideal conditions include keeping the wine in a cool, dark, and consistent environment, with a temperature between 45-65°F (7-18°C), and a humidity level of about 70%.
Avoid storing wine in direct sunlight or places with temperature fluctuations. Wine racks or a wine fridge can help you organize and maintain the bottles. By storing your wine correctly, you can ensure that it ages well and is ready to be enjoyed when you decide to open it.
Factors to consider when storing a wine
Wine lovers know that proper storage is essential for preserving the quality and taste of their favorite bottles. While factors like temperature and humidity are commonly considered, many people overlook the impact of light on wine. Both sunlight and incandescent lighting can actually damage the quality of your wine, affecting its taste, color, and overall mouthfeel.
- Temperature is the most significant threat to the preservation of wine. Fluctuations in temperature can disturb the intricate combination of compounds that contribute to the aroma and flavor of wine. In order to maintain the quality of wine, it is crucial to protect it from temperature variations.
- Wine corks depend on moisture in the air to remain secure. However, in dry conditions, the corks can shrink, increasing the chance of premature oxidation. This means that wine loses out with a score of 0, while oxidation triumphs with a score of 2.
- Light-struck wine is often referred to as having a “maderized” or “cooked” flavor. To avoid this, it is best to store wine in a cool and dark place like a wine storage cabinets away from direct sunlight. If a wine is already light-struck, there is no way to reverse the damage, and it is best to discard it.
- When wine is stored, it should be kept as still as possible to minimize movement. Vibrations can disrupt the sediment and create heat and friction within the bottle, which can alter the molecular structure of the wine. Therefore, it is important to store wine in a wine storage cabinet where it is not exposed to constant movement or vibrations to ensure its quality and taste remain unchanged.
- Wine can be influenced by off odors present in the environment where it is stored. These odors, such as those from a room or garage, can seep into the wine through its corks over time, and significantly impact its flavors and aromas. Cigar smells are also often responsible for causing undesirable effects on the wine.
Both sunlight and incandescent lighting can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your wine. The phenolic compounds in wine are sensitive to light, and exposure can lead to changes in taste, color, and mouthfeel. UV light, in particular, is a significant threat as it can cause the loss of flavor and contribute to oxidation. To protect your wine, store it in a dark environment such as a cellar or wine refrigerator, and avoid prolonged exposure to direct light when serving. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your wine retains its true quality and provides an enjoyable drinking experience.