Unless you have a stand alone, climate-controlled wine cellar built specifically for that purpose in your home, odds are that you are storing your wine improperly. Luckily, you don’t need anything quite that involved to improve the life and quality of the wines you keep in your house! The folks over at Bodegas Torres and their blog, Club Torres, came up with a list of several things you could be doing to optimize the life of your bottles of wine. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
This is likely the biggest threat to your wine collection, direct light is hugely damaging to wine. The bottles need to be kept somewhere dark no matter what. They should stay as far away from sunlight as possible, because UV rays are the worst. They cause chemical reactions in the wine that end up ruining it completely. Regular household light bulbs, aren’t nearly as damaging, and will likely do no more than fade the label.
The climate in which you store your wine is one of the most important factors that can affect the quality of your bottles. It’s important to ensure both the consistency and the range of temperature of the environment where your bottles are being kept. Most experts will recommend to let them rest at a constant temperature of 50-60 degrees Farenheit. Any warmer, and your wine will age much quicker, and face a dramatic decrease in lifespan. The kitchen is the first place that many people think to store their wine, but it’s actually a bad idea to keep bottles in there, as it’s usually the warmest room in the house. Cooler? That’s not a good solution either! And your refrigerator is even worse still: the lack of humidity will dry out the cork, which could shrink and permit oxidation.
While it’s important to keep your bottles resting in a quiet and dark place, that does not mean that they should be sealed off from a supply of air. They need a little bit of ventilation, which will lower the chance of mold and cut down on the odors that can contaminate wine.