Unless you intend on drinking a bottle of wine within a couple days of bringing it home, you’ll need to properly store it. Some people automatically assume that wine can be stored in the kitchen pantry or refrigerator just fine, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. Placing your wine in either of these areas can alter it’s flavor, aroma and texture. In addition, it also speeds up the spoiling process, reducing your wine’s overall shelf life. So, what’s the best way to store a bottle of wine without it spoiling? Keep reading and we’ll take a closer look at this issue.
#1 – Sunlight
The first thing you’ll want to be aware of is that prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause a bottle of wine to spoil. The sun’s powerful UV rays will penetrate the bottle and literally cook the wine from the inside out. As the wine temperature increases, new chemical reactions take place that result in the wine tasting bitter or even sour. Sunlight has the most effect on light-colored wine bottles, as there’s less protection to block it out.
Whenever you bring a new bottle of wine home, make sure it’s placed far away from any windows. The absolute worst thing you can do is place the wine in a window seal where it’s right up against the glass. Leaving it exposed to the sunlight here for just a couple days will cause it the spoiling process to begin.
#2 – Temperature
We can’t talk about proper wine storage without covering the issue of temperature. This is a somewhat debatable topic that wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs constantly argue about. When wine is stored in an environment that’s too warm, it will heat the contents of the wine and cause it to spoil. On the other hand, wine that’s stored in an environment that’s too cold will slow the aging process down to a crawl. A bottle of 20-year old vintage wine that was stored in a freezer won’t have the same delightful taste that it would if it was stored in a cooler.
Generally speaking, it’s usually best to store your wine in a cooler or climate-controlled cellar where the temperature is somewhere between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a happy medium that prevents wine from spoiling but also allows it to slowly age over time.
#3 – Keep It Sideways
You might be surprised to hear that storing wine vertically is frowned upon. When wine bottles are stored vertically, or upright, the cork doesn’t come into contact with the wine. As a result, the cork may dry out and crack over the course of several years. This may not seem like a big deal, but cracked corks will allow oxygen to enter the bottle and quickly wreck havoc on the wine. To prevent this from occurring, always store your wine bottles on their side, as this will keep the cork nice and moist from touching the wine.