In our last blog we talked about getting organized for the holidays. We know that wine plays an important role in many people’s holiday celebrations, so we thought it would be a good time to share some of our favourite wine storage tips with our followers. Of course, wine isn’t just for the holidays, so these tips are applicable all year long and they will help ensure that you get peak flavour from your wine, no matter what kind is your favourite.
1) Store wine bottles on their sides.* A lot of people do this automatically but don’t really know why they do it. Wine racks and wine refrigerators are designed this way because it’s important to keep the cork moist. If your wine cork dries out it may allow some air to get inside the bottle. This can cause oxidization which ultimately affects and deteriorates the flavour. Plus, when you go to remove the cork it can shred, dropping bits of cork into the bottle. No one wants to find cork in their wine glass.
Side storage is less crucial for wine bottles that don’t have corks. Screw-top bottles can be safely stored upright. However, side storage is much more space efficient so if you have more than three or four bottles at a time. You’ll get better use out of your space when storing them on their sides.
* Tailored Living has several innovative options when it comes to custom, built-in wine storage, including its Lucite wine pyramid, Lucite wine rack and others.
2) Keep wine out of sunlight. Wine and UV light don’t mix. Ultraviolet light deteriorates wine and alters its flavour. (Now you know why many wine bottles and even others, like beer bottles, are amber, brown or green-coloured.)
3) Store wine at optimum temperatures. For red wines, this is usually between 62 and 68 degrees F, while white wines should be stored between 49 and 55 degrees F. (This is why many people keep white wines in a wine refrigerator and red wines in the pantry.) Whatever you do, try not to let any of your wine bottles reach more than 70 degrees F which will deteriorate the wine and dull the flavour.
If you don’t have a wine fridge for your white wines, it’s okay to store them in your regular refrigerator for short periods (a couple of days to a couple of weeks). However, your regular fridge is generally cooler than 49 degrees. White wine that is too cold for too long will also lose its flavour. Red or white, cooler or warmer, you should also try to avoid exposing your wine to extreme temperature shifts. Keep it at a constant temperature for optimal taste.
The pantry is an ideal place for storage of both red and white wines. If you can keep your pantry door closed, keep the lights off most of the time and dial down the thermostat in that room a few degrees, you’ll create excellent conditions for wine storage. In fact, many of the foods that you store in your pantry would do well to be kept slightly cooler than room temperature and out of sunlight.
Need a pantry upgrade? Now is a great time, while there are still a couple of months until company starts coming. Check out Tailored Living’s pantry page for inspiration and ideas.