What Your Wine Needs
Do you dream of starting a wine collection but are worried about how you will store and protect your great finds? Building a wine library can be a rewarding experience but also represents a significant investment. Some bottles can cost well over $100 and must be stored for years before you can drink them. The keys to ensuring that you will be able to enjoy your wine when the time comes are understanding what your wine needs and providing it with the ideal environment.
How Temperature Affects Wine
One of the most important factors that affect whether a wine will age correctly in its bottle and be of good quality when you open it is temperature. In fact, heat is wine's #1 enemy. Most wine must be stored at relatively cool temperatures (45° to 65°). If wine is stored much above 70°, it may age more quickly and become "cooked," tasting off when you finally open it.
While you know that wine needs to be kept cool, you also want to be careful not to keep it too cool. Keeping wine at a too low temperature (such as the 40° inside your kitchen fridge) can cause the cork to dry out, allowing air to get into the bottle. Similarly, freezing temperatures can cause the wine to expand, pushing the cork out and allowing air to get into the wine.
Finally, you also want to keep your wine as constant a temperature as possible. Frequent temperature changes, especially dramatic temperature changes, can also degrade your wine.
Do Different Types of Wine Need Different Temperatures?
While you serve white and red wine at different temperatures, you do not need to store them at different temperatures. This makes wine storage simple – you can keep your entire collection at a cool 55°. That being said, you can safely store whites at their ideal serving temperature (45°). Just don't go lower so as to avoid drying the cork out.
What About Humidity Levels?
It gets very humid in Georgia. Does this make a difference for your wine? It can. The ideal relative humidity level for wine storage is around 60% to 75%. This will keep your corks from drying out but won't be so high as to lead to mold growth or damage your labels.
Keep reading for some helpful tips on preserving your wine.
Check Your Wine Before Purchase & Be Careful When Transporting
As we have already mentioned, heat is the Achilles heel of wine. Therefore, when making a purchase, you want to look for a wine already being stored at the correct temperature. Is the bottle you're purchasing warm to the touch? If so, don't buy it.
Avoid leaving your wine in a hot car. The same should be kept in mind when going wine tasting. If you have a full day of wine tastings scheduled, see if you can have your wine delivered or picked up at a later date – do not just let wine sit in your car all day. Similarly, if it is a hot summer day and you are running many errands, make picking up your wine the last stop on your list.
Choose the Right Storage Location
The most important thing about storing your wine is placing it somewhere temperature-controlled and cool. You also want to keep it out of direct sunlight, which can increase the wine's temperature and cause it to age faster (fun fact: dark glass wine bottles help protect wine from damaging UV rays!).
It is also good to keep your wine out of your kitchen unless it is in a dedicated wine cooler. Kitchen temperatures and humidity levels fluctuate a lot due to your stove, oven, and dishwasher.
Invest In a Wine Fridge
Want to keep your wine safe for the long haul? The best way to do this is to install a wine cooler or fridge. This is especially good for those of us who live in hot climates and who don't have a nice, cool, dark basement to store our wine in. There are many different makes and models of wine coolers on the market. Many of them even come with multiple temperature settings, allowing you to store your red wine at one temperature and your white at its lower serving temperature.
Premier Indoor Comfort Systems offers professional wine cooler services across the Atlanta area. Whether you need help selecting and installing a new wine fridge or you need repair service for your existing wine cooling system, we are here to help. Give our wine cooler experts a call or send us a message online.