Four Things to Know About Wine Storage

Wine has been a popular beverage since … well, that depends on who you ask.  Some say it goes back to about 4,000 BC and some put it even earlier than that.  

Long touted for its medicinal value, current research indicates that moderate consumption may actually be good for you.  While not everyone agrees that drinking wine will ward off various bodily ills, most people would agree that having the occasional glass of wine is the perfect complement to a good meal.

Keeping Wine Properly Stored

Marc Supsic, diplomate of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London, said in one of his videos, “In a nutshell, wine is an agricultural food product. It’s made of organic plant material, which means it needs to be stored in a stable fashion the same way you would any produce or perishable food product.” 

There are a number of things to consider when storing wine, whether your taste runs to Chateau Cheval Blanc or something a little less pricey.  Wine is a very sensitive drink. It is made after a long process of crushing, pressing, fermentation, and aging. Changes in its environment can alter its composition and therefore its taste and quality.

Vibration

Vibration can damage your wine.  Even small vibrations can disturb the sediment and, more importantly, can accelerate the aging process, possibly leading to a dulled flavor.  Consider storing your bottle away from things that can shake your wine, such as loud radiators, heaters, and other appliances. 

Light

Wine does not do well when it is stored close to a window where it can get sunlight. Not only direct sunlight, but even incandescent light can affect the composition of your wine. White wines especially can be damaged by light exposure.  Wine bottles are often tinted to give the wine protection from light. If you have wines in clear or brightly colored bottles, you might want to put them in a darker place. 

Humidity

Humidity should be considered when preserving your wine. Some moisture is necessary to keep the cork moist. If the cork dries out, it can allow air inside the bottle and your wine may spoil or oxidize. 

Too much humidity can be harmful to the wine labels, which can negatively affect its identification and resale value.  

Some things that may be helpful in maintaining correct humidity are:  

  • Laying the bottle sideways: Bottles can be stored horizontally so the wine touches the cork – this helps to keep the cork moist. Some wineries even put their bottles upside down. 

Some research suggests that laying the bottles a slight angle instead of a completely horizontal position to keep the air at the top rather than the middle of the bottle allows a steadier and gentler maturation and oxidation process.  The exception to this is champagne and sparkling wines. They tend to age better in the vertical position.

  • Spraying water: You can spray some water on top of the corks every so often to keep them moist, especially if you let them stand up.
  • A controlled environment: If you can control humidity in the environment, keeping it at 70%-75% is what is most often recommended. 

Temperature

If wine is stored at a higher temperature than 77°F, it can actually get “cooked” or spoiled.  On the flip side of that, exposure to excessive cold can cause the cork to come out or to make cracks in the bottle. 

Temperature swings should also be avoided because it can cause chemical reactions in the wine which could harm the original composition of your drink. 

Typically, wine matures (the process by which the wine develops a higher complexity and aroma through chemicals reactions) in a cooler ambient temperature. Many experts suggest keeping wine bottles at a constant temperature between 50°F and 59°F. 

Modern Wine Coolers

The best way to protect your investment in wine is a wine cooler.  In response to a growing demand for wine coolers, the manufacturers have developed some useful innovations such as multifunction storage options.

Newer wine coolers are made to not only keep your wine at an optimum temperature, but they can also keep your bottles safe from all the factors that might harm the wine. They regulate the temperature, control the humidity level, protect from light with UV-resistant, tinted glass, and have quiet compressors that cause no to very minimal vibration. 

There is a wide variety of types such as freestanding, built-in, column, under-counter, in many finishes such as stainless steel or custom panels. It’s now easier than ever to find one that fits your style.   

The best way to keep your wine protected is to preserve and care for your wine cooler. Call C&W Appliance Service at (855) 358-1496 or (214) 358-1496 for prompt and reliable repair and maintenance service.

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