When it comes to wine storage, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your collection will taste its best when the time comes to enjoy it. You will need to consider how many bottles you expect to store at any given time and how long you plan to store them. Most people enjoy wines within a few years of their release from the winery. If you want to store them longer than that or have a larger collection, you may want to consider a professional storage facility. Regardless of where you choose, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. |
A good wine storage temperature range is between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with 55 degrees being ideal. Temperatures over 70 degrees will cause the liquid to age too fast. If the area gets much hotter than that, the liquid will lose much of its flavor and aroma. Some variance in the desired range is usually fine, especially if you are going to open the bottles within a few years.
On the other hand, keeping bottles in your refrigerator or at temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for longer than a few months can be a bad decision in the long run. The cooler temperature and lack of moisture in a refrigerator can dry out the corks, which allows air into the bottles. You also don't want the bottles to freeze, which could cause the liquid to expand enough to burst out of the bottles.
Ideally, wine should be stored in humidity levels between 50% and 80%, with 70% being the best level. Air that is too dry will dry out the corks, which will allow air into the bottle and spoil the wine. Too much humidity can promote mold. This doesn't really hurt the wine, but it can damage your labels. For dryer air, placing a pan of water in your storage area may help. For damp areas, adding a dehumidifier may be enough to maintain reasonable levels.
Getting to the right temperature is important, but maintaining a consistent environment is even more important. Rapid, extreme, or frequent changes in temperature can cause the liquid to expand and contract, which will degrade the flavor and possibly cause leaks through the cork. Minor fluctuations are okay, as that can happen during the normal transit from one place to another.
Wine storage is not all that difficult, but you do need to be prepared to have the right atmosphere for your collection. An area where you can maintain reasonable temperature and humidity levels is all you need to get started. For the more avid collector, or for those wines that you want to store for a long time, check out commercial options available in your area.
Looking for convenient wine storage? Redwood City residents can learn more at http://collection55.com/why-collection/.
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