Dark, cool, moist. That’s what you should think when you are planning to store your wine. However, that’s not the only thing you should consider when putting your wine away. Wine-storing is such an art that there are even Masterclasses offering wine enthusiasts classes on how to store it properly. There are a few things that one must consider when putting a bottle away and here are a few basic tips on how to store your wine the right way.
Keep the cork moist
Whether you’ve invested in wooden wine cabinets or in a wine fridge, you want to make sure that your bottles are resting at an angle. The corks should be kept properly moistened else it will become brittle and create seepage and premature aging. Brittle corks can leave debris in your wine upon opening it, sometimes it even gets stuck to the bottle opening. When this happens, take a cheesecloth to filter it from entering your decanter or wine glass.
The temperature matters
While it might be convenient to keep your wine on top of your fridge, doing so may lead to premature aging of the wine. This is because of the temperature – the top of fridges are often warm. Keeping them in the fridge is not ideal either as it’s often too cold. Furthermore, the humidity in a kitchen refrigerator is very low – this can lead to the drying of your cork. The optimum temperature and humidity for storing wine is 55 degrees and 70% relative humidity. You should strive to keep your temperatures consistent throughout the year as fluctuations can affect your wine.
Sunlight is not optimal for your wine
The reason why wine bottles are tinted is to offer protection against sunlight. However, this does not mean that you can leave it on the countertop. Aside from losing integrity due to temperature loss, it will also create a chemical reaction and cause your wine to smell bad – this is known as “Lightstruck” wine. In fact, fluorescent lights have been known to cause wines to go off as well. Therefore, when purchasing wine, go for one that’s not on the display. Also, keep an eye out for wine which are bottled in lightly tinted glass or even clear bottles, those must be kept away from light at all costs, or you’ll risk ruining its flavor.
Consume immediately or pop it into the fridge
You should always strive to finish your wine the same day you open it. However, if you do not plan to finish your wine or is unable to, you can put it in a glass bottle that has a tight lid (this can be plastic, but glass is optimal) or simply put it into your kitchen fridge. It will be able to keep for up to five days.
Many wines created nowadays are meant to be consumed young. Ask the seller for the optimum drinking date – it could be three days from your purchase or three years. Some reds can develop interesting tastes, but whites and roses are usually not aged prior to consumption.