Wine Tasting Club – Top 5 Wine Storage Tips

By / Wine + Drinks / September 11th, 2009 / 3

Most people buy wine just before they intend to serve it. That’s just fine for the majority of “drink now” wine sold. But, if you have the space to store it, why not pick up a few bottles to keep on hand ready for the next time unexpected company drops by? You don’t need to partition a section of your basement for storing wine, nor do you need to spend a lot of money paying a wine storage company to cellar your collection for you. All you need is to follow the top 5 wine storing tips to get the most out your space and your wine.

#5. Lay it down

Imagine trying to rest while you’re standing up. You’d find yourself feeling light-headed in no time. It’s really no different for the poor cork. Invest in any style of bottle rack that catches your fancy, and lay your bottles sideways. The horizontal position keeps the wine in contact with the cork so it won’t dry out.

#4. Don’t do the shimmy

Wine loves to laze around, not doing much at all. So, make sure it doesn’t move around too much. Don’t store your wine in that neat little cubby underneath the stairs or against the wall that vibrates every time the high-speed commuter train rumbles down the track. Give it a calm, quiet place to chill.

#3. In praise of mould

The low humidity in our modern air-conditioned homes can pose a bit of a problem for that bottle of Opus One you’re cherishing. Low humidity can cause a wine to oxidize. Make sure there’s enough humidity in the air (say, 55% to 70%) pressing against the outside of the bottle, otherwise the water in the wine will evaporate through the cork.

#2. Pull the blinds

Too much sun and ultraviolet light are as bad for wine as they are for people. Short of slathering sunblock over your prized collection of Château Lafite, store your wine as far as possible away from light. Failing that, cover your bottles with an old blanket.

#1. The cool down

Achieving great wine storage conditions means maintaining the perfect room temperature. The problem is that our modern definition of the ideal room temperature is very different from the typical temperature inside, say, a 17th century castle. Check your thermostat. The temperature is probably set somewhere around 20°C. Wine is happiest lounging at a temperature between 7°C and 13°C. Unless you enjoy living in cooler temps, you might want to consider moving your collection out of the kitchen and into that deep, dark corner of the basement.

Next Month: the art of making champagne


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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