Wine Cellar Articles

Posted on May 2, 2017

The 5 Dos & Don’ts

DO: Keep your wine chilled

The warmer the ambient temperature, the quicker the wine will age and go bad. If you’ve ever left a bottle of wine in your car during the summer and then wondered why it tasted like pure alcohol or maybe even a little vinegar-like, you know what heat can do to a bottle. That is an extreme case, of course, but room temperature wines are not given the chance to fully express themselves, tasting duller than if chilled.

DON’T: Keep your wine in your kitchen fridge long term

Many people think the way to remedy the temperature conundrum is to keep their wine in the refrigerator, but unless you are using a wine refrigerator, this can be equally harmful. Your average kitchen refrigerator is not only too cold for your wine, stunting its development, but it also dries out the wine’s cork. Have you ever left an uncovered tomato in your fridge? Notice, how the tomato shrivels up in the span of just a day or so? This is because, unlike a wine refrigerator, your kitchen refrigerator removes humidity as it cools. Corks must remain moist in order to do their job properly.

DO: Keep your wine somewhere convenient

Although it may be good for the wine, it’s not practical or convenient to store your wine in that upstairs closet, away from harmful elements. Whether open or closed, wine is meant to be a conversation starter and a way to bring people together. It’s important to keep it somewhere convenient and easily accessible, ever at the ready to be retrieved and opened.

DON’T: Keep your wine on top of your refrigerator

Three reasons not to keep your wine on top of your fridge. First of all, think of all the vibrations your fridge gives off when the compressor cycles on, when it cycles off, when the ice maker spits out ice, when you’re using the water dispenser, etc., etc. Without getting too deep into chemistry, vibrations alter the processes happening in your wine, affecting the taste and aging process. Secondly, your refrigerator gives off heat. With a compressor and other internal components working hard to keep the interior cool, a significant amount of heat is given off. Have you ever felt the top of your refrigerator? It’s warm. Lastly, the top of your refrigerator is probably very close to your light fixtures. This may not be the case for everyone, but if it is true, this definitely is not a good place for your wine to be.

DO: Keep your wine on its side

Keeping your bottles on their sides, with the wine constantly in contact with the cork so that you won’t run the risk of having a corked wine.

DON’T: Keep your wine upright for long term

For the same reason it’s recommended to store wine on its side is why it is not recommended to store it upright. When your bottle is upright, the wine is not hitting the cork. The cork will then begin to dry out, resulting in a musty, malodorous wine.

DO: Keep your wine at a constant temperature

Fluctuating temperatures can negatively impact the aging and chemical processes happening in your wine. This is why cellars and wine refrigerators are fastidiously temperature controlled. A mild, constant temperature is best.

DON’T: Keep your wine at room temperature for long periods of time

As we stated earlier, room temperature is typically too warm for serving wine and also too warm for the long term storage of wine. Warm wine is dull and flat and, in extreme cases, overly alcoholic or vinegar tasting.

DO: Keep your wine where selecting and viewing a bottle is easy

It’s important to know what’s in your collection and where to find it. Although documenting your collection is helpful, it’s hard to beat a clear visual display of all of your bottles.

DON’T: Keep your wine in harsh interior lighting or direct sunlight

One way to ease the selection and viewing of your collection is with lighting. The type of lighting used is very important. Your average household lighting gives off heat, which as we now know, is not good. Sunlight and UV Rays are even worse for your wine. Keep your wine away from windows or other sources of natural light. Your best bet for a light source is LED. LED lighting creates a soft glow without giving off any heat.