Posted on Nov 12, 2015
Having A Holiday Party? Be Sure To Store Your Wine Correctly
Storing your wine isn’t as easy as just putting it in the pantry. Keeping wine at the right temperature is critical to storing it for long periods of time. The common wisdom is that 55°F is the ideal temperature to store wine, and anywhere between 45°F and 65°F works well enough. But why?
Not Too Warm, Not Too Cold: The Goldilocks Zone
Nothing destroys good wine like heat, because heat means that the complex chemistry going on inside the wine has more energy to react, change, and lose its character in the process. Storing wine above 70° F can quickly diminish its flavors and aromas, and much above 75°F will literally cook your wine, leaving the wine dull and virtually flavorless. If you can do nothing else, at least keep your wine under 65°!
You can store any wine in the fridge for up to a couple of months without much of an issue. However, too cold isn’t ideal either. Refrigerators are dry, high-airflow places that will quickly dry out your cork. A dry cork crumbles easily, making it harder to remove and will almost certainly drop cork bits into the wine itself. Dry corks also can deteriorate to the point that outside air will seep into the bottle, prematurely oxidizing the wine and potentially letting it absorb funky smells from the fridge. Long story short, don’t put your wine in the fridge either.
Consistency Is Key, Keep The Temperature Stable
Wild variations in temperature aren’t good for wine or bottles either. Changes in temperature, even between 45° and 65°, encourage the same kind of flavor-killing chemical reactions that cook wine over 75°. Plus, wine bottles can expand and contract through temperature changes, pushing the cork out and allowing for seepage. The best temperature to store wine is a consistent temperature.
Lights Off! Light Damages Wine
Photons are just little packages of energy, and when they crash into one of the molecules that make your wine delicious, they can destroy it. This is especially true for sunlight, because the sun’s UV rays are far more energetic than the light you get out of a bulb. So, in addition to keeping your wine room at a good temperature to store wine, keep your wine cellar dark and totally free of sunlight.