Have you ever been offered a glass of wine but it’s been warm? Well, that can be avoided by learning exactly how your wine should be stored for serving.
There are numerous factors that you should consider when storing your wine. When you store your wine for ageing, you should consider humidity, vibrations, sunlight, and of course, temperature - but the list becomes shorter when storing your wine for serving.
Keep reading to learn about wine storage factors, and how you should store your wine for serving - including information about wine coolers.
Consider The Temperature
Temperature is one of the most important things you should consider when storing your wine, regardless of whether it’s for ageing or serving.
If you’re storing your wine in the long term, it’s best to store your wine at temperatures between 11°C and 14°C. However, wine can be stored at slightly different temperatures for serving - after all, wine is best served chilled.
Try to avoid storing your wine near appliances that generate heat - you don’t want to store your wine near ovens, microwaves, or radiators, as this can ruin the flavour profiles of the wine as well as speed up the ageing process and leave an unpleasant sour taste.
You may be surprised to know that red wine should be stored at different temperatures than white wines and sparkling wines.
People used to think that red wine was best stored at room temperature - but no we know better. When red wine is served too warm, it tastes slightly bitter and the alcohol tastes stronger, overpowering the natural flavours of the wine.
Red wines aren’t always best stored at the same temperature - full-bodied reds, fortified wines, and lighter-bodied reds may be best stored differently for serving.
For example, full-bodied reds such as Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon tend to be best stored at temperatures between 15°C and 18°C - and the same goes for fortified wines (e.g Port and Madeira).
However, lighter-bodied red wines such as Grenache and Pinot Noir are best stored at slightly lower temperatures for serving - around 12°C to be precise.
If you don’t have a wine cooler, you could always place the bottle in your regular refrigerator for a while.
If it’s full-bodied, around an hour and a half should do it - but for lighter-bodied wines, you’ll only need to refrigerate the bottle for 45 minutes to an hour. Then, open the bottle to let it breathe for ten minutes or so before drinking.
Whites and Sparkling Wines
White wine, rosé and sparkling wines are always best served chilled. White wines typically feature crisp flavours, refreshing aromas, and fresh acidity, all of which is best enjoyed at cooler temperatures.
Although you may store white and sparkling wines at 11°C - 14°C in the long term, it’s actually better to store at slightly lower temperatures for serving, depending on the type of white or sparkling.
Full-bodied white wines (for example, oaked Chardonnay) are best stored at temperatures between 10°C and 15°C for serving - as it brings out the flavour profiles. If you have any white dessert wines, these are also best served at temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.
If, on the other hand, you enjoy a dry white or a lighter white wine (for example, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio), then you’re best off serving it at low temperatures of 7°C to 10°C.
Sparkling wines are the perfect celebration drink - whether you prefer Champagne, Prosecco, or even a refreshing sparkling rosé. However, you don’t want to drink a warm temperature glass of bubbly - it’s best served cool.
The cool temperatures can prevent the bottle from prematurely popping open and exposing the wine to oxygen, and keep the carbon dioxide levels intact.
Similar to red wines, if you don’t have a wine cooler, you could always store the bottles in your regular fridge for around two hours.
After two hours in the fridge, leave it to warm up slightly for around half an hour. You don’t want your wine to be too chilled, as it can ruin the wine’s flavour profile leaving the wine tasting bland.
Sunlight is one of the most important storage factors that you should consider when storing your wine, whether it be in the long term or in the short term for serving.
Sunlight consists of UV rays, which can negatively affect your wine. The UV rays found in sunlight can change the flavour profiles of your wine and affect how well your wine ages - causing unpleasant flavours, aromas, and textures.
When storing your wine to be served, ensure that you place it in a dark space away from sunlight.
If you have a wine fridge that has a glass door, ensure that the glass has been UV treated for ultimate UV protection. However, it’s not just sunlight that you consider - the lighting you use in your home can also have negative effects on your wine.
Be sure to store your wine away from incandescent lights - if you have light bulbs in your wine storage space, ensure that you change them to light bulbs with UV-protective features.
Cellars are great for long-term wine storage as they’re dark and cool - but they’re not ideal for storing wine for serving. After all, do you really want to be going down to the cellar every time you want a bottle of wine?
The good news is that most red wine bottles are green - they are designed this way to offer UV protection to the wine. However, you’ll find that white wine and most sparkling wines come in clear bottles, which offer no UV protection - so be sure to take extra care when storing white wine.
For more information on why you should keep your wine away from sunlight, click here.
Use A Wine Cooler
A wine cooler is one of the best ways that you can store your wine for serving. Most quality wine coolers will allow you to set your temperature of choice, making it easier than ever to achieve the perfect serving temperature for your wine.
Some wine coolers will have dual temperature zones or multiple temperature zones, meaning that you can have wine storing in the long term and have wine storing to be served at the same time, which is ideal if you have a larger collection. Click here for more about this!
There are three designs of wine cooler - freestanding, built-in, and fully integrated. Freestanding coolers can be placed anywhere, so if you usually drink wine in your study, why not place your wine cooler there? Or if you prefer your drinks outside, why not place it on your patio?
However, built-in and fully integrated wine coolers are generally limited to kitchen space - which is ideal if you usually drink your wine in your kitchen, or with food.
Before purchasing a wine cooler for serving, ensure that it offers UV protection and allows you to set the right temperature.