Efficient storage of wine is essential to maintain its quality - and of course, to allow it to age well. Whether you're a casual wine drinker or a seasoned wine collector, it’s important to store your wine effectively.
But how exactly do you store bottled wine? What should you consider when storing your wine in the short and long-term? That’s what we’ll be exploring today.
In this blog post, we will share the top 10 tips for storing bottled wine, ensuring that you get the most out of your wine collection and enjoy your wines at their best.
1 - Control The Temperature
Temperature is crucial for wine storage. Aim for a consistent temperature between 7°C and 18°C to avoid fluctuations that can harm the wine. A wine fridge offers precise temperature control, ensuring your bottles are kept at the ideal temperature for ageing and preservation.
If you plan to store red wine bottles, white wine bottles and sparkling wines such as Champagne in the same unit, opt for a dual-zone wine cooler. Dual-zone fridges offer two different temperature zones within the same space, which means you can store your reds and whites at their optimal temperatures.
This also means you can store your wine bottles for serving and ageing, as wine has different optimal temperatures for short-term storage and long-term storage.
2 - Avoid Sunlight and UV Exposure
UV rays can be damaging to wine, causing premature ageing and undesirable flavours. UV light can cause what is known as ‘light strike’ - which can quickly ruin a wine. In fact, this is the very reason that red wine is stored in green bottles - to protect the wine from light.
Be sure to place your wine fridge away from direct sunlight or choose a wine fridge with UV-protective glass doors. Store your bottles in darker areas or use wine racks that shield them from UV exposure. Most wine coolers are equipped with LED lighting, which doesn’t have a negative impact on your wine.
3 - Ensure Optimal Humidity Levels
Maintaining proper humidity levels (around 50-80%) helps prevent the corks from drying out or mould growth. Avoid having too much humidity as this can encourage the growth of mould, and can cause excessive moisture, which can destroy your labels.
Too little humidity can cause the cork to dry out, exposing your wine to oxygen. This, in turn, can cause your wine to deteriorate. Many wine fridges include humidity control features, or you can use a hygrometer to monitor and adjust humidity levels accordingly.
4 - Consider Consistent Storage Position
We recommend that you store your wine bottles horizontally. This keeps the cork moist, preventing it from drying out and allowing for a tight seal. This position also helps minimise oxygen contact, keeping the wine fresh and preserving its flavours.
Wine fridges typically feature wine racks that store your wine horizontally. Some wine coolers also feature ‘serving shelves’, which allow you to store an opened bottle or half bottle upright. If you have larger bottles, consider where you’ll place them in your fridge.
5 - Reduce Vibrations
Vibrations can disturb the sediment in wine and potentially affect its taste. Place your wine fridge on a stable surface, away from sources of vibration such as appliances or heavy foot traffic. Minimising vibrations ensures that your wine matures undisturbed.
Choose a wine fridge that minimises vibrations - many modern wine fridges feature a vibration-free compressor, which ensures that sediment in the wine remains undisturbed. Be sure to place your wine fridge away from appliances that move (for example, washing machines).
6 - Organise and Label Your Wine Collection
If you have a large wine collection, we recommend that you organise it by categorising and labelling your bottles. This makes it much easier for you to locate specific wines without unnecessary handling, which can disturb sediment and increase the risk of oxidation.
7 - Provide Adequate Air Circulation
Air circulation can impact the quality of your wine. Be sure to allow for proper air circulation within your wine fridge. Likewise, avoid overcrowding the shelves of your wine fridge and leave enough space between bottles to ensure adequate ventilation. This helps maintain a consistent temperature and prevents any pockets of warm air from developing.
8 - Prevent Strong Odours
Wine is highly susceptible to absorbing odours from its environment. Keep strong-smelling substances such as cleaning agents, spices, and perfumes away from the wine fridge. This will help preserve the wine's delicate aromas and flavours.
9 - Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes
Sudden temperature changes can shock the wine and affect its quality. Avoid moving bottles from extreme temperatures into the wine fridge. Instead, allow them to gradually acclimatise by placing them in a cooler area for a few hours before transferring them to the wine fridge.
10 - Ensure Regular Maintenance and Monitoring
Perform routine maintenance on your wine fridge, such as cleaning the interior, checking the seals, and ensuring proper functioning. Monitor temperature and humidity levels regularly using built-in displays or external devices to ensure optimal storage conditions.
Wine Fridges Provide Optimal Storage Conditions
By following these top 10 tips for storing bottled wine in your wine fridge, you can preserve the quality, flavours, and ageing potential of your fine wine. A dedicated wine fridge offers the ideal environment for maintaining consistent temperature, humidity, and protection from light and vibrations.
Remember, proper storage enhances the enjoyment of your wine collection, allowing you to savour each bottle at its peak.
Wine fridges are a great way to store your wine for both short-term and long-term wine storage. Modern wine fridges feature temperature control, humidity control, vibration control, odour control, and many more wine-enhancing features.
Explore our quality wine fridges at Elite Wine Refrigeration today, from industry-leading brands such as Dunavox, Swisscave, Artevino and many more. We also have a range of expertly-crafted wine cabinets, which are ideal for long-term wine storage and wine ageing.