There’s nothing like a glass of wine after a long day. While wine is easy to drink, it’s not so easy to make and it’s even more difficult to preserve it.
Some people think they can just put wine back in the fridge after opening it. While you can keep your wine in a regular refrigerator, it will slowly impair the quality of the wine.
It’s also risky to store wine vertically because it shrinks the cork and allows air to get into the bottle and mess with the taste. This is where a wine fridge comes in.
A wine fridge is a great investment for keeping your wine at the right temperature. Wine fridges are also perfect for displaying your wine.
Here’s how to use a wine fridge to display wine effectively and to impress any house guests.
1. Store Wine at the Right Temperature
Temperature is the most important factor that affects the quality of stored wine. Nothing spoils wine like storing it at the wrong temperature.
Being both too hot and being too cold is bad for any wine. The ideal temperature for storing wine is roughly 55F or 13C for short-term storage.
Different wines can have different ideal temperatures, so don’t be afraid to complete research to find out how your wine should be stored.
No matter what type of wine you have, it should never be stored below -4°C or above 20°C. Wine starts to freeze on the low end, and it starts to spoil on the high end.
If the temperature is too high, it speeds up the ageing process and destroys the important volatile compounds wine contains.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that the temperature should be stable. Fluctuations can cause the cork to warp, which lets air in and out of the bottle and this damages the wine.
2. Keep Your Bottles Stored Horizontally
If you have wine bottles with corks, make sure that the bottle is stored horizontally on the wine rack. Wine should be stored sideways so that the cork stays moist.
A moist cork is needed for long-term storage. Dried out wine corks cause seepage and prematurely age wine.
While you don’t necessarily have to keep screw-top wine bottles horizontally like this, we still recommend it.
Keeping all your bottles horizontal is an effective and efficient way to store and display wine.
3. Protect Wine Against Light And Vibrations
Whether you plan on storing wine for days, weeks, or months, it should be kept in the dark as much as you can. The UV rays from sunlight damage the aroma and flavour of stored wine.
You should also keep wine away from sources of vibration, such as washing machines and tumble dryers, stereo systems, and exercise machines.
Vibrations affect the sediments in wine bottles, which disrupts with the ageing process and means wine doesn’t age as gracefully as it should.
4. Keep Wine At The Right Humidity
Humidity affects wine as much as temperature does. Excess humidity in a wine fridge impacts the longevity of the wine.
Low humidity levels cause corks to dry out, which leaves the wine vulnerable. On the other hand, high humidity levels cause the labels on the bottle to peel off.
This makes it difficult to display the wine properly – and even more difficult to sell it when the time comes. You should aim to have between 60-68% humidity in your fridge.
5. Keep Wine In A Wine Fridge
Not everyone has a suitable wine storage area that has just the right conditions for storing wine. In those cases, a wine fridge or wine cooler is a great choice.
They’re also effective for displaying and showing off your wine. Unlike typical refrigerators, which keeps food generally dry and cold, wine fridges are made for storing wine.
Wine fridges keep wine at the right humidity and between 10-15°C which is the perfect temperature. Advanced wine coolers also have a special setting for storing champagne.
Keeping your wine in a separate refrigerator like this also eliminates food odours and potential cross-contamination between wine and food.
6. Serve Wine at the Right Temperature
Serving and tasting wine is an integral part of displaying and showing off your wine. When serving wine to your friends and family, take a moment for the wine to reach the appropriate serving temperature.
Serving wine at the right temperature ensures that the wine aroma and flavour are fully expressed. Serve red wine chilled to below room temperature – between 12-19°C.
The precise temperature for the wine depends on the age. Younger wines are best served on the cold end while older wines are better on the higher end of the range.
Red wines with strong tannins should be served on the warmer end. White wines should always be served colder than red wines.
However, they shouldn’t be stored at cold temperatures as that affects the aromas. Rather, you should chill them to between 8-12°C before serving. Champagne is kept and served at the lowest temperatures, between 5-8°C.
7. Store Opened Wine Bottles Properly
Opened wine bottles can last up to five days if stored properly. The key to storing an open bottle properly and ensure that it retains the original quality is to tightly recork the bottle.
You can recork wine by putting some wax paper around the cork and then sliding it back into position. The wax paper eases the cork into position and ensures that it doesn’t break off and go into the wine.
If you can’t recork the wine, then you can use a rubber wine stopper.
Wine coolers are the best option for displaying wine effectively. They allow you to keep wine almost anywhere.
Don’t forget to store your wine appropriately to preserve your collection and keep it looking – and tasting – the best.