Whether you’re just starting to drink wine at home, or you’re building up quite the collection, I’ve got proper wine storage tips to help you enjoy your wines even more!
Happy Wine Wednesday! If you’ve ever opened a bottle of wine that should have been amazing but turned out tasting flat or funky (and not funky in a good way!), improper storage could be the culprit.
I’ve been studying and writing about wine professionally for the past six years – and visiting wineries and enjoying it for much longer! – and I’ve learned the importance of wine storage the hard way. For this week’s Wine Bliss post, I’m excited to share a few basic proper wine storage tips that I’ve learned over the years.
Heat is Enemy #1
The top tips are to keep wine away from heat and direct sunlight. Wine that hangs out in temperatures above 70 degrees can end up having the life literally sucked out of them, and if left too long at high temps, the wine can actually cook.
One of the more common stories I hear about is accidentally leaving wine in a hot car. Never leave wine in a car on spring/summer days! But if you’re going to be out wine tasting for a few hours, or you’re going to buy wine on a warm day in the middle of running other errands, it’s smart to bring a cooler with you to help keep your wines chilled in your car. That way, your new purchase won’t go bad before you get home.
For the same reason, you don’t want to store wine bottles in hot places in your house. The kitchen and laundry room are NOT good places to store your wines. You’ll want to keep wines stored in a dark, cool spot like a basement, cellar – or, in a wine cooler.
Finally, you’ll want to store corked wines on their side. Not only is storing wine sideways a space-wise solution, but this also allows the wine to keep the cork from drying out.
Ideal Temperature for Storing Wines
So what temperatures should you store your wines at?
In general, white wines are best stored between 40° and 55° F. Red wines are best stored at 55° to 65° F. Many wine experts say that 55° F is the sweet spot for all wines. For this reason, the best solution if you can afford it, is to store your wines in a wine cooler.
Our wine cooler actually has two separate sections that allow us to properly store both white wines and red wines with different climate controls for each. In our dual temperature wine cooler, we tend to keep the white wines up top between 45° and 50° and our red wines in the bottom section around 55° to 60° F.
Why buy a wine cooler?
We don’t have a cool, dark basement or cellar, and even if we did, keeping those spots temperature controlled in the average home can be tricky. So we have a wine cooler to ensure our wines are properly stored. And I love it!
I’ve heard the argument that if you have a refrigerator, you don’t need a wine cooler. Not true. Refrigerators are built entirely differently than wine coolers, for different purposes.
Refrigerators are built to help you keep your food fresh – a wide variety of food – which means the temperatures inside your fridge often go below 45°F. And, no matter what you have it set to, refrigerator temps can fluctuate up to 15%. This inconsistency is not necessarily a big problem for food, or even non-wine beverages but it is for wine.
Wine coolers, on the other hand, are built to help the liquid inside wine bottles hold a consistent temperature. Air inside your wine cooler will fluctuate less than 5% for the most part, so then the actual temperature of the wine inside those bottles will only fluctuate less than 1%. That helps keep your wine super fresh for longer!
NewAir Wine Cooler
Recently, NewAir sent me their NewAir AWR-460DB Dual Zone 46-Bottle Wine Cooler– just in time for a serious of wine club pick-ups that we would need to store! It retails for $820 and can be built-in to your existing cabinet space, or freestanding, as we have it in our home.
Wine coolers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, as well as all price points. I’ve seen wine coolers for $200 on up to the many thousands of dollars range. Since we live right next to wine country, and I am a food and wine photographer and writer, this size wine cooler makes sense for us. The NewAir AWR-460DB also fits right into our home’s aesthetic. I love the stainless steel look (very chic!) with hardwood shelves.
It does make noise when it runs, but it’s fairly quiet – especially compared to other appliances like our dishwasher or washer and dryer.
It holds all sizes of bottles – from slim dessert wines and Riesling bottles to classic Bordeaux style wine bottles to more bulbous Pinot Noir bottles and sparkling wine bottles. Being in Oregon, I worried that our large Pinot Noir bottles would be a tight fit, but we have several in the cooler at all times and it’s never been a problem.
More importantly, I love that we can store our wines in here and know they will be ready to open up when we are ready to drink them. That’s a huge plus!
SAVE 20% off NewAir Wine Coolers!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these basic proper wine storage tips, and have a better understanding of the importance of proper wine storage. If you’re going to go to the effort of buying a wine that you love, it makes sense to make sure it’s stored properly so you actually enjoy it when you’re ready to drink it, right?
If you’re intrigued and want to check out wine cooler options, use this link: https://bit.ly/2k0Dsjj. Urban Bliss Life readers can also use the code URBANBLISS at checkout to save 20% off your new wine cooler! If you were buying the one featured in this post, that’s a savings of about $160 or more!
Final Proper Wine Storage Tips
Finally, remember that most wines made today, especially in the United States, are meant to be enjoyed within a year or two. The highest quality wines (usually the ones with the higher price tags) can age well for 10, 20, even 30 years, but most of the average-priced wines you’ll buy on store shelves are meant to be stored properly and shared with friends and family sooner than later.
For this reason, some people have two wine coolers: one for wines they are going to drink within a month or two, and another for longer term storage. We store the wines we want to drink sooner in our existing cooler, and the rest in the coolest, darkest part of our pantry (which is away from the heat of the kitchen). However, I find that we are already outgrowing our wine fridge and am shopping around for our second :)
More Wine Bliss
This post is sponsored by NewAir. As always, all opinions and photos are my own. I love this wine cooler and think you’ll love having one, too!