So you’ve gone to a wine tasting in Buenos Aires and you’ve decided to have one (if not two!) cases of delicious Argentine wine shipped back to your house, here’s the dilemma: how do you store them? I’m here to help! In the following post you will find a list of do’s and don’t for how you can and should properly store your wine so when you go to open that beautiful bottle of Malbec directly from Argentina you’re met with a pleasantly fruity and deliciously balance flavor as opposed to something not so polite.
For starters we recommend that you KEEP IT COOL! When it comes to wine heat is your number one enemy. Anything that is over 70 degrees Fahrenheit will quickly age your wine, which can be quite undesirable. If exposed to anything higher than this your wine will actually get cooked, another quick way to ruin your precious wine. Ideally the temperature range should be between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Now some will tell you that there is a perfect temperature but there’s really no exact science to this so it’s nothing to fret over too much.
Having said this make sure that you DON’T KEEP IT TOO COOL! Wine banished to the fridge will only last temporarily and the lack of moisture could potentially dry out your wine cork letting air seep into the bottle damaging your wine. Also, don’t keep your wine in the freezer for too long. As I found out the hard way, wine is not like a spirit in that it won’t freeze. The liquid will start to expand and you may end up picking out pieces of glass from your freezer if you forget that you put that white in there to cool down for your dinner party.
What’s most important for wines is that the temperature is kept consistent. Extreme or frequent temperature swings are what are most liable to damage your wine. It’s also a good idea to keep the wine away from sunlight as UV rays can degrade and prematurely age the product. This is actually why wine bottles are colored, like sunglasses for your wine if you will.
And what about storing the bottles on their sides? With alternative closures such as screw caps and plastic corks it’s not really necessary seeing as the idea of turning a wine bottle on its side is to prevent the cork from drying out. If you’re planning on drinking your bottle in the near future it is also not a big deal if you keep your wines standing up. Horizontal racking is definitely a very efficient way to store you bottles though.
Now that we’ve answered the how we need to answer the where. If you aren’t lucky enough to have an underground wine cellar or even a cool not-overly damp basement you can find a safe place out of the way to store your bottles in your home. As a rule of thumb the kitchen, laundry room and obviously boiler room because these places can all get too hot. A location not directly in line with light from a window or a small wine cooler would be a good idea. The real advice I have for you is whatever number you’re thinking for bottle capacity, double it. When it comes to accumulating wine it tends to turn into an addictive habit!