Guide on Effective Storage of Red and White Wine

Guide on Effective Storage of Red and White Wine

If you are a wine lover, you certainly know that choosing this drink is not the most difficult step. Its conservation requires taking into account certain essential elements; otherwise, it could lose its value, especially if you want to associate your wine with a particular dish.

If you have no idea about wine coolers and storage methods, continue reading to discover our tips for storing your red and white wines well in your wine cellar. Below are our top 5 tips for storing red and white wines.

1. Choosing the Right Temperature for Your Wine Cellar

The temperature is undoubtedly the most important of all the tips to consider for optimizing wine storage. Above all, it should not be neglected because it directly impacts the quality of the wine. You have to carefully choose the best temperature to store red wine.

While a low temperature could cause the destruction of the aromas of the wine and the alteration of its taste, a high temperature could accelerate its aging process and cause it to lose its flavor.

In the same vein, sudden variations in temperature and thermal shocks should be avoided in a wine cellar. In particular, they could cause corks to lose their efficiency and elasticity, which would allow air to infiltrate the bottles and oxidize the wine.

When setting up a wine cellar, it is essential to maintain a cool and constant temperature between 10 and 15 C. The wine will age slowly and perfectly.

2. Check the Humidity Level in your Wine Cellar

Although the temperature is of paramount importance, it is not the sole factor to focus on. Humidity is also one of the essential criteria to consider when storing wine in a cellar.

The damage is generally irreparable when the room’s humidity (or hygrometry) is below a certain threshold (less than 70%). This will notably dry out the cork and cause it to lose its elasticity and cause the wine to oxidize or evaporate.

However, it is also important to specify that a high humidity level (more than 85%) harms the wine. Over time, the boxes will fall apart, the labels will peel off, and mold will grow. In addition to this, the cork could transmit bad odors to the wine and alter its flavor.

To better preserve the drink, make sure that the bottle caps have been made of cork oak. If possible, it is advisable to install a hygrometer in the room. In case of low humidity, do not hesitate to water the soil.

3. Keep your Wines in the Dark

Although some people don’t know it, light and UV rays are among the main enemies of wine (especially white wine). They are likely to accelerate its aging and degrade it (particularly because of the heat-induced) and cause oxidation reactions.

When storing white and red wines in a cellar, it is necessary to ensure that it is as dark as possible. In other words, you should eliminate all high-intensity light sources, whether they are light bulbs, neon lights, reflections, etc.

In addition, make sure that the material of your bottles is dark to further protect your drink from ultraviolet rays and optimize its conservation.

4. Choose the Right Wine to Keep

Before selecting the bottles, you will have in the cellar, it is first of all necessary to determine why the wine should be stored. Storing this alcoholic beverage improves its various attributes, including aromas, taste, and texture.

But contrary to what one might think, not all red and white wines need to be stored. For this, it is necessary to arrange the bottles in the cellar, considering some specific characteristics. As long as you know the harvesters, the productions, and the wine-growing regions, you will be able to tell the difference between a drink to be consumed immediately and another bottle of organic wine that requires good storage conditions.

Tannins come from the stalks, skin, and seeds of the grapes and influence the wine. Given that they help the latter to stay fresh and increase its lifespan, it is not surprising that certain wines (white and red) contain them in significant quantities.

Thanks to their high sugar content, white wines are easy to preserve and do not deteriorate over the years. The sweeter they are, the better they age (it’s no surprise that sweet Sauternes wine ages well). But although they are generally less suitable for aging than reds over a long period, it should be noted that there are types (Chardonnay, for example) that can be stored in cellars for several years.

White and red wines with a low pH are also easily stored. Due to their high acidity, they limit chemical variations and prevent wine degradation.

5. Properly Store your Wines in your Cellar

Most people arrange their wines vertically (upright) when they store them in the cellar. However, they are unaware that this position is not recommended for the conservation of wine because it can cause the corks to dry out in the long term, unlike a wine by the glass dispenser where the wine bottles are positioned vertically to facilitate tasting.

Always make sure to lay the wine containers down so that the liquid in them (either red or white wine) makes contact with the corks. This would avoid the crumbling and retraction of the latter and their drying out.

Note that the bottles must also be protected from movements, jolts, and vibrations, as this could “wake up” the bacteria in the drink. The wine’s evolution process would thus be disturbed, and its quality affected.

As for the format of the containers, they must be as large as possible. Containers of this type (the magnum, for example) have the major advantages of optimizing conservation and preserving the drink’s freshness. For their part, half bottles are to be avoided because they promote oxidation.

Conclusion:

As long as you have followed all the tips mentioned above, you will be sure that your red and white wines will age perfectly and reach their peak. As for the shelf life, you should know that it depends on the storage conditions of the drink.

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