An ideal gift for any wine lover is, undoubtedly, a new wine bottle for their collection. If you have been lucky enough to have received one as a present from a friend, or your relatives know you so well that they got you one this Christmas, you will probably be aware about the incredible importance that their storage methods have on their perfect conservation.
In the following paragraphs, we will show you the different aspects to take into account if you want to maintain your wine preserved in perfect conditions. Take note and enjoy your great wine.
Different Aspects to Consider When Storing Wines in Ideal Conditions
In order to preserve a wine bottle perfectly, it is important to find the adequate storage space for it not to suffer any type of alterations. For this, it is important that the location chose must comply with a series of specific conditions, which are the following:
- Air moisture: this is aspect of upmost importance since the cork’s conservation depends directly on it. Bottles must be stored in fresh spaces with an air moisture of around 70 and 80%. This way we will prevent the cork from drying up and from being excessively humidified. This is relatively basic, since if the cork is dried up it tends to shrink, making the bottle’s seal loose and allowing air into the bottle. This can, therefore, hastily oxidise the wine. Conversely, if the environment is too humid, this can allow fungi and mould to grow, completely spoiling the wine. In order to control the percentage or air moisture you can place a hydrograph next to the wine.
- Direct light: we must avoid exposing our wine bottles directly to both natural sunlight or artificial light, since these can speed up its degradation. This is because light can trigger and set off certain chemical reactions in wine. For this reason, many wine bottles are green coloured, since this way we mask part of the light and neutralise its effects but around 30 to 60%. This is also the reason why it is recommendable to store wines in dark places like cellars, basements, or storage rooms. If we don’t have these available, we can always rely on any piece of furniture that can be closed.
- Strong smells: wine bottles must be separated from any space where they might receive strong smells since these can affect the wine’s aromas and flavours. Finding well ventilated spaces to store these wines not only helps with the smell issue, but also aids the temperature and moisture regulation side of things.
- Position: the best way to store a wine bottle is horizontally. This way, the cork remains in constant contact with the actual wine. Moreover, it is also recommended to leave the bottles “at rest” or idle, so this position is ideal for their conservation. However, this is not the same with bubbly wines. Here, due to the existence of carbonic gas in their composition, it is better to store them vertically, since the cork will remain moist.
- Temperature: this is another essential aspect to consider if we want to store wine bottles correctly. Not only we must store them at a constant temperature of about 12ºC and 16ºC, but we should also avoid any harsh changes in temperature.
- Conservation times: lastly, it is indispensable to take into account that not all wines can withstand the same amounts of time inside the bottle. We have to know and understand their origin and drink them within their established margins before they start losing their properties. Factors like their ageing type, place of origin, place of storage, age, and many others come into play in this decision
- When considering young wines, it is recommendable to drink them in their same harvest year
- Crianza wines can last up to five years, approximately
- Older wines, like reserva and gran reserve, extend their time margins up to 10 or even 15 years.
In addition, any time you open a wine bottle and do not finish it, we must store it in the fridge. If we know in advance that we are not going to finish it, we should try to avoid, or at least minimise the amount of time that the wine spends in contact with the air in order to prevent it from oxidising.
Some Utensils That Can Help You Store Wine Bottles at Home
Taking into account all the aspects that we have just explained, we should also mention that there are a few tools that are ideal for wine lovers and that can help you store wine correctly at home.
Firstly, freestanding coolers can help maintaining wines at adequate temperatures and moistures, since these can be adjusted in very simple ways.
If we can find any place at home that is dark, fresh and with the correct percentage of humidity, we would only need wine bottle racks, specifically wood racks, to store the wine. Any other non-heat-conducting material works for these too.
Furthermore, a vacuum pump is always helpful since it allows us to extract the oxygen from a bottle whenever it is opened and not finished that same day.
After all, the bottom line is that it is essential to preserve wines in a perfect state if we want to enjoy them how they deserve.