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Wine Storage: Don't Make These 3 Mistakes

Feb 5, 2008
If you're a wine collector, chances are you've had to store some of your collection for an extended period. Most wine lovers with large collections own specialty storage solutions, whether it is multiple wine racks or refrigerators designed for wine storage. Still others feel that storing wine in a basement is sufficient.

There's nothing worse than finally opening a bottle of wine you've personally selected and bought, only to be disappointed with the taste. While it's possible you've simply made a bad choice, it's more likely the wine has been improperly stored. Wine's taste can be affected by different factors, and each are extremely important. Let's take a look at three common mistakes wine lovers make when storing their wines.

Humidity Level Is Important

While I hate humidity, a stored bottle of wine requires moderately high humidity to maintain its taste. We stored our wine in a very dry area of our home, which accounted for the uneven taste of the bottle of white we served our guests. If you're storing wine, aim for 50% to 70% humidity levels. Wine cellars have humidity controls built in, so if a wine cellar is your storage choice, you'll be fine.

Temperature

Heat is an enemy of wine, as is excess cold. Wine is best stored at 55 to 57 degress, and a good wine cellar will let you adjust temperatures in accordance with storage recommendations. Most advanced storage solutions have air circulating fans built in, which helps maintain consistent environmental conditions.

Light

Infiltrating light is the last of wine's big three enemies. Always keep your wines away from excess sunlight. Even wines in dark colored bottles should not be exposed to direct sunlight as in addition to the ultraviolet rays, sunlight affects the internal bottle temperature. Make absolutely sure your wine cellar or other storage area has minimal light, especially if you're storing white wine or sensitive red varieties.

Other Tips

If possible, keep your stored wine away from heavy traffic areas in your home, so as to eliminate vibration. Excessive vibration will tamper with wine's taste. Even when transporting your wine home in a car, keep it inside the vehicle and not the trunk. Temperature and vibrations in the trunk are detrimental to your wines.

Wine collecting is a rewarding hobby, and a little attention to detail will help you enjoy your wine to its fullest potential. Keep temperature and humidity conditions at optimal levels, and store your wine in a dark, quiet place. Doing so will allow you the best of payoffs - great wine that tastes great. Cheers!
About the Author
Jim Hofman is an author specializing in wine travel and the enjoyment of wine. For more practical tips on wine storage solutions, you're invited to visit Jim's recommended resource website devoted to wine accessories and wine cellars.
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