If you plan on storing your wine in the long term, then it’s important to know how to store your wine collection effectively, and what factors you need to consider.
If you store your wine in the wrong way, then your wine won’t age well - and may result in it tasting unfresh, bitter, and generally unpleasant. The aromas could also be negatively affected, so it’s always best to store your wine in the right way - especially in the long term.
Whether you’re storing wine for ageing, you’re a wine collector or investor, or you simply have a collection that you want to store well, then this post is for you. Keep reading for our guide to long term wine storage.
What Factors Can Affect Long Term Wine Storage?
First of all, it’s important to learn the different factors that can affect your wine while storing it in the long term.
When you’re storing your wine in the long term or you’re investing in your wine, you want your wine to taste fresh, and you want it to age well.
If you don’t consider the following factors, then it could taste and smell unpleasant, and age poorly. Some factors can cause the wine to age prematurely, leaving it essentially worthless.
When storing your wine, you should consider temperature, sunlight (specifically UV light), humidity, and movement. Read on to learn more.
One of the most important factors you need to consider when storing your wine for long periods of time, whether it be for ageing, investing, or simply to store, is temperature.
Wine is best stored at temperatures between 11ºC and 14ºC in the long term. Be careful not to store your wine in temperatures above 15ºC - as your wine may start to age faster, leaving it tasting unfresh and unpleasant.
Storing your wine conditions that are too warm could also lead to an irreversible cooked taste developing, which may be nice in mulled wine but can destroy the value of your wine.
You might think that as long as your wine is cold, then you don’t need to worry. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. When storing your wine for long periods of time, you need to make sure that the temperature isn’t too low.
Your wine collection could start to freeze if you store your wine in an environment that’s too cold, and this could lead to your wine losing its natural flavours and aromas. If you’re a wine collector, then your wine will decrease in value.
Be sure to avoid storing your wine near appliances that generate heat, such as dishwashers, ovens, and tumble dryers.
The cork could also slip out of place, exposing your wine to oxygen. The last thing any wine investor, collector, or connoisseur wants is for the wine to oxidise, so be sure to store your wine at the correct temperature.
Another factor to consider when storing your wine for long periods of time is sunlight - specifically the UV rays present in sunlight.
UV rays can negatively affect how well your wine ages, as well as the flavours and aromas of the wine. Avoid storing your wine in direct sunlight - this may be ok for very short periods of time, but it can ruin your wine in the long term.
UV light can cause unwanted chemical reactions within the body of the wine, and this change is irreversible. Be careful with which light bulbs you use, as incandescent bulbs can damage your wine in the same way that sunlight can. Instead, choose bulbs with UV-protective coating.
Wine stored in green bottles can be effective in protecting your wine from sunlight, but this won’t help in the long term. If you’re storing your wine for long periods of time, you’ll need to ensure that you store it in a dark space, such as a cellar or a wine cooler.
Humidity is something else that you should watch out for when storing your wine in the long term.
Your wine collection needs a little humidity to ensure the cork remains in place - if the humidity levels drop too low, then it could dry out and allow oxygen to enter the bottle.
However, if there’s too much humidity in your wine storage space, then moisture droplets could gather around the bottle, causing damage to the bottle and the labels. This is something that wine collectors and investors especially need to watch out for - as a damaged label or bottle can cause the wine to decrease in value.
Moisture can also encourage mould and bacteria growth, so be sure to regulate the humidity levels when storing your wine.
Movement can have a negative effect on how your wine ages - specifically vibrations. Excessive or continuous vibrations can prevent any sediment from settling in the bottle, leaving sediment floating around the wine.
Avoid storing your wine near moving appliances or appliances that vibrate - if you store your wine close to your washing machine, then sediment won’t settle in your wine.
Aged wine should always be handled delicately, so be sure to avoid quick and excessive movements when handling your wine.
Where Should I Store My Wine?
There are three main options for long term wine storage - wine coolers, wine cabinets, and wine cellars.
A wine fridge is one of the best ways you can store your wine, and wine fridges are typically more affordable than wine cellars and wine cabinets.
You can find a quality wine fridge that will consider all of the factors we listed above - temperature, light, humidity, and movement.
Wine cabinets are ideal for long term wine storage, and like wine fridges, they take care of light, humidity, temperature, and movement.
Wine cellars are the ultimate wine storage option - however, they can be expensive to build and maintain.
These are ideal for large wine collections, and provide optimal storage conditions for long term wine storage.