Regardless of the size of your collection, it’s important that you optimise your wine storage solution and ensure that you’re storing your wine in the best possible way.
The way you store your wine matters, and one small mistake could cost you thousands of pounds. After all, many wine collectors have wine collections valued at well over a thousand pounds.
But how exactly do you optimise wine storage as a collector? What factors need to be considered? Should you use a wine cooler, wine cellar, or will it be okay in a cool, dark room?
Keep reading to learn how to best store your wine as a collector, as well as information about what factors can affect your wine collection and why.
Consider Storage Factors
When storing your wine, there are numerous things that you need to consider. Factors such as temperature, light, humidity, and even the angle at which you store your wine can have an impact on the freshness, taste, aromas, and appearance of your collection.
One of the key factors that any wine collector needs to consider is temperature. Wine is best stored at temperatures between 10ºC and 15ºC, but certain wines are best stored at more specific temperatures.
Always research the wine you’re collecting so you understand the exact temperature at which it should be stored. Cooler temperatures will ensure that your wine ages in the right way - storing your wine at higher temperatures can speed up the ageing process and leave a bitter, unpleasant taste, which is something no collector wants as it can devalue the wine.
Avoid storing your wine at too-low temperatures, as this could put your wine at risk of freezing. Frozen wine can quickly lose its flavour, which is something no collector wants. Low temperatures can cause the cork to freeze and push out, exposing your wine to oxygen.
A wine fridge or cellar is a great option for wine collectors. Wine fridges with dual or multiple temperature zones allow you to store different types of wine in the same unit.
Red wine, white wine, and sparkling wines may need to be stored at slightly different temperatures, and a wine cooler with three temperature zones is perfect if you’re a wine collector with a varied collection.
Light is another thing that any collector should consider when storing their wine collection. UV light can have a negative effect on wine, so it’s important that wine is kept away from sunlight and other forms of UV light.
UV rays can speed up the ageing process, causing unwanted flavours, aromas, and textures. Whether you’re collecting wine to invest in or you’re building a personal collection, you want to keep your wine away from sunlight.
If you use light bulbs around your collection, ensure that they have UV-protective features. As long as the humidity and temperature are at the right levels, then storing your wine in a dark space such as a basement should be sufficient.
Wine should be stored at the right levels of humidity - between 55% and 75%. Some humidity is necessary in order for the cork to remain moist, otherwise, it could slip out of place and expose your wine to oxygen.
However, avoid exposing your wine to too much humidity. As a collector, you want the labels and bottle to remain in perfect condition.
To store your wine in the best conditions, ensure that you have a way to check the humidity levels. Whether you purchase a device that alters the humidity levels or you purchase a wine cooler that regulates the humidity levels, it’s important that the humidity remains in the range of 55% and 75%.
Click here for more information on factors that can affect wine storage.
Most wine collectors will store their wine horizontally, but did you know that wine is actually best stored at an angle?
This is so that the wine and the bubble of air in the bottle both come into contact with the cork. The air bubble can then expand without creating a vacuum - as vacuums will draw in oxygen. If your wine rack or shelf only allows you to store your wine in a certain way, why not purchase a wedge so your bottle can lie at an angle.
Choose Right Wine Storage Solution
There are a variety of different wine storage solutions available, but the best two options for wine collectors are wine coolers and wine cellars.
If you’re a wine collector, you may want to invest in a wine cooler that considers all the wine storage factors. A quality wine cooler will protect your wine from UV light while maintaining the optimal temperature and humidity levels.
You can find a wine cooler for any collection - if you’re new to the wine collecting scene and only have a small collection, you can find a small wine cooler that stores under 40 bottles. However, if you have an established wine collection, then you’ll be able to find a wine cooler that can store over 200 bottles.
There are three main types of wine cooler - freestanding, built-in, and fully integrated. Freestanding wine coolers can be placed anywhere and stand freely, whereas built-in and fully integrated wine fridges are generally limited to kitchen cabinet space.
You can find a wine cooler to match your needs. If you have a large, varied collection, then you can find a wine cooler with multiple temperature zones so you can store each type of wine at different temperatures within the same unit.
If you want to keep your collection safe, you can find a wine cooler with a lock for that extra level of protection. You can also find wine coolers with alarms that alert you when the temperature drops or when the door is left open.
For more information on wine coolers, click here for our buyers guide!
Wine cellars are popular amongst collectors for a reason - they’re a great way to store any wine collection. However, wine cellars aren’t limited to a cellar. A wine cellar can refer to any room that’s temperature-controlled and used to store wine.
Wine cellars are typically constructed using brick or stone, and may even feature stone floors. This helps to create the ideal humidity levels, protecting both the wine and the bottle. Wine cellars are great for storing larger wine collections and can accommodate a wide range of wines. Organisation is key with wine cellars, so be sure to organise your wine based on the type, age, or cost.