Wine is best stored in certain conditions - factors such as temperature, sunlight, humidity, and movement can all have an effect on how well your wine tastes, smells, and ages.
If you have a larger wine collection, which usually counts as anything above 100 bottles, then it may be more difficult to find the perfect storage space.
However, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for our top wine storage tips for large wine collections, including choosing the perfect storage space, organising your collection, and more.
1. Choose The Right Storage Space
The space you store your wine in is important, and wine coolers and wine cabinets provide the ideal storage space for your large wine collection.
A wine cooler is one of the best ways you can store your wine. Wine coolers can be suitable for both long-term and short-term storage but are usually used to store wine in the short term (for under six months) or for serving.
Wine coolers are great storage spaces as they don’t just keep your wine cool - they can regulate the humidity levels, protect your wine from sunlight, and even minimise vibrations.
You can find wine coolers with single temperature zones, dual temperature zones, and multi-temperature zones - but we’ll discuss this in more detail later (see ‘Store Your Wines Separately’).
Temperature is important when storing your wine, whether it’s in the short term or the long term. In the short term, you should aim to store your wine at serving temperature, which is easily achieved in a wine cooler. In the long term, wine is best stored within the range of 11°C and 14°C. This is ideal for ageing your wines and can keep them fresh for much longer.
Wine coolers can also regulate humidity levels. Your wine bottles need a little humidity in order for the cork to remain moist and in place. If you store your wine in a space that doesn’t have enough humidity, then the cork may dry out and slip out of place, exposing your wine to oxygen. Once your wine gets exposed to oxygen, it will start to deteriorate.
However, too much humidity can cause moisture droplets to form around the bottle, which can damage the labels. It can also promote mould growth, which is something you certainly don’t want to happen if you’re a wine collector or a wine investor. Most quality coolers will regulate your humidity levels between 55% and 75%, ensuring your large wine collection remains in perfect condition.
Wine coolers will either have solid doors or glass doors - and both protect your wine from the harmful UV rays in sunlight. Wine coolers with glass doors will feature UV protection. UV light can cause lightstrike to occur, which is a chemical reaction within the body of the wine. This leads to unwanted flavours and aromas, leaving your wine tasting bitter and unpleasant.
If you have a large collection, be sure to choose a wine cooler that can accommodate the amount of bottles you have.
A wine cabinet has most of the same features as a wine cooler - however, wine cabinets are typically better at storing your wine in the long term, and are great at ageing your wine.
Similar to wine coolers, wine cabinets take into account the factors that can affect how well your wine tastes, looks, and smells. Wine cabinets maintain a steady temperature (or temperatures) to keep your wine cool, regulate the humidity levels to ensure the corks remain moist and the labels remain in pristine condition, protect your wine from harmful UV rays, and even minimise vibrations to allow any sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle.
Wine cabinets can vary in size - however, wine cabinets are usually larger than wine coolers, making them ideal storage space for large wine collections.
2. Organise Your Collection
If you have a larger wine collection with over a hundred bottles, you’re sure to benefit from labelling your wines.
Labelling your wine not only makes it easier to identify your wines but allows you to organise them accordingly.
On the labels, you could include the type of wine, the age of the wine, as well as the region the wine was made.
Wine coolers, wine cabinets, wine cellars and wine racks can come with different types of shelves that can help you organise your wine collection. Some feature display shelves that allow you to display your favourite, most expensive, or oldest bottles, as well as glassware and decanters.
3. Store Your Wines Separately
Once you’ve organised your wines, the next step is to store your wines separately. It’s usually best to store your reds, whites, and sparkling wines separately - especially if you plan on storing your wine for serving.
Reds, whites, and sparkling wines have different serving temperatures. The general rule of thumb is that sparkling and whites are best served at cooler temperatures than reds.
The good news is that this can easily be achieved in a dual-zone or multi-zone wine cabinet or wine cooler. Dual-zone wine coolers and multi-zone wine coolers allow you to store your wine separately within the same unit and is a cheaper option than purchasing more than one unit for your wines.
4. Clear Space In Your Basement
A basement or cellar can make a great storage space for large wine collections. They are dark, relatively humid, and often have a cool temperature. However, we recommend opting for a temperature control system so your wine has the perfect conditions.
A wine cellar is probably the best storage space for large wine collections. Wine cellars may be costly to build and maintain, usually costing over £10,000. However, they are a brilliant option for storing your wine, especially in the long term.
Wine cellars should be cool and relatively damp. To ensure perfect humidity levels, it’s best to monitor the humidity levels so they remain within 55% and 75% humidity.
Wine cellars don’t always have to be in your cellar or basement - you can create a wine cellar anywhere you like provided the conditions are right. You can even install your wine cellar under your stairs!