Whether you’re just getting into the wine industry or know all about it, you need to know how to store your wine correctly.
Some factors affect how your wine ages and tastes, depending on where you keep your wine. Do you think the temperature matters? Do you think keeping your wine in the dark helps?
If you’d like to learn more about how you can keep your fine wine safe and unaffected by several components - keep reading along with us.
Why You Should Store Your Wine in the Dark
Sunlight plays a negative role in how fine wine can taste, smell and look when poured into a glass.
The UV rays from the sunlight already affect your skin as they can cause premature ageing of the skin, speeding up the process of wrinkles and leathery skin. The same applies when talking about storing your wine. The ultraviolet rays of the sun degrade the wine causing it to age too quickly - breaking down the chemicals and molecules creating imbalance.
If you store wine bottles with too much light, they can become ‘light struck’ which essentially will change the taste and smell of the wine. You will find that the wine loses its fruitiness and starts tasting and smelling more like wet cardboard.
Three hours of clear sunlight is all it takes to damage your clear bottles of wine - while it takes 18 hours of sunlight to sabotage a green bottle of wine. So if you go to a local shop to buy wine, just make sure you know it has been stored correctly by the owner, whether that be in an en primeur, dark space, etc.
How Do You Store Your Wine in the Dark?
If you decide to start collecting and store wine in dark, there are a few ways you can go about it. If you still want to keep a light in your fridge - consider investing in light with a UV- protective coating. This will ensure that you’ll be able to see in your fridge, whilst causing no damage to your wine whatsoever.
Another option if you don’t have a fridge to store your wine in is to keep it in a box, preferably somewhere cool. This is because if sunlight manages to get in, it will still affect your wine negatively.
The most common of all is having either a wine cooler or wine cabinet. Most of the time, this is the best option to keep your bottles of wine fresh and high quality. However, you have to make sure that your cabinet or cooler doors aren’t glass - as the UV rays can still hit your collection of wine. Ensure that your doors are either a different material to glass - or make sure that the glass is UV- treated.
What Else Do You Need to Know About Storing Wine?
Although sunlight is a huge factor in storing your wine and making sure it isn’t being affected by the ultraviolet rays, there are many other elements to keeping your wine in top condition.
Apart from sunlight - movement/ vibration, humidity and temperature all play a major role in the state of your wine.
Here is your guide for tips you need to know:
Wine is pretty delicate. Movement for many genuine collectors is something they take very seriously when storing their new or old wine. The excessive movements/ vibrations can cause the wine to age quicker - especially the older wines. Not only will the age be affected, but the natural flavours will become incredibly gritty.
Essentially what happens is the sediment at the bottom of the wine bottle will mix in with the liquid and when they come together, this is when the taste is altered and becomes less appetising.
Even when you’re picking up the wine bottle, excessive shaking of the bottle could even cause the wine to deteriorate a lot faster than you want it to when put into your wine glasses.
Many people store their wine in warm temperatures - this is probably one of the worst things you can do. To serve wine, people most likely know that it needs to be at a certain temperature, but most don’t know it needs to be stored at a cool temperature too.
Our advice is to store the wine between 11 and 14 degrees celsius. If stored any higher than 15 degrees, it can cause the ageing process to accelerate - disturbing the balance of compounds in the wine.
Not only will it damage the chemicals in the drink - but it will change the aromas and taste of the wine too. If the temperature in the room is too hot, the wine will become more volatile in taste and smell. Whereas, when the temperature is cool in storage - the wine becomes less volatile and keeps the grapes’ sugars, instead of turning them into alcohol.
If you’re living in a hot country or like to have the heating on in your house very high - it needs to be re-considered where you need to store it in your house. If no air gets to the wine and the humidity level is above 70%, it can cause the labels and bottle to blemish. What most people don’t know is that the dry air can also get into the wine bottles and essentially dry out the corks - spoiling the wine.
Mould also tends to like high humidity. The condensation will start to appear on your wine bottles, making it very possible for mould to grow on your bottle.
However, you don’t want the humidity to be too cool and leave it in the fridge for an immoderate amount of time. This is because the cold air could seep through into the bottle and either freeze your wine or dry out the corks.
If you’re unsure about how to check the humidity, it may be ideal to invest in a wine cooler - check out our built-in wine coolers on our website today for the best wine storage in the business!