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How to Store Wine

Admin | January 25, 2024 @ 12:00 AM

How to Store Your Wine The Right Way

When your wine collecting starts to take over every spare space in your kitchen, you may wonder what options you have that don't result in any home renovation projects or costs. Or you may be wondering if you're storing your wine properly. Read on to find out!

What You Need to Know About Wine Storage, The Basics:

1.   Temperature is key. If you go warmer than 70-degree Fahrenheit, you’ll end up with your wine’s aromas and flavors destroyed or “gone flat”. If your wine gets too cold, it could push or dry out the cork, which allows for air to seep in and damage the wine. Ideal temperature range for wine is 45-degree and 65-degree Fahrenheit, and 55-degrees is sited as perfect.

2.   Keep the temperature steady as possible. Rapid changes will result in less-than-ideal results.

3.   Maintain darkness. Lights or UV rays can prematurely age a wine. If you need light, choose incandescent instead of fluorescent.

4.   Humidity isn’t as big a deal as you would think. Keeping it between 50% - 80% humidity is considered safe, and you can place a pot of water in your storage area to help with this. Stay away from extremes for wine storage, and if you live in a desert or incredibly damp areas, choose climate-control to be safe.

5.   Go Sideways. It’s best, although not entirely necessary, to store your wine sideways. If it has a screwcap, glass or plastic cork, then you can store it however works best in your space.

How to Store White Wine:

When you buy your white wine at the store, you may buy a few, thinking you can store the extras in a normal fridge until you're ready to open them. And, you would be wrong. The average temperature of a home refrigerator is 35 to 38 F, MUCH cooler than your typical wine refrigerator. These frigid temps put your white wines at risk for having their vibrant flavors zapped right out, leaving behind wine that is flat on the nose and flavorless on the palate. The typical kitchen refrigerator also holds a pretty hefty motor that causes constant vibration throughout the unit. Long-term vibration is an enemy of wine.

Ideal storing temperatures for white wines fall into the 45 to 50 F temperature range, conveniently keeping within the parameters of the recommended serving temperature of 48 F for white wine. If you are storing red and white wine together, a cool 55 F is a happy temperature medium that will sufficiently accommodate both types of wine for long-term storage.

You can store your whites in a cool, dark basement, in a wine fridge, or a wine storage locker that is climate-controlled to maintain temperature consistency and protect the essence of your wine.

How to Store Rose Wine:

Rosé can be stored in a dark climate-controlled environment with temperatures ranging from 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity ranging from 65 to 70%. If you don’t have a wine storage locker, the best place to keep your Rosé would be in your basement or storage closet.

Place them in the fridge once opened, or insert a cork into the top or tightly attach the cap. The rosés will keep for about 5 days before changing in flavor; the bright fruit flavors found in most rosés will become less bold and subtle over time.

An ideal vintage date for rosés is one or two years after vintage. 

Despite the fact that many rosés are only released within the first or second year of production, unopened rosé can last up to 2-3 years after being released. 

A rosé, which has been properly aged in oak barrels with acid, tannins, alcohol levels, and residual sugar, can easily last for 2-3 years past its recommended drinking age and can be a great addition to your collection.

Rosé wine will last in the refrigerator for four to six weeks. This is because wine stored at a lower temperature and with a lower oxygen content can age more slowly. This is why it is important to store rosé in the refrigerator, as it will prevent oxidation, which can spoil the wine. If stored properly, rosé can maintain its original flavors and characteristics for a longer period of time. It’s also important to note that if you plan on keeping rosé for more than six weeks, you should consider transferring it to a cool and dark place.

How to Store Red Wine:

Almost all experts agree that the perfect temperature for ageing wine is 55 ° F (12.7 C).Red wine is usually stored and served at a slightly higher temperature compared to white wine.

Freezing temperatures can cause the wine to expand and contract – this can push the cork out and result in seepage of air into the bottle. If this happens, the wine spoils quickly.

High temperatures can cause a wine to age faster than desirable. Temperatures higher than 70° F can ‘cook’ a wine and result in dull flavors and aromas.

Frequent and sudden temperature swings are not great for the wine chemistry either – consistency is the name of the game!

The ideal humidity for storing red wine is about 70%. However, anything between 50 to 80% is quite alright unless you’re laying bottles down for more than a decade, in which case you’d better invest in a professional cellar. 

Extremely dry environments are detrimental for storing wine.A dehumidifier can help to address high humidity if required.

UV light causes wine to age prematurely.

Fun fact: Wine bottles are tinted for a reason, to act as a barrier against harsh light. Think of the tinted bottles as being sunglasses for the wine inside!

Keep red wine in a dark place, away from direct Sunlight. Interior lights do not pose a significant threat to wine (unless very harsh) but remember that fluorescent bulbs do emit a very small amount UV rays and hence incandescent lights are always preferable.

Continuous vibrations can cause the sediment of wine to become disturbed and prevent it from settling. Nobody wants to open an expensive bottle of red wine with a gritty mouthfeel.

So, wine bottles should be kept as still as possible. Constant vibrations and movement are best avoided.

If you’ve read the above mentioned points carefully, you’ve probably made a few important realizations:

  • If you’re serious about storing your red wine properly, you cannot store it in the refrigerator as the temperature is well below 55 F and the air is too dry.
  • You cannot store it in the laundry room or in the kitchen as the temperature and humidity tend to fluctuate quite a bit.
  • You cannot store wine outside, in places such as the verandah, courtyard, balcony etc. as it may get exposed to extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. 
  • The garage is probably a bad idea too unless you want the labels smelling of smoke and engine oil.

We know for a fact that the best way to store red wine is to build a professional cellar but it costs a fortune! 

How Long to Store Wine:

The vast majority of the white wines (and red wines for that matter) are intended to be consumed within 2 to 3 years. In general, most mass-market white wines are freshest upon release and are best opened as close to their vintage year as possible.

And, if you're running out of space, our convenient, affordable wine storage lockers or wine cellar rental locations are here to help:

City Storage & City Cellars, Emeryville, CA

StoragePRO Self Storage, Napa, CA

City Storage & City Cellars, San Francisco, CA


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