The Basics Of Storing Wine For Beginning Collectors
There's nothing like a bottle of fine, aged wine—and nothing like the prices for one, either. However, wine enthusiasts can start their own collection of nice wines without breaking the bank if they learn to properly store the wine they buy today for use in the future.
Here are the basics you need to know to store your wine properly.
1. Remember that not every wine stores well.
If you're storing your wine in your home somewhere, keep in mind that most wines are designed to be opened and used within a few years—at most. Many will simply turn to vinegar over time if they aren't used (and they'll definitely turn if you don't store them properly in the meantime). Take the time to learn as much as you can about the wines that you're buying for storage if you intend to keep them on a shelf for more than a couple of years.
2. If you're starting a real collection, invest in proper storage.
A climate-controlled storage service will protect your investment if you're going to start laying down big bills on your bottles of wine. Anything less than that is a serious disservice to the vintages you're trying to preserve. While heat is the number one enemy of wine, it's also not a good idea to let wine bottles get too cold either. The ideal temperature for storing is considered a constant 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That's almost impossible to maintain without dedicated, climate-controlled storage of some kind.
What happens if you go too far above that ideal temperature? You'll "cook" the wine and ruin its aroma and flavor. Even a few degrees above the proper temp can be a serious problem over time. Go below the temp and you'll probably dry out the cork because the cold saps the moisture out of the air. A dry cork allows air to eventually get into the bottle and you end up with—again—vinegar.
3. Keep your collection in the dark.
Light of all kind—particularly UV light—can damage wine. That's why so many bottles of good wine are tinted. Ordinary household bulbs, used sparingly when you review your collection, won't do much damage—although they can fade labels. Incandescent bulbs are better than fluorescent lights, however, because those also emit UV rays.
Ultimately, your wine collection is a thing to slowly grow—and savor—over time. Done correctly, the wine you lay down now in storage could one day make an appearance at your grandchild's wedding! For more information, talk to companies like LA Fine Arts & Wine Storage.