Breaking Down Wine Storage Misconceptions
January 24, 2017
Imagine you’re throwing your best friend their milestone birthday dinner and you go grab your favorite bottle of wine from your pantry to go with the delicious feast you prepared. Everyone raises their glass for the birthday toast only to immediately spit the tainted wine back into their glass. Yikes! You ask yourself. How did this happen?
To help you avoid wine storage spoilage, here are a few common misconceptions about wine storage that don’t always ring true.
Chill or Don’t Chill? – Heat is a wine’s worst enemy, so play it safe by keeping both your red and white wine between 45 and 65 F. This temperature range allows the flavor to improve while keeping other harmful chemical reactions in check.
Keep Wine at a Constant Temperature – Avoid exposing wine to large fluctuating temperatures because even short exposure to extreme temps can cause chemical reactions that will ruin your wine.
Refrigerators: Not for Long Term Storage - Most fridges are typically too cold for wine storage. If the fridge is too cold, the flavor-improving chemical reactions may not happen. Storing wine here may be fine for a couple of months, but the average fridge eliminates humidity as it cools and can dry out a wine’s cork. When the cork dries out, air gets in and spoils the wine. One way to try and avoid this is to store the wine on its side in the fridge. That way the cork will stay moist longer, which brings us in to our next misconception…
On its Side or Upright? – Obviously, when the bottle is upright, the wine is not touching the cork. Keeping bottles on their side helps keep the cork moist and is a space-efficient way to store your wines.
Wine on Top of the Fridge - While the top of your fridge may seem like a practical place to store wine, it may harm the wine. The top of a fridge is typically quite warm and often vibrates. The vibrations can damage the chemical components of your wine and the heat can cause it to spoil quickly.
Store Wine Near a Lot of Light or a Window? - While a nice wine rack makes a great interior design addition, that wine’s location may lead to your wine spoiling. If it’s in direct sunlight or next to bright interior lights, the wine could heat up and not last as long. Wine is best kept in a dark, cool place, so be strategic when adding a wine display.
So, now that we have debunked a few common wine storage misconceptions, where should you store your wine? A dry, mild basement is your best bet to double as a wine cellar. An unused cupboard under the stairs is ideal, as long as it’s dry and stays at a fairly stable temperature. However, if those are not options, you can improvise with some simple wine racks in a safe cool place. Also, a wine chiller is always a great solution to meet your wine storage needs. Wherever you decide to store your wine, just remember to keep it well stocked with a wide selection of Missouri wines!