July 28, 2021
Did you know that how you store your favorite bottle of wine — both before and after you open it — affects its taste? We put together some quick tips to help you find the perfect way to keep your bottles so your first sip tastes like you remember in the tasting room.
Before it is opened …
Stay cool — Ideally, wine should be stored at 55°F. This makes a cool basement or a wine cooler a great choice to store your wine. Don’t rely on your fridge for long-term wine storage. While refrigerator temperatures are perfect for most beverages, they can dull wine flavors over time and even dry out the cork. Wine stored at temperatures lower than 25°F can freeze, and bottles stashed in areas greater than 68°F will age faster than wine stored correctly.
Keep it in the dark — Sunlight can damage wine aroma and flavor. Always store wine in a dark place, such as a cool closet or basement away from light and windows.
Don’t shake it up — Store your wine away from high traffic areas, appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, and stereos. Wine will age unfavorably if vibrations stir up the bottle’s delicate balance.
Lay it down —Storing wine bottles horizontally keeps the corks moist and prevents premature aging. Although screw-top wine bottles don’t have to be stored this way, storing bottles horizontally on racks is an efficient, space-saving storage method that provides easy access to bottles while maximizing your space.
After opening …
Top it off —Always seal a bottle of wine after opening it with a cork, wine stopper or even a vacuum stopper and pump. The latter removes the oxygen from the opened bottle helping to prevent oxidation and aging.
Wax on — If you don’t have a wine stopper or a vacuum stopper and pump, place wax paper around the cork before resealing the bottle. The wax paper keeps any piece of cork from falling into the bottle and helps the expanded cork slide into the bottle more easily.
Chill out — Just like leftovers, the safest storage place for opened wine is the fridge. The temperature slows down the aging and oxidation process. Once opened, always store wine bottles upright to limit the amount of wine exposed to oxygen in the bottle.
Get to cooking — Stored and sealed correctly, most wines last 3-5 days after opening. However, if you don’t think you will be able to finish a bottle during that time, cook with it. Check out these Missouri wine recipes to find new ways to experience wine.