If you’re going to be keeping your wine for any extended period of time, it’s important to store it properly to allow it to age to its full potential and further develop its intended flavour. Following a few simple guidelines will prevent you from storing your wine incorrectly and causing it to spoil or turn to vinegar. When stored the right way your wine will only get better with age.
Keeping your wine in a cool, dark, and humid space will ensure its composition won’t be jeopardized. The temperature fluctuations should be kept to a minimum and should remain around 10-12 degrees Celsius. Changes in temperature may affect the pressure in your wine bottle which could loosen the cork. A loose cork will allow oxygen to enter the bottle and cause premature aging.
Storing your wine in a humid area will keep the cork moist and prevent it from shrinking, which would allow air into the bottle. 50-80% humidity is acceptable and 70% should be your target. Too much humidity may damage the label and could cause mold to form on the bottle so monitor your humidity levels carefully as well as the temperature.
UV light can react with the proteins in your wine so avoid storing it in direct sunlight. Some bottles are designed to block these rays anyways, but taking the extra step to store it in a dark space will give you optimum aging conditions.
Wine should always be stored in a horizontal position to ensure the cork is always kept moist. For the same reason as keeping your wine in a humid location, a moist cork won’t shrink and you will prevent your wine from oxidizing.
If you have a cellar, this is generally an ideal spot for storing wine. Keep your wine in an area with minimum vibrations and move it as little as possible. The spot you choose should be away from any strong odours as these can be absorbed by the cork and may seep into the wine, affecting any complex or subtle flavours.
Knowing in advance how long you plan on storing your wine can give you a better idea of where to store it and how adamant you will need to be in regards to the steps you take. If you plan on storing your wine for years, thorough maintenance and environmental upkeep on your storage space are very important to keep your wine tasting its best.