Storing Your Wine, And Why It Matters

PUBLISHED ON: 02.07.2024


My wine cooler is well stocked but not well organized, and that also goes for my closets which hold wine boxes, and a box or two, that may or may not be under my bed.

You would think being a wine person I drink a lot of wine. Probably not as much as you might imagine. However, I buy wine like a wine person.

A perfect environment for a ‘wine casualty” What is wine casualty? It is the surprise bottle I forgot about or thought it would be better if I drank on a special occasion which instead of five years was seven years later. I’ve been disappointed more than once to open a bottle with anticipation only to discover it has gone past its prime. A heroic salute and my wine gets poured down the drain. Tragedy.

My own wine cooler has probably a handful of wines that would be considered worthy of extended ageing, but most of my wines have a drinking window of about 5-10 years.

Fun fact: Only 1% of wine produced in the world is meant to age. Which means 99% of the wine we purchase is ready to be enjoyed right now and aging it on purpose is going to gain you zero improvement in the quality of the wine you experience.

Buying wines and adding to your collection is an act of pleasure, and there is nothing more gratifying than opening a favorite bottle to share with family and friends. Unless you are opening wine within a few days, wine needs to be stored properly. Wine is a living, breathing, and continuously evolving thing. This applies to an age worthy Bordeaux, and the Cabernet Sauvignon you picked up from the grocery store.

Since wine does not carry an expiration date here are some tips to avoid wrecking your wine:

* If space and money permit, consider investing in a wine refrigerator or keep wines in a cool, damp and relatively dark place in your home. A wine rack is a great idea too if you live in a cool consistent climate. This does not apply to anyone living in southern United States (laugh).

Temperature is one of the most important factors in protecting your wine. So, what is a good temperature for wine? Somewhere between 55-57 degrees F. depending on the varietal of the wine. If you have a nice bottle you like to preserve, do your research.

No matter how nice your wine décor looks in your kitchen, its a bad place to store wine, any wine.

Fluctuations in temperature, light and vibrations are wine killers. This means don’t store your wine on top of refrigerators, washer, or dryers, unless you want your wine to taste like paint.

The best way to store wine to preserve the quality is to store it on its side. This way the wine can stay in contact with the cork to have the cork remain moist. No use opening a nice bottle of wine to find your cork crumbles, and your wine is reduced to warm vinegar due to oxidation.

There is always a good reason to open a bottle of wine, so don’t wait too long.

  • I’m not a big wine drinker, which explains why we probably have a dozen or more bottles stored, each probably gifted to us over the holidays. We are, apparently, doing everything wrong, other than storing them on their sides. Thanks for the tips. And cheers!

  • I smiled as I read this, remembering listening to a call-in show on CBC radio as I was driving through Canada a number of years ago. A fellow called to recount his experience of saving a special bottle of wine for MANY years — I believe to celebrate a 25th anniversary. And, as you might expect, when it was opened it was ghastly! It was good for a laugh and that was about it. These are all wonderful ideas and I’ll be eager to share this one with our wine group.

  • We had a beautiful wine refrigerator in Florida, but it was not a top quality brand. We were away for the summer and kept the house at 85. The compressor could not handle that temperature. We then found wine storage in a wine store. Moving to AZ we used another professional storage company until we drank it down. 😋. We now store our wine in a cool closet and Regular refrigerator in garage. It’s not. Pretty display but it works. My husband also has a spread sheet where he knows where each bottle lays and by which date it should be consumed. Initially time consuming, but it works.

  • This is all great advice! We also have those “hand full of wines” that are stored for special occasions. We’re breaking out a Quilceda Creek Cabernet this weekend for Super Bowl. One of my favorite wines ever.

  • So much good information here. And for someone who writes about wine, I am embarrassed to admit that I do not have a wine refrigerator. I do, however, keep it in cool(ish), dark places and have been very lucky. Thanks!

    PS -p I also fear that ,if I did have a wine refrigerator, it would constantly be filled with curing meats.

  • These tips are very helpful! Thanks I really had no idea. Great post.

  • Great information! I love my wine fridge, and it’s been working for years….. fingers crossed!

  • Nice tips Velva

  • Great tips, Velva and a wine fridge is on my to-buy list but not at the top we consume our wine as we buy it..there are no cool spots here 🙂

  • Thanks for these helpful tips. Always good to be reminded! 🙂

  • A friend of ours has an entire wall in their guest bedroom dedicated to wine! I keep asking for an invite to sleep over ,,,,
    Wine doesn’t last long in our house, but we do have some that is meant to be aged that we keep for special evenings with friends 🙂

  • Happy to say, we have a wine cellar, deep under, separated room for beer ( which I prefer, to be honest) and a room for fruits to prevent the barrels soak the unwanted fruit flavours. so far so good. No fridge. But I’, just lucky, I guess 🙂

  • Good reminders! I’m not a wine drinker but have friends who are, so when entertaining, I like to have some bottles on hand. I have definitely experienced wines gone bad.

  • Gorgeous blog! I wish I had room for a wine fridge but I’m sure I’d use it for proofing bread instead!

  • There are several Apps that help you organize your wine collection as well as alert you to when the bottles should be opened! My wine taste is limited mainly because I get such bad reactions to many varieties, that I never want to experiment. For example, oak-aged chardonnay is an instant migraine for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page