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.