Whether you have cases piling up from a wine country trip, a wine club membership where you receive bottles on the regular, or you just like to stock up at Costco once a month--- chances are you have some bottles hanging out that need a place to live. And even if you don't have an #interiorgoals level wine cellar to store them, you still deserve best results upon opening!
Since wine is a natural product made of biological matter that ages and evolves over time, it's sensitive to stuff like temperature and light. If you want to preserve the integrity of your bottles to enjoy for years to come, you have to treat them right.
Here are 3 quick tips on how to best store your collection!
Rule #1: Keep the Temperature Even
The main rule of bottle storage is that wine really likes to live at a consistent temperature. The WORST thing for your prized Chateauneuf-du-Pape is to be stored in a room that's hot, then cold, then hot, etc. If you live in a corner of the world with a continental, 4-season climate and no central air, you may want to invest in a wine fridge. I've seen dual-temperature ones, but that's not really necessary. Whites and reds can be stored together at around 55 degrees.
Rule #2: Store Bottles On Their Sides
The reason we store bottles on their sides is that by constantly keeping the cork moist, we're reducing the chance that the cork will dry out and disintegrate into a crumble of dust. This is no bueno. There are plenty of cute free-standing & wall-mount wine racks out there that will keep your bottles horizontal.
Rule #3: Always Stock Your Fridge With Some Sparkling
That is an important rule- because you never know when you will have an impromptu reason for celebration, or surprise guests stopping by! Keeping at least one bottle of something nice in your refrigerator door at all times is just one of those things that any self-respecting, wine-loving adult should do. It doesn't have to be Champagne- right now I have a really fun sparkling Montlouis from the Loire Valley.
After your bottles are open, you can vacuum-pump them and keep them in the fridge- that should extend the life for a few days. And for all the SERIOUS collectors out there- spring for a Coravin! It's a revolutionary technology that allows you to pour a glass of whatever you like without actually pulling the cork- esssentially it pierces the cork with a needle, extracts your pour, and replaces the liquid with an inert gas. You can drink that bottle at whatever pace you like and it will be delicious for a looong time. I know, pretty incredible and not crazy expensive.