Wine Storage Basics

Wine Storage Basics

Wine Storage Basics

In order to maintain optimal flavor for wine, it must be stored in proper conditions that will preserve the quality and attributes. This is especially important once a bottle of wine has been opened. It is also important to consider that wine is meant to be enjoyed within two years of bottling. There are, of course, exceptions to this guideline, particularly with certain Chardonnays. Red wines will actually develop characteristics as they age, but this typically only applies to Old World wines.
What is the Proper Storage Temperature For Wine?

One of the keys to storing wine is maintaining the wine’s temperature. Ideally, one needs a cellar, a wine cooler or a wine merchandiser to keep the temperature of wine constant. Using one or more wine merchandisers makes perfect sense for liquor stores or bars with space behind the bar or near it. Wine refrigerators are kept at a higher temperature than normal refrigerators, so keeping wine in the reach-in where you keep the cocktail mix and heavy cream is not typically the best idea. Maybe wine bars have wine refrigerators built into a wall or elaborate fixture where servers can grab a bottle and guests can take a peek at the selection. The key is maintaining a constant temperature to keep the wine at its peak serving temperature. After all, most of these wines are best enjoyed at the same temperature at which they are stored. Additionally, the humidity plays an important role as well. Wine corks can dry out and allow air to enter the bottle unless the storage environment !

is kept at a high humidity level–about 70% humidity. Those with temperature- and humidity-controlled wine coolers have a head-start, although ideally one would have several wine coolers of different temperatures for all the different wines they keep on hand. Below is a table of suggested wine temperatures based on wine type.

Sparkling Wines (Champagne, Prosecco) 45-60 Degrees Fahrenheit

Dry White Wines (Pinot Gris, Riesling) 45-50 Degrees Fahrenheit

Sweet and Rose Wines (Malbec, Merlo) 45-60 Degrees Fahrenheit

Sparkling Wines (Malbec, Merlot) 48-50 Degrees Fahrenheit

Young, Low Acid Red Wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah) 59-63 Degrees Fahrenheit

Aged or Dry Red Wines (Pinot Noir) 60-64 Degrees Fahrenheit

Fine Aged Red Wine (Pinot Noir) 64 Degrees Fahrenheit

Horizontal Storage

There is a reason that wine bottles are stored on their sides rather than upright. Storing wine on their sides ensures that the corks stay moist. If a cork is allowed to dry out, air can seep through the cork and the wine can begin to oxidize. This eventually spoils the wine. However, many establishments will allow a wine bottle to stand upright for a few moments before serving it so that any sediment in the wine can settle to the bottom of the bottle and not make it into the wine glass.

Dark Storage

As with beer and some other alcohols, UV light from the sun and some fluorescent light can spoil a wine. Some bottles have dark glass which helps reduce exposure, although light can still seep through. If exposure to light is an issue, keep the wine in a box or lightly wrapped in a cloth. Keeping wines totally out of the light is the best solution.

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Chris Thompson is a restaurant industry veteran with more than five years of wearing numerous hats in a foodservice setting, including server, food prep, dishwasher, and marketing. Currently, Chris works with as a marketing professional and is learning the art of promoting restaurants in a new and dynamic marketplace.

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Wine Storage Basics
Wine Storage Basics
Wine Storage Basics

Wine Storage Basics