How to Store Wine Without a Cellar
Many wine enthusiasts consider storing fine wine to be a sophisticated art form. Numerous intricacies of heat and light can have a significant impact on the maturation of vintage wine. Few collectors will have opened a bottle several years later after purchase, only to find the wine isn’t quite up to expectation.
If you’re buying wines to age them for a long time, it’s worth the money to invest in professional-grade storage. However, if you're expecting to drink your wine sooner, it’s better to preserve it at home, even if you don’t have a wine cellar.
Here are a few ways you can store your wine without a cellar.
Tips for Storing Wine Without a Cellar
When storing wine at home, there are a variety of variables to consider, the most important of which is temperature. Anything above 70°F will age a wine faster than you do it and can result in bland flavors and aromas.
The ideal temperature range is between 46°F and 64°F, but most keep their cellars between 53°F and 56F.. Avoid storing wine in the fridge for more than a few months. After four months, corks begin to dry up, allowing air to enter the bottle and cause oxidation.
Long-term storage can also be affected by light, particularly sunlight, which can damage and prematurely age wine. The main reason vintners use colored glass bottles is to protect the wine in their bottles.
Keep your wine out of direct sunlight. In addition to light, most household light bulbs won’t affect your wine; however, fluorescent lights, which generate small amounts of ultraviolet light, can cause your wine to go bad.
You should avoid storing wine in areas where the temperature fluctuates frequently. This means you shouldn't store your wine in the kitchen, utility room, unheated garage, as well as any locations near radiators.
An excellent place to store your wine is under the stairs or in an unheated cupboard elsewhere in the home. The goal is to store your wine in an environment with a consistent temperature.
Humidity isn’t important unless you’re storing bottles for more than a decade, during which you will probably want professional storage. While it’s true that dry air can cause corks to shrink and allow air into the bottle, it won’t happen unless you live in a low humid location like the Southwest.
Humidity levels of 50% to 80% are considered the perfect range. Placing a bucket of water near the wine will help raise levels, while a dehumidifier can help remove any excess moisture in the air. Watch out for excess humidity too since this can encourage mold.
Wine bottles should always be positioned on their side because it keeps liquid against the cork, preventing it from drying out. If you plan on consuming the wine within the next couple of years, or if the bottle has an alternative closure like a screw cap or plastic cork, this isn't necessary.
If you're having trouble finding the perfect storage place, or if you have bottles you want to protect but don't want to pay for professional storage, you might want to consider investing in a freestanding wine cooling unit. There are a variety of options on the market, some of which are quite affordable
Wine Shop in Asheville, NC
Metro Wines is a wine shop in Asheville with one of the largest wine collections in the city, focusing on pairing the perfect wine with the right food or event. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can assist you in selecting the perfect wine for your occasion.
Our Tasting Room features a warm and inviting ambiance that is ideal for a celebration or friendly get-together. Visit our shop if you have any queries about how to store your wine or if you are interested in our wine collection!