Are you thinking about making the move from casual wine drinker to wine collector? This is usually when the subject of aging wine comes up. Purchasing wine becomes more of an investment instead of just a way to satisfy that immediate wine craving. So, if you are going to begin an investment of aged wines, what can you do to protect that investment? Wine should be stored in specific conditions to ensure that it ages well, and does not spoil. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about a place to store your wine properly. Today, we will discuss what you need for in-home wine storage.
Of course, the ideal way to store your wine would be to either utilize an offsite wine storage facility, or hire a contractor to build out a full wine cellar in your home. However, I’m assuming (like me) that most of you might not have the ability or the financial means to do this. Don’t worry, though. You can store your wine investment in the home without taking on a major project. You just have to follow a few easy guidelines.
1. Pick A Good Place
The best area for wine storage in the home would be a cool basement; however, if you don’t have a basement, just make sure to pick a location that does not have direct sunlight or dramatic temperature fluctuation (i.e. under a set of stairs is a good place.) If your wine is exposed to sun, the wine will age prematurely. If there is too much temperature fluctuation, oxidation may occur, which can ruin the wine. Keep in mind, you can probably fit around 200 bottles in a 30 Sq. foot space. Also, make sure there is no carpet in this space, as the humidity level (explained below) will cause carpet to grow mold and mildew.
2. Temperature Control
Ideally, you want your space to be maintained at about 55 degrees Farenheit (within 3 degrees of this is okay). If the wine sits in a temperature about 75 degrees, it will start to cook. If it’s in a temp close to freezing, the flavors will be flat. Definitely things you do not want to happen. If you’d rather an appliance do the work for you, you can always purchase a wine cooler.
3. Humidity Control
The humidity level should be around 55%. If you are below 50%, corks may start to dry out. If you are above 80%, your corks may start to mold. Putting a pan of water in your space, or buying a humidifier may help keep up the humidity level. If a space is too damp, a dehumidifier may help. Just make sure you are keeping the level between 50% and 80%! If you’re not sure about your humidity level, consider buying a hygrometer to keep tabs.
3. Storing the Wine Bottles
Custom shelving may be too expensive or difficult to deal with. If that’s the case, consider stackable wine racks like the below. Storing the wine bottles on their sides helps keep the corks from drying out. Even if the bottles have screw caps or plastic corks, storing bottles on their sides still helps with wine storage space efficiency.
You see…home wine storage is not rocket science. If you follow the guidelines above, storing your wine is super easy and affordable. Have fun and enjoy!