Even the most dedicated wine connoisseurs might not know the ideal wine storage temperature or other environmental factors to keep their vino in top condition through the years. Although many wines are meant to be enjoyed right away, some are intended to be stored and aged before consumption. They’re often an investment, intended for special occasions and sometimes worth thousands of dollars. In these cases, wine must be kept in ideal conditions to age properly and maximize flavor.
The Ideal Wine Storage Temperature
There is some debate in the wine community on what the proper wine storage temperature is; however, most generally agree 55 degrees Fahrenheit is about right for red wines. White wines can be stored at a slightly cooler temperature — but you’ll want to avoid any dramatic fluctuations. Moreover, heat will hasten the aging process and degrade quality; wine should be stored away from appliances such as refrigerators, ovens or radiators. A cellar or unused storage closet could make sense for a bottle rack.
Beyond Temperature: Light and Humidity
Wine storage temperature isn’t the only thing to consider when determining the best place for your collection. Light and humidity also play roles in the wine’s aging process.
Have you ever wondered why many wines are kept in dark bottles? It’s not only for the aesthetic but also to protect the wine from natural or artificial light, which can cause the wine’s amino acids to oxidize and ultimately impact the flavor and smell. When this happens, the wine may develop a strange aroma often described as “lightstruck.”
Humidity is also crucial to monitor for your wine collection as many winemakers still use natural corks. If the air is too dry, corks could crumble into your wine — pretty much ruining the product you’ve worked hard to keep.
Bonus Wine Storage Tips
Tip #1 Store wine on its side – Storing wine horizontally is not only space-efficient, but it also helps keep the cork moist.
Tip #2 Keep an eye on the expiration date – Not all wine is meant to age. If you’re looking for a wine that will last for ten years or longer, work with a specialized wine vendor to find options with a specific blend of sugars and tannins.
Tip #3 Strong odors can impact flavor – Wine corks are porous, meaning they may absorb various smells, such as garlic or garbage. It’s another good reason to not store wine in the kitchen, as convenient as it may seem!
Don’t Have a Wine Cellar? Consider Climate-Controlled Self-Storage
An ideal wine storage temperature, humidity, and overall environment can be difficult to achieve without a traditional wine cellar and proper equipment. Many of us don’t have that luxury — but aspiring sommeliers shouldn’t despair! Climate-controlled self-storage, which often comes equipped with temperature and humidity regulators, could be a wonderful way to preserve your most special bottles for years to come.
Additionally, self-storage might be a good option for clearing out a basement to make room for an ever-growing wine collection. Explore our storage facilities.