Properly storing a wine can be just as important as how you made the wine. There is nothing worse than pulling out a bottle of your own vino for friends to try only to find out that it has gone bad. A few simple things that you can do makes the difference between having a wine that you enjoy for years to come, to having a wine that tastes like bad prune juice.
The temperature that you store a wine plays a big role in how well it will taste in the future. You want a cool, consistent place to keep the wine. The ideal temp to store a wine is 52 °F. That way the wine yeast is in a dormant state and will not continue to create CO2. Wine stored at room temp can keep the yeast alive and active, which can lead to carbonation, or corks popping out.
A lot of people can use their basement floors for storing wine as the floor tends to stay a consistent temperature of 52 to 55 °F throughout the year. For those in areas that do not offer basements, a wine cooler is a good idea to invest in. A wine cellar would be ideal, but not everyone wants to take up their living room with a wall in cellar.We know a lot of people think that by adding sorbate or metabisulphite that this will takes care of the problem. It can, but rarely does. The reason is because you are trying to kill off billions of yeast cells, and there can be so many cells that it is hard to kill them all off. Keep the temperature cool and you won’t have any problems.
Let’s face it; most of us don’t have a way to control this one too much. If you can keep the humidity around 60 to 70%, you are doing great. Do your best to keep the humidity up, or use a synthetic cork. The reason why you need to worry about humidity is because of the corks. If you use a standard cork, it can dry out over time. As the cork dries out it can shrink, which will allow more air to transfer into the wine. Plus, remember how much fun it was trying to get the dry cork out of the bottle? By keeping the room humid, the cork will not dry out, and your wine will store for years. If you use a Nomacorc cork you do not have to worry about the humidity of the room that the wine is stored in.
Using Potassium Sorbate just before you bottle will help preserve the wine for a longer period of time. Look at sorbate like what lemon juice does for apples. The citric acid from the lemon juice helps prevent the apple from oxidizing. It doesn’t completely prevent it, but it takes much longer for the apple to turn brown. Sorbate will help prevent the wine from oxidizing and leaving a prune or raisin type flavor in your wine.
Vertical vs Horizontal
You want to place your wine bottle on its side when you are using standard wine corks. The reason is that the wine will help keep the cork moist, so that it won’t shrink and dry out. Again, if your corks shrinks, it lets more air in that will oxidize your wine quicker.
For those who are using Nomacorc corks, you can store the wine upright because these corks have a synthetic material that prevents the cork from shrinking.
Just follow the suggestions above and your wine will be able to store for many years without any problems. The use of a wine rack can help make the storage of your wine easier to access, and can take up less space. We offer several different styles of racks that can work with just about anyone’s décor.
If you are really into wine, find out if there is a construction company in your area that specializes in installing wine cellars. Some can be installed in as little space as a small walk in closet. And many companies offer do-it-yourself wine cellar kits that are very easy to put together. Some don’t even need tools anymore.