If you love wine, then you know just how this wonderful beverage can be more than just a simple drink. Wines can also be an investment. Wine is not like other kinds of beverages, where you can simply stick them in the fridge and forget about them. With the proper storage techniques, you can not only keep your wine safe from damage, but actually enhance the taste.
- Type of wine. Not all wine can be stored for the same amount of time. Most wine is designed for consumption within a few months of being made. These are the kinds of wine that you will find in most stores around the country. There are other kinds, more commonly referred to as vintages, which are designed to be stored for at least a year before consumption. Vintage wines are the types of wine which will improve in taste over time.
- Location. Unlike many other kinds of beverages, you cannot store your wine in the fridge and forget about it. What's more, if you leave it out in the kitchen or in the average "wine rack" available at most department stores, you will actually cause the wine to age prematurely due to the light. When storing wine you need to choose a place that is dark, cool, and doesn't vibrate too much. For the average wine consumer, a cabinet in your home kitchen will work just fine for a month or two at most. For longer storage, look into making your own wine cellar out of a closet or go whole hog for a true (and very expensive) wine cellar.
- Equipment. In whatever type of storage unit you use for your wine, there is absolutely one piece of equipment that must be included. You need a rack that will angle the top of the bottle down enough so that the cork will be covered with the wine. This is to ensure that the cork stays moist so it doesn't dry out and end up allowing air to enter the wine bottle, making the wine age prematurely.
- Humidity and temperature. When storing your wine for long periods of time, you need to keep it in an area that has a humidity level of 70%. Higher than that and you can end up with moldy labels, while lower humidity may allow the exterior of the cork to dry out. Also, store your wine at a temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will help keep the ageing process of the wine to a minimum.
- Neighbors. A unique property of wine is that it can absorb the flavors of things that it is stored near. What this means is that you will not want to store anything that has too strong of an odor (such as chemicals, cleaners, and some cheeses) near your wine. The odor can seep through the cork and then affect—or even ruin—the taste.