How to Store Wine And Organize Your Cellar
Let’s say you’re interested in purchasing multiple bottles of wine at one time. Most shops have a discount for purchases of 6 (half-case) or 12 (full-case) bottles so this is a great idea for your wallet. The only problem - you need somewhere safe to store them. Wine is a living substance and can be ruined even from within its glass bottle - so it’s important that you store the wine correctly!
There are three aspects to take under consideration when storing wine:
Wine should be kept at a cool and constant temperature, and by cool I mean somewhere between 55° - 65°F. This means that unless you keep your home unusually chilly, most areas of your home are too warm to store wine--especially your kitchen. Many appliances in the kitchen give off heat, leaving the room far warmer than the rest of the house. So while that countertop wine rack might look sophisticated, it’s actually allowing your wine to reach temperatures that could damage it.
Sunlight (as well as bright artificial light) is another wine killer. Both heat and light can ruin a wine, stripping it of its fresh fruit flavors and making it taste stale and old.
3. Bottle Position
Finally, any wine that is sealed with a cork should be stored on its side. This might sound silly, but there’s a reason behind it, I promise! The cork needs to stay in contact with the wine so that it can remain moist. If it dries, there’s a higher chance for air to be let into the bottle and thus spoiling your wine!
So, where should you store your wine? I’ve always been lucky enough in the houses I’ve lived in to have a portion of my basement left unfinished (but not musty or moldy). That would be my first suggestion. If that’s not an option, store your wine in the back corner of your coolest closet.
Offsite storage is a bit more costly, but a great option if you’re wanting to buy wine and let it age for 5-10 years. If you’re anything like me, it’s REALLY hard not to drink wine when it’s in your house. The offsite storage also guarantees perfect condition for your wine to age in. If you’re in the Seattle Area, I’m currently using The 47 and would highly recommend them. I have access to my wine seven days a week using a key card and just pay a yearly fee to have my wine stored there.
Now that you have a place to store your wine, I want to share a couple tips for organizing.
Finally, if you’re looking to build a collection, I’d recommend using the CellarTracker App and website to record and keep track of everything. This app allows you to add the wine you have and note its location (useful for those using offsite storage). Once you drink a wine, you simply note that on the app and you have the option to add tasting notes for future reference. The app will track all wine you currently have, along with all the wines you’ve drank.
There you have it! A quick lesson on how to store wine and start building a collection. What questions do you have?
What would you like me to write about next?