Courtesy of @sammser
Whether you're building a new wine cellar in your estate or just bought a (hopefully) cool final sale wine rack from West Elm, you're officially in the business of cellaring wine. Congratulations!
But wine can be fussy and delicate, so let's create a game plan to assure our wine will store safely and age perfectly. Here are the things to keep an eye on when storing wine at home.
The single most important factor in preserving the quality of your wine will be the temperature and humidity. Ideally, wine should be stored at a consistent temperature of around 55°F, though anywhere between 50-65°F should be good. Make sure that temperature is CONSISTENT, as variations that cause the wine to heat up or cool down over and over rapidly will damage the wine. Oh no!
Wine also likes moderate humidity, and overly dry or moist storage can damage the cork, which will, in turn, damage your wine. So if you live in Arizona or want to store your wine in a damp basement or under a sink, please consider another location or an appliance that can moderate humidity.
Wine doesn't like to be messed with. And though those decorative bottles in your kitchen look great, the UV from sunlight can damage the wine or warm the wine in a way that degrades quality. Additionally, if you are storing wine next to a subwoofer or dishwasher, make sure the bottles aren't constantly vibrating. So stash your wine away somewhere nice and dark and chill. For sparkling wines, we also suggest letting them relax for a few weeks after shipping.
Still wine bottles are best stored on their sides to assure the cork remains moist and doesn't dry out, which will lead to excessive aging, seepage, or damage. But we recommend storing sparkling wines like pét-nat upright to allow any sediments to settle at the bottom of the bottle and reduce the chance of these carbonated beverages from turning into cannons if stored on their side.
A good wine fridge can solve most of the problems above for you, storing wine at an ideal temperature and climate and limiting light and vibration from reaching your bottles. The regular refrigerators you store your food in are not great options for long-term storage, as they tend to run cooler and dryer than wine fridges. When buying a wine fridge, there are great options for different sizes and budgets. Just make sure to get one with a good warranty.