Storing wine – what are the basics?
If you’re planning to serve wine at home, there are a few basics that can help your red or white look and taste its best. While you should always check the label for storage and serving instructions, most wines should be cared for using the following tips:
Storage temperatures can be classified in two segments: long-term storage before wine consumption and short term storage before serving. Long term storage temperatures are the same for all wines while serving temperatures vary based on wine types.
The optimal long-term wine storage temperature should be around 13 degrees Celsius to preserve its flavour and aroma. Avoid an area where temperatures fluctuate, and never store your wine below 4 degrees Celsius or above 20 degrees Celsius.
These temperatures can interfere with the aging process and cause your wines to lose their flavours or become vinegary. Never store wine in a freezer – it could cause it to oxidize, creating odd flavours. Freezing could also cause the bottle to leak (or even explode, in the case of sparkling wine or champagne).
Make sure your wine stays in a dark, quiet place. As a wine ages, it develops natural sediments that are an integral part of the aging process. UV light and vibrations can damage and disturb this sediment, which can cause a wine’s flavours to develop improperly.
Try to ensure that your wine storage area isn’t too dry or too humid. Dry conditions can adversely affect corks, which could lead them to become crumbly or allow air to enter the bottles. While some humidity is good for corks, too much could cause bottle labels to peel off. Ideally, aim for a humidity level between 60-68 percent.
Store your wine horizontally. This keeps the cork stoppers moist, which is vital for long term storage. When a cork dries out, it can allow air to enter the bottle and prematurely age your wine. Wine bottles that use screw top closures are an exception – they can be stored upright, though storing them in a wine rack may improve storage efficiency.
For the best results, you’re better off storing your wine in a wine refrigerator. Refrigerators usually keep food at around 3 degrees Celsius – that’s great for keeping food fresh, but storing wine in the fridge for long periods can degrade its quality. In contrast, wine fridges and coolers can be set to ideal temperatures for wine storage. Wine fridges can also offer options like dual temperature controlled zones, which allows you to store different wine varieties for a short amount of time in the same appliance.
Do wine storage temperatures vary based on variety?
One of the joys of wine is that each one is unique. In saying that, wines can be divided into four main types – red, white, rose and sparkling. Each one has its own peculiarities, but storing your favorite wine isn’t complicated. All wine can be stored at around 13 degrees Celsius.
While different storage temperatures aren’t essential, you may choose to store your wine at its ideal serving temperature, which does vary from type to type. If you would like to store your wine at the perfect temperature for drinking, keep the following guidelines in mind:
Red wine storage temperatures
The ideal red wine storage temperature depends on the type of red wine you’re drinking. Lighter red wines like a Schiava or Pinot Noir should have a cooler storage temperature between 16-18 degrees Celsius. Heavier varieties such as Malbec or Syrah can be stored at a warmer range, 17-20 degrees Celsius.
White wine storage temperatures
White wine storage temperatures are cooler than reds, but they also vary depending on their particular variety. Bright or tart white wines like Sauvingnon Blanc or Gewürztraminer should be stored at a cool 9-11 degrees Celsius. If you have a richer, more mature white like an aged Chardonnay, store it between 14-17 degrees Celsius.
Rose wine storage temperatures
Like white wine, rose wines should be served at a relatively low temperature. As such, aim to keep these wines at around 10 degrees Celsius to preserve their colour and flavour.
Sparkling wine storage temperatures
Sparkling wines should be stored within a specific temperature range whether they’re red or white – 4-10 degrees Celsius.
What’s the right way to store wine after opening?
Not sure how to store wine after opening? Replace the cork or use a wine stopper, then place it vertically in your fridge. You can also invest in a simple vacuum stopper kit, which will remove oxygen from the bottle to seal in flavours and keep your wine fresh. Your wine should last from 2-5 days, depending on the variety, so be sure to enjoy it before then. Leaving wine in your refrigerator for too long can result in dull flavours, brownish colouring or vinegary tastes and scents.
Explore Whirlpool® wine refrigerators
Want to get the most from your wine? Whirlpool’s line of wine centers allow you to store your favourite varieties at the perfect temperature so they’re ready to serve to friends, family and other guests. Designed specifically for wines, these centers feature options like dual temperature control, LED lighting and space for up to 51 standard wine bottles. Explore our selection and find the right fit for your home today.