Known as “Drink of the Gods”, and also a symbol of fertility, immortality and divinity, wine has a long and distinguished history. It has been used in ceremonies, celebrations, medicine and even for cosmetics. Today, wine is used for enjoyment and celebration, though it’s still has medicinal benefits. A glass of red wine is good for cardiovascular system. It’s important to know how to appropriate store wines before and after opening.

The following tips will help you properly store your wines, to make sure they lasts as long as possible or until you’re ready to drink them.

If you are only interested in how to store opened bottles of wine, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Before Opening

1. Keep it on dark place

Light, especially sunlight, because of sun’s UV rays, can degrade and prematurely age wine. Winemakers use colored glass bottles to protect wine from light. Keep your bottles of wines on dark place, or if you can’t keep a bottle entirely out of light, wrap it in a cloth or put it in a box. Keep your bottles out of light as much as you can.

2. Store corked wine bottles on their sides

In order to keep the liquid up against the cork. Theoretically this should keep the cork from drying out. If bottles of wine are stored upright for a long amount of time, the corks will dry out and air will get to the wine, spoiling it. If bottles have alternative closures like screw caps, glass or plastic corks, this is not necessary.

3. Keep the temperature cool and constant

Temperatures over 70F (21C) will age a wine more quickly then desirable. Wine oxidation process begins at 75F (24C), and if it gets too much hotter, your wine will be “cooked”, resulting with flat aromas and flavors. Ideal temperature is between 45F (7C) and 65F (18C). Storing wines on freezing temperatures can start freezing or can cause air to be sucked back in the bottle. Storing temperature should be as constant as possible. Extreme or frequent temperature swings, can cause expansion and contraction of the liquid inside the bottle, resulting with pushing or pulling the cork in or out of the bottle. Even if wine seep out past cork, doesn’t mean its ruined. It could still be delicious. If not, you can always use it to prepare some red mulled wine using this amazing recipe.

4. Don’t move wine bottles

In theory, vibration can speed up the chemical reactions in the liquid. Try not to move a bottle at all, once it is stored. Store the wines in such a way that you don’t need to move them in order to reach a bottle to drink. Vibrations from heavy traffic, motors or generators can negatively affect the wine, so store them on some steady place and do not shake them.

5. Store in environment when humidity is between 50% and 80%.

Dry air will dry out the corks, which would let air into the bottle and spoil the wine. Placing a pan with water in storage area will be enough, but don’t increase humidity to much. Increased humidity can promote moisture and will damage the labels but not the wine itself.

6. Keep wine in isolation.

Wine “breathes” especially when is not stored on constant temperature. Don’t store it with anything that has a strong smell, as the smell will permeate through cork and taint the wine. Good ventilation in your storage space may help prevent musty odours from entering the wine.

7. Store the wine for an appropriate amount of time.

Only a small percentage of fine wines on the market benefit from long term ageing. Inexpensive wines will not improve over time. Red wines can be stored and aged between 2-10 years, while most white wines should be consumed after 2-3 years of storage. Chardonnay is an exception and can be aged over 20 years.

8. Adjust the right temperature before serving.

Different wines tastes best on different temperatures. Labels are important now. Best serve temperature is often printed on the label.

After Opening

1. Store on constant cool temperature.

Best place to keep a wine bottle after opening is in the fridge. You can also put it in cellar or closet if temperature is cool and constant. This will keep wine in good condition 3-5 days.

2. Minimize its exposure to air.

Place the cork on the bottle tightly.

3. Keep it on dark place.
4. Keep it steady. Shaking can speed up chemical reactions in the light and while bottle is opened aromas and flavors will evaporate.

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