You might have heard that wine gets better with age. While that might often be the case, there are many factors that affect the aging of wine. Temperature is one of the most influential factors to consider when it comes to properly aging a bottle of wine. The style and quality of the wine should also be taken into account.
Whether you plan to drink a bottle in a day or a few years’ time, storing it properly can enhance your drinking experience. Read on to get the most out of your wines with the help of some useful storing and aging tips from our team!
4 Things to Consider When Aging or Storing Wines
Wines are very sensitive products, so each bottle needs to be treated differently during aging. Temperature, light, wine style, and quality all affect the aging potential of your wine. Our team will teach you all you need to know about each factor so you know the best way to handle every wine!
Why Does Temperature Matter When Storing Wine?
Higher temperatures cause the wine to age more quickly, making the naturally occurring chemical reactions within its molecules happen faster. The cooler the temperature of storage, the slower the wine will develop. With time and patience, this development can lead to charming and evolved characteristics. Ideally, you want to store the wine at a temperature that allows the reactions to occur at a controlled pace.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for Storing Wine?
The ideal temperature at which to store and age a bottle of wine is around 60F.
To achieve a cooler temperature for your favorite bottles, you can use a wine fridge or standard fridge to age your wines. Wine fridges generally have higher temperatures than normal fridges and can be set at 60F, while normal fridges keep the wine youthful for longer.
If you don’t have a wine fridge (and there is no space in your normal fridge), you can find ideal wine storage locations elsewhere in your house.
Basements work great because they’re often cooler than the rest of your house. But, if you don’t have a basement, don’t worry! Simply find the spot that gets the least sunlight. It should be slightly more humid and colder than the rest of the house, making it perfect for wine storage.
Why Is It Important to Store Wine at a Constant Temperature?
Temperature changes will lead to a faster, less controlled evolution of your wine and even potentially unwanted surprises, which is the last thing you want when you open up a bottle you’ve been saving for years!
Sometimes, it’s better to opt for a spot that has a warm but constant temperature, rather than one that’s prone to big temperature changes throughout the seasons or, even worse, throughout the day. Avoid places close to windows, as these experience the highest temperature variations.
Can I Only Store Wine in a Wine Fridge?
The sole purpose of wine fridges is to store wine, although you can store wine in your normal fridge or even a cool spot in your apartment.
This is why a wine fridge is an ideal solution for storing wine:
- The temperature range of wine fridges is curated specifically for wine aging and storage. Unlike normal fridges, they are designed to keep the temperature constant throughout the day and the seasons, making your wine last longer.
- Wine fridges often have a glass door with a UV filter, so you can see your wines without having to worry about the degrading effect of light.
- Finally, their size is made for wine bottles so they are space-efficient.
As you can see, there are a lot of advantages to getting a wine fridge to store your wine. There are many sizes and price points available, from three bottle fridges to others that can store a hundred bottles or more. Choose the one that best meets your needs and take your wine storage – and enjoyment – to the next level!
Does Light Affect the Wine?
Yes! Even though the light is not as serious as temperature, it can dramatically change the flavors of the wine. So-called “light struck” bottles lose all of their aromatic vibrancy. Bottles with clear-colored glass are far more sensitive than those packaged in colored glass. The “light strike” is considered a wine fault among wine professionals, but it is very easy to avoid.
How to Protect a Wine from Light?
To protect your wine from light, store it in a closed container, like a wine cabinet, box, or bag, and keep it away from the windows, as UV light causes most of the damage.
What Wine Style Ages the Longest?
As a rule of thumb, red wines can age for longer than white wines. This is due to the natural molecules in red wines, which are called tannins.
Most white wines can be stored for up to two years without any issues and most reds can make it five years or more while maintaining their freshness, vibrancy, and fruity quality.
Do All Wines Taste Better With Age?
Most of the wines you see on the market that are sold for under $15 are not meant to age. You can keep them for a year or two, but their purpose is to provide you with juicy, fruity aromas. So, it’s better to drink them soon after you buy them.
Sparkling and fortified wines of all qualities are generally ready to drink when they are released from the winery and won’t get better with aging.
Which wines should I age?
Good quality wines are enjoyable to drink both when they are young and when they are older. When you buy a glass of expensive, higher-quality wine, decide whether you want to age it before opening it. If you do, then leave it in a cool, shaded spot following the above guidelines.
While there is a popular belief that you should always store your wine sideways, a lot of researchers have found that orientation does not influence how the wine evolves! Wines with a screw cap closure will generally be the least affected by the position they’re stored in.
Preparing to Serve the Wine!
Different styles of wines have different optimal drinking temperatures. For white and sparkling wines, these are 45F to 50F, while for reds it’s higher at 60F to 65F. Depending on where you store it, you may need to put red wine in the freezer for 20 minutes before you open it, or take it out of the fridge for the same amount of time if it’s a white.
Don’t forget about your red wine in the freezer! The freezing temperature of wine is about 22F, meaning your freezer is cold enough to turn your wine into a popsicle! And, since water expands when it’s turned to ice, the glass bottle will break as it freezes.
How Long Can You Keep an Open Bottle of Wine in the Fridge?
You can keep an opened bottle of white wine in the fridge for two to three days and an opened bottle of red for up to a week. Just make sure to close the bottles with the screw cap before returning them to storage. If they stay open, oxygen will make them turn bad faster and any surrounding food smells will change their aromas.
A wine saver, or vacuum pump, is another effective solution for keeping your wine fresh. It pumps out all the air from the bottle and prevents it from becoming oxidized. This means that you can still enjoy your wine, taste, and smell-wise, even after several days.
Regardless of how you decide to preserve your wine, it’s important to keep them vertical since this reduces the surface area of the wine that will be in contact with air.
Sparkling wines can hold for another day in the fridge after you open them but, unlike you, they will lose their sparkle with time!
Avoid placing open bottles in the door of the fridge because the constant movement will make them hold for less time.
There are several things to consider when storing your wine. Generally speaking, you want to keep your wine away from sunlight and maintain the wine storage temperature at around 60ºF. Dough wines are meant to be enjoyed with meals or during conversation but always remember that the wine you choose will be impacted by the way you store it—handle it with care, and each other.