08/30/2021 Jaume Pujol, Abadia de Poblet winemaker
07/21/2022 Federico Oldenburg, journalist specializing in wines
November 2 2021
To enjoy a good bottle wine and keep it in optimal condition while it is stored, it is vital that you know how to properly store wine at home. In this article, we give you some tips so that every time you open a bottle, you’ll enjoy your wine in the best conditions possible.
Although the first impression that we catches our eye is how the wine presents in the glass which corresponds to the type of wine, and then in the elegant ice buckets used, and in the flavor and the texture of the main features during the tasting. If you store therefore, your wine bottles, for example, next to the microwave or refrigerator, you should change that ASAP because if you don’t, it is likely that the magical moment when you open a bottle of wine to delight your palate, the taste will be ruined.
You must understand that wine needs to be pampered. Remember that, although it is bottled, it continues to mature and evolve, and therefore, requires appropriate environmental conditions for its preservation, so that when it is uncorked it has developed its greatest potential. .
It’s obvious that having a refrigerated wine cooler at home would be the perfect solution, but if you don't have the space or plan to buy one right now, don't worry. In the following lines, you will find a few tricks to maintain the quality of the wine in your home with satisfactory results.
If you don’t want your wines to spoil, they should be stored at a constant temperature between 12 ºC and 16 ºC. You should avoid storing bottles in places where there may be a sudden rise or drop in temperature. We recommend that, if possible, you store the bottles in a cellar, basement or storage room, and always away from heaters or air conditioners. What’s more, it’s a good idea to place a thermometer near the wines to monitor the temperature.
Always choose a cool place with a humidity between 70% and 80%. This way, the cork will remain in perfect condition and will neither dry out nor get damp. Why is it so important to keep the cork in good condition? If the cork dries out, it may shrink and let air into the bottle, leading to the premature oxidation of the wine. If, on the other hand, the cork becomes too damp, this creates the perfect conditions for mold and fungus to appear, which would easily spoil the wine.
To find out if your storage site has the optimum levels of humidity, we advise you to use a hygrometer and place it next to the bottles. This way, you will have the conditions your wines are stored in under control, and you will be able to do something if the room experiences big changes in humidity.
Direct exposure to light, both natural and artificial, accelerates the degradation of wines and favors chemical reactions such as oxidation, with the consequent loss of quality. Find a dark place for storage, if possible. But if this is not possible, store the bottles in closed cabinets or buy wines that come packaged in boxes or cases.
Even if you think it’s not necessary, you should avoid exposing your wines to external agents, for example, sources of strong odors, to prevent their flavor and aroma from being altered. The best advice we can give you is to place the wine bottles in well-ventilated places to isolate them from such hazards. Taking this precaution will also help you regulate the humidity in the room and reduce the appearance of mold.
It’s also important to take into account the position of the bottles to preserve their organoleptic characteristics. Try to always store them horizontally so that the cork is in direct and permanent contact with the wine. If the cork dries out, as explained above, the seal would no longer be airtight and air may enter and spoil the wine.
Another tip we can give you is that you should let the wine rest optimally and evolve as naturally as possible. So, don’t shake or move the bottles abruptly.
An exception should be made for sparkling wines like the Cava. As they contain carbon dioxide gas that tends to rise, it is preferable to store them vertically so that the cork always maintains the level of humidity it needs. This position will also favor the conservation of the gas inside the bottles.
It’s important to take into account factors like the age of the wine, the place of origin or the type of grape in order to know the appropriate storage times. In general however, young wines should be drunk within a year of harvest, wines that are at least two years old (crianza) within the following five years and wines that are at least three years old (reserva) and gran reserva wines on the other hand, have a shelf life of approximately ten to fifteen years.
If you’re not going to finish the bottle, it’s best to keep the wine in the refrigerator, but not before reducing the wine's contact with air to avoid oxidation. Special stoppers are available for storing bottles in the refrigerator. You can also transfer the wine to a smaller bottle and seal it tightly with the cork.
In conclusion, if you follow the tips we offer you in this post to store wine, we are sure that you’ll enjoy the next glass of your favorite wine whenever the occasion arises. We encourage you to visit our online store so you can make your own selection of wines and receive them comfortably at home.