Last Updated on February 24, 2023
Serving wine during a party or even a small gathering in your home can light up the room. However, offering your guests wine is not enough. You have to make sure that their drinks are of high quality to enjoy the event truly. An effective way to make sure that your bottles of wine are in perfect condition is to store them properly.
But how to store red wine properly? You will find the answer in this post and other helpful tips that you can use!
Useful Tips on How to Store Red Wine
Storing red wine requires you to consider several factors. You must make sure you meet all these conditions to ensure that your bottles of red wine are safe and secured.
Store at the Correct Temperature
You should think about the temperature of the storage area when storing wine. In particular, when the temperature is too warm or cold, the wine can spoil, creating an undelightful flavour.
Store red wine just below room temperature, but the exact temperature will depend on the wine’s age. For example, keep older wines between 16 and 19˚C, with younger wines slightly lower.
Additionally, red wines with a stronger tannin should be kept in the warmer temperature range, although lighter red wines can be stored as low as 12˚C. However, the temperature shouldn’t be so long that it affects the wine’s scent.
Keeping wine too cold can create a lack of moisture, which will dry out corks. This can cause air to build up within the bottles and damage the wine. Also, you should not keep wine bottles in a space that could freeze because if the wine turns to ice, it can expand the liquid, which could push the cork out.
Keep Away From Light
When storing wine, consider an area that’s away from direct sunlight. This is because the sun’s UV rays can damage the wine’s aroma and flavour. Instead, store wine in a space that’s far from the light and heavy vibrations, such as from a washing machine or sound system, since the vibrations can disrupt the delicate process that wines need to age.
Don’t Store Your Wine Upright
Who’d have thought that the wine’s position would play a critical part in its quality? But it does. For red wine storage, ensure that you don’t keep the bottles upright. That’s because if you store your wine vertically, this can lead to drying out the cork and contributing to premature ageing. Horizontal storage is the most efficient and effective way to store wine for easy access, too.
Keep Away From Strong Odours
Keep wine bottles away from strong odours, such as near a trash can or where you store your cleaning products. This is because odours can cause the cork to pop up, resulting in tainting the wine. Instead, keep the designated spot for your wine rack in a dark corner far from away from things with strong odours for the best results.
Keep the Humidity Levels Right
Humidity levels are essential for storing wine, so to keep the corks from drying out, ensure that the humidity is just right in the environment you’re in. Of course, this is easier said than done, but you can purchase a humidifier to place in the room that you’re concerned about. Or, for a cheaper option, place a bottle of water in the storage room with your wines, but ensure that you keep refilling the bowl frequently.
Storing Opened Red Wine Properly
Once you open a wine bottle, it is recommended that you consume all of the contents as soon as possible if you have leftover wine, no need to worry! There are effective storage tips that will help prolong the quality of the wine.
Quick Storing Tips
If you have leftover red wine, below are some tips to store it properly:
- Store wine away from direct sunlight because this can result in discolouration and ruining the wine’s flavour.
- Extend the wine’s lifespan by recorking to preserve the liquid. This is a great solution for any wine, including red and white wines. Alternatively, preserve the wine during storage with a plastic or silicone stopper.
Not Storing It at All
Once re-opened, red wines can deteriorate quickly due to the tannin levels. So if you choose vintage red wine, you’ll need to finish the bottle in one sitting for the best results. Organic wine tends to lose its quality and taste much quicker. Light-coloured red wines, such as Grenache and Zinfandel, lose their flavour and aroma once it’s opened, so this is something to consider when choosing a lighter red wine.
Red Wine vs White Wine
As a rule of thumb, white wines hold for up to two days. Red wines can last up to three days, sometimes even four. This is still the case even if you recork your wine bottles. So note that you shouldn’t open a bottle of wine and then expect you to return to it a week or so later.
Why Red Wine Turns Bad Once Opened
Have you ever wondered why red wine seems to turn bad as soon as it’s opened? It all goes down to the oxygen that reaches the bottle, which creates a vinegar taste. Therefore, reduce oxygen that touches the surface when storing your bottles. So the best way to store red wine fresher for longer once opened is by reducing oxygen from entering the liquid by recorking the wine.
You can recognise if your red wine has gone off (or is going off) by its colour. For example, if the wine has more of a brownish hue than red, this is an indication that oxygen has reached into the bottle, causing the aroma and flavour to be off.
Should You Keep Red Wine in the Fridge?
This is a common question since you might enjoy colder beverages. But you should only store red wine in a wine fridge that’s explicitly designed to remain moist and stay cool and dark. Compared to a kitchen fridge that keeps food cold and dry, a wine alternative operates between 10–15˚C in proper humidity. Therefore, you’ll enjoy fresh, crisp wine with every sip. Keeping your wine separate from food can also prevent cross-contamination.
The Benefits of Using a Wine Rack
If you’re looking for the best way to store wine, you should consider getting a wine rack. Below are some benefits of using it:
- They’re an affordable storage solution that can completely transform an area without costing you to fork out a lot of money.
- They enable you to arrange your wine bottles in an order that you prefer. So you can keep your most-used bottles at the front and special-occasion wine near the back for rare uses.
- A wine rack won’t take up much space than storing your bottles in the corner of a room. Therefore, you’ll have more free space in your home for the accessories and furniture that you love without having to spend an excessive amount of money.
Important Factors When Buying a Wine Rack
If you’re sold on the idea of a wine rack for properly storing your drink, there are some important factors you’ll need to consider before you purchase a wine rack.
Check the Specifications
Take measurements before considering purchasing a rack because you might end up buying one that’s too large for your home. It would help if you also consider the exhaust needs of the unit since some may require around six inches for the unit to cool itself off and provide fresh air to the unit.
Ensure that there’s enough capacity behind and above the wine rack. If you choose to have a built-in one, discuss it with the contractor to ensure you are getting what you both need and want.
In addition, ensure that you have enough room for your entire collection of wine. Simultaneously, be careful you are not purchasing a rack that’s too big for your needs.
Choose a Style That Suits Your Home
Although the rack is for practicality, it doesn’t hurt if the style and design complement your home’s decor. Fortunately, racks come in all different shapes, sizes, and finishes. So you can choose one that’s classic or modern to match other built-in appliances or complement the coordinating room’s colour and theme.
Things to Consider When Buying a Wine Fridge
Alternatively, a wine refrigerator is a great way to keep your wine fresh and long-lasting. But, there are certain other crucial elements to take into account while making a purchase, which are listed below.
Type of Wine Storage Cabinet
There are two types of refrigerators to choose from: freestanding and built-in. The most common option is the freestanding fridge that you can place on the floor or a surface. For this type of cabinet, ensure that you have enough spare space surrounding the unit to eliminate excess heat. Otherwise, the fridge won’t be able to reach its optimal temperature levels for the best results.
Otherwise, a built-in fridge provides a stylish touch to your kitchen, and it blends in perfectly as a dishwasher does. If you consider this type of wine storage unit, you’ll need to prepare your kitchen for it by removing a cabinet to free up space. Additionally, there needs to be a socket nearby for the refrigerator to keep your wine cool.
One of the most important factors is how many bottles of wine you can store in the fridge. So have an estimated number in your head before you consider buying one. Because what’s the point in having a fridge that can’t accommodate the number of bottles you have? Fortunately, most manufacturers clearly state the maximum wine bottle capacity with the exact number of shelves.
Furthermore, the fridge’s physical size will have a part to play. For example, you can’t expect it to store 100 bottles of wine if you don’t have a large amount of space in the kitchen or cellar.
Did you know that a wine refrigerator generates noise during use? Depending on your needs and the unit’s location, you might want to consider one with a noise level lower than 40 dB. Anything higher than this could become too noisy while you’re trying to sleep. And if you live in a studio apartment, this could become irritating at night as you’re in the same room as the fridge.
Bear in mind that any kitchen appliance will use energy to keep your wine cool. Featuring cooling fans that work hard to keep your wine cool, it requires electricity to operate.
As mentioned, you’d need to leave room surrounding the fridge to dissipate heat, and if the wine cooler does become warm, it’ll need to work harder to bring the temperature down again. Some fridges feature a door that’s better insulated to prevent hot air from coming into the fridge.
If you’re concerned about energy consumption and the price it takes to operate the wine cooler, ensure that you calculate the amount of kWh you’re looking for and choose the wine cooler that best fits your needs and budget.
Should You Store Wine on Its Side?
It is recommended that you store wine bottles on their side. You may have noticed that wine bottles are upright in stores. However, this isn’t the correct way for storage.
This is because the wine can’t stay in constant contact with the cork when it’s stored upright, resulting in oxygen seeping in and spoiling the wine. So instead, you want to keep bottles on their sides for the wine to remain in contact with the cork for better protection.
Great Wine Begins With Excellent Storage
This article covers different tips on how to store red wine effectively. Whether you own a refrigerator or a rack, these pieces of advice will improve the taste and durability of your wine. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite glass of wine with your friends and family without having to worry about it turning bad.
Do you already own a wine rack or great wine storage? Do you have other excellent tips on storing wine properly? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Amy is a U.K.-based writer and editor with a penchant for helping consumers find the best home products for their needs, as well as providing easily digestible guides for living better at home. Her dedication to her work means she can usually be found elbow-deep in research or hunting down samples of the latest and greatest on behalf of her readers.
An avid DIYer herself, Amy’s passion lies in teaching others how they too can achieve their dream homes by tackling some of those pesky projects themselves! Whether it’s building furniture from scratch or turning an old dresser into a coffee table, Amy is always happy to share what she knows about making your house feel like home without spending a fortune.