Are You Storing Wine Right?

Why do people buy wine refrigerators?  Isn’t one fridge in the house enough?

Lana has a simple answer:  because they look cool and it’s something you have to do once you’ve graduated from school to show the world you’ve become sophisticated 🙂 !

OK, you can tell that I’m the analytic one and she runs on intuition.  And the more the years pass, the more I realize that she’s usually right!

Storing Wine to Drink, Storing Wine to Keep

We’ve talked with a lot of people who own wine coolers, and the reasons seem to always fit in one of these buckets:

  • Keep some wine chilled for drinking
  • Store a collection
  • Make room in the fridge
  • They look great!

Let’s go through these one at a time.

Chill Wine for Drinking

Wine really, really does taste better if you drink it at the right temperature.  A $10 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc chilled to 45 degrees is highly likely to taste better to you and your guests than a $20 bottle served at 72 degrees.

A $15 Cabernet Sauvignon, cooled just to about 65 degrees, will probably have way more aroma and complexity on the palate than a $30 Cab that you just pulled out of the fridge.

At 36 degrees, you have chilled the aroma and flavors right out of it!

The number one reason people buy a wine refrigerator is that one day, they realize they have been missing out on half the pleasure they could be getting from their wine.  They have been throwing money away by buying good or even great wine and then serving it in a way that makes it taste the same as a much less expensive wine.

Does this sound familiar?!

Store a Collection

Many wine lovers go through life totally happy to buy just enough wine to last until the next shopping trip.  They treat it like milk or OJ – it’s just something to keep on hand.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this – you like to drink wine, you’ve found a couple of brands you like, and that’s that.  But from a wine lover’s perspective, oh, how much joy you are missing!

Wine can be an endless source of pleasant surprises and unexpected delights.  There is so much to learn and enjoy – seemingly endless varieties to taste and explore.

Once you start down this path, you will find yourself grabbing a bottle or two, or even a case, of something that sends you into orbit.  And as that happens, you start accumulating wine.

At first you put it in a wine rack, then two, then three.  Next you store boxes in closets or the basement, all the while thinking to yourself that this might not exactly be the best way to store your growing collection…

STOP!  Your inner voice is very wise!  That wine that you absolutely loved, stored incorrectly, will lose its character, and potentially even go bad.

Skeptical?  Consider that many online wine retailers refuse to ship wine when the weather is predicted to be too hot or cold.  Even that short time of a few days in transit can be enough to seriously degrade the wine.

It’s really very simple:  Wine likes to be stored:

  • On its side
  • Out of the light
  • At about 55 degrees
  • In moderate humidity (60 to 80%) – although probably less of an issue unless you are storing a long time
  • Neither shaken nor stirred – it’s wine, not a martini! – also not usually a big problem

That’s all!  If you are keeping wine for more than week or two at room temperature, and you’re not storing it according to these simple rules, you’re doing yourself and your wine a disservice.

On its side.  If it has a cork, this keeps the cork wet which keeps it from shrinking and letting more air into the bottle.  Oxygen is the enemy of wine in the long run.  Ever opened an old bottle of red wine that had turned brown?  Oxidized.

Out of the light.  We’re trying to keep UV rays away – LED and incandescent bulbs are much less of a problem than sunlight.  You know how UV fades paint and fabric sitting in the sun all day?  It’s not good for wine either.

At about 55 degrees.  The actual OK range is broader, but 55 is right in the middle and that way if it gets a little warmer or a little cooler (a little!!), it will be fine.

At moderate humidty, say 60 to 80%.  The goal here is to keep the cork from drying out.  Unless you live in a super dry climate, or are storing wine a really long time, this is probably not a big issue.  But if you can achieve it, do!  But not too humid – that will damage the labels and promote mold growth.

Neither shaken nor stirred.  The experts debate the actual impact of this on your wine, but why take a chance?  Leave it be.

Make Room in the Fridge

Wine bottles always seem too tall for most refrigerator spaces, and laying them down means having a lot of confidence that you’ve really closed it tight!

On top of that, your refrigerator is just not a great place to store wine.

Your refrigerator has one goal:  to keep food from spoiling.  Keeping wine at the proper temperature for drinking or storing was not important.

Let’s face it, most of us are just not that organized that we always remember to put the wine in the fridge in time for it to be chilled by dinner, or take it out of the fridge so it will warm up in time for our meal.

This is why thermostats were invented 🙂 !  Let them do the work for you, and simply take “is the wine chilled properly?” off your list of things to worry about.

Where Do You Go From Here?

Now that you see why a wine cooler makes sense for you, we suggest that you:

  1. Read How to Choose a Wine Refrigerator
  2. Then use our proprietary Wine Refrigerator EZFinder™ to find the right wine fridge for you

Life is better with a wine fridge!



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