Created from fermented grapes, wine comes in a variety of types and flavors—from dry red wines to sweet white wines and everywhere in between. But for wine connoisseurs, the complexity of wine can be a double-edged sword, as properly storing wine takes more effort than, for instance, throwing a case of craft beer in the fridge. Here at Saf Keep Storage, we’re experts in storage of all kinds—including wine storage.
The Basics for Long-Term Wine Storage
All kinds of wine are made from five main ingredients: acid, alcohol, sugar, tannin, and water. Diving into the chemical complexities of wine is a deep subject in and of its own, but if you aren’t a chemist, the main takeaway is that there are a wide variety of things that can change the balance of those five ingredients. The best wine storage protects wine from unwanted changes in that chemical mix.
It takes time for a wine to undergo meaningful change, so you won’t need to worry about wine storage while taking it home, for instance. However, wine can change a surprising amount in the wrong kinds of long-term storage. These are the four things to keep in mind for long-term wine storage:
- Darkness—Both sunlight and artificial light can affect the tannins, or phenols, in a wine; it’s why wine bottles are tinted. Store wine in a dark place for the best protection.
- Humidity—Wines are commonly stopped with cork, which is a wood. All wood shrinks somewhat when dried out, and if that happens to a wine cork, air can seep in.
- Orientation—Though it’s fine to store wine upright for a short while, you should store wine horizontally for the long haul. It helps keep the cork moist and prevents it from drying out.
- Temperature—Cold temperatures can damage the wine bottle or cork, and can even freeze the wine. Hot temperatures, on the other hand, will age a wine quickly.
How to Store Wine
The easiest way to store wine at home is in a wine cellar, which is a specific wine storage room often found in a basement. But if you rent, don’t have space for a wine cellar, or simply have a tiny basement more fit for snakes than snacks, you’ll have to turn to another method of wine storage.
Storing Wine at Home Without a Cellar
Fortunately, storing wine at home without a cellar is plenty fine for most wines—as long as you don’t do so for the long haul, and as long as you store wine correctly. The key to wine storage at home is to store your wine:
- In a dark place
- At or close to room temperature
- At a consistent temperature
- Away from particularly dry places
Should you need to chill wine, it’s recommended to do so before serving. That will keep your wine as fresh as possible and will free up space in your fridge.
Wine Storage Units
Whether you have a wine cellar or not, you may not want to store wine at your property for whatever reason—or, you may have more wine than you can store with your personal wine storage capabilities. Either way, you can take advantage of our wine storage units at our sister facility, Stor’It, on Farley Road in Los Gatos, CA. These wine storage units come in 3×6 and 3×8.5 sizes and are climate controlled for temperature and humidity consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wine Storage
Wine storage is a tricky subject, and there are a lot of qualifications to what should be simple answers. Here are some of the most common questions about how to store wine that are out there.
Can I Store My Wine in a Fridge?
You can safely store your wine in a fridge temporarily. However, fridges are very dry, and a wine cork stored for too long in a dry place will contract and expose the wine to air. Furthermore, even if that doesn’t happen, a wine stored with other strong odors will be affected by those odors.
What’s the Best Wine Storage Temperature?
The best wine storage temperature is cool but not cold. While different wines have different optimal temperature storage conditions, it’s generally accepted to store wine at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (or 12 degrees Celsius).
Can I Store Wine Upright?
You can store wine upright for a short period of time, but storing it horizontally helps prevent the cork from drying out and letting air seep into the bottle.
How Long Does an Opened Bottle of Wine Last?
Wines don’t go bad or become unsafe to drink, but wines do lose their optimal flavor (and carbonation, in the case of sparkling wine). In general, the more tannin a wine has, the longer it will keep its body, aroma, and taste after opening. As a result, dark red wines can last nearly a week, while whites last a few days. Sparkling wines have the shortest shelf lives.
Store Your Wine Like an Expert Today
At Stor’It on Farley Road, we provide affordable and high-quality wine storage in Los Gatos. You can trust us with all your wine storage needs.
Looking to store something else? Interested in a renovation project to install a wine cellar or wine storage area in your own home? Check out our other self storage options at a Saf Keep Storage facility near you.