Storing Wine

storing wineStoring Wine

By Mark Adams

Mark is a professional winemaker, former winery owner, author and frequent speaker on wine.  He currently teaches wine classes throughout the United States.

Storing Wine that is unopened.

You mean you don’t have a climate controlled wine cellar?  A special machine that controls humidity?  Well fear not, wine fans.  Neither do I and somehow I’ve gotten by.  Here’s the real skinny on basic wine storage.

  1. Take you wine out of the car as soon as you get home.  The biggest enemy of wine is heat.  Never leave your wine in the car for any prolonged period of time.  Remember in the summer the temperature can be well over 100 degrees in your car.
  2. Once you get your wine inside, keep it away from a window that gets direct sunlight.
  3. Keep it away from the top of the refrigerator.  It’s really hot up there and if left long enough, it will go bad.
  4. Try and find a cool, dark place.  Your basement would be ideal.  If you don’t have a basement, the bottom of a pantry would be fine.  Remember heat rises and the floor is always cooler than the rest of the room.
  5. The shelf life for most modern wines is 2-3 years.  But most wines today are meant to be consumed as soon as you purchase them.  They won’t benefit from any additional ageing.   Use the wine store as your cellar!!

Storing Wine that is opened

My first question would be how in the heck could you have wine leftover????  For our discussion here, I’m going to assume that it’s you fifth or sixth bottle…

Wine starts to degrade as soon as it’s opened.  If you don’t finish a bottle and only put the cork back in, it will last a day or so.  So here are some neat tricks to help preserve your cherished vino.

Buy a vacu-vin.  It will be about $12.  It will pay for itself the first time you use it.  The package will contain a small plastic pump and 1-2 rubber stoppers.  You put the stoppers in the bottle and then use the pump to vacuum the air out.

Air is what makes a wine go flat.  Without any air in the bottles your wine will last up to two weeks.

Betcha didn’t know you could freeze wine.  Actually, you can.  Pour your leftover wine in an old style ice cube tray, cover with plastic and put it in the freezer.  Then you can cook with the wine later.  It’s great for deglazing a pan.

Minis.  What, huh?  No not the car, the mini cooper.  No, not mini mouse.  The smaller size mini bottles.  There are actually two sizes.  The half size is 375 ml and the quarter size is 187 ml.  The 375s usually will probably have a cork and the 187s will probably have screw tops.

The screw cap alone is reason to prefer them for this application. As you no doubt are aware putting an open cork back in the bottle can be problematic at best. Buy some with wine in them, drink them, clean the bottles and then fill with left over wine when needed.

Or simply fill up a small plastic water bottle to the top and recap.   Recork or recap and you can die a happy person!

OK, drink the whole bottle and you don’t have to worry about storing wine!

Click the links if you’re interested in online wine classes or simply want to learn about wine

Hope this helps.

Cheers!