How to Store Wine at Home

In our tasting room we get questions regularly about how to store wine or how long is wine good for?  So we wanted to take a moment to give you some basic information so you can better store the wine you purchase and how long to keep it.

Does it matter how you store your wine once you get it home? 

Believe it or not, it does really matter how you store your wine.  When you do not properly store your wine, the wine can go bad or the taste can be compromised.  For the best results, wine should be kept chilled.  The warmer the environment that the wine is kept in, the quicker the wine will age and go bad.  An excellent example is when a wine has been kept in your hot car during the summer, when you open it may taste like pure alcohol or like vinegar.  So it is important to never store your wine near a heating vent in your home or on top of your refrigerator.  Although it seems like it would be convenient to store your wine on top of the fridge, the heat that radiates off the fridge will compromise the wine.  It will also expose the wine to lighting in your home.  The average home lighting gives off heat, which we have now learned is bad for your wine.  Sunlight is also bad for your wine and can be worse for it than indoor lighting.  So it is important to never store your wine next to windows in which it will be exposed to natural light.  So where can you store your wine?  A great place to store your wine is in a wine fridge or even your refrigerator.  If you don’t have enough room, then in your closet where is dark and cool.   Bottom line there is no perfect place to store your wine, but if you follow these guidelines it will ensure that you wine will not be compromised. 

1. Wine should be stored in an area that is cool (45-65 degrees)

2. Humid (50% to 60%)

3. Relatively Dark  

4. Wines with corks should be stored on its side to make sure the cork stays wet.  If the wine has a screw cap it can be stored upright.


How long should wines be stored?

Not all wines were created to be aged for decades. In fact, most should be consumed within a year or two at most if properly stored.  The shelf life of a wine depends on a number of factors like vintage, preparation method and how it is stored.  Dry red wines will have a longer shelf life than a sweet wine.  Although there is no definite answer, keep in mind that 99% of wine produced in the United States is intended to be consumed while fresh and young in the bottle, which is fairly soon after purchase.  It is tempting to hold onto that wine you really liked and want to save it for that special occasion that never occurs.  You might end up regretting that decision.  If you like it, go ahead and drink it.  Contact the winery where you purchased, you just might be able to have some shipped your way so you can continue to enjoy.



Yardley Sawyer