101 - Storing Wine

You dont have to work as a winery sommelier to appreciate the intricacies of
wine. Nor do you require a tunneled cellar beneath your home to properly store
your wine – although that would be ideal if you happen to have one.
But some basic advice will ensure your favourite bottles stay in dinner-party
worthy condition for years to come.

Remember these five essential wine storage tips as you begin your first at-home
wine collection.

1 - Keep wine chilled at the proper temperature
The ideal temperature for wine storage is approximately 13 degrees Celsius. All
wines respond poorly to stifling heat or frigid cold and deteriorate much faster if
subject to regular temperature changes.

2 – Maintain a consistent humidity level
Similarly, it is best to store wine at a consistent humidity level, with 60 to 70 per
cent humidity being an optimal range. If your local climate is prohibitive, consider storing your favourite vino in a dedicated wine fridge.

3 – Lay bottles horizontally, not vertically
Horizontal storage of wine bottles will prevent the cork from drying out
unnecessarily. In dry air, the cork will shrink, allowing air to slowly seep into the
bottle, excessively oxidizing and therefore spoiling the wine well before you open it with friends and family. Screw top wines have all but eliminated this risk but, while prominent across Australia, are still gaining acceptance overseas.

4 – Avoid direct sunlight
Its a mistake to store wine bottles in direct sunlight, no matter how quaint and
homely they look in social media photographs. An ideal location is a dry, dark
place – and this does not necessarily need to be a cellar.

5 – Take care when handling the bottle
Some wines are more delicate than others, so take care when handling the bottle. Depending on the varietal, it is desirable to leave the sediment in the bottom of the bottle undisturbed, particularly for classic vintages.

Don’t forget that storing wine well is also part of the experience, allowing you to slow-down and focus on the process of enjoying your favourite glass, relishing the stories behind the bottle and sharing these moments with friends and family.

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