Storing and Keeping Wine

Some helpful advice found in the June 2006 issue of REAL SIMPLE magazine:

"Red wines fade and white wines darken when they oxidize or get too old. Brown tones in either are typically bad news…if either smell like vinegar or raisins, it's probably past its prime."

Other advice on storing wine includes:

  • Store the bottles on their sides. Laying the bottles down keeps the cork moist and expanded, serving to maintain its airtight seal. (Fortified wines, excluding port, are stored standing up.)
  • Store away from direct light. It's best to keep wine in a dark place.
  • Keep it in a cool place. The ideal storage temperature for white wine is 45° F (7° C) and 55° F (13° C) for red wines. If not able to refrigerate and will be drinking it within six months, just be sure to keep it in a place at a consistent temperature between 45° – 65° Fahrenheit (7°-18° Celsius).
  • Don't forget humidity. The proper humidity serves to prevent the cork from shrinking. (Higher levels of humidity risk damage to the labels and, thus, can adversely affect those concerned with resale. It has been said that plastic wrap can help in protecting labels from mold / deterioration.) A relative humidity of 60-80% is the acceptable range, but about 70% is recommended.
  • Keep it still. Store wine away from vibrations.

Note: White wine can be recorked and stored standing up in the refrigerator for about three days; most partially drank red wines should be finished within a day or two. The acidic content helps wine wine to last longer after opening. The tannins help in perserving some red wines as long as they're unopened.

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