Follow these 5 tips for properly storing your wine collection. If you can't safely store your wine at home, consider a professional wine storage facility to safeguard your investment.
1. Keep the cork moist
Natural cork is the traditional choice for wine bottles. In fact, until about 20 years ago, it was the only choice. Natural cork closures are made from the bark of the cork tree, Quercus suber, and harvested every 7 years during the life of the tree. Corks not only keep the wine in the bottle, but also serve as a barrier to keep air out and prevent evaporation. Natural corks lose their ability to seal the bottle if they get too dry. As corks dry out, more air is allowed in accelerating the aging process and allowing the wine to evaporate. One way to keep natural cork moist is to store wine on its side. Maintaining higher humidity can also help keep corks from drying out, but it’s important to monitor for mold growth, which might cause labels to loosen.
2. Keep light out
There are two reasons why you want to avoid exposing bottles of wine to light. First, light creates heat, and heat is bad for wine. Heat accelerates the aging process and can cause that treasured bottle wine to lose its flavor by the time you open it. The second reason light is bad for wine is the UV rays, which interact with the chemical reactions of the aging process, will cause the wine to age prematurely. Avoid sunlight and fluorescent lights—they create the damaging UV rays. As a general rule, avoid any light and keep your wine collection in the dark.
3. Keep the temperature constant and cool
Two important words here: constant and cool. Rapid changes in temperature will negatively impact the quality of your wine over time. Keeping the temperature constant is critically important to successful long-term wine storage. As important as keeping the temperature consistent, is keep the temperature cool. Experts agree that the best temperature for wine storage is between 50 - 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In this temperature range, the wine will continue to age and the perfect rate.
4. Keep strong odors away
Strong odors around your wine can taint the flavor of your wine. Air does pass through corks over time, and strong odors can penetrate the cork and ruin your prized wine collection. Although not all wine experts agree on this point, we recommend you err on the side of safety and store your wine in an environment free of strong odors.
5. Keep it still - avoid vibrations
Over time, sediment suspended in the wine settles to the bottom of the bottle, a process that can take years to complete. When a bottle of wine is moved through handling or vibration, the sediment can be disturbed and contaminate the wine, negatively impacting the flavor. When you are evaluating where to store your wine, avoid locations close to appliances (washers and refrigerators especially). If your home is located near a subway, railroad, or heavily traveled roadway, you may want to consider storing your wine somewhere else. Even slight vibrations can keep sediment in your wine from settling. And when it's time to pull that bottle of wine, move it slowly and let it sit on the counter for a day or two so it can recover from the movement.
Wine storage options
When it comes to storing wine for the long term, you have the option of storing at your home or offsite in a professional storage facility. Unless you have a professionally built, dedicated wine cellar that is temperature controlled, it is unlikely that you will want to store your wine collection at your home.
The good news is that, even if you have just a few cases of wine to store, you have access to professionally managed wine storage facilities. Take Security Public Storage, for example. Located in Napa County just outside the town of Napa, SPS offers dedicated wine storage facilities. Their wine storage facility not only offers temperature-controlled storage, but 24/7 security features that let you rest easy knowing your wine is safe and secure.
Security Public Storage Wine Cellars offer the following benefits:
- Constant temperature controlled at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The wine storage facility is monitored 24/7 to maintain the temperature and has a generator back-up in the event of any power disruption.
- Coded security gate. Every wine storage customer has their own security code to access the property and also to access the wine storage facility.
- Security monitoring. All Security Public Storage facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art video security systems that provide around the clock monitoring.
- Storage facilities are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate most personal wine collections. Choose from units sized to store 12 cases, 27 cases, 30 cases or 50 cases.
- Competitive storage rates and friendly, professional on-site managers.
A professionally managed wine storage facility like Security Public Storage is perfect for:
- Overflow wine storage that exceeds the capacity of your home storage space
- Seasonal wine storage for the hot summer months
- Private collections when you don't have adequate storage options at home.