You don’t have to be a professional wine collector or taster to store your wine properly. In fact, in most cases it does not take much effort at all to keep your wine safe from premature aging and grittiness. There is no exact science to the storage method you use unless you do plan to be aging wines or holding serious wine tasting events. Instead, just follow a few guidelines.
Constant is Key
Constant temperature is the most important element when it comes to wine storage. You don’t need to keep it at a precise temperature, but spikes and lulls can cause issues with premature aging. Generally speaking, the safe zone is between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have an area in your home that stays below 70 degrees and it does not experience significant temperature fluctuations or extremes in humidity or a lack of humidity, that’s a good place to store your wine. In other words, your bedroom closet is probably fine, but your kitchen closet may not be.
Tending the Cork
As important as a lack of temperature fluctuations is, humidity may be even more important. If you have too much of it you may get mold on your label. This can be unsightly and make it hard to tell what you are drinking, but it won’t damage the wine. A lack of humidity can cause the cork to dry out and allow wine in the bottle. To be safe, store your wine on its side so that the wine keeps the cork from drying out. 70% humidity is perfect, but a bit above or below is not going to make a difference.
Aside from significant changes in temperature, light can be another damaging factor. This is the reason that many wine makers use colored bottles. UV rays are especially damaging, but even long term exposure to the lights in your house can cause premature aging.
In short, find a dark spot with a relatively constant temperature. Some place like a closet will do, but you can also create a cozy wine nook in the basement for a casual atmosphere with almost perfect storage elements for your wine.