If you love wine, chances are you would like to build a decent collection to store in your own home. While there are businesses that can store your wine for you, there is nothing like being able to browse your fine collection at any time and in your own home wine cellar. And if the wines are intended for consumption, it only makes sense to cellar wine at home rather than keep them stored elsewhere.
Temperature tips for storing wine at home
You don’t need to have a large budget and build a state-of-the-art wine cellar. Wine Temperature is really the most important factor—everything else is secondary. The optimal temperature for storing wine ranges from 11°C to 20°C. Exposure over time to anything higher can be detrimental to the wine. Therefore, you must be able to cellar wine in a room that exhibits that temperature range year-round or can be equipped to do so.
Cellars are of course an optimal room, but not everyone has a ready-to-use cellar in their home. You’ll definitely want to avoid storing wine in attics, kitchens or other rooms in which the temperature changes often or seasonally. If you don’t have a cellar or basement, you will likely need to set aside a room in the home that can be temperature controlled year-round.
The importance of humidity
Humidity is an important factor because it helps prevent the corks from drying out. A humidity of at least 60 percent is recommended. A high humidity might cause labels to fall apart over time, but the wine inside the bottles will still be fine.
Is it necessary to keep wine in the dark?
Wine cellars don’t need to be dark, cave-like rooms. However, wines should be kept out of direct sunlight, and exposure to too much ambient light over time can also cause chemical reactions in the wine. The best option is to keep the wine stored in a dimly lit room, where you turn on the lights only when seeking out a bottle.
Why are wines stored on their sides?
A common belief is that wine is stored on its side to keep the cork moist, but that is only half of the story. Yes, it is stored that way to keep the cork moist, but only so the cork does not expand or contract with changes in the environment. A cork that expands or contracts enables oxygen to come into contact with the wine—and too much oxygen could ruin the bottle. Keeping the bottles on their sides will prevent this from happening.
How to cellar wine at home, on any budget
A refrigerated wine cabinet is one option if you don’t have a room to utilise for your wine. There are many sizes and models available to suit your budget. Do your research before choosing one, consider how many bottles of wine you will want to store, and pay attention to how much noise the unit makes and how much space it will take up.
Or if a wine fridge is not ideal then you can also find good options for wine cabinets and shelves if you have a good cool room to feature it in. Remember at the end of the day wines are made to be enjoyed so make sure you keep track of when they are drinking best so that you do not keep them too long.
Every vintage of wine is going to have different characteristics so when you find a wine you like, consider stocking up on that vintage and seeing how the flavours develop over time. A good way to taste different wines and find ones you love is by joining a wine club that offers regular deliveries of a range of varietals.