How to Store a Wine Collection Safely and Elegantly

October 29, 2020

couple drinking wine at home

Entering the world of wine collecting is an exciting enterprise. Learning about varying wines will take you on a journey involving geography, history, and culture, all while thrilling your taste buds. When you are first starting, you might not realize how much goes into a wine collection. Finding excellent wines is not as simple as going to the store and buying a bottle. Different regions produce varietals with a range of tastes. Every person also will develop preferences depending on their palate. Regardless of personal taste, however, building a wine collection is an investment, and knowing how to store a wine collection properly is crucial in ensuring your wine ages to perfection.

Start With Cool, Steady Temperatures

Keeping wines cool is key to preserving their integrity. Desired temperatures are between 45° F to 65° F. Wines kept too cool will dry out and oxidize. But wines kept at too warm of temperatures will cook and age prematurely. 

Cooked wine is precisely what it sounds like. The wine will taste as though the fruit has cooked, perhaps akin to raisins or prunes. Keeping the wine cool will ensure your wine stays preserved, but it is also essential to keep the temperature relatively constant. 

Fluctuations in temperature cause the liquids to expand and contract, which can result in cork degradation. According to Fine Wine Reserve, temperature fluctuations are more damaging than wine being stored consistently at slightly higher temperatures. Air let in during bottle expansions and contractions can destroy a fine wine.

Avoid Sunlight

On top of keeping wine at the right temperature, placing it in dark areas is preferable. Sunlight is harmful to all wines but worse for white varietals due to them being in clear bottles. UV rays cause wines to age faster, as well as lose their color and vibrancy. Sunlight can also cause a wine to become "lightstruck," which is the wine equivalent of a skunked beer. Wines that have been victimized by lightstrike lose their fruity notes in exchange for tastes akin to cabbage or worse. To avoid ruining your favorite wines, never buy a wine that has been displayed in a window. At home, keep them in a dark, cool location away from sunlight or fluorescent lighting. 

Keep Corks Damp

An often overlooked component of wine storage is the importance of keeping the corks damp. Dried out corks shrink, letting air inside the bottle. When air enters the bottle, the wine begins oxidizing. Oxidized wines lose their taste and color. Over time, oxidation will even turn wine into vinegar. To ensure your wine doesn't oxidize, place bottles on their sides to aid in keeping the cork wet. Proper humidity levels are also vital. 

Make Your Wine Storage a Showpiece

After wine tastings — and time spent finding the best wines — it is only natural to want to display your collection elegantly. When guests come over for dinner parties, your wine storage should be a piece of decor worthy of its contents. Many people simply place their wines in the kitchen, but this is one of the worst locations for wine storage. In the kitchen, wine is exposed to temperature fluctuations and vibrations. 

Having designated storage is the perfect solution for wine integrity, as well as home aesthetics. Murphy Door has designed showstopping wine doors that will complement any decor. With space to safely store wines on their sides as well as display decanters, glasses, and more, these doors will add the finishing touch to your home while keeping the wines preserved and safe. Whether your home only has room for a doorway or has an entire pantry for wine, Murphy Door has options that will protect your wine while impressing even the most discerning dinner party guest. 

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