Just as with any other collection, when you store wine you need to take a few steps to get the most from your collection. Unlike with other types of collections, there are actually different methods for storing wine, depending on the purpose behind your collection. Regardless of why you are storing your wine, there are a few general rules that you can use to keep your collection in the best possible condition.
- Types of wine. First of all, you need to understand that not all wine can be stored in the same exact manner. The reason for this is that most wines are typically designed to be consumed within a few months of being bottled. On the average, these types of wine are what we see in the stores across the country. Wines that are bottled for, and designed to be consumed no sooner than one year later, are referred to as vintage wines. These types of wines will almost invariably improve with age.
- Location. Keep in mind that wine is not like other kinds of beverages. This means that you simply can't stick the bottle into your fridge and forget about it. Rather, you need to store your wine in a place that is typically dark, cool (but not cold), and does not vibrate too much. This means that the serious wine collector will not use a wine rack that has been purchased from your local store. However if you are the average consumer, these wine racks will work just fine if you plan on drinking your wine shortly after purchasing it.
- Equipment. Regardless of whether you are a consumer, or a collector, you will need to purchase a rack to properly store your wine. The reason for this is that a wine rack is designed to help keep the top of the wine bottle moist. By keeping the interior portion of the cork moist, you will ensure that it doesn't dry out and allow air to enter the bottle and prematurely aging the wine.
- Watch out for humidity. For long term storage, you need to watch out for humidity and temperature. The ideal storage conditions for long term wine storage is in a location that has about 70% humidity, and a temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help slow the aging process, while also keeping the corks moist enough to prevent any drying out.
- Neighbors can be a problem. One of the things a wine collector needs to be aware of is the unique property that wine has of absorbing flavors. This means that if you have something that has a particularly strong scent (such as fish, certain cheeses, chemicals, and so on) then you can expect the wine to begin tasting like that. Keep wine away from anything that has a strong odor, unless you are willing to run the chance that your wine may be ruined.
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