How to Properly Store Wine
The sweet, fragrant aroma that excites your senses when you open your favorite bottle of wine is why properly storing your wine in a wine refrigerator, commonly called a wine fridge or wine cellar, is important. There are three key factors that affect wine: temperature, humidity, and light. Temperature is our main concern when storing wine. The temperature at which wine is served has a significant effect on its taste, which is why many consumers opt to purchase a wine refrigerator (wine collectors usually have larger wine cellars built into their homes). Recommended temperatures for best serving wine are:
Beaujolais: 54-59 ºF
Bordeaux: Red 62-67 ºF
Bordeaux: White 50-54ºF
Cabernet Sauvignon: 62-67ºF
Chenin Blanc: 43-48ºF
Dessert Wines: 45-50ºF
Pinot Gris: 45-50ºF
Pinot Noir: 58-63ºF
Port – Tawny: 50-55ºF
Port – Vintage: 62-67ºF
Sauvignon Blanc: 50-54ºF
Sparkling Wines: 45-50ºF
Zinfandel Red: 62-67ºF
Temperatures higher than 70º F don’t only age wine prematurely but can also “cook” wine, ruining its flavors and aromas. Wine is so sensitive that even sunlight can age the wine prematurely. Extremely cold temperatures, like 22°F, can thicken the wine into slush. White wines are affected greatly by extreme cold because they lose their fruit aromas and the taste becomes watered down. Red wines, which generally have higher alcohol content, can usually “survive” colder temperatures but may change in texture if stored too cold.
So how do wine cellars and wine refrigerators protect wine?
Improved Temperature Stability
First and foremost, there is more temperature stability in a wine refrigerator. A standard kitchen refrigerator is typically opened and closed dozens of times throughout any given day. Each time the door is opened, the interior is exposed to room temperature, causing temperature fluctuations within the refrigerator. The compressor is also constantly turning on to compensate for this change, which can make the whole unit vibrate. These fluctuations and vibrations can play havoc with both the content of your wine bottles and the condition of your bottle’s cork.
When using a wine refrigerator exclusively designated for your wine, you prevent these constant changes because the unit is only opened to remove or store wine. In addition, most wine cellars are equipped with digital thermostats. Digital controls allow for a smaller temperature range that is set specifically for wine. Wine cellars are typically offered with single or dual zones. Single zones have one temperature control so the whole cooler is set to the same temperature. This is best if you plan on storing ONLY red or ONLY white wine. Dual zones consist of two temperature controls and the storage space is divided into sections which can be set to the specific temperature for both reds and whites.
When the humidity is too low, you risk a dried out cork. If it is too high, mold or mildew may grow. Humidity isn’t a factor when using a wine refrigerator because most units allow you to store the wine horizontally, which allows the wine to come in contact with the cork to prevent it from drying out. Some wine cellars include charcoal air filters that ensure ventilation and humidity control which allows the wine to mature without damaging odors. Wine refrigerator manufacturers sometimes provide water trays to help balance the humidity inside the wine cellar.
Protection from Light
One of the reasons wines come in a colored glass bottle is because of the tinted glass can provide an ultraviolet filter. This extends to most wine cellar doors, which usually feature a subtle tint. Some manufacturers offer additional glass door tinting to help protect the interior from the damaging effects of light. Since most wine bottles are stored horizontally, the full contents are rarely exposed to direct sunlight. Even so, many wine enthusiasts opt for solid door wine cellars to ensure their collections are fully protected from any light sources. Inside, most wine cellars that have lighting utilize LED technology because compared to incandescent lighting, the heat produced is negligible.
Whether you’re an amateur oenophile or a true connoisseur, today’s marketplace is filled with diverse choices for home wine storage.
Built-In Undercounter Refrigeration Line
Apartment Sized Refrigerator-Freezers
Beer, Wine, & Outdoor Collection
Hospitality Appliance Collection
Commercial Product Line
Complete Cooking Catalog
Small Kitchen Designs By Summit
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