Storing Wine

January 17, 2011

If you've ever wondered if you are storing your wine bottles in the right way, or how long an opened bottle of wine will last on

Should I be storing the wine I drink everyday in a special way or place? 
Simply keep your bottles of wine in a cool place away from direct sunlight until you’re ready to drink them. If you are going to store them for more than a few weeks, it is best to store them on their side rather than upright. This will keep the cork moist and therefore airtight.
There is no need to store white wines or Champagne/sparkling wines in the refrigerator if you are not planning on drinking them soon. Simply chill them before serving.

Where should I store wine I don't plan to drink immediately? 
There are two types of wine you may not plan to drink immediately - wines you have purchased that are ready to drink, and wines designed to be aged.

Most wines on the market today are designed to be ready to drink as soon as you purchase them -therefore, the long-term storage conditions recommended for wines designed to be aged are not necessary. Keep these ready-to-drink wines away from direct sunlight and heat, any source of vibration, and lying on their sides. This will ensure that the cork will remain moist and therefore airtight.

If you do begin to accumulate wines designed to be aged, storage becomes more important. The key conditions to keep constant are temperature (needs to be about 55 degrees) and humidity (70% - 80%). To achieve this at home, you may need to convert a closet or buy a special unit designed for the purpose.

How long will an open bottle of wine keep? 
Longer than you may think. Don’t throw it away! Re-cork the wine (if you’ve thrown away the cork use plastic wrap and a rubber band). An open bottle of red or white wine will keep in the refrigerator for 3 - 5 days. A bottle of Champagne/sparkling wine (tightly re-corked) will also keep for 3 - 5 days in the refrigerator.

Where should I store wine after it is opened? 
A re-corked, leftover bottle of red or white wine can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 - 5 days without compromising its flavor. Just take the red wine out of the refrigerator to let it come up to room temperature before drinking. A tightly corked leftover bottle of Champagne/sparkling wine can also be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 3 - 5 days. 

Information courtesy of Wine Market Council