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On wine storage

(article, Anu Karwa)

p(blue). Editor's note: Anu Karwa wrote the Culinate wine column, titled Swirl, from July 2009 through December 2010.

"How do I best store my wine?"
 
There are a number of different ways to store your wine properly, whether it's your everyday bottles or the special ones you're saving for an occasion (which your significant other inadvertently drinks with his friends on a random Tuesday night). 

If you're starting a collection, I advise purchasing a 12-bottle wine refrigerator. I've used and can recommend the refrigerator from Crate and Barrel.

[%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption="Find a cool, dark spot for your wine."]

Set the fridge to 55 degrees to keep both reds and whites in top form. 

If you start accumulating a serious collection, invest in a dual-temperature wine refrigerator; this lets you store your whites at 50 to 55 degrees and your reds at 55 and 60 degrees.  

But you don't have to buy a fancy wine fridge to properly store your wine for the short or the long term. 
 
The first thing you want to do is remove any bottles you've got stored in an ever-popular place: the top of the kitchen refrigerator. Wine stored here experiences fluctuating temperatures and vibrations, and will be hotter than ideally desired. 

Also, avoid sunlight, which further degrades a wine. 

An ideal place for storage is a cool basement that maintains a consistently low temperature. For city dwellers who may not have a basement (like me), a dark, cool closet should do the trick. 

Store your bottles sideways to keep the corks in contact with the wine; this ensures that the corks don't dry out and allow oxygen in. 

Wine bottles with corks, including Champagne, shouldn't be stored in the refrigerator for more than two weeks. So if you have a bottle of Veuve Clicquot sitting in the fridge, pop it open and enjoy it tonight — because the best place for storing it (very temporarily) is in your glass.


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