Starting with perhaps the most important and obvious factor when it comes to wine storage - the temperature. If you own your very own cooler already then well done, you have made a great investment to enjoy your wine at home as it is intended to be enjoyed at its optimum serving temperature. Depending on what type of wine you are storing in your wine cooler and what type of wine cooler you own, whether it be single, dual or multi-zone functioning coolers, will depend on what temperature to set your cooler at.
As a rule, no matter what wine you are storing, a wine bottle should never be stored below -4°C or above 20°C bare these temperatures in mind when you add your favourite wines to your cooler. The overall temperature will affect the quality of the taste of your wine, which is why it is so important. A temperature too high will speed up the ageing process and could permanently taint the flavours and aromas of the wine. Temperatures that are too low are not as damaging as temperatures that are too high, but extremely low temperatures can freeze the wine and put pressure on the cork.
Humidity is just as important a factor to wine as the temperature is, as low humidity can dry out wine corks which will leave wine vulnerable to degradation. Humidity levels too high on the other hand can cause mould and deterioration of bottles and labels. Inside your wine cooler, you should aim to have between 60-68% the ideal humidity levels.
Yes, there is a good reason why we generally store wine horizontally. Every well thought out wine bottle holder and wine rack display will display wine with each wine bottle placed horizontally. This is for the sake of keeping the cork in every bottle wet at all times so that it does not dry out, which is essential for the storing of wine long term. A dried-out cork will cause seepage of air into the bottle and prematurely age the wine or it will cause the cork to crumble into the bottle. Some wine coolers do have space for bottles that stand up vertically, if this is the case and you must store some bottles upright - prioritise any bottles that may have a screw top. Bottles with a screw-top do not have to be horizontal like corks have to, to keep them moist. A screw top also reseals the bottle better, keeping the wine crisp and well preserved.
Whether you are lucky enough to own a wine cooler or if your wine is stored by other methods including in cellars, in a wine cabinet, in a wooden wine rack, in a wine wall rack, all storage solutions do not keep your wine completely safe from other factors that could cause disturbances to your wine. Placement of your cooler should be firstly taken into consideration, whether that be the placement of a freestanding wine cooler or if you have an integrated one fitted into your kitchen units, your cooler should be away from harsh vibrations from other kitchen appliances.
Appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers, stereos, exercise machines or any other appliance or machine that causes some kind of movement or vibration should all be kept at a distance to your wine storage or cooler. Vibrations cause a chemical reaction in wine which disrupts the ageing process causing it to age prematurely and you will taste the damage and see the colour change too. Be sure to make sure that there are options available to you when deciding where to place your wine. Your wine bottle display is of course important and we understand you want to show off your bottle display so it’s in view, and all your guests can see the assembly of your total favourites.
If you open your wine but do not manage to finish it, then don’t worry, you can still hang on to your favourites if you have some remaining liquid. Leftover wine will keep properly for about five days before it starts to deteriorate fully. The key to storing an opened wine bottle properly is to recork the bottle to prevent oxygen from reacting with the alcohol. To do this you can put some wax paper around the cork and slide the cork back into the bottle, wax paper ensures that the cork does not break and fall into the wine. If you don’t have any wax paper available in your home, then cling film can also do the trick.
Overall a well-placed wine cooler is the best option if you want firstly, somewhere to display your wine so that it looks nice, and secondly, somewhere to store it correctly. With a wine cooler, you have complete control over the temperature and the humidity and with plenty of models and different types of wine coolers out there, there will be the perfect cooler solution out there for you and your wine collection.