Be It GRAND Or Small: Protecting Your Wine is Worth the Investment
Starting off, this article isn’t about public shaming – if after reading this you discover that you haven’t been storing your wine properly then my job, of rescuing your wine investment, has been accomplished.
My own journey goes back more than two decades, when our collection was held in a dozen wooden crates in the coolest part of our home. We thought this storage system was just fine for the wine, we liked how it looked and it was what we could afford at the time.
However, in the years I’ve spent studying wine I’ve learned quite a bit about how damaging even slight heat and light is to wine. Let me give you an example of how just transit without refrigeration can affect your wine: A drive home from your favorite winery can damage your new purchases if they sit for an hour or more in the back of an open truck or the trunk of your car. Keep your new friends in the car with you – where the air conditioning can reach them. Also, if you are making other stops, bring your wine indoors each time with you.
Now, onto storage. The most telling article I read about not storing wine properly explained that your wine will age exponentially faster if not kept at the right temperature.
This doesn’t mean you should put your wine into your refrigerator! Unless you are serving your wine fairly soon, the temperature of your refrigerator is about 40 degrees and your wine fridge is about 55. This is not to be confused with the temperature of a wine chiller, that is to chill wine prior to serving, not for storage.
When we moved into a larger home we first invested in a small wine fridge that fits in the space of a trash compactor in the kitchen. Later, we reviewed many wine storage units: all temperature controlled. We settled on a large Vinotemp brand that looks like a large refrigerator, and it’s locked with a key. We feel very good about aging our wines, both foreign and domestic, for 10 to 20+ years. (We generally move wine from the large locked unit into the smaller unit every few months, usually when a wine club shipment arrives and we need to make room. And of course, everything is written down on an Excel spreadsheet, our preference.)
Other people with large collections I’ve seen have built dedicated wine rooms in their home or garage. This can be a wonderful focal point in your home, a place to gather with other vinophiles, taste wines and actually sit and discuss them! (Often wines get lost when paired with a meal, and the meal becomes the focal point.)
Some opt for temperature controlled storage units that they visit to get their wine, either because they don’t have enough room at home and/or their collections are quite large. Not a bad idea if you want to age a wine and not be tempted by having them too close by!
So just remember, with all of these choices you don’t have to select just one way to store your wine, as long as it’s temperature controlled your investment is secure and your taste buds will be rewarded.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email [email protected] to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via [email protected].