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6 Tips to Properly Store Wine

Posted by Rich Norton on

If you have purchased or received a WineforaWedding Anniversary Wine Box we want to ensure you will enjoy each bottle whether it be next year or ten years from now. If you received a wine package from Mount Pleasant Estates (our winery partner) or from another source, here are some tips on how to store your wine.

Wine is an organic and ever evolving substance. From the time the grapes start growing in the spring, things like moisture and temperature are altering their sugar content, mineral make up, and flavor. Once bottled, the wine is ready to drink, but it will continue to evolve over time. The key to aging wine properly is controlling the conditions surrounding the bottle. While the term for aging wine is "cellaring" we like to call it "putting a bottle to bed"; as the conditions good for wine, are also great conditions for sleeping.

1.  Lights Out

Just like us, wine likes to sleep in the dark. UV light, while good for growing the grapes, is not good for wine. This is why many bottles are a dark color of glass to limit the wines exposure to light. 

For this reason, a wine box is a nice, dark place to keep your wine.

2.  Recline to Unwind

It is much easier to slumber while laying down than standing up. Traditionally wine bottles have corks to seal the bottle. Keeping these bottles on their side insures that the cork remains moist so as not to dry out which keeps the seal tight. Limiting air from entering the bottle is important for the wine to keep. In more modern times, screw cap bottles, while not as romantic, are a more reliable way of sealing the wine bottle and insuring the wine does not spoil.
All of our wine boxes, designed for aging wine, keep the bottles laying on their side.

3.  Keep it Cool & Steady

Studies show that cool, consistent temperatures are good for sleeping, and wine agrees. For wine you really do not want to store it above 75°F for long periods of time. Most professional wine cellars try to maintain a temperature of 55°F. While this is not easy to achieve without special equipment, wine should be ok when stored at room temperature of 68-73°F - but this is where the steady part comes into play. Wine does not like when temperatures change and as we stated before you don't want to be above 75°F for long periods. You will want to find a nice cool place to store your wine that maintains a pretty consistent temperature (i.e. not right next to your furnace or oven or a place where it will get direct sunlight).
Wood is a great insulator especially when the bottle is packed with kraft paper filler we use. While the box doesn't have the ability cool the wine on it's own, it will help protect your wine from temperature fluctuations.

4.  Do Not Disturb

Wine does not like to be disturbed while sleeping so put the little hanger on the door. Try to keep the wine in a quiet, out of the way place where it won't need to be moved.
Set it and forget it! 

5.  Get a Good Nights Rest, but Don't Oversleep

Sleeping Beauty or Rip Van Winkle? - not all wines can sleep well for extended periods of time and in the end you want the beauty still in their prime, not the crusty old man. The amount of time that a wine can age varies greatly by variety, vintage and vintner. Generally, red wines can be aged for 2-10 years and whites for 1-3 and some wines like ports can age for decades. If not purchasing a wine package from our wine partner, our best advise would be to consult another wine professional at your local bottle shop. They will know what wines they offer and should know their ability to age. When in doubt go ahead and drink it now, any wine that has been bottled and offered for sale in ready to drink.
All of the wine packages offered by our winery partner, Mount Pleasant Estates, have been selected by the wine maker for their ability to age for the designated periods of time when stored properly.

6.  Fresh not funky

There is nothing better than sleeping in a fresh clean bed and no one want to sleep next to a smelly partner. Don't store your wine next to your garlic or anything that has a potent smell. Wine can have a tendency to absorb these odors and you don't want that to affect it's palatability.
This is one reason we keep a majority of our wine boxes unfinished. We don't want to encapsulate the bottles in a small space with any strong smells like varnish.
Have more questions? Let us know.

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