WINE 101

Storing your wine properly improves its taste

You might not know this, but storing your wine incorrectly can actually ruin it. It’s always great to stock up on wine so it’s right there waiting for you when you need it most – whether it be for relaxing after a tough day, bringing it to a last minute dinner party, or for sharing with a group of friends who stop by for a visit. Just make sure you’re following these important tips so your wine tastes as fabulous as it should when you uncork it:

1. Keep it at the right temperature!

Did you know that wine should be stored at 12 to 15 degrees Celsius (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit)? I’ve heard that for every degree over 12 Celsius, your wine ages a year faster, and the rate doubles if you’re storing it over 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Farenheit).

2. Lay the bottle flat or angled downward

By keeping your wine in constant contact with the cork, you ensure the cork doesn’t dry out, allowing oxidation to occur. Oxidation essentially attacks your wine and makes it taste bad. Some wine experts argue that storing the bottle upside down or angled downward is better than flat, because the air bubble resting at the top is smaller than the air bubble that rests across the middle when it’s lying flat. A smaller air bubble means slower oxidation and more importantly, means that your wine will taste better for a longer period of time.

3. Stay away from the light!

Keeping your bottle in darkness is good for your wine – whether it be in a cellar or in the back of your cabinet or closet. That’s why most wine bottles are dark in colour, rather than clear. Even your white wines come in tinted bottles to minimize the bottle’s exposure to the ultraviolet rays that can wreck your wine.

4. Place your wine in an odour-neutral environment

Remember, wine corks are porous and strong scents like vinegar, chemicals, etc. can be absorbed right through the cork, making your wine taste horrible. So, keep your wine away from anything with a strong odour to preserve its taste.

5. Humidity is your friend!

Wine experts are constantly debating whether or not humidity makes a difference when storing your wine. In the Wine Spectator, writer Matt Kramer highlights a French study which claimed that the relative humidity within a bottle is always maintained at 100% regardless of the humidity level around the bottle.

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