For many, a good bottle of wine is also a great investment to appreciate in value or simply for future enjoyment. Regardless of whether you have an actual cellar, the following guidelines can still apply to any wine collector who wants to age their wines optimally.
Heat is the fastest way to ruin a perfectly good wine. Aim for a temperature between 45° F and 65° F (7° C and 18° C), with the midpoint widely regarded as optimal. Unless you are planning to consume the wine in the next month, avoid storing wines in the fridge or in any open-air quarters (such as the garage during winter). Doing so may dry out the corks, exposing the wine to oxygen and thus ruining a good bottle.
Dim the lights or turn them off completely to save the planet – and your wines too. Even if it’s being stored indoors, fluorescent light-bulbs can emit small amounts of UV light. For that reason, opt for incandescent wherever possible. This is especially true if you are ageing wines to appreciate in value – as UV will fade the labels, diminishing your return-on-investment in the long term.
For corked bottles, laying a bottle on its side can help keep the cork moist thus preventing it from drying out. This also helps save space in crammed cellars. Note: this is not necessary for wines with alternative closures such as screwcaps, or for wines that will be enjoyed in the near future.
A final word of note, most wines are not structured for long-term cellaring and will hold on to very little value over the long-term, so make sure you are ageing the right bottles. Visit us at Liberty Wine Merchants and let our in-store sommeliers and wine experts help you identify the best wines for your home collection.