Storing red wine is a delicate process, and leaving out one key component can quickly lead to your red wine spoiling. Luckily, if you follow a few fundamentals, you can ensure that your red wine stays fresher longer - and even improve in flavour.
By mastering these steps, you can nurture your dream wine collection in what is ultimately one of the most fulfilling pursuits you can do - whether you’re simply a red wine fan or someone who considers themselves an expert.
So read on forThe Ultimate Guide On How To Store Red Wine.
How Long Does Red Wine Last
Between red wine and white wine, the former tends to be the best wine for aging, due to their level of tannins. Although most ready-to-drink red wines are at their peak quality between 3 to 5 years, some fine wines can last decades!
The best red wines for aging tend to be:
- Port (10-50 years)
- Nebbiolo (15-40 years)
- Sangiovese (10-30 years)
- Cabernet Sauvignon (5-25 years)
- Monastrell (7-20 years)
- Merlot (3-15 years)
- Malbec (5-10 years)
4 common traits that long-lasting wines have are: higher sugar content, higher acidity, tannin composition and (surprisingly) lower alcohol content. We always recommend doing your research before buying a red wine for aging. For more information on aging wine, check out our bloghere.
The rule of thumb for storing wine is to keep your collection somewhere cool. Between 14 to 18 degrees Celsius is usually the optimal red wine storage temperature celsius. This means not storing it in places like the garage or next to the oven, and keeping it away from open windows where the room can heat up in direct sunlight.
Great locations for this are cellars, wine rooms, closets, wine fridges or simply anywhere not exposed to the elements.
Getting the correct humidity is often the most underestimated factor for beginner wine collectors. With too little humidity (such as under 50%), the cork can dry up and decay, exposing the wine to air and quickly spoiling. However, too much humidity (more than 70%) can lead to mildew and mould, causing the wine to spoil and become foul-smelling. Anywhere between 50-70% humidity is fine, with 60% humidity occupying that sweet spot in the middle.
If you really wanted to get technical, you can purchase a hygrometer to measure the levels in whatever room you are in.
There is a reason why the classic setting for a wine collection is in a cellar! Wine is typically most at home in dark areas, or at the very least, not exposed to bright lights or direct sunlight. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of owning a wine cellar. You can resolve this by storing your wine in a closet, a cabinet or even in your living room if sunlight doesn’t have too much of an impact.
Believe it or not, even a little vibration over time can lead to your wine being spoiled. The chemical makeup of wine is delicate, which is why keeping your wine consistently stable and vibration-free is important for its quality, flavour and aging process.
Avoid places where there is a lot of movement or foot traffic, such as the garage, hallways, near washing machines and large speakers.
The best way to avoid vibration is by using reliable wine racks. Wine Stash provides high-quality wine racks to suit all size and space requirements, whether you own only a handful of wine bottles or hundreds. Check out our online store to find out more here.
Have you ever wondered why wine bottles are often stored on their sides? Well, aside from looking fancy, there is a practical reason for this. Positioning your wine on its side helps to keep the bottle’s cork moist, preventing it from drying up, decaying and exposing your wine to air.
It’s also an effective way to save space. Of course, you can do this with a well-made wine rack, such as the Classic Wine Rack, able to hold over 100 bottles of wine bottles in a small space.
One of the most important factors to consider when storing and aging wine applies to everything listed so far: consistency. Fluctuations in temperature can be just as damaging to your wine as temperatures in the low (but acceptable) range. The same goes for their positioning - unless you're taking out a bottle to drink, you should leave them be. This is why cellars or closets are great for storing wine because they’re less influenced by changing weather and the elements.
How to Store Your Red Wine Under the Best Conditions
When storing your wine, you have a few options as far as where you will put them. Whether you are storing red wine for residential or commercial purposes, the following are some of your best options:
Use High-Quality Wine Racks That Are Assembled By Hand
Wine Racks can be custom built to suit your size specifications, style preferences, and perfectly blend in with the décor of whatever room you put them in.
Use a Wine Fridge
There is nothing quite as effective for storing your wine as a Wine Refrigerator. They allow you to control lighting, temperature and a range of other options to keep your wine tip top. Take for example the Liebherr 168 Bottle Wine Storage Cabinet. It comes with multi-temperature control, to keep your wine at consistently optimal conditions, as well as a stylish glass displaying door. Find out more here.
Use a Wine Bar Cart or Cabinet
If you want to store your wine collection but want a way to present it with style, we recommend crowd-pleasing Wine Bars Carts and Cabinets. Mobile Wine Bars/Cabinets don't just store wine bottles but also wine glasses and other accessories, achieving an eye-catching wine storage solution, while doubling as classy furniture that turns heads.
How to Store Opened Red Wine
Once you open your bottle of red wine, it will spoil very quickly. However, under the right conditions, it can last up to 5 days or so. When red wine does go off, you’ll know - it will smell abrasive and sharp, even sour. The taste will also be off, with hints of harsh chemical flavours, or overly sweet.
Under the right conditions, your open red wine can stay fresh for up to 5 or so days.
- Light Red Wines: typically last only 2-3 days after opening
- Medium Red Wines: typically last 3-5 days after opening
- Full-bodied Red Wines: typically last 4-6 days after opening
Here are some tips for where to store your opened red wine, as well as how to keep your opened red wine fresh for as long as possible:
Although your average refrigerator is not ideal for storing or aging wine, putting your bottle of opened red wine in a fridge can slow down the chemical processes, including oxidisation. It’s amazing how often someone will leave their open wine on a bench after it is opened. When you’re finished with it and would like to drink it later, you should put it in the fridge as soon as possible.
Store It Upright
Here is yet another tip that would normally not be advised for unopened red wine but can be applied to an opened bottle: by storing it upright, you’re decreasing the wine’s exposure to air. This will help to slow down the wine’s deterioration.
Put Your Red Wine in a Half Bottle
Another great way to expose your wine to less air is by pouring it into a half bottle. Too much air will flatten your wine, decreasing its aromas and flavours. Thankfully, you can get wine bottles in different sizes, which come in handy if you can’t quite finish a bottle.
Use a Wine Preservation System
A wine preservation system is a tool that sucks the air out of a wine bottle so that the wine doesn’t interact with air after it’s been opened. They are a must-have for any serious wine fan.
Use Wine Stoppers and Screwcaps Instead of Recorking
Rather than recorking your wine bottle, your best bet is to use a wine stopper or a screw cap which help to keep your bottle airtight. Check out Wine Stash’s beautiful range of wine stoppers here. If neither options are available, we recommend recorking your wine bottle with the ‘stained’ side facing the bottle. This is because the dry side may be dirtier and covered in bacteria which is bad news if your wine is exposed to it.
Drink Your Wine
Of course, one option is to simply enjoy your red wine until the bottle is empty! With wine’s short shelf-life after being opened, sometimes the best thing to do is just finish it.
Where to Find All Your Red Wine Storage Needs and Accessories
Ready to start your dream wine collection? Wine Stash has made it easier than ever to assemble the perfect wine collection for you. Our online store includes a fantastic variety of wine storage solutions, including custom wine racks, modular wine racks, wine fridges, wine cabinets and other accessories.