If you’ve ever wondered how you can best store wines for aging, I have one thing to say: I’m so proud of you!!! Do you know the average length of time an American ages their wine? 15 minutes. That’s right, 15 MINUTES! That’s pretty much the time it takes to buy the wine from the store and get it home and opened! So many wines blossom and shine with a few years of cellar age, but most of them never get a chance to reach their prime. But if you’re asking this question, you want something better for your wines, don’t you?
The question of how to store your wine hinges on one important detail: how long you want to age your wine. If you plan to drink your wine in the next 2-3 years and you don’t want to fuss with getting a wine fridge or building a cellar, simply find a place in your home where the temperature is consistently under 80 degrees and experiences no direct sunlight or vibration (i.e. don’t store it in the sunroom that’s built right next to a railroad track!). If you can, keep the wine laying on its side so the cork doesn’t dry out and crack into a million pieces when you try to open it later!
If you plan to age your wine for more than three years, things can get a bit tricky. You’ll need to find the coolest, darkest place in the house, which is usually in the basement or a closet. If you live in an area with an extreme weather pattern or really dry air and your house doesn’t have central air, even this won’t work! Wine is the happiest when it’s living in a dark environment with a steady 55 degree temperature and 80% humidity. Now, that doesn’t mean your wine will die if conditions aren’t ideal. I like to compare it to someone who goes to the beach with no sunscreen on. He’s not going to die the second he’s exposed to the sun, but the long-term health and appearance of his skin is definitely going to be compromised.
So, if your space and budget allows, I recommend aging wine for more than three years in a temperature and humidity-controlled wine cellar. If you don’t have the space at home, you can look for a nearby wine locker that provides wine storage. Some of these have excellent service and will keep your wine in inventory, shipping you whatever you want to drink on fairly short notice. There’s a fee involved, of course, but it can add up to a lot less than the cost of building a wine cellar!
So what’s the bottom line? Wines are fragile, but can still withstand aging in your home under less than ideal conditions for short periods of time and better conditions for longer periods of time. However, they will start to degrade quickly if they are stored for too long in an environment that doesn’t match their ‘happy place’. Knowing which solution makes the most sense to you is key!
Thank you so much for watching and I hope you learned something about aging wine! If you liked this video, please hit that like button and share with all your friends who want to learn more about the wonderful world of wine. I’ll see you next time and until then, drink responsibly and enjoyably. Cheers!