The average time an American lays down a bottle of wine is about half an hour, but for those of us who appreciate the age-ability of our magnificent wines it is important to store them properly.
During the summer months the heat is a constant battle, and many people do not have the luxury of an expansive underground cellar to keep their precious bottles protected.
So, when you are considering where to store your wine, keep the following factors in mind…
1. Temperature – The most important thing to avoid is temperature fluctuations – a constant 68°is better than a 50°, then 68°, then 50° cycle. The ideal wine storage temperature is 55-60°F with a variance of a few degrees. High heat can accelerate the aging process of wine, transforming your beauty into a “cooked” wine.
If a wine cellar or basement is not a possibility, the next best solution is a wine refrigerator. They come in a variety of price ranges and sizes and if kept in a cool place in the house, can keep overall energy costs down. If your refrigerator is full, then choose the floor of an interior closet (remember, heat rises).
2. Light - Wine gets its structure and flavor profile from organic compounds. UV light can damage those compounds altering the flavor structure of the wine. Most wines are bottled in dark glass to help protect it from UV light (similar to sunglasses protecting your eyes), but light can still penetrate even the darkest tinted bottles.
Direct sunlight should always be avoided, but over exposure to fluorescent lights could also be damaging to a wine. To avoid the light, consider the position of your wine rack relative to your overhead light or windows. Consider storing your wine in boxes or in a cabinet.
3. Humidity - this is a major factor when storing wine with a cork closure. If the cork dries out, it shrinks. This can cause leakage and can allow exposure of the wine to air, “oxidizing” the wine, resulting in a wine with a distinct “sherry-like” taste and odor.
Ideal humidity for wine storage is around 70%, but we also recommend that you store bottles on their side or upside down in a cardboard box to keep corks moist.
We want every bottle of Fiddlehead you open to be an enjoyable experience and we hope these tips help ensure perfect quality of every bottle.
Happy Summer Sipping ! !