Wines are nice to have around. They can be taken during parties or when someone is alone at home. However, it is not that easy as one need to learn how to keep wine fresh. One way to do so is to store it properly. This is true for both unconsumed and opened ones. Otherwise, they will go bad and end up tasting like vinegar. This is such a waste because a properly stored wine can provide great aroma and flavor that can delight many drinkers.
How to Store Unopened Wine
There is a difference between storing unopened and opened wines. Wine bottles that yet have to be opened do not need to be stored inside a cooler or fridge. In fact, storing unopened wines inside the ref can cause more harm than good.
This, however, does not mean that unopened wine bottles can be placed anywhere. It is essential to place the wine bottles away from direct sunlight or heat. They should not also be placed in a very warm room. Here are some tips on how to store unopened wine bottles:
- Keep wines in a dark place
Wines should be away from any light particularly in direct sunlight or fluorescent lights. This is because wines that receive light tend to be light struck, which results in their unpleasant smell.
Some wines are contained in very dark bottles and as such are better protected from UV rays. However, sunlight can still penetrate through dark bottles.
If it is quite impossible to place a wine entirely out of any light, then it is best to wrap the bottle with a cloth. Aside from cloth, a wine owner can also choose to place the wine bottles inside a box that is out of anyone’s way.
- Store wines on their sides
Wines that are sealed with corks should be stored on their side. Many people store their unopened wine bottles upright. This position dries out the cork. Thus, air will eventually enter the bottle and spoil the wine.
Storing the bottles with the labels up will make it easier for owners to check for any sediments that have formed inside the bottle.
- Keep the temperature constant
It is essential for wines to be stored in a uniformed temperature. Ideally, wine bottles should be stored in a temperature, not over 24-degree centigrade. It is also best to store wines at 12.2 centigrade over time. This temperature will help slow down the aging process of the wine. Higher than 24 centigrade temperatures will result in the oxidation of the wine.
The temperature should be constant because rising of the temperature would cause more force in the cork. When this happens, air will be sucked inside the bottle.
Wine owners should be careful not to change the temperature of the storage immediately. Keep in mind that the wine suffers from an extreme drop or increase in temperature.
- Prevent constant moving
Some wine owners constantly move their unopened bottles. This is unfortunate since vibrations can negatively affect this alcoholic beverage.
- Separate the wine
Storing unopened wines also mean isolating them. One should remember that wines breathe. And as such, storing them with anything that has a strong scent will also change the smell of the wine. The wines should be placed in an area with good ventilation so that musty odors are prevented from entering the bottle.
How to Keep Wine Fresh: Tips for Opened Bottles
Storing opened wine bottles are different from storing unopened ones. However, some rules apply to both bottles such as keeping them out of direct light and near anything that has a strong smell.
Here are some tips on how to keep wine fresh after it’s been opened:
- Know their shelf life after opening
Contrary to popular beliefs, there is no single storage life for opened bottles of wines. One can keep the opened bottles for a different number of days depending on their kind.
For example, fortified wines have longer shelf life than most other wines. They have some brandy and can last longer. Fortified wines such as sherry and port can last up to 28 days or four weeks after they have been opened.
The same cannot be said of sparkling wines like champagne. They tend to go bad fast because of their bubbles. Hence, they are best consumed after opening. If this is not possible, then they should be finished off within one to three days after opening.
Full-bodied and red wines can be taken three to five days after opening. On the other hand, light, sweet, and rosé wines can last around five to seven days.
- Mind the cork
Corks are placed in the wine bottles to seal them properly and to prevent air from entering. As such, when storing unconsumed wines, it is best to place back the cork immediately.
- Use smaller containers
If there are just little leftovers from a wine bottle, then it would be best to place the unconsumed beverage in a smaller bottle or container.
A large bottle that has little wine makes the beverage more prone to exposure to air. Exposure to air is the last thing a wine owner wants as it could change the taste and smell of the beverage.
- Store in a wine cooler or refrigerator
Opened wine bottles are best stored in a cooler or fridge. This is because opened wines are more prone to air exposure. A cold temperature can help prevent or delay oxidation of the beverage.
Store Wine Bottles the Right Way
There are many wines on the market. Some of them are cheap while others come with a hefty price tag. It does not matter how much a wine bottle costs as all wines must be stored properly.
Storing unopened wine bottles is relatively simpler and easier than the opened ones. But both should be kept away from direct light and heat. Unopened bottles can be stored in a room as long as it is dark and quite cold. On the other hand, opened wines are best stored inside the fridge or wine coolers. They should also be consumed within days from opening. Otherwise, one might end up drinking a wine that smells and tastes like vinegar.