Red wine has been in existence for thousands of years. In fact, there is archaeological evidence found in Iran and Georgia that dates back to 6000 BC. Another fun fact is that the first winery was found in Armenia, and there, they discovered an ancient wine press, jars, cups and fermentation vats. It was also found that the grapes grown were Vitis vinifera, which is, interestingly, still being used up to date. However, no clue has been found how they maintained the red wine storage temperature, humidity, etc.
Fast forward to the present time, there are now numerous vineyards in every part of the world due to the fact that wine is now part of every celebration or, simply put, the daily lives of many adults. This popularity is owed to the many claims that drinking wine is good for the health of humans.
Drinking Red Wine: The Benefits
Since most red wines are produced using grapes, the compounds released from the fruit are the reasons why the beverage has a potential positive contribution to our health. However, as similar to any other things we consume, such is only possible when red wine is drunk in moderation.
Improves Heart Health
The antioxidants in red wine help protect you from having a heart attack because they keep the blood vessels flexible and prevent unnecessary blood clots.
Aids in the Prevention of Cancer
Aside from the antioxidants, wine is also rich in resveratrol which helps starve cancer cells. To get enough of this, you need to drink a glass of wine three to four times a week.
Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
The resveratrol in red wine also helps prevent the build-up of beta-amyloid protein which is the main cause of this disease. Studies have also shown that there was a slowdown in progress of this disease in patients who drank red wine because resveratrol helps keep the memory sharp.
Can Fight Obesity
Red wine is also rich in piceatannol which is the compound that helps stop the growth of fat cells in our body. Since it helps stop the growth of fat cells, red wine can also help you stay slim, but of course, this has to be done in conjunction with proper diet and exercise.
Indeed, drinking the right amount of red wine is ideal but you can only enjoy the benefits if you know how to maintain the quality of a wine. Quality can include its color, clarity, ad taste. Any effect on those three qualities will also mean an impact on the level of compounds present. Therefore, it is essential for you to know where and how to store your red wine.
Places to Store Red Wine: The Options
Red wine or wine for that matter has a lot of special needs that must be met. Thus, it is advisable for you to provide it with its own storage place. Fortunately, you will never run out of options.
The perfect place to store your red wine is definitely in a wine cellar because it has been designed to block factors that will cause damage to the flavor of the wine. The basement in your home, if you have one, can easily be converted into a wine cellar with the help of a designer or an architect. However, building your own wine cellar can be really expensive, so do this only if you have a massive collection.
Professional Wine Storage Facility
This is an excellent option if you really want to age wine bottles but don’t have the place and don’t want to go through the trouble. These wine storage facilities have experts who will look after your wine bottles and in return, you just have to pay a minimal amount for the service.
Wine coolers are for those who have a collection, but the number of wine bottles you have is not too many. Wine coolers are appliances specially designed for wine storage because the temperature range remains constant. They are like wine cellars but are a lot more practical.
Red Wine Storage Temperature: The Ideal Range
Red wine needs to be stored at the correct temperature to ensure that its flavor is protected. Wine bottles should not be stored in a place where it is hot because wine ages faster in that kind of environment. Similarly, wine should not be stored in very cold places because too low of a temperature will dry out the cork which will cause air to get in the bottle and in the long run, damage the wine.
Based on Duration of Storage
With that said, if you want to store your red wine bottles in a short span of time, the optimal temperature is anywhere between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 7 and 17 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the ideal long-term storage temperature of red wine should remain constant, and it should be at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It is understandable, though, that some fluctuations may happen. You just need to make sure that the fluctuations are less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nonetheless, there are red wine types that have specific temperature requirements and we have listed them below for your guidance.
Based on Type of Red Wine
The two types of red wine are light and full-bodied. Light red wines are those that have light colors, low alcohol content (under 12.5%) and less coating density. Of course, the full-bodied ones have the opposite characteristics.
Light Red Wines
- Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Barbera, Grenache: 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Zinfandel, Chianti, Red Burgundy: 58 degrees Fahrenheit
Full-Bodied Red Wines
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec: 62 degrees Fahrenheit
- Shiraz, Syrah, Bordeau: 65 degrees Fahrenheit
Storage Condition: Other Factors
Aside from having the perfect red wine storage temperature, there are also other things that need to be considered so that your storage option is suitable for your precious wine bottles.
UV rays can cause the wine to age prematurely which will consequently damage its flavor. This is the reason why wine cellars are the best storage for red wine bottles because it is dark, but not all of us have the luxury of having one. So, if you chose to use a wine cooler, buy one that has a door that will block UV rays.
Vibration can also affect the flavor of red wine because of the sediments present in it. These need to settle because if not, they can make your glass of wine gritty. You don’t need to worry about that if you are using a wine cellar but for coolers, choose one that has very little to no vibration. Thermoelectric wine coolers are your best bet because they don’t have compressors that can make the appliance vibrate.
It is best to store red wine bottles sideways if they are covered with cork because this keeps the cork moisturized. As we have mentioned, when the cork dries out it can cause air to get into the bottle which can oxidize the wine. However, if your wine bottles are covered with screw caps or plastic corks, they should be fine even when stored vertically.
Although it does not directly affect the flavor of the wine, too much humidity can damage the labels which will make it difficult to determine the age of your wine bottles. Low humidity, on the other hand, can dry out the cork of your wine bottles. So, the ideal humidity for red wine is 70 percent, but 50 to 80 percent is still OK if you can’t keep it at 70.
If you want to be a wine connoisseur, it is important for you to know the ideal temperature for red wine storage as well as the other factors that need to be considered. These are important to make sure that you will only drink and serve quality red wines, as well as enjoy the benefits of drinking one, whether they are cheap or expensive.