Ah, red wine. While there are various wines to choose from, red wine is a firm favorite for most people.
Whether you’re a wine enthusiast with a dedicated wine cellar or a typical wine lover who enjoys sipping a glass of wine now and then, red wines can accentuate different flavors in your meals or be served alone when unwinding during weeknights.
That said, proper storage is essential if you like to buy a dozen or two of red wine. Like any other wine, red wine gets better with age as long as it’s properly stored.
In this article, you’ll learn the basics of red wine and how to keep it properly at home.
What Is Red Wine?
Red wine is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from dark-colored grape varieties, giving the wine a darker color. Pressed grape juice is macerated and fermented with the grape skin, adding flavor, color, and tanning to the wine. Once the yeast converts the grape sugar to carbon dioxide and ethanol, it becomes the alcoholic red drink you know.
Popular Types Of Red Wine
Philip from Expert Wine Storage states that the most popular types of wine are Red Wine, White Wine, Rose Wine, Sparkling Wine, Dessert Wine, and Fortified Wine.
3 Tips To Store Red Wine At Home
Now that you know more about red wine, this section shares tips and best practices for storing your bottles of red wine.
1. Mind The Temperature And Humidity
All wines don’t like significant temperature fluctuations. Red wine, in particular, prefers a ‘chilled’ temperature ranging from 50°F–67°F, depending on the wine type.
Never leave your red wine at a temperature higher than 70°F since it will ‘cook’ your wine and cause a flat aroma and flavor. Most people may think that the fridge may be suitable for wine storage. For short-term storage, storing red wines in a refrigerator is acceptable. However, for long-term storage, using a regular fridge isn’t suitable.
Handymantips.org states that a regular fridge is too cold for storing red wine, causing the cork to shrink and letting air into the bottle. This can damage the overall aroma and flavor of the wine.
If you’re considering storing red wine bottles long-term, consider investing in a wine fridge. Unlike regular kitchen refrigerators that keep your food dry and cool, a dedicated wine fridge can provide the right temperature and humidity. Furthermore, investing in a wine fridge helps you avoid cross-contamination from food odors, protecting your precious bottle collection.
2. Leave It On The Side
There’s a reason why wine fridges and wine racks are designed to hold bottles on their side. Storing bottles standing vertically or upright can hurt a red wine’s overall consistency and flavor.
While it may seem more convenient and space-saving, storing wine upright means it won’t touch the cork, causing it to dry out. And a dried-out cork can cause the air to seep into the bottle, speeding up the oxidation process and damaging the overall integrity and flavor of the wine.
So, storing your red wine bottles on their sides makes the cork moist and allows for perfectly aged wine.
3. Keep Bottles In Dark, Less Disturbed Areas
Wine cellars are often built in an isolated underground. This is because red wines love the dark and with less disturbance.
Harsh light, whether from incandescent light bulbs or the sun, can degrade the quality of red wine. The heat from these light sources can cause red wine to age faster. Plus, the extra heat may cause the corks to shrink, allowing air into the bottle. And as mentioned before, when air enters the bottle, it can spoil the flavor and consistency of the beverage. If you need lighting, your best option is LED lights. It creates a soft glow without the heat that can ruin your wine.
In addition to avoiding harsh light sources, your wines must be stored away from sources of disruption and vibrations. Areas near a stereo speaker, close to a washer and dryer, or above the fridge create subtle vibrations that can significantly disturb the sediment and compromise the process of aging.
Red wine is a delicate beverage. The way you store your red wine can mean a world’s difference between a great-tasting beverage with time and an expensive bottle of red vinegar.
Follow the above tips to ensure you’ll enjoy your bottle collection with its full flavor and aroma when the time comes.