Some wine lovers buy wine as they drink it and seldom have more than a few bottles in the house. Most of us, however, like to keep a supply of wine on hand for a variety of reasons. First of all, it’s nice to have a selection of different styles, so you have more to choose from without having to go to the store. Secondly, it’s polite to be able to offer more than one wine choice to your dinner guests. Finally, some wines mature with age – the process of cellaring a particular wine and tasting it through the years can bring an added dimension of pleasure to the wine experience. If you find yourself with a growing supply of wine, you should consider some storage options. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for your collection.
There are many variables to consider when deciding how to store your wine, such as temperature, humidity, and light. We have covered these issues in a previous post on storing wine. This post focuses on the actual containers for your wine, but you mustn’t forget these basics:
- Wine should be stored out of direct sunlight in a place that isn’t too hot or cold.
- Bottles should be stored horizontally to keep the corks from drying out and losing their seal.
Basic Wine Rack
Wine racks come in all shapes and sizes – while it may be tempting to buy a decorative one for your kitchen counter, they often have a limited capacity and aren’t always space efficient. I would suggest that you find a simple, stackable rack system that will allow you to keep large amounts of wine with relative ease. If you find that you need more space, you can always purchase more layers or begin a new stack. There are many options available in a variety of looks and materials. My personal preference is for a stackable wooden rack.
While most wines will keep for a few years at normal room temperatures around 70 degrees, it’s better to keep them under cooler conditions – about 50 to 60 degrees. Cooler temperatures result in a more balanced development of the wine’s flavors and allow for maximum aging potential. This is true for reds and whites alike. The ideal temperature for drinking rather than storing wine differs according to style and is covered in another of our posts. If you don’t have a temperature-controlled room in your house for wine, you can consider a wine cooler instead. Once again, there are many options available in many sizes. Consider a cooler that holds a minimum of twelve bottles – though it might be worth it to buy a larger cooler depending on how many bottles you plan to save. Once again, these coolers provide temperatures for aging wine that might not work for serving them. You should chill your bottles or allow them to warm, depending on the situation.
You might want to use both a simple rack for your everyday wines and a cooler for your special bottles.
Typical refrigerator temperatures range from 35 to 50 degrees and are too cold for ideal, long-term aging. However, for short-term storage of a year or less, you might prefer the convenience of pre-chilled wine. You can keep some of your whites, rosés, and sparkling wines chilled for instant enjoyment without having to wait for them to cool.
The possibilities for creative wine storage are endless. Here are a few additional ideas:
Try storing some wine in your kitchen drawers. You can use cardboard packing materials from wine shipping boxes to hold them in place. Baseboard drawers would work well. You could also consider repurposing an old card catalog. You can use creative labeling to provide a stylish, eye-catching storage area.
Wall storage can be very helpful in homes where space is limited or when you want to display your wine for decorative purposes. Remember to choose options that allow the wine to lay on its side to protect the corks.
Let us know on Facebook if any of these ideas work for you and if you have any additional ideas for wine storage. We’re always looking for creative ways to keep our beloved wine!