Who doesn't have at least one bottle of wine, white or red, at home, just waiting to be opened for a special occasion? If not stored correctly, however, or once opened, there is a risk that the taste has not been preserved. Because in reality what is often not known is that conservation is a fundamental phase in the production and vital cycle of a bottle of wine, which allows the organoleptic characteristics to be kept intact over time. So how to store wine? What precautions should be taken into account when storing our bottles?
Here are our tips to offer a wine always good and fresh your guests and avoid nasty surprises!
How to store wine
Wine is a living product: when it enters the bottle, its life is just beginning. As we know, in fact, it evolves over time, improving (or worsening) its qualities. The wine, therefore, "ages": during the period of aging in the bottle, all the components of the wine - colour, flavour, aroma - harmonize with each other and enhance its taste. This is why it is essential to accompany the maturation of your bottles in the right way, taking into account some precise precautions for correct conservation. Let's see which ones!
The temperature of the environment in which our bottles are stored is the first element to take into consideration: it must be constant and harmful temperature changes must be avoided. It should not be too high or too low, as an excess of heat can accelerate the maturation in an uncontrolled way and make the present alcohol evaporate, while a too low temperature can cause the precipitation of the various components of the wine, increasing the sediments on the fund and blocking its evolution.
As for the wine, therefore, the proper storage temperature is between 12 and 15 °C, however keeping in mind a rule: never below 10 degrees, never above 18.
Another very important rule is: never expose the wine to direct light. In particular, sunlight triggers chemical reactions that facilitate oxidation and damage the wine. This is why your favorite labels should be kept in a place as dark as possible, away from direct light sources.
Position of the bottle
How beautiful is a wall with all the bottles in order, one after the other, with the fine labels clearly visible, resting on the shelves? Very much, but it is good to know that in reality the bottles should be stored horizontally and not vertically, precisely with an inclination of 5°. This for two reasons: the inclination causes the sediments to settle on the bottom and that the cork remains moist, preventing it from drying out and therefore allowing oxygen to enter more easily which could deteriorate the content.
Excesses are never good, even when in terms of humidity. Avoid storing bottles in too dry or humid environments: the right level of humidity is between 65% and 80%. This is because it is important to keep the cork moist and elastic, so as to prevent evaporation and, at the same time, air infiltration and mold creation inside the bottle.
Aerated environment and away from too strong smells
We have talked about temperature, light and humidity, but ventilation also plays an important role in the bottle aging phases. Unfortunately, glass is not enough to guarantee perfect impermeability from smells, which the wine therefore tends to absorb. It would be good not to store wine in the kitchen, or in other places where there may be strong odors such as detergents, chemicals or paints. Furthermore, a small ventilation reduces the possibility of moulds forming inside the bottle and that the wine absorbs unpleasant odors that alter its natural perfume.
We have seen the "how" the wine should be stored, but we have not yet talked about the "how much". How long can a bottle be stored? As we have said, every wine follows a real life cycle, and this also applies to consumption. It depends on the type of product. In general, it is possible to say that red wines, thanks to the high content of polyphenols, have more aging capacity than whites. For example, for the same vintage, a white will be consumed before a red, while as we know some reds – such as a Nobile di Montepulciano or a Montefalco Sagrantino – can be very long-lived and, indeed, over time acquire notes and nuances of even richer aromas and flavours.
Do you already follow these steps to store your favorite bottles?