Wine is more than a drink, it is a pleasure. We often invest heavily in it, and in order to achieve a profit, it is good to consider a number of aspects for proper storage and preservation.
Storage conditions that influence the preservation of the wine
In order to guarantee a correct aging of the wine in the bottle, it must be stored at a constant temperature between 12 ° and 16 ° degrees. Sudden or constant temperature fluctuations must be avoided.
Storage areas that are exposed to the sun or where a greenhouse effect can occur, such as the kitchen, where the wine is exposed to temperature fluctuations, and others of this type, should be avoided.
The most suitable places for wine at home, where it may be less exposed to these temperature fluctuations, are storage rooms, basement and cellar areas without air conditioning.
The control of the humidity in the air is essential for the correct preservation of the wine. Low moisture levels can cause the cork to dry out and narrow, allowing oxygen to enter the bottle and this leads to an early oxidation. If the humidity is too high, fungal bacteria can appear, which make the wine inedible.
The chosen storage location should therefore be cool and the relative humidity should be between 60 and 80%.
Light, both natural and artificial, can cause chemical reactions that change the composition of the wine and as a result, it loses its properties. The oxidation is also accelerated. The chosen location should therefore be dark.
The green colour of the bottles can help to neutralize the incidence of light in the wine between 30 and 60%.
If the bottles cannot be protected from the light, there is always the option of storing the bottles in cardboard boxes, but taking into account the thermal conductivity of the cardboard boxes.
A no less important aspect is that storage areas with strong odors should be avoided in order to prevent a change in the taste of the wine. It is ideal to choose places with good ventilation, which at the same time helps to regulate the humidity.
In which position should wine be stored?
The ideal position for the storage of still wines is horizontal, because in this way we ensure that the cork is moistened, prevent drying out and the resulting permeability and thus guarantee its sealing properties.
Sparkling wines should be stored upright, as this prevents the carbonic acid, which keeps the cork sufficiently moist, from escaping.
When storing wine, avoid having to move other bottles to access one. These unnecessary movements and vibrations should be avoided, as this affects the composition of the wine.
How long can or should a wine be stored before it is opened?
There is a popular misconception that the longer a wine is stored, the better it gets, but not all wines improve over time, nor do all wines have the same life in the bottle. For this reason, when storing a wine, one must pay attention to which ones are suitable for storage and which are intended for quick consumption.
For this reason, the following circumstances must be taken into account in order to make a correct decision: the grapes used in the production, age of the wine, time and type of ripening, vintage, place of origin and to know whether the wine has been properly stored beforehand.
In general, one can say that the storage times for each type of wine are as follows:
- Young wines: one to two years after the harvest year.
- Crianza: must be consumed within the next five years.
- Reserva and Gran Reserva: between 10 and 15 years.
How should the wine be kept open?
Once a wine is opened, it is very difficult to maintain its properties due to its oxidation. The perfect storage place is the refrigerator, even in case of red wines. The bottle must be closed, and better if this is done with special closures, or with closures that allow the bottle to evacuate. Another aspect that should be taken into account is standing upright in order to minimize the surface area exposed to oxygen.
Depending on the type of wine and its processing, the red wine can be kept for a maximum of five to six days after opening the bottle if stored properly; and white and rosé wines for a maximum of three to four days.