Storing Wine: Tips for Storing in a Small Place/Apartment
By Sandy Walheim, Winemaker
Many wines are enjoyed shortly after they are purchased but there are reasons to store some of the wines you buy: You find one you absolutely adore, you buy by the case, you bring wines home from vacation and you couldn't possibly drink all you buy in a single day or even a week or month. If you live in a small apartment or house, what is the best way to hold onto wines to enjoy in a few months or even several years?
What Wine Is Worth Storing?
First, if a wine comes with a screw cap, it is meant to be opened promptly and can go straight into your refrigerator. Today's consumers typically prefer enjoying their wines soon after buying them, anywhere from thirty minutes to a month or so. And this is okay!
Red wines are known, around the world, for their ability to age, a process that does not simply maintain a wine's character. A wine evolves as it ages, typically acquiring a softness to its tannins and a maturity to its fruit. For the results to be what they should be, the wine must be stored in a stable environment that is neither too cold nor too hot. It is terribly disappointing to open a bottle you've saved only to find that it has, so to speak, gone off.
Contrary to popular wisdom, many white wines also age well. Still, they change and you have to ask yourself if, for example, you've ever tasted a well-aged Riesling and, if so, did you like it?
How To Store Wine
If you are serious about aging wine, it is a good idea to invest in a small wine refrigerator. Some of the half-sized ones hold up to 48 bottles. These small refrigerators can be disguised as an end table next to a couch or chair or put in your laundry room, next to your washer if you don't have a dryer. Avoid putting it near a dryer, hot water heater or any other source of heat.
A classic storage space for wine is a closet, on the floor, not on a high shelf, as heat, of course, rises. If possible, choose a closet in the coolest part of the house.
It is best to store wine cork down. If this isn't possible, storing it on its side is the next best option. It is essential that the wine stay in contact with its cork so that the cork does not become dry.