Curating a wine collection that is unique to your tastes is one of the greatest joys of learning about and appreciating wine. However, selecting and purchasing wines is only one step in the process; they also need to be stored. Wine may be stored properly for decades or even centuries, increasing in value and quality over that time. But even the best wines in the world can be ruined by bad storage.
How to Store Wine Properly
Here are some quick tricks for properly preserving wine.
- Keep wine in the right temperature range. The temperature may be the most crucial element affecting the quality of wine that is being stored. Wine will deteriorate in temperatures that are either too warm or too cold. Although it might vary from wine to wine, the best temperature for long- or short-term wine storage is generally approximately 55oF (13oC). Consult the maker for recommended serving temperatures for particular wines. No matter the variety or label, wine should never be stored above 68 °F (20 °C), which can hasten age and destroy volatile components, or below 25 °F (-4 °C), which can cause the wine to freeze. The cork can expand and contract as a result of temperature changes, which can cause the wine to leak out (or air to seep in) surrounding it. This is why it’s crucial to maintain your wine storage temperature as consistently as you can.
- Horizontally store wine bottles. Make sure to store your wine horizontally in a wine rack for bottles with corks. Because a dried-out cork can lead to seepage and early aging, keeping wine on its side helps maintain the cork moist, which is essential for long-term preservation. While horizontal storage is an effective approach to storing your wines for optimal space and simple access, screw-top wine bottles are not required to be kept on their sides.
- Shield wine from vibration and light. Keep your wine as dark as you can, whether you’re keeping it for months, weeks, or days. Direct sunlight’s UV rays can harm the flavors and aromas of the wine. Additionally, you should keep alcohol away from vibrating devices like your audio system, exercise room, and washer and dryer. Wines can age well, but the delicate process can be disturbed by vibrations that dislodge sediments in the bottle.Keep wine at the right level of humidity. Extreme humidity levels in your wine cellar or storage space can potentially shorten the shelf life of your wine. Higher humidity can cause labels to peel off the bottles, making them harder to exhibit or sell, while lower humidity might cause your corks to dry up, leaving the wine vulnerable to the impacts of oxygen. The ideal humidity range for a wine cellar is between 60 and 68 percent.
- Keep wine in a wine fridge rather than a regular refrigerator. A wine refrigerator, often referred to as a wine cooler is a fantastic solution if you don’t have access to a location for wine storage that is continuously cool, dark, and moist.A wine fridge retains wine between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 and 15 degrees Celsius) and at the right humidity level, in contrast to a regular refrigerator, which keeps food very cold and dry. (A nice refrigerator will include a champagne cooler setting.) Additionally, keeping your wine in a separate wine refrigerator helps avoid cross-contamination due to aromas from food. If price is an issue, keep in mind that wine can be an investment, in which case a nice wine freezer is a method to safeguard your investment.
- Pour Wine at the Correct Temperature. Give a stored bottle of wine enough time to warm up (or cool down) before serving it to other wine enthusiasts.This guarantees the full release of wine flavor and aroma. Between 58 to 65 °F (approximately 12-19 °C), or just below room temperature, is the ideal serving temperature for red wine. The age of the wine determines the specific temperature, with younger wines needing to be kept colder and older wines holding up better at 61-65 °F. Stronger tannic reds should be served at a higher temperature than lighter red wines, which can be served as cool as 55 F. While red wines must be served warm, white wines can and should be served cold. However, they shouldn’t be kept so cold that it mutes the scents. White wine should be cooled between 45 and 55 °F (8 and 12 °C).
White sparkling wines and sweet white wines should be served at the cooler end of that range. Champagne needs to be served at a temperature of 38–45 °F (5-8 °C).
- Keep wine bottles that are open. Properly. Wine can keep after opening for three to five days when stored properly. Recorking a wine as soon as possible and tightly will help it keep its natural attributes while increasing its shelf life. Wine should be corked again by wrapping the cork in wax paper and sliding it back into place. The wax will facilitate the cork’s insertion and guarantee that no stray pieces fall into the bottle.A rubber wine stopper can make a tight seal if recorking is not an option, such as when the cork is broken or has been thrown. Finally, a wine vacuum pump is an upgrade option for corking, allowing you to remove air from an open bottle to create an almost airtight closure.
What Are The Signs That Wine Is Bad?
Here are some indicators of a bad wine:
The wine’s color and flavor should always be taken into consideration. The wine is awful if the hue is tart. The smell will be more important than the taste.
Another indicator is the wine’s consistency. It is too old and won’t taste nice if it is hazy. Search for overripeness indicators. The wine will become less attractive as a result. Additionally, drinking the incorrect bottle of a certain wine is not advised.
The wine may have become oxidized if it smells bad. When wine is exposed to air, bacteria create acetic acid by converting the sugar and alcohol.
If the corks push out of the bottle, heat or oxygen has been introduced to the wine. The wine has been overheated if the foil seal is bulging.
Wine can become bad after it has been opened, and when it gets unpleasant, it can lose its quality. The smell of acetic acid is one of the most typical indications of sour wine.
A bad bottle of wine has an unpleasant odor. In this situation, you ought to take it out of the refrigerator right away. It’s possible that the wine has gone bad if you’re not an experienced wine drinker.
You should discard them if you see any of these symptoms. Even if it poses no risk, it ought to be thrown away. Instead, it would be beneficial if you could identify the many aromas of bad wine to prevent having a soggy newspaper mouth. This will assist you in selecting the top wine to sip. Ask your server to check the bottle if you’re unsure. The best wine to consume is never ruined wine.
Reference: Has wine gone bad?
What is the Shelf Life of Unopened Wine?
A bottle of unopened wine has a longer shelf life than a bottle of opened wine. Because of this, wine can last for a long time if it is stored properly.
Store the wine in a cool, dark location to preserve its freshness, and tip the bottle over to prevent the cork from drying out.
If properly maintained and not opened after the printed expiration date, the following is an estimation of how long various wines will last:
White wine in bottles: 1 to 2 years
Rosé in bottles: 1–2 years
Red wine in bottles: 2 to 3 years
3-5 years for non-vintage sparkling wine
5–10 years for vintage sparkling wine
Ages of fortified wine
What are the Health Hazards of Drinking Corrupt Wine?
Even while a small bit of bad wine won’t hurt you, you shouldn’t drink it in large quantities. Wine oxidation, which turns wine into vinegar, is typically the culprit behind wine deterioration. Even though it tastes terrible, it won’t likely harm you.
Food spoilage brought on by microorganisms might result in food poisoning. Although it is uncommon, this kind of spoiling does occur.
Some of the most typical warning signs and symptoms of food poisoning include the following:
If someone believes their wine has gone bad, they should throw it away right away since it will taste terrible and possibly make them sick.
What Smells Like a Bottle of Bad Wine?
A wine that has been exposed to oxidation smells sour and medicinal, like vinegar or paint thinner, and is abrasive and harsh to the nose. Check the condition of the cork if you’re not smelling it. A wine that has gone bad will have a cork with holes or that is discolored. It would be beneficial if you consistently enquired about this when purchasing wine.
The vendor can be ignorant of this circumstance and might lack the tools necessary to test the wine. If not, the vendor will need to pop the cork for you so you may check the wine’s quality.
One simple way to tell if wine is good or bad for having acetic acid in it is to smell it. The acetic acid produced by the bacteria in the wine is what gives it its vinegary, sour flavor. You’ll When it smells like rotting eggs, vinegar or cabbage, old cardboard, or even nail polish remover, you’ll notice.
Is Cheap White Wine Safe to Use in Cooking?
If a recipe calls for dry white wine, use that; if it calls for red wine, use red. Unless you don’t consume wine and the rest of the bottle would be wasted, you should ignore this rationale for buying cheap wine for cooking.
Have a backup plan. Chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are excellent options for cooking wine. Although Chardonnay is fuller-bodied and sauvignon blanc is sharper, their subtleties are lost when used as ingredients.
It is important to properly store wine to preserve its freshness and to prevent it from spoiling. High humidity can lead to the formation of mold, which is not good for wine. Wine bottles should be stored on their sides to maintain the proper internal humidity. Excessive humidity can also cause the corks to become damaged. If this happens, you can fix the problem by installing a dehumidifier.
It is also advisable to keep wine bottles away from sunlight. UV rays from the sun can prematurely age and degrade the quality of the wine. To avoid this, many vintners use colored glass bottles that block the light. These are like wine sunglasses. Another common problem is light from household bulbs, which can fade labels. If possible, use incandescent bulbs instead of fluorescent ones, which release small amounts of ultraviolet light.