Wine storage has not been scientifically researched into, for several reasons. One, the research may take up to decades to testify, fine wines often take years or decades to develop inside the bottle. Secondly, it is extremely expensive to conduct an experiment using fine wines and storing them for a long time, not to mention bottle variation. We can only follow other wine experts and collectors’ advise from their experience.
For those of us who hasn’t got a wine cellar, we can only think of economical ways of storing wines at home without affecting the wines. Here are several factors in storage that can affect the wine:
Temperature – The most important factors of all. Temperature affects the maturation of wine in bottle. Too cold the wine can freeze and forces the cork out. Too hot and the chemical rate of reaction increases, causing undesirable flavours of “cooked” wines. The ideal storing temperature is 10°C -15°C with less than 5°C change throughout the year.
Visible/UV radiation – Intense light can adversely affect the taste of wines. Leaving the wine on the windowsill can damage the wine quickly, especially for sparkling wines. Advise: Keep wines in the dark.
Humidity – This factor only affects cork closure wines, not screw cap closure wines. If the amount of water in the air is low (low humidity), the cork can dry out in a few years and does not work as effectively, more oxygen is able to “leak” into the bottle through the dry cork and affect wine maturation. Advise: Put a bowl of water next to your wine boxes.
Vibration – The one thing that most of us can do nothing about. Low/no vibration would not disturb the wine sediment. Advise: Put a shock absorber matt or cloth underneath wine boxes.
Best place to store wine: Cold dark closet, attic, corner of a room away from radiators and external walls
Worst place to store wine: Kitchen, garden shed, above the fridge