How Long Can You Store Wine?
Wine is a simple life pleasure that (admittedly) we’ve been enjoying a bit more during these uncertain times! Accumulating a personal collection of wine is the easy part, but what are the next steps in storing your supply? How long can you store wine? Whether you plan to keep your wine collection in one of our amazing wine storage vaults or in a wine cellar at home, take note of this safe and sustainable wine storage advice!
So, let’s get right to it: how long can you store wine?
The answer to this question is complicated and can vary depending on several elements including the temperature and humidity levels of the environment in which you plan to store the wine. Wine is known for its aging process, but not all wine is meant to age. In fact, the vast majority of wine won’t last more than 18 months or so. The average bottled red wine can last up to three years in storage, and the average bottled white wine can only be stored on a shelf for one to two years. However, this rule does not apply to wines designed to be aged. Many fine wines owned by collectors require a controlled aging process for it to reach its maturity.
To see the true potential of a fine wine meant for aging, it is essential to store it in an environment designed to preserve it. Our wine storage vaults are designed for you to store your wine for the long haul, years in fact. Aging wine is an art; if you plan to store a wine for more than a year, it is essential for you to put it in a proper environment, such as one of our wine storage vaults. The exact amount of time your wine needs in storage depends on the type of wine and its expected majority date. Because different wines vary significantly in their complexity and their aging reaction process, it’s impossible to pinpoint an exact date of how long wine in general may last in storage. While the duration of wine storage varies significantly on the wine type and brand, there is one thing all experts agree: if you do not store your wine in the correct environment, it WILL not age well.
What temperature should you store wine?
Most wines are composed of a delicate, but complex, mix of amino acids, phenols, carbohydrates, and other chemical components. The wine aging process is a chemical reaction that varies significantly by external factors, most specifically the temperature in which it is kept. While the rules on what temperature to store your wine may differ among wine types, the number one rule is to keep it cool. Warm temperatures will spoil your wine, so the ideal temperature is around 55°F (this is the temperature maintained in our vaults, thanks to the advice of experts who designed them). In general, fine wines that are allowed to age slowly (in the ideal temperature), have a greater potential to develop a complex and aromatic bouquet.
How does humidity impact wine storage?
Maintaining proper humidity is an essential component to proper wine storage. Ideally, the humidity should fall somewhere between 50 and 70 percent in your wine storage space. If you live in a dry climate, the dry air will dehydrate the corks. When corks begin to dry, oxygen enters the bottle and spoils the wine through oxidation. This is why wine should not be kept in a refrigerator, since the refrigeration process often includes dehumidifying. We can’t emphasis this enough: staying within the ideal 50-70% humidity range will help ensure the cork and wine remain in prime condition. Stop by and check out the humidity in one of our vaults; you can bet it’s between 50 and 70%.
How does moving your wine impact the aging process?
Research has shown vibrations to have a negative impact on preserving wine. That’s why we recommend shipping your wine directly to your wine vault to minimize the amount of time the wine is in transport, especially red wine.
What lighting conditions will help preserve wine?
Another storage element to consider is light control. Keeping your wine in the dark as much as possible helps avoid harmful UV rays from direct sunlight that can damage the nature of the wine’s flavor in the long run. A solution to home storage is boxing your wine as a shield from light exposure. If you plan to use one of our wine vaults, our lighting system is already designed to minimize exposure and maximize preserving your wine.
Do you need to store wine horizontally?
Wines are stored on their side to help prevent the cork from drying out. When wine is stored in the ideal humidity range of 50-70%, it is usually not necessary to store the wine horizontally because the cork is already protected. Some wines, such as champagne or sparkling wines, actually age better if they are kept upright.
How long can you store open bottles of wine?
Even while using these proper storage techniques, an open bottle of wine will only last about 3-5 days after re-corking. If you’re having difficulty recorking your bottle, try wax paper around the edge.
All of that being said, cheers to proper wine storage and ensuring you preserve your collection as best as possible!