As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, the temperature at which a wine is stored (and served) can bring out the best (or worst) of a given bottle, but an entire wine collection can be at stake if “ideal” storage temperatures are not maintained. Many big collections have been unnecessarily damaged because of such unstable temperatures. For example, temperatures above 65ºF encourage wine to age too quickly, causing their flavor and balance to suffer in the process. Contrariwise, cellars that are too cold cause wines to lose their characteristic aromas and flavors. Rapid temperature fluctuations, too, can damage a wine’s cork and, thus, the wine as well.
Though the common temperature range for storing red wine has been between 50ºF and 55ºF, with whites stored as low as 45ºF, wine cellar expert David Spon (and Vintage Cellars!) recommends keeping a cellar at 55ºF, and at 60% to 75% humidity. If the air is too humid, mold can grow and even damage your cellar’s wood. If too dry, corks can crack. David also notes that some people keep their cellars a little bit warmer if they store mostly young wines, and slightly cooler if their collections consist of older ones (since wines age more slowly in colder temperatures.)
If you don’t want to see your wine collection ruined, it’s a good idea to invest in a decent wine cellar or specially-crafted wine storage cabinet. Stylish wine cellars can be built easily and affordably using designer wine racks or traditional redwood wine racks. Wine storage cabinets, like regal wine credenzas, also offer affordable (and classy) options. Remember to store wine horizontally to keep the cork moist, and never freeze a bottle of wine! When stored properly, and at the ideal temperature, your wine collection will age gracefully and provide anticipated delight.
Want to learn more about the correct storage conditions for your wine? Head over to the Wine Storage Education Center to read more about temperature, humidity, cooling systems and more. We've even done separate articles on the right storage conditions for red wine, white wine and sparkling wine/Champagne.