How to store wine

You've been keeping your wine where? For how long? If your wine could speak it would surely be asking for counselling by this stage, or at the very least a package holiday in a musty cellar in the Home Counties somewhere. Clearly, you need help on how to store wine - we are here for you. Whole books, lectures and PHD's have been dedicated to this subject, but in true Tasting Quarter style, we'd like to give you the low down in this article under 500 words. There are really just four golden rules in wine storage. The Four Golden Rules 1. Keep the bottle on its side The majority of fine wines (which are usually the wines with the capacity to age) are still closed traditionally with a cork. It's very important to keep the cork moist, so let the wine rest on its side. Resist the temptation to parade your maturing wine in front of your friends in your living room. It's a delicate creature, and this fools around with the sediment nicely collecting along the wine's belly. 2. Make sure your bottle is not too hot, or too cold Fluctuating temperatures in particular are very bad for wines, and should be avoided. Ideal storage conditions are about 8-14 degrees centigrade (ideally 9-10). 3. Keep the wine away from bright light Wines, like Gremlins, are terrible with bright light. Keep your wine in darkness and it's sure to repay you handsomely for your thoughtfulness. 4. And if your wine is picking up good vibrations Turn these off. Try if possible to keep your wine away from your dishwasher, spin dryer, or any other household appliance that just can't stay still. (Oh, and a word about humidity) A relative humidity of about 70% is generally thought to keep corks suitably damp whilst also keeping labels mould-free. And if you don't trust yourself If you've got some seriously expensive stuff, and it's apparent you don't have the right storage conditions, it's often a good idea to consider a wine warehouse or storage facility or a a temperature and humidity controlled wine cabinet (if you don't have too many bottles). Wine cabinets There are a number of wine cabinets on the market. We have long been fans of EuroCave, a long established, quality conscious pioneer in this area - available via Amazon here. Wine warehouses and wine storage facilities Remember these warehouses will not accept a single bottle, but will accept full cases (ie 12 bottles). Charges can be surprisingly affordable, and if you have plans to sell your wine in the future this can help in your asking price. Finally, a word about maturity The majority of wines available for sale are designed to be drunk within 1 to 2 years of purchase. If the wine you are buying is capable of ageing, the wine merchant should be able to let you know when it is good to consume. Happy drinking.

Pip Martin is the Founder of The Tasting Quarter, a Corporate Wine Tasting & Specialist Events Company. After management positions in Harrod’s Foodhall, Pip became Corporate Events Manager at Richard Branson’s online wine merchant, Virgin Wines, where he hosted over 200 wine events in a little over 15 months for companies including BBC, Morgan Stanley, PricewaterhouseCoopers and JP Morgan. Since 2002, via The Tasting Quarter, Pip and his team have produced and hosted tastings in Spain, Russia and South Africa and co-hosted events in Ireland, Holland, Belgium, France, Denmark and Switzerland for groups of 10 to 3000+. He has run virtual, hybrid and AI augmented tastings for companies including AVMI, Oracle, Adobe, Google and Cisco. He also counts all the Magic Circle law firms in the UK as repeat clients for in-person events. Pip’s media work has included wine presenting on Sky One’s Taste programme and BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen. Writing credits include wine articles for Condé Nast’s Gourmet Travel and Esquire.