Wine Storage Essentials:


It takes a lot of time, investment, care and passion to build a wine collection. Thus, it is not a surprise that a wine collection is a source of pride and joy for every collector. However, many collectors do not put a similar kind of effort into wine storage, and as a result, their wine collection starts falling apart.

Many wine collectors fail to acknowledge that wine is perishable, unlike other assets. You cannot lock it up in a cellar and forget about it. A wine bottle will be of little value to the collector if it has suffered spoilage or hasn’t been documented properly.

Another reason why a wine collection starts falling apart is because a collector loses track of their wines. By the time it strikes them that a perfectly aged wine is lying somewhere in their collection, and they try to retrieve it, the wine might be well past its prime. To avoid being in such a situation, every collector should take out time to maintain their wine collection.

Here are some tips for better wine storage

1. Maintain proper storage temperature and humidity:

The correct temperature to store wine is between 10-14 °C. Wine cellars should also maintain a humidity of 55-75 percent to prevent wine bottle corks from drying up (which could result in spillage or spoilage).

Invest in a good quality wine cooler or cellar (in case of a large wine collection) as it will also protect your precious wines from exposure to direct sunlight and vibrations.

2. Track how your wines are ageing:

You bought a wine that’ll reach its prime in ten years. This doesn’t mean that you put it in a storage unit and forget about it for a decade. Improper storage conditions, which include hot surroundings, can speed up a wine’s ageing process by as much as four times. That’s why it is important to check on your cellar and wines frequently.

3. Organise your cellar:

A wine lost in a collection is as good as a wine spoiled. Maintaining an organised cellar from the start pays off in the longer run. You can arrange your wines on the basis of price points, regions, styles, vintage or producer. Just stick to the process of your choice. If you have a large wine collection you can use inventory apps and tags to keep a tab on it.

4. Keep those documents in order too:

Every vintage that you invest in will come to you with a set of documents for its authentication. If you want your wine to retain its value, make sure that you preserve these documents properly and in an order that is easy to keep track of.

5. Keep some, drink some:

Wines are not meant to be preserved in cellars forever. Some wines require a much shorter ageing period, so make sure they are consumed before their prime. Opening a bottle of fine wine every now and then will also be a good reminder of why you started collecting wines in the first place.

6. Think Ahead:

Wine collection involves a lot of planning, and it isn’t limited to cataloguing your wines. As a collector, you must think ahead and strategise accordingly. Why are you collecting wines? What percentage of wines in your collection do you plan to consume? How long do you plan to age your premium wines? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you come up with a solid wine-cellaring strategy.

7. Clean your wine storage unit:

Be it a cellar or a cooler, any machine that you use to store your wines should be cleaned from time to time so that it can maintain optimum storage conditions. If your wine cellar has come equipped with an air filter, ensure that you replace it on a yearly basis to maintain the humidity and air quality in your storage unit. If your cellar has a drip tray, check it every few months to prevent the build-up of excessive water. Also, make it a habit to wipe down the coils and interior of your cooler cabinet regularly.

If you want to learn more about the principles of wine storage, then pursue a WSET Level 2 Award from the Sonal Holland Wine Academy and our experienced educators will guide you every step of the way. Click here to learn more.