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How to store your wine

How do you store the wine you have just bought? And how to store your wine that has been opened during a meal? 

The world of wine has fascinated me for a few years. I will give you the answers as precisely as possible.

In this article, we will see:

  • How to store wine that has already been opened
  • How to store wine at home

After reading this, you will know exactly what to do with your bottles! Without further ado, let’s get started.

How to store a wine that has already been opened

It is not uncommon that at the end of your meal, your bottle of wine is not finished. Maybe few of you drank, or you just wanted to save some for yourself later. In any case, never force yourself to finish a bottle so as not to “waste”.

Whatever the reason, now you need to close your bottle. But how? 

The enemy of your wine is oxygen. The more oxygen there is in the bottle, the more likely you are to oxidize your wine and turn it into vinegar. As you can see, the emptier the bottle, the faster the wine will spoil.

Avoid absolutely leaving the bottleneck open. For small budgets, there are single cork models sold in supermarkets (often in batches), in the wine section or in the kitchen utensil section. These are small corks with a cap on top to handle it. These caps can of course be reused several times and allow the bottle to be protected to a minimum.

If you don’t have this kind of cork, you can also try to re-cork your wine bottle with the original cork, but the exercise is a bit complex and sometimes requires you to reuse a corkscrew to remove it (which may cause pieces of cork to fall into the bottle).

Do not hesitate to cork your wine with a classic cork. Know that by putting a cork on your wine, it will still keep for several days.

Cork to recap a bottle
Cork to recap a bottle

How long can an opened bottle keep

  • A red wine will keep for an average of 3 days before becoming average or bad. If it starts to turn, you can still use it for cooking.
  • A white or rosé wine kept in the fridge will keep for an average of 2 to 3 days with a cork before becoming too acidic and without aromas.
  • A champagne will retain its bubbles for only one day.

There are more and more accessories to keep your wine longer, in better conditions.

For a budget of 5 to €15, you can treat yourself to a cap to pump air inside the bottle. The result is obviously not perfect, because emptying all the oxygen from a bottle is a complex exercise, nevertheless this kind of original accessory will allow you to keep your wine 1 or 2 days longer

For much higher budgets (more than €100), there are also models much more kits that create a vacuum in the bottle by injecting gas. This allows you to keep your wine for more than a week without any problem.

Concerning champagnes, there is a fairly well-known model of metal cork, which clips onto the neck, allowing the bubbles to be kept for up to one more day. Alas, the technique of putting a spoon down the neck never worked.

How to store a closed wine

If you have just bought or been offered a bottle, storage is immediately easier. 

Obviously, not everyone has a suitable wine cellar for storing these precious nectar. However, there are a few rules to know to best preserve your bottles.

Bouteilles de vin rangées
Wine bottles arranged

In which position to store your wine

Always store your bottles horizontally. By storing them in this way, you allow the cork stopper to remain in contact with the liquid and thus to moisten it. A bottle kept upright for several years will possibly have a crumbling cork which will be particularly difficult to open properly (unfortunately, experience).

Keep your bottle of wine in the shade

Avoid the light. Large cellars are often plunged into darkness, it is no coincidence that light is an enemy of conservation. This can deteriorate the color and even the taste, so avoid it. Storing your bottles in a cupboard will always be more desirable than displaying them in your kitchen. You can also hide them under a sheet if no closet is available.

What temperature to store your wine

A stable temperature is ideal. It is customary to say that a wine must be kept at a temperature of around 10°, but this is obviously difficult without an appropriate cellar. In reality, a wine can be kept well in a room that varies between 6° and 20°. However, rapid and extreme temperature changes should definitely be avoided. As a result, avoid putting your bottles near a heat source, such as a fireplace or an oven. In the summer, try to find a cool place for your bottles, such as a garage, attic or under stairs

Where to keep your wine

A quiet, odor-free environment is important. It is ideal that your bottles are not shaken too much by vibrations or the like so as not to agitate the contents. Likewise, a room with a bad smell can bring strange aromas to your wine. A constant smell of cardboard over several years can bring cardboard aromas to your wine, which is why it is often sold and stored in wooden boxes.

What humidity level to keep your wine

Stable and not too low humidity. If the humidity in your storage location is too low, the corks can dry out and the wine evaporates. Conversely, too high humidity can cause mold on the cork (quite rare all the same). A humidity of 70 to 90% is ideal.

Once your bottles are in a good environment to be stored, you have nothing to worry about.

How to store your wine in a garage?

Many people with a garage like to keep them there. Indeed, the temperature is generally cool all year round, so there is no shortage of space. In addition, humidity is often good for the preservation of wine.

Keeping your wine in a garage is therefore a good idea. Do not hesitate to store your bottles in wooden crates or in wooden, metal or even terracotta storage. Avoid leaving your bottles in a box.

How to store wine for a long time

As we have just seen, keeping a wine, even for several years, is not just a question of having a good cellar or not. You can very well use your environment to create a cozy nest for your bottles. Having a cellar is obviously a luxury, but it is not essential to store your bottles.

Similarly, keeping an already opened bottle is not impossible, especially if you have a few accessories accessible to everyone.

Thank you for reading and I hope you can keep your wines in the best possible environment!

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