Red Wine Storage Basics You Need to Know

Now you got quite a collection of vintage wines, and you are in this climactic moment of perusing for a cave or wine coolers, with little knowledge of perfect ways of storing wine. Well, most people don’t know that red wine and white wine needs separate storage. It’s not for fancy purposes or show-off, but science and some knowledge are required ahead of time.

Proper temperature is essential, especially when you intend to store it for a while. Since it’s a fragile beverage, you will consider a favorable condition to avoid any faults or damages caused by poor storage. Learn how to preserve wine so it can age gracefully, and you are guaranteed a pleasant taste.

You will be glad to camp here because this article is focusing on red wine storage basics you need to know.

Optimum Red Wine Storage Temperature

Ideal temperature range for storing red wine should be anything between 45°F to 65°F (8°C to 18°C) with the superb spot of 55°F (12°C).

Do these temperature work for short- or long-term storage? Well,

  • Wines you intend to store for more than a year, are considered long-term storage. They strictly need an ideal temperature of 55°F.
  • The shorter-term storage means wines that won’t stay for more than a year. The temperature here swings closer to the upper or lower ends of the safe spectrum. So long as they don’t wildly fluctuate between the two.

Long-Term Red Wine Storage Conditions

If you are looking for that divine taste of a nicely flavored red wine, then you need to camp here. To ensure your long-term wine ages appropriately, evolves, and improves over the years, the environment has to be right.

Shown below is how to store red wine:

  • Bottles should be on sides: Make no mistake, keep the bottle laid down always. It helps to keep the cork moist.
  • Store it away from the sun:  Avoid heat exposure to ultraviolet rays. It ruins the delicate flavors and aroma. Warm temperatures give your wine a dash of vinegar-like taste.
  • Cold and stable temperature: If kept on the right temperature of 53°F to 55°F, also eliminate the risk of fluctuating. We say Cooler temperatures because they stunt the development and evolution of volatile flavor compounds.
  • Keep track of Humidity: Ensure a humidity level of under 70%. It helps to keep corks moist, while dry corks permit air into the bottle, ruining oxidation.
  • Avoid Vibrations:  Vibrations may speed up the chemical reactions of the molecular level in the bottle as it agitates sediment in wines.

Short-Term Red Wine Storage Conditions

Unless you are among the few of those who travel a lot or have someone who does and have a pretty good taste of wine, your wine collection is most probably suited for short-term storage. Only a few classes of people can afford an aged quality wine; the vast majority of wine produced and purchased is mostly for immediate consumption.

An environment favorable for red wines you intend to consume soon should be:

  • Get a dedicated Wine Refrigerator: The majority of us obliviously store our wine in our kitchen fridge. Little do they know, the kitchen fridge temperature is not okay. There is a dedicated wine refrigerator /wine chiller that you can set to optimal storage temperature designed to retain humidity rather than drive it out.
  • Store Open Bottles Cautiously: The lifespan of an opened wine, if stored properly, is 3-5 days. To retain its usual rich taste, recork the wine again tightly and put some wax paper around the cork. Then slide it down to its original position. In case the cork gets damaged, get a rubber wine stopper or purchase a wooden one from a shop to ensure hygiene. By all means, avoid contamination. Alternatively, a vacuum pump can keep the bottle airtight.

How long can Red Wines be stored?

Did you know that not all red wines can be aged? The market today has all sorts of wine, and cheap wine does not improve its taste no matter how long you keep them. Depending on tannin content, sugar, and acidity, red wine can be stored from 2 to 10 years, while the exquisite fine red wines can go up to 100 years!

Ideal Storage Temperature for Variety of Red Wines

Red WinesTemperature (˚F)Temperature (˚C)
Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Burgundy, Barbaresco, Barbera, Barolo, Brunello, Recioto, Malbec63˚F17˚C
Vintage Port, Banyuls, Madeira66˚F19˚C
Shiraz, Zinfandel, Grand Cru Bordeaux, Ribera del Duero, Carmenere64˚F18˚C
Chinon, Sherry, Tawny Port57˚F14˚C
Pinot Noir, Merlot, Rioja, Bordeaux (Young)61˚F16˚C
Light Zinfandels, Chianti59˚F15˚C

Additional Tips to Relish Red Wine at Ideal Temperature:

Ultimately, it comes down to how you store red wine at the optimal temperature. You can control your wine’s temperature from the time you make the purchase.

The following are some tips on how to store wine at home:

  • Avoid purchasing wine from an extremely hot/cold environment. Instead, buy from a temperature-controlled facility.
  • If you’re planning to purchase wine from a far distance, or multiple wineries, bring something insulated to hold the wine. Insulated polystyrene wine carriers with ice packs on the outside of insulation are a good option.
  • In case you are traveling or driving, don’t put wine in the trunk. Keep it in the passenger part of the car where you control temperatures and consider transporting it in a Styrofoam shipping box.
  • You cannot store your wine in the car. Take it right into your home or storage.
  • Before you start to store your wine, ensure the wine cellar temperature is right. Use a cellar or a wine fridge.
  • Take a look at your wine location to avoid storing it at extremely hot or cold locations of your house. Also, avoid storing it near heat sources like furnace, dryer, oven or cooking range.
  • Consider buying a wine refrigerator for your ultimate wine collection.
  • Getting the best wine rack for your high-end collection is essential; to professionally keep your wine storage.

Keep Your Red Wine Intact! 

In conclusion, keep the integrity of wine intact by following these simple steps. Your chewy wine will thank you for every pint you take. Experience its perfect balance and flavor. Cheers!