Preserve the Quality of Your Wine
with Proper Wine Storage

Storing your wine in a wine cooler or using a wine dispensing system can help prevent your favorite wine from going bad. The goal is to ensure your wine ages properly so you can fully experience the wine’s complex flavors, aromas, and textures.

Wine is made from fruit, and we have all thrown out mushy apples or brown bananas. Wine will spoil if it gets too warm, or is exposed to the air. Sometimes the wine will undergo a second fermentation after bottling which creates a slight fizz, or the cork can be contaminated with microorganisms. Some of the signs of a bad wine include:

  • A moldy or musty smell like a wet basement
  • A dessert wine taste (and it’s not a dessert wine)
  • A paint thinner taste
  • Fizz or effervescence
  • The color is too dark for a red or too golden for a white
  • The cork is slightly pushed out

If you think you have a bad bottle, it is within your right to send it back or take it back to the store. I can’t think of any company that creates and delivers a perfect product 100% of the time, can you? Wineries expect that a certain percentage of their wine will be returned.

How to Store Wine Properly

The history of wine extends to the Neolithic period (8,500-4,000 B.C.) and the first glimmerings of civilization, and the people then stored their wine in cool, dark, humid caves. Interestingly enough, wine still ages best in an environment that mimics the conditions of a cave.

Temperature, lighting, and humidity are 3 conditions that need to be controlled in order to prevent your wine from going bad.

Ideal Wine Conditions Image

Purchasing a Wine Cooler

A wine cooler, or wine chiller, can keep your wine in the right environment so that it ages naturally and maintains its integrity. Before selecting a model you should have an idea about some of the basic features you need for your unique wine collection and home bar design.

  • Maximum number of bottles you want to store
  • Dual zone option for storing red and whites separately
  • Storage location: countertop, wall mounted, freestanding, built in
  • Viewing experience: labels facing forward or not, lighting, style
  • Combined wine and beverage storage capabilities

Wine Cooler Image

Purchasing a Wine Dispensing System

If you want to keep your opened bottle of wine fresh for more than a couple of days, a wine dispenser can help keep your wine fresh for up to 3 weeks. The higher end models keep the wine refrigerated and use a gas like nitrogen or argon to displace oxygen away from the wine and limit its deteriorating effects.

Wine Dispenser Image

At a minimum, get a good stopper and don’t leave your opened bottle of wine on the counter - put it in the fridge. The cold temperature will help slow the aging process.

► Next article - Designing A Draft Beer System For Your Home Bar

 
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