Wine Storage is important. Between the financial investment in wine, and the fact that some wines benefit from aging over time means that the storage of wine and how to store wine are important factors.
This post details what you need to know in regards to wine storage plus a full review of the NewAir 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler.
Thank you to NewAir for the free product! We’ve been using NewAir products for over 2 years and love them (compared to the several wine fridges we’ve gone through over the last 20 years).
I get asked often about wine storage, and whether it matters. This round up is long, but goes into detail about storing wine and our favorite storage option and a wine cooler to consider.
Is Wine Storage Important?
Heat is the #1 enemy of wine, well that and temperature fluctuation (hot, then cool, then hot, then cool again, and so on…). Warmer temperatures will prematurely age a wine, and if a wine gets too hot it could spoil it (think turning it into vinegar).
These temperature fluctuations will create chemical reactions that will ultimately spoil wine.
Light is also a factor to consider. Too much direct sunlight can also spoil a wine (so keep your wine away from any direct sunlight or bright indoor lights!).
Your kitchen counter, or above your refrigerator, are NOT the best places to store your wine.
Why Store Wine?
- If you’re starting to collect, beyond just a few bottles here or there that you plan to consume within a few weeks of purchase, and you live in an apartment or home with no basement (where you might find dark, cool, consistent temperatures with some humidity), it may be time.
- Storing wines for a longer period of time (beyond a few weeks or months) means keeping the storage temperature of the wine stable. If temperatures fluctuate a lot between the winter months and summer, this will affect the quality of your wine. Your kitchen refrigerator is too cold for long-term storage, and your cupboards can be too warm. Remember, wines are also sensitive to light and humidity, so keeping them, say, near a window with direct light could damage the wine.
- Basically, if you’re spending your hard earned money on nice bottles of wine you plan to save for any length of time (beyond the weekend) and enjoy with someone special, you should put equal investment in where you plan to store said wine.
Wine Storage Temperature
Ideally, your wine will benefit most from cooler and consistent temps (around 50 – 65 degrees F). While we highlight target temperatures, the most important is consistency and keeping it on the cool side.
This goes back to European days when the wineries would store the bottles in old basements or cellars that were consistently cool and slightly humid.
Humidity also matters. Too dry and the corks can dry out, causing oxidation in the wine (premature spoilage). Too humid and mold can develop on older bottles which can cause flavor profile issues when opening them.
White Wine Storage Temperature
In general store white wine at 46 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The average kitchen fridge is 36 degrees, so finding a way to keep white wines at 46 – 50 degrees F is great.
Red Wine Storage Temperature
Red wine is best stored at cellar temperature or 56 – 65 degrees F. We target 56 degrees F in our personal collection of reds.
Serving Temperature for Wine
This is a personal preference and can vary by varietal, but generally white wines are best served coming out of a fridge temperature of 36 degrees (maybe a few degrees warmer, to allow the aromas to open up. Too cold and you can’t smell the fruit in the wine).
We like red wines at slightly above cellar temperature (but below room temperature) or roughly 62 – 65 degrees F. But that is really geeking out. In the end drink it the way you like it.
Types of Wine Storage Options
The goal of any storage is to maintain that consistent temperature and humidity. Below are some common storage scenarios.
This can be any part of your house based on where you live. Wine storage, with no other options like a rack or cooler, are best in the part of the home that has consistent temperature and less light that can pierce the bottle.
- Basements – The most ideal setting, as they are typically low light, lower temperature and have more stable humidity. However not all homes have basements (our home doesn’t).
- Closets – Closets are a great place if you are in an apartment or condo. They are dark, and minimize light, and can be more temperature stable.
Wine Storage Racks
You can always use racks, but racks require building out, or buying pre-made kits and a larger space for storing the kits. These are great for those with an extra room or basement, especially if you have a larger number of bottles. Check out Wine Enthusiast for some Q and A on wine racks.
Wine Coolers or Wine Refrigerators
Wine coolers come in various sizes and are some of the best options for any type of space.
- Single-Zone – These have one temperature control and are a great starting place for a collection. These are best set at 56 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dual-Zone – These coolers have two zones. We set the cooler zone up top (46 degrees for white wines and sparkling) and the warmer zone on the bottom (56 degrees for red wines).
- Multi-Zone – In some circumstances you can get three zone units, but these are significantly more expensive. Instead of a multi-zone, consider getting two single or dual-zone units.
Best Wine Cooler – New Air 24″ Stainless Steel 45 Bottle Dual Zone
This one reminds me of our very first fridge we ever purchased and loved and used for over a decade, but about half the size. It sports the dual temperature feature, which is super convenient. It has a capacity of 46 bottles, and more importantly, fits most sized bottles, including sparkling bottles (which many wine fridges do not fit due to their wide base!).
- It’s quiet and energy efficient.
- The beech wood shelves are sturdy and easily slide out smoothly.
- It actually fits sparkling and Pinot Noir (Burgundy) larger size bottles. No other fridge we’ve had (except our very first one, which is no longer in production) easily accommodates larger/thicker bottles. Most are made for thin Bordeaux-sized bottles. While the thicker bottles don’t go in 100% smoothly in this fridge, you can alternate (like the photo below) to allow for those thicker bottles to slide in and out). Bottom line, it fits those larger bottles (while most other fridges in this price range don’t).
Sommelier Tip – When reviewing coolers, see if they can fit both Bordeaux (thinner) and Burgundy (wider) bottles. This will impact total storage capacity.
NewAir has many options and sizes for coolers, the one we enjoy most has the SKU NWC046BS00, or simply click on this link to go straight to it.
We are also thrilled to offer a 20% off discount code for the NewAir Products. Use code 20VINDULGE at checkout for 20% off the retail price!
(Not subject to sale prices or other offers.)
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