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Like most of the carnal pleasures wine tasting succeeds most when it is approached with patience and stamina. Central to the enjoyment of wine is its storage. To keep wine properly

stored requires a climate-controlled area with little light or vibration. There's no need to be as

precise as a science project, but certain parameters should be followed closely.

Guidelines for wine storage

These four simple rules should be followed diligently.

● Set a good temperature (cool but not too cool) – Heat is the enemy of

proper wine storage. Wine ages too quickly if it's kept above 21 degrees. It

also suffers if it dips below zero degrees celsius. If wine freezes it may

displace the cork, thus letting in air that corrupts the flavour. The optimum

temperature range is 7c to 18c. Most experts agree that 12.5c is the sweet

spot for best storage. Although keeping the wine cool is extremely important,

it's just as important not to have the temperature vary wildly. Even if you

never reach the extremes, frequent temperature fluctuations can ruin wine.

The variations cause reactions that lose the wine its flavour and body.

● Keep the humidity constant - You shouldn't store wine where it is too humid

or too dry. The humidity shouldn't exceed 70%. 50% to 60% humidity is about

right. Dampness causes mould, which can damage the cork. Dryness has a

similar effect, though only desert or arctic conditions could cause noticeable

problems in the short term.

● Keep the wine steady - Don't agitate or shake the wine. This keeps the

sediment from settling and sets off chemical reactions that may help lose its

flavour. For long term storage wine is traditionally laid on its side. That keeps

the cork from drying out and takes better advantage of the space.

● No direct light - Store the wine away from direct light, especially from the

sun or fluorescent bulbs. Ultraviolet rays make the wine react, causing it to

lose flavour and go flat.

The proper places to store wine

If at all possible your wine storage should be in a dedicated area. Here are suggestions for the

four most common choices.

● Avoid the refrigerator for long term storage - Most refrigerators operate at

about 7c, which is right at the bottom of where wine storage should be. This

isn't a problem for short-term storage, such as holiday wines or special

occasions. If you're planning to store wine for months or years, however, it's

best to have a more permanent solution.

● Improvise cupboard storage - An unused cupboard space is a perfect spot for

a wine storage area. They are usually enclosed and away from direct light.

The climate can be regulated at minimum costs, and there's usually enough

space for a moderate collection.

● Purchase a wine cabinet or cooler - A stand-alone refrigerated unit is a good

choice. The temperature and humidity can be perfectly adjusted. The unit can

be housed in a variety of settings. Many models are decorative and make a

nice addition to room décor also.

● Build a wine cellar - The traditional wine cellar is the best option for true

long-term storage. A well-built wine cellar is meant to last for decades.

Cooling units and dehumidifiers can keep the climate at an optimal level.

There's plenty of space, of course, and lighting can be installed to


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Want to explore our wine collections? Maybe you want to start fresh with your new wine

storage? Browse glorious wines and more at K&L Wines and Spirits (and we offer free shipping

on all UK mainland orders over £120)! With endless wines to choose from, we look forward to

hearing what your favourites are!