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How to Store Wine- Best Practices to Keep in Mind

Updated: Oct 30, 2023


Image of a woman holding a bottle of wine in a wine cellar. This image depicts proper storage methods for wine.

It’s no secret that wine requires a lot more attention than other beverages. Because wine is so complex, it’s important to understand the best ways to treat your bottle of wine, both before opening and after opening. If you want to have the best glass of wine at home, you will want to make sure that you are storing your wine properly.

Many people are unsure of how to store wine, and there are many factors that you will want to take into consideration when choosing a place in your home to store your wine bottles. At Wine Tours by Design, we commonly share wine storage strategies with our clients. Here are some of our best tips for storing wine.

The Ideal Conditions for Storing a Bottle of Wine

Before you find a cozy spot for your wine bottle, you need to make sure that the wine will be stored in the proper conditions. The two main conditions you will want to take note of are light exposure and temperature. As mentioned in our How to Transport Wine blog, heat and sunlight can drastically alter the taste and smell of wine. Wherever you store your bottle of wine, you want to make sure that it’s out of the sun and in a relatively cool space.

One thing to keep in mind, regarding light exposure, is the color of the wine bottle. Clear wine bottles can only last for three hours in the sun. Green wine bottles can last for about 18 hours in the sun. Though green bottles are preferred if you’re going to store your wine bottle in a brighter space, we still recommend that you find a place to store your wine that’s dimly lit and out of the sun.

In terms of temperature, we’ve found that the ideal temperature range for storing a bottle of wine is 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit. However, 55 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal. It is also important to note that the more humid the environment is, the happier your bottle of wine will be.

As long as you are mindful of light exposure and temperature, you should be able to find a happy and healthy place to store your bottle of wine. When in doubt, look for a location in your home that matches these conditions:

  • Cool

  • Dark

  • Humid

It’s important to note that wine is best when it’s kept still. We recommend keeping the bottle still until you’re ready to open it. Some people say to rotate wine on occasion, but we advise against this. Even wineries keep their bottles still until it’s time for the wine to either be moved or shipped.

How to Store Wine at Home

At Wine Tours by Design, we have two main rules for storing wine at home.

  1. Leave the wine bottle on its side.

  2. Leave the wine bottle alone, as mentioned above.

One of the biggest reasons why you want to leave wine on its side is so that the cork doesn’t dry out. If wine is stored upright, the cork is only exposed to air, which can cause the cork to dry out and crumble. Trust us—the last thing you want is for the wine to spoil or for the cork to crumble in your wine!

Additionally, wine is best kept in a still state. Storage areas that are exposed to a lot of movement or vibrations can cause chemical imbalances in wine, throwing off the taste and aroma. It’s even more important that older wines (10 years or older) are kept in a still state, otherwise the sediment can be disturbed, causing cloudiness and grittiness in the wine.

How to Store Leftover Wine

We can’t stress this enough—don't keep your leftover wine on the kitchen counter. Instead, please store your wine in the refrigerator. Though the coolness of the fridge won’t stop the oxidation process, it certainly will slow it down, helping you to savor your wine a bit longer.

Most wines last 5-7 days after being recorked and placed in the fridge. To maximize your wine’s shelf life, we also recommend recorking your wine immediately after opening to preserve its freshness.

Learn How to Make the Most of Your Wine Bottle

Wine Tours by Design offers basic wine classes and numerous resources to help you become a wine pro! If you’re interested in learning more about the wonderful world of wine, feel free to reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you!

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