Wine bottles should be stored on their side, to ensure the cork stays moist. Dry corks can become damaged, and allow your precious wine to leak out, resulting in oxidation of the contents.
Most white wines should be drunk within two years from their vintage year (the year the grapes were harvested as shown on their bottles), while many reds should be drunk within three years from their vintage date. An exception to this rule are those wines with a high tannin content, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Bordeaux, which may be stored for many years. The tannins (a natural byproduct from the grape skins) soften as the wine ages, further enhancing its flavor. Other European wines, such as some Red Burgundies, vintage Port, Champagne, and Sauternes may also improve with prolonged bottle aging.
After opening a bottle of wine, the bottle must be refrigerated. The cork should be placed back into the wine bottle, and it should last about two days in your refrigerator. Rather than just reinserting the cork, it is better to use a stopper and evacuation device. The wine should last about four days. Another solution to retard the spoilage of the partially consumed wine is to purchase a wine-preserving device that uses inert gas, and then inserting a stopper. This kind of device will allow storage of wine in the refrigerator for at least a week, so would be a good solution for very expensive wine. Click here to pruchase wine preservation accessories.
For long term storage of wine, over three years or so, the ideal environment is 55° Fahrenheit, with between 60% – 75% humidity, and an environment free from vibration. There are many wine storage solutions available for long term storage of your fine wines. For short-term storage, a cool dark space with a steady temperature is best. Temperature swings can cause damage to the wine, as can vibration. A ride in the car to a friend’s home can actually cause damage to a wine, but once set upright for awhile, the wine will return to its original condition. This phenomenon is sometimes known as “travel shock.” Wines that have a fuller body such as Cabernet Sauvignon, are less apt to be effected by travel.
Wines that benefit from long term storage include Red Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhone Style Reds. In some cases, these wines may be cellared for up to 30 years or more. Most other wines will not benefit from long term storage, and in many instances, will deteriorate with age. Most experts do not generally recommend purchasing wine for its investment value, as wine prices fluctuate over time. If you choose to do so, the large format bottles, such as Magnums, are most valuable, as their large volume allows the wine to age more slowly, thus holding their value longer. Click here to purchase wine storage cabinets.icon.