How to store wine: guidelines

come conservare il vino, how to store wine

There are some golden rules on how to store wine once it is bottled. In fact, to get to an excellent final product that has all the required organoleptic properties, texture and density over time, it is essential to follow a storage process that takes into account many factors.


In fact, once the wine has matured in the barrels, the wine must be bottled and placed in rooms with particular characteristics in order to preserve its qualities or improve them over time.


Any mistakes made at this final stage would result in the wine taking on undesirable characteristics, thereby irreparably compromising the final product.


If the right precautions are taken in the cellar, the resulting wine will have all the characteristics of the finest wines. Here are some tips on where and how to store wine for the best results. 


How to store bottled wine: the characteristics of a perfect cellar

how to store wine


The right place to store wine is an environment with specific physical characteristics. The following list describes how to store wine bottles, taking into account the six requirements that the perfect wine cellar must have.


Light: Wine is sensitive to solar radiation. As wine is the result of a fermentation process, exposure to light can trigger chemical oxidation reactions that convert the characteristic elements of wine into other unpleasant substances, altering its taste, smell, and texture. Therefore, the bottles of wine should be stored preferably in a dark place, or at least protected from light sources using wooden boxes.


Humidity: The storage environment must be kept at a humidity level of between 65% and 75%. Once this threshold is exceeded, this could lead to the formation of mould and bacteria, which, as a result, would damage the wine. Dry air, on the other hand, accelerates oxygen exchange, and, if left in the barrels, evaporating water will compromise the desired alcohol levels.


Temperature: Wine must be stored at a temperature between 11 °C and 18 °C. This depends on the type of wine being stored. White wine generally requires lower storage temperatures than red wine, between 8 °C and 12 °C.


Storage angle: the preferred inclination is 5°, as this not only enables the sediments to separate and decant, but also helps keep the liquid in contact with the cork, preventing oxygen exchange and preserving its aroma.


Indeed, bottled wine is an evolving product and any external factor that could alter the balance in terms of maturation may compromise the quality of the final product.

In addition to the physical parameters, the storage environment must also take into account these factors:


Smells: neutral smells should be a must in the wine cellar, because it must not be jeopardized by external smells and odours, as wine has a tendency to absorb them.


Vibrations: vibration and movement of the bottles should be avoided, because they compromise the balance of the molecules of the wine by releasing them and thus disrupting the maturation process.


What is the best temperature for storing wine?


Temperature is a very important factor to consider when the product is bottled. It is possible to find on the market wine coolers with temperature controls that are ideal for storing all types of wine. In fact, both red and white wine must be kept at a constant temperature to maintain their organoleptic properties over time. Temperature fluctuations should always be avoided as changes in temperature will affect the volume of the liquid or the massive precipitation of sediment on the bottom.


Red wine

Generally, the ideal temperature for red wines varies between 12 and 18 °C, 


White wine

The ideal store temperature for white and rosé wines stands between 8 and 12 °C.


Sparkling wine

Prosecco and other sparkling white wines should be stored at a temperature of around 4-6 °C.  


How to store red wine? And what is the ideal temperature to store it?

how to store wine

The first rule on how to store red wine is to get as close as possible to the conditions of an optimal cellar.
Moreover, one must take into account different factors:


Temperature: The ideal temperature for storing red wine is between 12 °C and 18 °C. For young wines, the best storage temperature varies between 12 °C and 14 °C, while mature wines should be stored between 14 °C and 18 °C. The minimum temperature for red wines must never fall below 11 °C and never exceed 20 °C.


Humidity: Humidity must be between 65 and 75%. 


Light: Red wine is much more sensitive to sunlight than white wine, reason why it should always be kept in dark places or at least away from excessive light sources. The colour of the bottle is usually dark, precisely to prevent light from penetrating it. 


The preferred storage angle for the bottles is 5º for any type of wine, but if the wine has aged, it can also be stored horizontally, as long as the cork touches the liquid. 

Furthermore, movements and shifts of the bottles should be avoided, as they tend to loosen the components of the liquid.


How to store white wine?

As mentioned before, the best temperature to store white wine is between 8 °C and 12 °C. In most cases, the bottles do not need to be dark: white wine tends to be less sensitive to UV rays than the red one, even though one might still need to take some precautions in order to protect it. One last factor to take into account when storing white wine is humidity, which must stay between 60% and 70%.