We may love summer for the dependably warm weather and longer days (of daylight), but those very things we love also are two of the sworn enemies of wine.
Here are three simple tips that will ensure your wine is just as fresh and flavorful on the day you open it as on the day you it arrived at your home… with summertime in mind…
- Keep the bottle stored on its side.
This is important primarily if the bottle is sealed with a traditional cork. Keeping a cork moist with wine from inside the bottle will help prevent it from drying out and cracking. When a cork cracks, even slightly, air can leak into the bottle, and that can damage the wine.
That said, it should be pointed out that more and more bottles today — particularly whites, but many reds as well — are being sealed with metal screw caps instead of corks. Those bottles need not be laid down.
- Store wines at a constant temperature.
Generally speaking, about 50-55 degrees is fine for most wines — white, red, rosé or sparkling — and that means in most houses they won’t require refrigeration. Simply find the coolest place in the house and set up a makeshift “cellar.”
Just as important is that the temperature of the wines not be allowed to fluctuate widely. Temperature-controlled coolers and refrigerators are great for storing wines, but a constant temperature also can be achieved in a closet or basement in many homes.
- Keep wine bottles away from bright light.
That goes not only for direct sunlight that shines through windows, but also lighting you may use in a home office or built-out basement.
Bright light, just like too much temperature fluctuation, can damage wine. Ideally, find a place in your house that never sees “the light of day,” and use that for storing your bottles.
While you enjoy your summer, don’t forget to protect your wine.