When it comes to wine storage, many will think that it is the same as spirits or beer storage. However, due to its different ingredients and sensitivity, it can spoil quickly. Fine wine collections that are made and bottled to improve with age need a proper long term wine storage system.
How Does Wine Storage Differ from Spirits or Beer Storage?
When wine collectors or commercial outfits are aging wines, they make careful consideration to how they are stored. This is much different than spirits storage. Brown and clear spirits can be kept in any moderate environment as long as it’s not exposed to direct sunlight. Temperature control is unnecessary.
Beer is somewhere in between wine and spirits storage. Most beers do not benefit from aging and are ready to drink. The only reason to keep them stored in a cool environment is that cold beer tastes better. However, some beers will benefit from long-term aging. These beers typically come from microbreweries, are darker in nature, and may even have a component of spontaneous fermentation. If a beer is brewed with spontaneous fermentation it is important to keep its temperature and humidity controlled so the fermentation process is carried out smoothly. Apply the following tips for fine wine and high-end beer storage.
Keep Wine and Beer Out of the Light
You might notice that many wine bottles and glass beer bottles are tinted to keep light out of the bottle. Green or brown shades will tint the glass. This practice helps defer light from reaching the bottle but is not 100% effective. Keep wine and beers in a dark environment with minimal light exposure. Whatever light exposure does happen should contain minimal UV rays.
Create a Space with Consistent Temperatures
In a perfect world, the area you store your wine or beer will be around 55-56 degrees to delay chemical reactions. By keeping wine and beer at a consistent temperature you allow the liquid to age smoothly rather than too rapid or too slow.
If you have previous beer or wine at home, make sure to keep it away from heat sources like a boiler, air conditioning, heating vents, laundry appliances, etc.
How Should Wine and Beer be Positioned While in Storage?
Often, people store wine and beer upright since that’s the natural orientation. However, you should store wine sideways if it is capped with a cork. Storing the bottle sideways will keep the cork wet and prevent it from drying out in case the environment becomes too dry.
Many collectors will also store their bottles upside down. This will achieve the same effect of keeping the corks wet but make sure whatever case you are storing the bottles in can withstand weight on that side of the box. Often, collectors will invert the bottles and the cardboard case they are storing may fall apart later. You do not store wine for years only to have the bottle shatter when you go to grab it!
Maintain Humidity for Superior Results
As you learned from the previous tips, moisture is important for storing beer and wine. Proper moisture levels will keep the label in good condition, keep the cork in good condition, and prevent any mold from accruing. The ideal humidity is around 55 to 70%. However, I prefer storage in the 55 to 65% range due to the greater risk associated with a wet environment. If your storage area begins growing mold that can become extremely troublesome to get rid of. Most environments will trend towards the dry, but it depends on many factors.
No matter if it is wine or beer, make sure to keep it stored properly so it can reach its full potential.