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WINE STORAGE 101

Proper Wine Storage

Whether your wine collection consists of a few bottles or a thousand, your wine investment could be rendered worthless without proper storage. Wine is alive, and like any living thing, it requires the proper habitat and nurturing to mature and age gracefully. Like the rest of us, wine evolves best under the right, healthy conditions.

So, what can you do to ensure that your favorite vintage remains intact? Simple: store your wine properly. To help you set up the wine storage that's right for you and your wine, we've provided answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about wine storage.

Why is wine stored on its side?

Wine must be stored on its side to keep the cork moist. A wet cork forms a tight seal and helps insure freshness.

Why shouldn't bottles be stacked together?

For proper development and maturity, wine should be placed on racks, allowing air flow between bottles.

Another imporant consideration is vibration. Wine bottles that are stacked together are subject to frequent motion and vibration as bottles are moved in search of the bottom bottle. Vibration can upset the equilibrium of the wine, and cause it to throw off sediment early resulting in spoilage.

What other elements ruin wine?

Temperature - Optimum temperature for strong wine is around 55 degrees F. Lower temperatures can slow development and higher temperatures can prematurely age wine.

Humidity - Ideal humidity for wine storage is 60% to 70%. Higher humidity can encourage growth of mold, and lower humidity can cause corks to dry out.

Light - Ultraviolet light can be an enemy to wine, causing it to spoil.

Of course, not everyone requires a wine cellar. But whether your wine collection requires an extravagant wine cellar or modest countertop storage system, taking a few important steps will help your wine mature and develop into the perfect complement to a great evening.

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