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The Best Way To Store Your Wine
Under the right conditions, wine will improve with time. However, when you are creating your home wine storage solution, if you do not consider the four key attributes then it is possible your wine will have degraded to the point of being un-drinkable by the time you open it.
In order to keep it simple, the conditions for your wine have been broken down into four key attributes that you can control to achieve the optimal storage.
Temperature: You will want to store your wine at the lowest possible temperature while still maintaining its stability. Most experts agree that a range of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit is appropriate for most wines. If you store it in cooler conditions (less than 50 degrees), it will not harm the wine, but will simply slow the aging process. However, warmer conditions can change the wine's properties and actually ruin it. Wine coolers can properly control temperature to keep wines cool on warmer days.
Humidity: The moisture level, or humidity, of the wine storage area is important because it will help keep the cork moist and prevent wine from entering the bottle. A humidity level of roughly seventy percent is ideal for the cork, but may have an adverse affect on the wine bottle labels. While the humidity level in the room will keep the cork moist from the outside, storing the bottle horizontally will help keep the cork moist from the inside. Both are vital for maintaining the wine's quality throughout its storage life.
Vibration: Wine likes to be kept at stable conditions. The ideal situation would be to eliminate all vibration from the wine bottle during storage. If the wine bottle is vibrating, it causes the chemicals inside to mix and may cause quality degradation in the wine. For this reason, avoid placing a wine storage rack on top of the refrigerator or in a location that is always subject to vibrations.
Light: The UV rays in lighting can penetrate the bottle and break down the wine. In order to protect your wine, many manufacturers have started creating UV protected wine bottles or wine basket UV protected gift wrap. However, even these will not completely protect the contents and it is still important to store your cherished wine in a safe, dark location, especially if you will be storing it for extended periods of time.
Dan Maynard is a writer, publisher and musician with an apetite for good wine. He publishes a wine site dedicated to the novice wine enthusiast. Dan's site provides answers to question such as where to buy wine online.