Long-term Storage of Wine

For a novice wine collector eager to follow the necessary guidelines, or even for those looking to buy fine wine on a larger scale as part of an alternative investment, you are bound to encounter one of the golden mandates of wine storage: storing your wine in the refrigerator is out of the question!

It’s true, wine cellars are specially made to properly accommodate the graceful aging process that wines require, and refrigerators are not only too cold for the proper maturation of wine, but their compressor motors emanate subtle vibrations that are damaging to wines on a long-term basis.

Still, in preparation for having friends and family over to dinner, most of us will toss a bottle of white wine in the fridge ….  Many of us have no qualms about leaving that same bottle in the fridge for a few days (or even a few weeks) before we either throw it out, drink it, or take it to a friend.

So, the questions remain, “How long is too long to leave wine in the refrigerator, and just how excessively cold is the refrigerator as a storage option?” These questions float around season to season and almost always come up in midsummer, when parties and hot nights make wine a regular part of the agenda.  Since not everyone has access to a wine cellar, the refrigerator is often a tempting alternative for wine storage, making this an ongoing point of interest among collectors and wine connoisseurs.

Guidelines for ideal wine storage state that 55F (13C) is ideal. Interestingly, this temperature is what you would typically find in underground caves.  Obviously this temperature is colder than the average room temperature, yet much warmer than the average refrigerator temperature.  So what do you do?

Many experts advise that keeping a wine slightly too cold is less damaging than keeping it too hot. Bottom line -if you want your wine to be cold, or if you just want to keep it in a cold place in the summer, go ahead – it’s probably not going to cause any real damage, but when wine is of course bought as an investment, there is simply no substitute for the professional facility.



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