The Dos and Don’ts of Wine Storage in the Kitchen
23rd June 2021
Do you like to drink fine wines but don’t have a cellar or a wine fridge to store them in? Even though some people may argue against it, you can store wine in your kitchen. There are just some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
How to Choose Where to Store Your Wine
Depending on the size of your kitchen and counter space, you may have a few options. Before you choose a space, here are some guidelines to follow.
Most wine enthusiasts recommend storing your wine in temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you leave your thermostat at 70 degrees or higher during the summer months, it may not be a good idea to store your wine on a counter rack.
When wines are left in temperatures of 70 degrees or more, they age quickly. This means you’ll notice the flavor degrades faster. But if you plan on opening up those bottles within a few months, you won’t notice much of a difference.
Likewise, if you choose to store wine in your refrigerator, you shouldn’t leave it there for too long. It’s important to keep the wine cool but not too cold. Fridge temperatures can go below 45 degrees, and the lack of humidity will cause the corks to dry out. When this happens, air can get into the wine and ruin it.
If you do decide to store wine outside of the refrigerator, be sure to keep it in cooler areas. Don’t place it by a window where a lot of sunlight comes in, or near the stove and microwave. Placing wine near HVAC vents is also a no-no. Choose stable areas, away from frequent vibrations or movement. Also, keep temperatures steady without too many drastic shifts from hot to cold or vice versa.
Storing Wine on Its Side
The traditional method of storing wine is to place the bottles sideways. This has been done traditionally to prevent the corks from drying out. However, this method isn’t always necessary.
Many wine bottles are opened and consumed more quickly, allowing you to store them upright. Some varieties don’t use corks. Bottles with screw-on caps will be just fine when placed upright.
Logical Places to Store Wine in Your Kitchen
With all of this in mind, you need to think carefully about where to store your wine in the kitchen.
A pantry is a great place to keep the bottles away from the light, which can ruin flavors and speed up aging. If you can put the bottles down lower, you can keep them sheltered from the light going on and off. Further, a low shelf is generally cooler than a higher shelf.
You can also store bottles in cabinets if the wine will fit. High quality wines may need to be on its side. Regular wines may be fine standing up. Just make sure you choose a cabinet that won’t be disturbed unless you are reaching for a bottle of wine.
Perhaps you have some counter space or a buffet where you can put a small wine rack. Make sure your wine is not exposed to sunlight. This is not the best long term place for your more expensive wines. They should be kept totally out of the light.
Some people store wine on top of the fridge, but this can cause too much movement. A wine rack near the front of the fridge will get some jostling each time the door is opened. If you must put wines up there, push them way to the back.
When to Refrigerate Wine
Once a bottle is open, red wines may sit out as long as they are recorked. White wines and Champagnes must be refrigerated. Either way, they will start to lose their taste fairly quickly unless they are vintage wines.
If you want to chill wine, reds need only fifteen minutes to reach the best temperature for serving. White wine and Champagne should be chilled for about two hours before use.
Kitchen storage may be a little challenging, but you can certainly find a place to store your wine that is both good for the wine and convenient to you. Happy pouring!
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