What’s the Best Way to Store Wine?

Condor’s Hope’s reds are known for developing well in the bottle over time. We recently opened some of our first shiraz and zinfandel (from 2002 and 2003) and were delighted to taste the full-body, depth and complexity of these 14 year old wines. To be able to enjoy a wine after a few years in the bottle, it’s important that it be stored properly. So, we thought we’d share a few tips with you.

There are just 4 things to remember:

•Keep it Cool                                                                                                                                            •Keep it Dark                                                                                                                                            •Keep it Still                                                                                                                                          •Keep it Sideways or Upside Down

Cool: The ideal storage temperature is around 57 degrees F, although a range between 55-70 degrees ok. Excessive heat can destroy wine and fluctuations in temperature can also negatively affect a bottle. (This is why we worry about summer shipping!) The ideal humidity is between 65-75%. This keeps the corks from shrinking which can lead to oxidation. Oh no!

Dark: If a wine is in direct light consistently, it will affect the flavor of the wine significantly, a result of premature aging. Typically, white wines are the most sensitive to light degradation, but reds will also lose quality if they are subjected to excessive light.

Still: Wines want to rest in peace—not on top of the refrigerator where constant vibration and opening and closing of the door can destroy the wine.

Sideways or Upside Down: By laying a bottle on its side or upside down, you are keeping the cork in contact with the wine, thus moist, which prevents the cork from shrinking. A cork that shrinks can lead to oxygen getting into the wine causing the aromas, flavors and colors to spoil.

So go find that cool basement, cool closet, or even invest in a small wine cooler and lay down that bottle of Condor’s Hope for you to look forward to in the near future. Just think of it as storing memories, sunlight, rain and nature.