As the weather warms, it is time to think about your wine collection and how best to keep it tasting great even if you don’ have that fancy cave, cellars, or fridge.
The number one thing to remember is to try to keep your wine at a constant temperature and as cool as possible which can be a challenge during the summer. The second most important consideration is to avoid sunlight; while it is cool to show your collection – light will destroy your wine, so keep it in the dark.
A great place to store your wine is on the ground floor of an interior closet. Just tuck it in the corner and throw a blanket over it. Under your bed is also a great place to store wine. With today’s corks, you don’t have to worry about storing wine on its side unless it is a very old bottle of wine, so you can store your wine in cardboard case boxes, just go cork down and you are doing great.
If wine warms to over 90 degrees, it will cook and spoil the flavors. This can happen very quickly when the wine is left in a hot car for even a short amount of time.
Now that you have your wine tucked away – what about serving wine?
One day a friend from out of town came to visit and we met at a mutual friend’s house. The host graciously offered me a glass of wine which I accepted. I began to second guess my choice when I saw her pull a dusty ¾ empty bottle of wine from the top of the fridge with a rubber pickle stuck in the top. Please don’t do this – many consider this alcohol abuse.
People often tend to serve their reds too warm and their whites too cold. Most often a red will taste best when served around 58-65 degrees F, white 48-55 degrees and a sparkling 43-48 (FYI, your fridge is often below 40 degrees). The bottle should feel cool, not warm nor cold.
When serving reds – just throw it into the freezer for 20 minutes to cool it down, for whites – take it out of the fridge 20 minutes early. Cold wine will lose its flavor (great for cheap wines). Warm wine will often taste mushy and alcoholic.
But the best way to serve wine is with friends and food.