PASO ROBLES, Calif. – Allegretto Wines, a single vineyard winemaker in Paso Robles, California, released the report ‘Storage Tips for Wine Collectors,’ providing tips on storage space, storage methods, the best temperatures for storing and serving, and creative ideas for building a wine cellar on a budget.
“One of the conversation topics in our tasting room is the best storage methods for wine,” said Quin Cody, Director of Hospitality, “the tips in this report are going to help answer some of those questions.”
Following are four tips on the best methods of storing wine:
Figuring out storage space
The storage space needed depends on the number of bottles you on hand, or already have but don’t have adequate space. Buying a wine refrigerator is a common solution to storing wine, but sometimes the wine refrigerator may cost more than the family budget allows.
There are options for adding or increasing wine cellar space that include re-purposing a closet or cabinet or even adding a “wine room” in the garage. But before getting into remodeling ideas, you still need to know how many bottles you want to have available. Here is a quick estimate (based on ceilings that are nine feet high):
• 500 bottles or less needs about 25 square feet of space
• 1,000 bottles would use 50 square feet
It might seem that 500 bottles are a lot of wine, but a single person enjoying a bottle with dinner three or four nights a week adds up to more than 200 bottles a year. Figure in what is shared with dinner guests and gifted to friends and family. If you entertain frequently you can reach 500 bottles a year easily.
The space calculations need to include wines that are being allowed to age, those you are keeping for special occasions and those you will be drinking soon. Once the storage space is figured out, decide on the best affordable storage method that is going to meet the temperature and humidity needs of your special wines.
Temperature, UV light, and humidity
Wine is typically stored at one temperature and served at a different temperature. The ideal storage temperature for most reds and whites is 55 degrees. Serving temperatures vary by the wine:
Traditionally, red wines were served at room temperature, but the modern-day thermostat means homes are kept at a variety of temperatures for personal comfort. The ideal serving temperature for red wine is from 60 – 65 degrees F.
White wines are best served slightly chilled between 50 – 60 degrees.
Sparkling wines and champagne usually taste best chilled to around 40 degrees.
The kitchen refrigerator temperature is usually at around 40 degrees F. Too cold to store wine but a good temperature to chill a sparkling wine. Not sure when the wine has reached the appropriate serving temperature? Use an inexpensive wine bottle thermometer to know when the bottle is ready to pour.
UV rays and humidity
UV rays cause chemical reactions that can change a wine’s flavor and color in unfavorable ways. Keep your wine collection out of the sunlight.
Wines with cork closures need sufficient humidity at around 70-percent to keep the corks moist and expanded so some kind of humidity control is important. Store corked wines on their sides to help keep the cork moist. Screw top bottles don’t require the same kind of humidity control, but since most people collect both corked and screw-topped wines these days, humidity control is the best way to go.
Building a ‘cellar’
Wine coolers, or refrigerators, start at around $200 for 20 or so bottles of wine and price upwards from there. When space is an option, some wine refrigerators can be stored in closets or in the garage and this works perfectly for many people. Some collectors want a more formal “cellar.” Remodeling closets, under stair spaces, kitchens, and garages are becoming popular ways to create dedicated wine storage. There are several good do-it-yourself sources on the Internet or give your local construction company a call for an estimate.
If you are collecting as an investment, leasing commercial wine storage is a safe way to protect your investment.
For more information, visit www.allegrettowines.com.