Wine collecting is a very interesting and exquisite hobby. Anyone can do it, as long as they have the correct conditions and setting. Wine can spoil very quickly if you leave it in somewhere hot and bright. Humidity is also a big factor in wine storage. Ideally, the room or area should be at around 70% humidity.
Anything higher than that would be too damp, and overly dry conditions aren’t good for wine either. As you can see, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when storing wine. In short, wine can’t be stored at room temperature, barring if you live in a home that’s superbly climate-controlled.
Defining Room Temperature
First of all, room temperature depends on where you live. The room temperature will depend on your local climate. Generally speaking though, room temperature can be defined as 68° to 77° Fahrenheit.
That temperature range is too high for all wines, even red wines which require higher temperatures. So, you shouldn’t store wine at regular room temperature or it will go bad. However, you can store wine in a cellar or a wine storing unit.
The room where you store wine should be free of vibrations, humid (up to 70%), and dark. Here are the ideal temperatures for different types of wine:
- Sparkling wine: 41° to 46° F
- White wines: 46° to 54° F
- Red wines: 54° to 66° F
A few degrees higher or lower shouldn’t harm the wine.
The Best Places for Storing Wine
Wine Cabinets or Wine Cooler
The easiest and most affordable wine storage options are wine cabinets and wine coolers. Their design allows for optimal wine storage conditions in regard to both humidity and temperature. They are a great investment if you fancy yourself a serious wine collector.
These units can store as many as 50+ bottles of wine, and there are options for storing one or more types of wine. People who would like to collect both red and white wines would need a dual-zone wine cooler, or you could go for two wine coolers.
Wine cabinets and coolers vary in size, shape, and capacity. You should assess your needs before buying one, but it might be safer to get a bigger unit just in case. Wine collecting can become almost addictive once you immerse yourself in it.
DIY Wine Cellar
You can make a DYI wine cellar in lieu of a proper one. All you need is a wardrobe, closet, or even an unused room. You can transform it into a wine cellar fairly easy. Just make sure the space is dark and cool and humid enough.
Keep in mind that this option is not ideal due to the lack of temperature control. Wines need a fairly constant temperature, so you will get the most out of this space during the winter when it’s cold. If you plan on collecting many bottles of wine, it’s better to invest in a designated wine cooler.
A specially designed wine cellar is probably the best wine storing option. People wouldn’t be storing wine in wine cellars for centuries otherwise, even back before the days of refrigeration technology. But you don’t need mechanical cooling if you have a cellar.
The benefits of a wine cellar are many. They have a big storing capacity, which is great if you have a large collection. Wine cellars are cool, humid, and dark enough to store just about any kind of wine.
Those who took the trouble to build wine cellars are usually wine experts, so they can even sort the wine in a preferred order. They can order wines by regions, years, and even bottle tags. These are very useful if you wish to write down all the important info on the tag (name, date, region, etc.).
Anyone who has at least cursory experience in collecting wine will tell you that you shouldn’t store wine in your fridge. There are multiple reasons for it. Remember all the important factors like humidity and vibration?
Fridges aren’t ideal because they vibrate when the compressor is running. They are also fairly dry and that’s not good for wine. For the most part, the temperatures in fridges are fine for storing wine because you can control them.
Additionally, most people keep various foods and drinks in your fridge. The smells will go around and can ruin your wine. It might be fine to store a bottle of wine in the fridge for several hours or days but you’ll want to avoid this if you’re starting a collection.
The story is that it’s undesirable to store wine at room temperature. You can do it for several hours but not any longer. If you have a dark closet, or even better a cellar, use that space for storing wine.