|Ancient Wine Jars|
Storing wines to their best advantage has always been a concern among wine lovers. Just last year archaeologists unearthed the remains of a 1700 BC Canaanite palace in northern Israel and discovered the remains of 40 large ceramic jars: Three-foot tall vessels that were once used for the storage of wine.
|Modern Wine Room|
Today, our choices have expanded from clay jars and wine skins to state-of-the-art wine cellars, and temperature controlled wine rooms. But for the everyday wine drinker, there are a few tricks of the trade to keep your wines distinct and ready to drink. Here are 6 tips: Three for short-term preservation, and three for the long haul storage.
Short Term Preservation:
1) Put a cork in it! If you find yourself with a half bottle of wine left over, you have a few options. You can recork a bottle of white wine bottle and place it in the fridge. For red wines, cork it and store the bottle upright in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. This should buy you another 2 to 5 days on the remainder of the wine.
|Wine Vacuum Pump|
2) Vacuum pumps specially made to remove the air from the bottle are another option. With the pump, you remove the excess air, and then insert a special cork to maintain freshness.
3) Inert gas sprayed into the bottle will act as a blanket over the wine and prevent oxidation from occurring. This is one of the methods commercial wineries use to keep wines from oxidizing in tanks.
Long Term Storage:
Depending on the wine, most may be kept from 2 to 5 years: some for up to 10 years. If you’re storing wines for 20 years or longer, you are considered a serious wine collector (and probably have your own wine cellar with temperature controls.)
|Metal Wine Rack|
5) Wine refrigerators can be a great investment for the white and fruit wine lover. These units come equipped with built-in wine racks to keep your wines at the perfect temperature for serving: 59 – 65º F for dry whites, Roses and blush. For Champagne and sparking wines, serving temp is 43 – 47º F
Red wines that cellar well include robust, dry reds made from Cabernet, Zinfandel, Syrah, Bordeaux; wines with heavy tannins.
Red wines that don’t cellar well include Pinot Noir, Merlot and Grenache, along with any wine labeled as “light and fruity.”
For most white and fruit wines, it’s normally suggested not to store them over two to three years. These wines don't improve with age, so buy them now to enjoy soon.