How To Store Wine
By popular demand, I've added this section in response to the hundreds of you who called or written about how to safely keep your extra bottles of wine until they are ready to be drunk.
Storing wine can be very intimidating because it is a walking contradiction; on one hand you must consider certain factors like temperature, but on the other hand, you can completely over-think the subject and waste your life away worrying about something that is fairly easily tackled.
First rule: There is a HUGE difference between storing wine and aging wine. I am assuming that anyone who wishes to age wine has the proper facilities and knowledge to lay a bottle down for 5-125 years and you don't need my help. This section is for those of you who grab a case of wine in Napa and need to keep it safely for up to many months.
Second rule: Any place that is somewhat cool and dark will not ruin your wine, which is really all you are trying to achieve (again, if you were "aging" the wine you would have other goals). As long as the wine bottle stays below 80 degrees and above 50 degrees your wine is not going to sour. Ideally, you want to keep wine at around 55-60 degrees, if possible, which is why underground wine cellars have long been the rule
The other basic rules are simple; laid out in photographic form below for your entertainment:
DO consider turning a closet into a wine storage area. This is where I keep all of my wine I am ready to drink. Since my wife refuses to allow the thermostat to ever go above 70 degrees in our house, the wine is always safe.
DO NOT ever store wine in the kitchen refrigerator. It's too cold and it will ruin the taste and body of your wine. Unless you have a spare fridge which you can set at 60 degrees, keep wine away until you're ready to chill it for serving.
DO keep your wine as low to the ground as possible, because heat rises.
DO NOT ever keep wine in the garage. It's too cold in the winter and way too hot in the summer.
DO lay your bottles on their side so that the flavors and tannins can circulate horizontally and keep the wine well balanced.
DO NOT just sit wine upright on the counter. Sediment and flavor will rush to the bottom of the bottle and effect your ability to enjoy the wine.
DO use closet floors if you only have a few bottles to keep safe.Closets are cooler than the rest of the house and dark.
DO NOT keep wine by the stove or anything else that produces heat. Even short term exposure to radical temperature changes can ruin your wine.