“Men are like a fine wine. They start out as grapes. It’s our job to stomp them, and then keep them in the dark until they mature. And hopefully they’ll turn out to be something we would like to have dinner with.”

Have you ever wondered whether just leaving wine on a shelf will affect the taste or turn the wine.  Or whether the longer you leave it the nicer it will be?  Yes, me to.  With the help of a few sites and books I have some answers for you.

Does all wine improve with age?

Not all wines.  The everyday, inexpensive wines are better drunk young and soon after buying.  Most wines, red or white, are ready to drink when it’s bought.  The wines that benefit from ageing are the more mellow and finer and full bodied wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Burgundy, Chianti and red Bordeaux to name a few.White wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling often benefit from short-term aging – about two to three years after vintage date.

Do I need a cellar to store wine?

No.  Wine is affected by light, heat and vibration, so it should be stored out of the kitchen and away from machinery such as fridge or washing machine. Boxing up wine will keep out light well enough, and a closet is usually adequate storage space.  Wine fridges with temperature controls are also very good.

What’s the best temperature for wine?

The ideal temperature for long-term storage is between 42 and 65 degrees F, between 65 and 73 degrees, the wine isn’t harmed but will mature sooner over several years.  For short term aging, this range should not be a problem.   No wine should be served over 68ºF.

Storing Tips: 

  • If you have a wine collection that you don’t want to ruin but live in a very hot or cold environment, it is worthwhile to invest in a wine fridge or wine cellar. Alternatively, you can see if your local wine stores offer wine storage services.

  • Store your wine horizontally so that the cork is moist. This will minimize the probability of the cork cracking and undesired air entering the bottle.

  • Don’t leave a wine bottle in the freezer. Frozen, the wine will expand and the bottle will explode.

  • It is easy to ruin wine label in humid environment. You can put plastic protectors on the wine labels to better protect them.

Sources:  Wine Deck, Wine Spectator and BetterTastingWine.com