If you decide that, finally, the time has come to start your private winery at home, don’t accumulate bottles of wine like a madman. Follow the next practical tips on how to store them and be the envy of your friends, watering your meals with a selection of wines that will delight your guests:
Look for horizontality
It’s essential that you look for a place where bottles can sleep horizontally (not in the case of sparkling wines), but with a slight inclination that favors grounds to remain at the bottom of the container. Thus, the cork will be in constant contact with the fluid so that it doesn’t dry (in this way wine oxidation is avoided). Each unit must be placed separately from the others, to be able to manipulate them individually and that the movement of one bottle doesn’t affect the rest.
Cabinets, cupboards, disused fireplaces, the hole behind a staircase, wooden boxes from cellars… any place can serve us. Stackable racks and shelves can be very helpful in designing the solution. If you are one of the lucky ones who have more space, you can opt for a fixed bottle rack attached to the wall or even a wine cooler. From homemade and improvised options to the most sophisticated ones, all are valid for storing your wines.
Stable temperature and humidity
The optimal storage temperature for wine is between 11 and 14 degrees (most wines age well between 6 and 18 degrees). We are in front of a fragile product, very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and heat, which can damage it. It’s critical that the cellar is away from radiators and heat sources.
The ideal humidity is between 70 and 80%. If it’s higher, it can damage and rot the labels; on the contrary, if the environment is too dry, it oxidises the wine (as the cork bottle dries).
Keep them away from light and hustle and bustle
Wine should be stored in the dark, as light makes the liquid to age faster and deteriorates its color and aromas. The characteristic green of most wine bottles neutralises between 30% and 60% of light radiation and helps to keep the wine in optimal conditions.
It has to rest in a quiet environment, away from vibes and hustle and bustle. To do this, it’s best to arrange all wines in a secluded place in the house, and only move the bottles when would be absolutely necessary and essential.
The storage space will be clean and ventilated, in an environment without odors that could harm the wine. Spices, strong foods or detergents and fabric softeners should be kept away from your mini cellar, as they could infiltrate through the cork.
Now that you have the space enabled, have a combination of young wines -to consume throughout the year- and aging -so that they can continue their evolution inside the bottle. Bear in mind that a crianza can be consumed during the 5 years following its harvest. Regarding the Reserva and Gran Reserva, they can be stored between 10 and 15 years. Don’t forget, to give life to your winery at home, to have a representation of red, white and rosé wines from Penedès and Ribera del Duero.