Storing wine

Heat, temperature fluctuation, and light are wine’s enemies, and things you need to consider if you don’t consume wine shortly after purchase.
Here are simple tips:

• Keep the temperature constant. Ideal temperature for storing wine is 55 F, which is about 15 degrees warmer than a refrigerator and 20 degrees cooler than your house. Storing at more than 75 F eventually will hurt the wine, so if you keep bottles for years, invest in a wine cooler/refrigerator.

• Temperature fluctuation is more dangerous than temperature. It is better to store wine between 68-73 F than to store it in an area that regularly goes from 45 to 65 F.

• Don’t store wine for long periods in your refrigerator; never store wine on top your refrigerator. The temperature in a typical refrigerator is 40 F or less, too cool for most wine to age well, but more important, the temperature changes every time the door opens. Top of the fridge is one of the consistently hotter places in a kitchen, thanks to the unit’s heat exchange coils in the back. Deadly for wine.

• Avoid direct sunlight and fluorescent fixtures. UV rays can cause wine to have an unpleasant smell, a condition called “light struck.” It happens to beer, too, creating “skunked beer.”

Good news: almost all wines generally available are meant to be consumed right away. Enjoy now and storage won’t be a problem.


• Vinos Magali Malbec. Fruity, tannins for structure, very pleasant Argentina Malbec. $14

• Printhie Chardonnay. Peachy, nutty, buttery, complex Chard from Australia. $17

• Schug Carneros Pinot Noir. Chocolate mocha, red cherry, oaky from California. $25