You got lucky this holiday season and have excess wine you bought for Christmas, bottles your friends gifted you, and then there was your loss of restraint in the wine store before New Years (but we will not dwell on that).
What do you do with your wine trove? Some practical, simple wine storage tips:
• Steady as she goes. Movement, especially small, persistent vibration, negatively affects wine. Limit moving bottles after they have been stored. You can show a bottle, pull it out of the rack in contemplation of consumption, just be gentle, practice restraint, do not store on anything that vibrates.
• Light is not your friend. Wine enjoys dark places. UV and florescent rays cause wine to spoil generating unpleasant smell and flavor. White wine—often in clear bottles—suffers from light more than red. Beer suffers more than wine when exposed to sun rays.
• Be cool and consistent. If you have not spent hundreds of dollars on a wine refrigerator or thousands on a wine cellar, store your wine in a place with consistent temperature and low light. Optimal wine storage temperature is 55°F, but steady temperature is your goal, even if it is room temperature. An interior closet works. Kitchens usually are terrible for wine storage—vibrations, temp fluctuations, light.
• Play it as it lays. Wine bottles should be stored horizontally so wine stays in contact with cork to avoid cork drying out and exposing wine to oxygen. This doesn’t apply to screw caps or cork closures if you are going to drink soon, but it does matter if you lay bottles down for extended time. And besides, laying down looks cooler. Admit it, cool factor is part of the wine experience for many of us.
• Tom Gore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013: Smooth, will pleasure many palates. $13-15
• Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Ridiculously affordable quality cab. $15-17
• Duchman Family Winery Vermentino 2015: Tart, delicious, does well with variety of food. $14-18
• Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico 2012: Food-friendly easy drinker, will not offend those spooked by big reds. $21-23
Last round: I never pretend to be anything I am not. Except for sober. I’ve pretended to be sober.