Proper Wine Storage -- It's Starts at the Store!

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A lot of people are concerned with ensuring that they store their wine properly. And, that’s important. But to ensure you are getting a wine that’s at its best, you also need to take into consideration the store where you’re buying your wine.

Sure, there are potential storage issues between the winery and the store. Like the method of shipment and the time of year (e.g., getting too hot). But, how your local wine shop or store handles your wine is very important because it may sit on the shelf for a longer period of time.

While visiting the eastern U.S. last winter, I took a short snowy walk to a place where I’ve purchased wine before. While it was below freezing outside, the store was nice and warm. But, that caused me to pause. As I took off my layers to be comfortable while shopping, it struck me that it was probably in the high 70s F in the store, if not 80 degrees. While that’s a comfortable temperature for shoppers on a cold winter day, that’s not anywhere near an ideal temperature for a wine.

Maybe you’ve noticed that most grocery stores are kept quite cool. That’s intentional to help keep their merchandise as fresh as possible. And that’s especially true for wine. While most guidance for wine storage is in the 50s F, even a “cool” temperature in a store will be in the high 60s. While that’s fine for short amount of time, finding an older bottle of a nice wine that been sitting at nearly 80 degrees F for who knows how long, could be an issue.

So, just keep in mind that while you may have the ideal wine storage system at home, you also must ensure that the wine you’re putting into it has not been damaged while in the store.

Oh! And also consider where the wine is placed within the store. I’ve seen too many wine shelves in direct sunlight. That’s not good either!


Ever Wonder? Should You Chill a Bottle of Wine in the Freezer?

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It’s a common problem. You buy a bottle of wine that you want to server that same day. And you want it chilled. So, is the freezer a good option for quickly chilling a bottle of wine?

Well, chilling a bottle of wine in the freezer is one method. But, it has a couple of issues.

First, a freezer by definition is an environment that is below freezing. Right? So, that’s 32 degrees F or below. And, assuming you are trying to chill a bottle of white wine, rosé or sparkling wine, the best serving temperatures for those are going to be somewhere in the range of 38 to 55 degree F range, depending of the type of wine. Thus, a freezer is going to be too cold if the bottle remains in the freezing environment too long.

And, you run the risk of actually damaging the bottle. Depending on the alcohol content of the wine, it will freezer somewhere in the 15 to 20 degree F range. Because wine is mostly water, it’s going to expand when it freezes which can either push the cork out of the bottle (see photo) or, even worse, break the bottle!

The second issue with using a freezer to quickly chill a bottle of wine is that it’s really not that quick. It will still take quite a while to get that bottle to your ideal serving temperature.

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So, what’s the best way to quickly chill a bottle of wine? Well, find a container that’s a bit larger than the bottle or bottles, fill it with ice and then fill it with water. The ice-cold water will then fully surround your bottle and it’ll be chilled rapidly. And, you don’t need to worry about it freezing!