If you don’t have the room or the budget to splurge on a specialized wine cabinet, do not worry. You can take advantage of storing wine in a conventional refrigerator. There are a number of simple things you can do to ensure that your wine is kept in the best possible condition.
When you are storing wine to age it, the three things that will affect its quality are light, humidity and temperature.
Store your wine at the back of your fridge, or underneath the shelves in purpose-designed bottle holders. This will minimize the amount of light thrown on the bottles when you open the said appliance.
If your wine is sealed with a cork, it needs to be stored where there is some humidity otherwise the cork may dry out and cause the wine to spoil. Although the ideal humidity for storing wine long-term is around 70%, anywhere between 50% and 80% is considered safe. Some fridges have humidity drawers, otherwise known as crisper drawers, at the bottom of the fridge. That’s where the most humid conditions will be found, and that’s where you can store your cork-sealed wines if you are intending to store them for the longer term. If there is a sliding tab on the front of the drawer, use it to close the vent and keep the humidity high.
Temperature is the big one. Never store your wine in temperatures over 70F, as they may end up ‘cooked’ and flat tasting. It is important to properly preserve your wines, so you can experience the flavors fully when you are ready. Too cold, and you run the risk of your corks drying out, or even popping out if the liquid inside freezes and expands. Temperatures between 45F and 65F are ideal, but where in that range you want your temperature set will depend on the type of wine you are storing. Sparkling wines benefit from cooler temperatures, so if you stocked up on Christmas champagne, just set the temperature a few degrees lower to 45F. If you are a red wine connoisseur, adjust the temperature control upwards so that your wine is kept at a milder 60F.
Follow these tips, and your wine will stay in perfect condition until it’s time to enjoy it!