Your Best Sip — Tips for Storing Wine

The good news — you’ve found some wines that you adore and love sharing with family and friends. The bad news — the way you’re storing them might be doing them more harm than good. Jeff Boucher, owner of wine storage facility Caverna 57 in East Sacramento, offers some tips on helping your wine collection age to perfection.

Temperature is Everything

According to Boucher, storing wine at a temperature between 55 and 58 degrees is considered optimal for all varieties of wine, and keeping the temperature consistent is just as important. Spikes and fluctuations in temperature can be more damaging to wine than most people realize, Boucher says.

“A lot of people have the misperception if they put their wine in the basement that should be sufficient — after all the temperature down there most of the time is in the 50s during the winter and 60s during the spring and fall,” he explains. “But oftentimes (it hits) the 70s and even 80s in the summertime. That’s a continual cycle year after year that’s just not friendly to the wine and far from optimal for aging good wine.”

A wine refrigerator could be used to keep wine at a consistent temperature. However, Boucher says sometimes their capacity can be limiting and if it vibrates that can also be damaging to wine.

On the Side

Wine stored on its side helps keep the cork moist and Boucher says that becomes particularly important when a wine collector is intending to store a wine for an extended period of time — months or even years. “As soon as the cork fails, then air is going to enter into the wine, which is another one of those culprits,” he says.

Consider Wine Storage

For some wine collectors a wine storage facility might be the best option. When selecting a facility, Boucher says temperature control is important as well as humidity, which should fall between 65 to 75 percent. The right humidity percentage keeps wine corks moist and bottle labels in good condition.

To ensure wines stay at the optimal temperature and humidity despite equipment failures, Boucher recommends looking for a facility with a professionally-engineered refrigeration system with built-in redundancy. “That’s the way our system was engineered at (Caverna 57), but we went one step further and provided a method for our equipment to continue to operate even in the event of a power failure,” he adds.

And lastly, Boucher says state-of-the-art security is a must. For example, at Caverna 57 wine facility members have 24/7 access to their collections, but they need a magnetic card, fingerprint scan and key to a lock they provide to gain entry to the facility and their wine cellar. “And as a final precaution, every inch of our wine storage facility and the cellar itself is covered by video surveillance,” Boucher adds.