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California Wine, All the Time | Poppy & Quail Blog

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How to Properly Store Wine

June 15, 2018

Stocking up on wine? Learn how to properly store your wine with these useful guidelines, keeping your wine safe and fresh until you are ready to uncork!

Be Aware of Temperature

Heat can be one of wine’s worst enemies. When temperatures creep above 70° F, wine ages more rapidly than is desirable, and can suffer from heat stress. If temps creep much above 80° F, wine can become “cooked,” producing flat aromas and flavors.

However, you don’t want your wine’s long-term temperature to get too cold. Storing wine in the refrigerator is fine for about two months, but storing it there for longer can cause a loss in flavor and vibrancy. The lack of moisture in the refrigerator can also dry out corks, which allows air to seep into the bottles and damage the wine, and nobody wants that! In addition, very cold temperatures can cause the wine to expand enough to push out the cork.

Ideally, the temperature range to properly store wine is between 45° F and 65°. The 55° F mark is often cited as close to perfect. If your storage runs a couple degrees warmer, no need to worry. Just make sure you open bottles within a few years from their release. Check out our previous blog to learn how long your white wine can last.

Keep Out of the Sun

Sunlight can prematurely age wine. Vintners protect wine from some of these harmful UV rays by using colored glass bottles, which act as sunglasses for the wine, truly embodying fun in the sun! In terms of indoor lighting, opt for incandescent bulbs over fluorescent bulbs, which emit small amounts of UV light.

Properly Store Wine Bottles Sideways

Wine bottles are traditionally stored sideways to keep corks from drying out. In addition, this sideways stacking is a space-efficient way to properly store your wine. Keep in mind that if you plan on drinking the wine soon, or if the bottles have screwcaps or plastic corks, you don’t necessarily need to store sideways, because it’s not essential to keep non-cork closures moist.

Shake Not

Several theories point to the link between wine damage and vibration, although there isn’t a solid consensus on how and why vibration is bad for wine. Vibration may speed up the chemical reactions in the liquid vibration, introducing energy into the bottle and affecting the aging process. In addition, significant vibrations could disrupt the sediment in older wines, which may keep them from settling properly. For short-term storage, slight vibrations should not be a problem—just avoid any heavy-duty shaking.


Here are some California Wines we think you’ll love: 


Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel

Bonterra the Butler

Sanctuary West Side Red