Red wine is an extremely popular drink of choice the whole world over. There are so many different kinds of red wine. But, the most important thing to know about it is how to store it correctly. Storing red wine correctly is essential in maximizing the potential that a bottle of red wine has. Some wines improve with age; others deteriorate. Regardless of the type, you need to use a wine rack to store them properly.
All wines are affected by too high temperatures to some degree. They can be affected by temperatures that are too high, too cold or simply because the temperature varies too much. Even just a couple of hours above 77°F (that’s 25°C) can mean that there’s a noticeable loss of taste of the fruit. High temperatures can also “cook” wine, giving a taste of raisinated fruit that usually is not associated with wine. You should keep red wine at an ideal temperature of 55°F or 13°C where possible.
Additionally, if the cork in a bottle of red wine dries out, oxygen will be able to penetrate the bottle and spoil its contents. For this reason, it is better to keep bottles of wine in a horizontal position so that the cork does not dry out. You should therefore only consider a wine rack for a red wine that sits your bottles horizontally.
Of course, your wine rack of choice might also be storage for your bottles of white or rosé wine too. However, you should always remember that it would be better for the wine if you had a dedicated white wine rack with storage designed for the needs of white wine as opposed to putting it together with your red wine.
So, what can you do to prevent the spoiling of your red wine and preserve it, so that it is at its best when you serve it? Simply put, storing your red wine effectively in a wine rack that meets certain requirements is essential. Obviously, if you have a cellar or basement then this will be ideal for the wine’s temperature. But, for most of us, a dedicated wine rack in a cool part of your home is the next best thing.
For any red wine that you are going to store for over a month, the best way of storing it is in a rack so that it is horizontal in a dark, cool place. It is important to have your wine rack in a place that is away from direct sunlight as well as fluorescent lights. The UV rays from the sun cause the wine to become ‘light struck’ so they end up smelling unpleasant. The darker the bottle is storing the wine, the more protected it is from light. But, you still need to take light into consideration with your choice of a wine rack.
As mentioned above, if you do not have access to a cellar or basement in which to store your wine, a wine rack in a cool, dark place is best. If your intention is to store red wine, you need to make sure that the wine rack you choose is solid in its design. Wine racks made from thick wood protect the bottles from light penetration as much as possible and also help them to stay cooler if a room heats up.
Wall-mounted wine racks are all well and good and can even be decorative. But, will they keep your wine out of sunlight or cool enough in a south-facing room, particularly if that room is a kitchen with heat sources of its own to contend with? Most likely not. For this reason alone, you should choose a red wine rack design that is more practical rather than decorative.
You also need to think about the wine rack design. It would be better if your wine rack was static and remained in one place. Likewise, once you are storing your red wine you should keep it as still as possible. Opt for a wine rack that is solidly fixed, either to the wall or your kitchen units. You need one that does not need you to move a bottle out of the way to reach another one too. If you are wanting a white wine rack too then, as mentioned above, you need to think about the storage recommendations for white wine separately.
For most of us, storage space in our homes is tight. How much space you dedicate to storing wine will tell mostly of a) the importance of good quality wine in your life, and b) how much space you have available in your home that you’re willing to dedicate to it. This will be different for everyone. You can find a 4-bottle wine rack quite easily and they don’t take up a lot of space. However, a 4-bottle wine rack does not exactly hold much wine. A better choice for a regular wine-drinking household that does not take up too much space would be an 8-bottle wine rack. Most homes would find an 8-bottle wine rack enough storage for their needs. Having said that, there are much larger wine racks available for those who have quite a collection of wines.
It is important to think carefully about where to place your wine rack. Motors, generators, passing traffic or washing machine and tumble dryer vibrations can play havoc with your wine. Equally, you should not place your wine rack near to anything that has strong odors. Wine ‘breathes’, and strong smells can permeate the cork, tainting the wine. Likewise, your wine rack should be one that is well ventilated. This not only helps keep the temperature consistent, but it also means that any unwanted smells are swiftly shifted away from your red wine collection.
Whatever red wine rack design you go for you need to make sure it fits these criteria:
As long as you meet these criteria then it does not matter so much whether you buy a 4-bottle wine rack or an 8-bottle wine rack: the amount of wine you want to store and drink is completely up to you. You should enjoy drinking red wine and choosing the best possible wine rack is therefore essential if you want to maintain its quality and taste. And, remember! White wine needs to be stored differently – why not have a white wine rack too?
Extended reading：9 Common Types Of Red Wine You Need In Your Wine Rack