Today most people simply buy wine from the local store. Firstly, you need to remember that only a small percentage of wines benefit from long-term aging. Most of them are best enjoyed within a few years of release. Also, a good wine cooler will help you get the best out of your wine.
Following a few simple guidelines on how to store wine at home should allow your wine keeps its flavor until you’re ready to drink it.
Winemakers create red wines from red-skinned grapes with their skins on. Fermented, treated, and aged, red wines offer robust and hearty tastes with traces of soil, spices, smoke, and more. People usually pair red wines with dishes that have prominent flavors like steak, game, and pasta.
Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Sirah, and Zinfandel – these are all red wines marked by subtle or pronounced differences in boldness or complexity. To capture and share those aromas and flavors, you serve reds in wine glasses with large openings over fuller bowls.
Although most hosts keep their reds at rest at room temperature, red wines do flourish in temperatures set at 60-65° F. That keeps the red at a constant temperature while your room temperature changes during the day and night.
Vintners make white wines form green grapes or red-skinned grapes with the skin removed. Fermented and treated without the skins, the process adds spice and citrus that enhance flavors that match nicely with light foods. Whites complement dishes built around lightly prepared fish, shellfish, poultry, pork, and vegetables.
Chardonnay, Fume Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, White Bordeaux, and White Burgundy – the whole range of white wines flirt with sweetness, fruit, spice, and wood. Refreshing and clean tastes and fragrances bloom in glasses with upright bowls and sides.
Chilling whites seems to release flavors, but refrigeration lowers the temperature too much. Your wine cooler will keep the white wines at a constant 45-50°F, a proven best temperature.
Specialists created rose wine by keeping the red skins in the fermentation for part of the process. It might be sit anywhere on a color spectrum from orange and grapefruit to peach and rose red. There are sparkling versions and flavors that are dry or sweet.
They designate Rosés by region of origin with variations from Italy, Loire, Portugal, Provence, Spain, and Switzerland. Many are varietals that blend rosés with flavors of Muscatel, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer. And, U.S. wineries have pioneered ideas like White Zinfandel and other blushes.
They pair with a range of lightly prepared entrees. But, many hosts reserve them for service before dining. They go nicely with melon, salads, humus, and olives. And, sommeliers recommend them for charcoaled items like burger and barbecue.
Glasses with shorter fully-rounded bowls promote oxygenation in and aroma from the drier wines. Others with short rounded bowls promote and flared lips tip the flavor of mature sweet wines toward the tongue.
Chilling brings out their best when stored like whites, but you should keep the sparkling rosés below 45°F.
Carbon dioxide makes wines sparkle with bubbles and fizz. They are made for celebratory toasts, brunches, and cooling refreshers, and champagnes are appearing in an increasing number of cocktails.
Asti, Cava, Champagne, Espumante, and Proseco – The bubbles in these sparkling varieties need to rise in tall narrow glasses that seem to intensify the flavor. Technically, Champagne with a capital “C” only come from a specific region in France, and if yours come at a price, you want to store it correctly at 40-50°F.
Sweet dessert wines usually follow dinner. They include light wines such as Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Viognier. Many people prefer these if they have been drinking whites with dinner.
Dessert wines also come in a wide range of reds. Flavors include Brachetto d’Aqui, Freisa, Lambrusco, or Recioto della Valpocella.
Fortified reds add a touch of liquor that raises the alcohol content. These include selections of Madeira, Port, and Sherry. Guests enjoy them with coffee and cigars instead of dessert.
And, Ice Wine is an expensive and rare treat. Ice Wine comes from grapes that have frozen while on the vine. The frozen grapes produce a very small amount of intensely sweet wine. But, it occurs only rarely when the weather forces come into play.
As for cooling dessert wines, the light ones do well at 45°F and the more complex at 55°F. Some glasses are designed specifically for certain wines. They are small and sometimes snifter shaped.
Your wine is an investment in time, money, and good will. You want to protect the collection and serve your family and guests to the best you can afford.
Regardless of age, color, and origin, wines behave generally the same. But they like to breathe. Trouble is the bottle opening is too narrow for the contents to aerate. You can purchase an aerator, a small device to pour the wine through.
Some wines have sediment, usually tannins that settle to the bottom of a bottle. When you pour such wines, you do not want to disturb the sediment. So, to solve the breathing and sediment problems, you pour the wine into a decanter. Decanting the wine like swirling it around your glass will bring air into the wine and release its aromas.
Enjoying wine by the fireplace, at a formal or informal dinner, or just among friends is a real life’s pleasure. Educating yourself about wine, its origins and varieties can be a hobby and enjoyable investment.
Using a wine cooler to protect your investment makes a good sense now, isn’t it? Choosing the best wine cooler you can count on is your next logical step.
With this guide now you know how to store wine at home to make sure it lasts as long as possible. To optimize wine cooler performance you need to remember about wine cooler repair and maintenance tips.