Storing Wine: Ideal storage conditions

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Even in Ancient greece there was some appreciation of the importance of storage conditions on the evolution and health of wine. The key factors are temperature, light, humidity, and security.

If wine is kept too hot, or exposed to strong sunlight, it rapidly deteriorates. If it is kept too cold, it can freeze, expand, and push out the stopper of whatever container it is held in.
For bottles stored for a few weeks, the primary concern is to keep them from strong direct light (white wines in colourless glass are most at risk) and to ensure that they do not reach temperatures more than about 25 °C/77 °F (although there is some latitude here, depending on the fragility of the wine), at which point the wine may be spoilt and forever afterwards taste cooked.