Choosing & Storing

Choosing Wines to Keep

Most wines are designed and produced to be drunk as soon as you buy them. Some wines, especially those in the medium to high price ranges will improve with age and a lot of consideration needs to be given to how those wines are going to be stored. Not all ex pensive wines will improve with age.  

When choosing a wine to lay down you must consider the vintage of the wine, i.e. the year it is made. Only the very best wines will improve with age for more than 10 – 12 years from the vintage, whilst only a handful of wines will improve with age when stored for more than 20 years. It is common for people to buy a present for a child to mark the year of their birth however the very best wines are not made every year – only in the years where conditions allow i.e. Vintage Port, Vintage Champagne or top end Bordeaux of Burgandy wines. Before buying a wine to keep, for such an occasion it is advised to research the wines and the wine producing year in which you are buying. Ask at your local Carry Out for assistance.

Storing Wines

The way in which a wine is stored can impact on the flavour of the wine. The first thing to consider when deciding how to store a wine is, whether the wine will be stored for a long term(over 6 months), stored for a short period (consumed within 6 months) or if the wine being stored has already been opened.

Long Term Storage

The first consideration for aging a wine is where you are going to keep it. The temperature needs to be relatively constant (between 10  and 15 degrees) with no rapid fluctuations in temperature from hot to cold, i.e. don’t store near a cooker or boiler as the heat will damage the wine. Humidity should also be relatively constant so avoid storage in sheds or other damp areas.

Next, look at the type of closure that is on the bottle. Screw cap wines can be stored in any way – standing or on their side as it doesn’t impact the wine. Research has proven that screw caps will maintain the wines freshness longer than any other type of closure. Timber corked wines need to be stored on their side in order to maintain a seal between the cork and the wine to avoid the cork drying out. Avoid storing these wines in fridges for an extended period of time as this can cause the cork to shrink. This is especially true for champagne and sparkling wines. Plastic Corked wines are not designed for long term storage and should be consumed relatively quickly.

Short Tem Storage

The main consideration for the store of wines in the short term ( i.e. less that 6 months) is to store away from excessive heat  and out of direct sunlight. Storing Wine that has already been opened Once opened, a wine will stay fresh, up to 1 week depending on the wine. Either red or white wines can be stored in a fridge to maintain freshness.