Worst place to store wine is the spot people usually choose – ‘not a good idea’
Wine is a universally loved alcoholic drink and tends to appear more often in the home around Christmas.
But when stocking up on prosecco, white, red, and champagne, it’s easy to focus on how to keep the bottles out of the way until they’re opened rather than where they should be kept.
Of course, the fridge, or the space above it is an obvious contender, but an experienced mixologist has warned against it.
Bryan Levato, director of bar hire company Spin & Shake said: “Storing wine and spirits at home requires some care to maintain their quality and flavour.
“Whether you’re storing wine for short-term enjoyment over the festive period or long-term ageing, following best practices for wine storage can make a significant difference in how your wine ages and tastes.”
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He continued: “Don’t store wine or champagne in your fridge! Avoid storing wine for any length of time in your fridge – even white and sparkling wines.
“While they can be put in the fridge to bring them down to service temperature before serving, keeping them in the fridge for an extended period is not good for product quality as the low humidity levels inside a regular fridge can cause the cork to dry out, leading to oxidation and spoilage.”
Instead, the mixology expert suggested seeking out a location that has a stable temperature of 7-18C, no direct sunlight, and “low vibration”.
This is likely to be in a cupboard under the stairs, hallway closets, the garage or a cellar for those that have one.
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While some people may reach for the space above the fridge instead, Bryan warned against this too, claiming: “Keeping wine bottles on racks above your fridge is not a good idea, as the heat given off to cool the inside of the fridge radiates to the top.
“These temperature swings can be harmful to wine, as fluctuating temperatures can cause the wine to expand and contract, potentially pushing the cork out or allowing air to enter the bottle, which can lead to premature ageing and spoilage.”
For some, the kitchen counter may be the only option when short on actual storage space. But even this should be approached with caution.
The mixologist urged people to avoid spots near kitchen appliances where “harmful temperature fluctuations” occur, and instead, keep them in the most consistently cool place.
Once you’ve made space for the wine in an optimum location, it’s important to consider one more thing to keep the bottles fresh.
Bryan elaborated: “Keep wines with natural corks stored on their side to keep the cork from drying out. A dry cork can shrivel up and let air into the bottle, causing the wine to prematurely age and the cork to crumble when you try to remove it.”
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