Wine begins to spoil the moment it is opened. While short term exposure to oxygen or “breathing the wine” can open the aromas and flavours of various red wines, any contact with oxygen before opening a bottle and its all over, down the sink.
When the wine is in an upright position as many are at your local liquor store for months and sometime years, the drying out of the cork will have disastrous effects due to oxidation. So try to buy wines that are stored lying down, or as becoming more popular, screw caped bottles.
Keep your wine at home in a wine rack or if you are serious about your wine collection, keep it in a temperature controlled wine cellar or cooler.
Heat and humidity are also important to the welfare of your wine, for longer storage humidity should be around sixty percent and will keep the corks fresh and expanded.
An ideal temperature range for the longer term storage should be at about 55 degrees, for storage of up to six months 55 to 70 degrees should be ok, its important to realize that wines can be stressed by variations in temperature so try to keep it stable by cellaring.
Ultraviolet light affects your wine! That new wine rack you have in your dining room, sure it looks great in the afternoon sun but don’t expect the wine to be that way, keep your wine away from fluorescent lights, sunlight and from heat sources such as the furnace, hot water heaters, water pipes, other appliances, and especially the top of your fridge!
Its clear that proper storage of your wine is critical for day to day wine and high quality wine that you want to enjoy in years to come. A wine cellar is your best choice if you have the space, why not make it a special place incorporating a bar and tasting facilities. If you cant cellar your wine or prefer to buy wines that are ready to drink a good quality wine rack kept in the basement, under a stairwell, or other cool area of your home is a must.