Monday, 8 January 2018

For many people, wine is not merely a beverage to be enjoyed occasionally with a meal or at a get-together with friends. Rather, wine is a passion.

Many oenophiles regard good wine as akin to art and therefore treat it like an investment that deserves the right care and even a little coddling.

Temperature is key

The key consideration when deciding how to store your wine is temperature. To maintain quality, bottles should be stored on their sides at a moderate, stable temperature. If not, oxidization could occur and render what was once a fine vintage into vinegar. While there are many things that can cause a good wine to go bad, significant temperature fluctuations are often the root cause.

Though there are no hard and fast rules, in general, wine is best kept at between 50 and 55 °F and 60 to 75 percent humidity. Thankfully, you don't need to have access to an underground wine cave to ensure your prized collection is properly preserved.

Here are five of the best storage options:

1. Wine cooler

A wine cooler (also known as a wine refrigerator) is the most popular way to store wine. They are available in a range of shapes and sizes to fit any space and can often be customized to match the finish or style of any room. Furthermore, though wine fridges used to have a reputation as loud, intrusive energy hogs, advances in technology have turned them into discrete, energy efficient house guests.

2. Basement

Ideally, every wine connoisseur would live in a house equipped with a limestone cellar complete with wall-to-wall wine racks perfect for storing vintages. Fortunately, a basement can be the next best thing as long as it has a dark, windowless, cool area away from the furnace. An unfinished cellar is especially welcoming to wine. It's also important to ensure that the temperature and humidity levels of the basement storage area do not fluctuate wildly when the seasons change.

3. A customized nook and cranny

If you have a large collection but don't have a basement and don't like the idea of wall-to-wall wine coolers, then you may want to consider hiring someone to build a customized wine storage space. Almost any home, no matter the size, has an underused area that can be transformed into an ideal wine nook. All it takes is a qualified contractor who understands the noble grape's special needs — like the importance of a vapor barrier, for example — and you could have your own cellaring room in a matter of days.

4. Private wine storage

This option has gotten increasingly popular in bustling metropolitan areas where space is at a premium. Storing your collection at a commercial wine storage facility is one of the best ways to be sure that your investment is receiving the proper care. These climate-controlled spaces are specifically engineered for the sole purpose of maintaining bottles in optimal conditions. Furthermore, many professional storage companies will pick up or deliver your wine and offer other wine-management services, such as buying advice and inventory cataloging. Storing your vintages off-site also has the added benefit of ensuring that an errant teenager or curious party guest never imbibes a beloved bottle.

5. A closet

If all else fails, a closet can make a surprisingly suitable substitute for a cellar. Keep the bottles lying on their sides (unless they're screw top and then standing is fine) in a cool area, away from any light. Try to choose a closet that's as far away as possible from a heater or an air conditioning vent, as well. In the end, if you're keeping your wine away from heat and sunlight and maintaining a moderate, consistent temperature, your collection should remain quaffable for years. 

Whichever storage option you choose, try not to spend too much time worrying about your vintages. After all, wine is the kind of investment that's meant to be actively enjoyed, and the best place to store your wine is in your stomach.

The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA Compass, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or financial advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial advisor about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA Compass or any of its affiliates. 

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