My husband received a rare bottle of wine for his bar-mitzvah. The gift giver wished him to open the bottle on the occasion of an important event in his adult life. This bottle went with him from one residence to another until we got married. On the evening of the proposal, we both learned that it isn’t enough to buy a superb bottle of wine from an excellent vintage year: you also need to know how to store the wine so that the costly investment won’t be wasted and leave a bad taste in the mouth…

True, wine is a bit more spoiled than other beverages and foods, and yet, by paying a little attention and understanding the simple principles, you too can extend the life of the quality wine you purchased even after opening it.

Wine Doesn’t Like Heat or Cold Either…

The optimal preservation temperature of white or red wine is between 14 and 18 degrees centigrade. Maintaining this temperature in a home in this country is no simple task. Nonetheless, here are a few helpful tips: don’t store wine in the kitchen, where the temperature frequently changes. Keep wine away from hot and cold spots such as ovens, stovetops and air conditioners. Store the wine in a shaded, dark and cool place and avoid direct sunlight.

Wine Needs to Lie…

Optimal humidity for wine storage is between 60-70%. Correct humidity protects the cork from drying out!

You can help maintain the humidity of the cork by storing the bottle lying down. When the bottle lies over time, the wine wets the cork, which swells and thoroughly seals the neck of the bottle. This prevents outside oxygen from penetrating. Under overhumid conditions, the cork will grow mold. On the other hand, when the cork is too dry, there is a danger of air penetrating the wine from the wall of the bottle. When the cork is dry, it will be difficult to remove from the bottle!

Wine Prefers Darkness!

Avoid exposing wine bottles to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight and continual light exposure  adversely affects the hue of the wine and precipitates oxidation which hurts the wine’s flavor and fragrance. Store wine in a dark place (such as storeroom or closed cupboard).

What Else?

Various smells could make their way into wine, which is why to avoid storing wine in a place with strong smells. Additionally, try to avoid moving the wine around. There is a tradition that says that moving the wine interferes with its aging.

It is important to know that only quality wines can be preserved over time.

And What If We Opened the Bottle?

If you opened the wine, you can keep it preserved in the refrigerator. White wine will last about a week and red wine about ten days. Use of a special vacuum stopper, which is definitely a must item for every household, will prevent the wine’s oxidation and extend the life of the opened bottle. When taken out of the refrigerator, the wine should be aired. (Wine is removed from the refrigerator at a temperature of around 4 degrees whereas the desired drinking temperature is 17 degrees. It is advisable to take out the bottle about 15 minutes before drinking, open it and transfer the wine to a decanter) or to simply leave the bottle open about a half hour before drinking.

Wine Cooler, Cellar or a Little Bit of Knowledge and Attention

Home wine coolers can be purchased that will do the job of storage for you and control temperature and humidity. If you are wine buffs, you can create your wine cellar with the desired storage conditions. But certainly a little bit of attention and knowledge can prevent damage to wine caused by faulty storage and extend its shelf life.

In summary: Bottles of wine are properly stored lying, in a cool and dark place. These three conditions will prevent wine defects caused by faulty storage.

All of the items that will preserve the value and flavor of your wine can be found at the Bahat Winery or at Wine Products. For wine storage merchandise, click the link to the photo.