The nectar of the gods has been tempting for centuries and more people are drinking wine than ever before. In fact, the United States has surpassed France as the world’s leading consumer of wine, with the average American drinking more than three gallons of wine annually. That’s a lot of wine. There is no doubt Americans love their Merlots, Malbecs, and Pinot Noirs, and more people are putting special consideration into how they store their wine. Even without the budget and capacity for a specially designed cellar, it’s easy to dedicate a space in your home for attractive and functional wine storage.
At Bin 201 in Annapolis, it’s possible to find both affordable and world-class wines to suit every palate, but it is the cheerfully knowledgeable staff that keeps me returning to this exceptional purveyor. Chris Paige, Assistant Manager of Bin 201, says that location is everything when selecting a space to store wine. “Ideally you want a cool, dark place with a stable environment,” he says. Frills and fancy accessories are not necessary, but a wine rack is recommended to store wine on its side, so that the cork remains moistened and never dries out. “Temperature, light, humidity and stability all play a key role for optimum wine storage,” Paige notes. Consider these factors when storing your wine at home:
Temperature: Wine enthusiasts often choose to store their wine in a basement setting, due to the cooler temperatures. Heat and temperature fluctuation can interfere with the chemistry of the wine and 55 Degrees is considered the optimum temperature for perfect wine storage. At 75 degrees, the wine will begin to oxidize.
Light: Choose a dark place for your wine space. Like heat, sunlight can break down the wine and create unsavory chemicals.
Humidity: Higher humidity levels keep the cork from drying out and discourage evaporation.
Position: Store wine bottles on their side, so that the cork is continually moistened. Choose a location where there is little movement or vibration, which can affect the wine over time.
Written by Katie Riley