How to Store Vintage Wine

Written by jaimie zinski
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How to Store Vintage Wine
Maintain a vintage wine bottle's value through proper storage. (Maria Toutoudaki/Photodisc/Getty Images)

According to the Professional Friends of Wine, the first recorded presence of wine was in the Old Testament when Noah was said to plant grapes and produce wine. Today, wine aficionados across the United States are purchasing wine not only to enjoy but also to store in order to protect the wine's value. For many wine collectors, a cellar is the ideal environment to store wine, but there are several points to consider before making a final decision.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Place wine bottles in an environment that maintains a constant temperature of approximately 10 to 15.6 degrees Celsius, according to French Wine Online. This will help the wine age more slowly, which preserves its taste. Most bottles will tolerate a temperature of anywhere up to 26.7 degrees Celsius as long, as this temperature is not maintained for long stretches of time.

  2. 2

    Store the wine bottles in a dark environment. Wine will begin to oxidise when it is allowed to remain for long periods of time in direct sunlight or artificial light, according to French Wine Online.

  3. 3

    Store vintage wine in an area that maintains a constant humidity of around 80 per cent. This will ensure that the wine's cork does not become dry. Storing wine in an area that is too humid will also cause the wine's label to peel, which will decrease the value of the vintage bottle.

  4. 4

    Place the wine bottles onto a wine rack or any other structure that will allow the bottle to remain sideways or horizontal. According to French Wine Online, keeping the wine on its side will allow the liquid to keep the cork moist, which will help protect the contents of the bottle from spoiling.

Tips and warnings

  • Store opened wine bottles in a refrigerator. Red and white wine can be kept refrigerated for up to two weeks, while sweet wines should be consumed two to four weeks after uncorking.
  • Avoid storing wine in an area that is near any sources of vibrations or temperature fluctuations, such as near an elevator, fan or on top of a refrigerator.
  • Avoid storing the bottles near any objects that emits a strong odour, such as old paint cans or cleaning products.

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