Proper Handling and Storage For Best Wine Preservation

Wine sales around the world are on the rise, with more people enjoying wine in the comfort of their own homes rather than in restaurants or bars. Drinking wine can be a thoroughly delightful experience and a worthwhile expenditure, provided you treat it with respect. For best results, understand the fundamentals of when to consume wine, how to store it and how to preserve it at home.

Whether you are a budding enthusiast or an avid wine imbiber, consider following some standard guidelines regarding the timing of your wine consumption to ensure you reap the greatest enjoyment. First, the year printed on the bottle’s label defines the year the wine grapes were harvested, or “vintage.” If no year is printed on the bottle, it means the wine was made with grapes harvested in different years.

Depending on an array of variables, including the wine varietal (type of grapes used), the “release” (shipped-to-market date) is not always indicative of a wine’s worth. Some red wines and sparking wines, especially ones that come from vintners who have been in operation for many decades or even centuries, are often cellared for 10 or more years before being released and are highly likely to be well balanced, pricier and sought after for special occasions and by wine connoisseurs.

General rules of thumb for optimal time and temperature for drinking wine:

  • White and rosé wines, starting within zero to three years from the vintage year at a temperature of 40-50 degrees for dry whites and 50-60 degrees for full-bodied whites such as chardonnay and viognier.
  • Red wines, two to three years at a temperature of 50-60 degrees for light reds such as a beaujolais and 60-65 degrees for fuller body reds such as cabernet.
  • Cooking wines such as marsala and madeira, three to five years at 55-65 degrees.
  • Champagne (excluding sparkling wines), five to 10 years at 40-50 degrees.
  • Fortified wines such as port and sherry, five to 20 years at a temperature of 60-65 degrees.