by Rachel Kuptz

Temperature of the room: Most wines taste best when served at room temperature, or 55 degrees. Here’s where that rule gets confusing — sparkling wine is best served chilled, so wine refrigerator storage is best, while white wines are best kept in temperatures of 45 degrees. Temperature controlled wine refrigerators will allow you to set the temperature based on the wines you most frequently have, but a simple wine rack placed in a cooler spot of your home will also do the trick. Just make sure that the spot you decide to store your wine isn’t next to a heater or vent, as fluctuations in temperature can impact the taste and quality of the wines.

Height: When using a wine rack, keep this rule of thumb in mind — sparkling wines on the bottom shelf, white wines in the middle, and reds on the top. This rule comes into play with the thought that heat rises, so keep the wines that are best served cooler towards the bottom.

Storage surroundings: Keeping a wine next to fruit or vegetables can cause the wine to mold. Foods that can rot might send moldy flavors into a cork of the wine, causing the wine to have unfavorable smells and tastes.

Dark spaces: When exposed to light, wine can age faster and lose it’s flavor. Keep your wine racks away from any sources of natural light, and in a darker section of your home.

Sideways: Keeping wine on it’s side will keep the wine in contact with the cork, preventing air from escaping into the wine bottle. Different types of wine racks will allow you to tilt the wine to an optimal level, allowing the wine cork to stay wet and prevent oxygen from coming in.

Air Circulation of storage room: Wine can mold. If wine is kept in a closet or dark room, make sure that there is a steady amount of circulation. Just like you wouldn’t keep clothes in a moldy closet, make sure your that the place you choose to store your wine is clean and free of mold.

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