As you probably know, the cooling unit you put in place in your wine cellar will help to determine how your wine will be when you decide to open and drink it. Before talking about the conditions under which to store red and white wine, let’s review what your cellar should have before you move in any wine.
These are very basic steps. Clearly, there is more to building a wine cellar in your home than the steps we list above, but we list them to give you an idea of the work involved in creating a space in your home that will perfectly preserve and help age any wine you store. Experts can help you throughout the process, from deciding the kind of cellar you want and where you want it to doing the actual work.
Once your cellar is in place, you get to move on to the fun part – actually storing your wine. We will cover in a series of other blog posts the types of racks you can use in your cellar, but here, let’s briefly talk about the best conditions under which to store your red and white wine.
Both red and white wines should be stored at the same temperature when it comes to storage. Drinking temperature is a different issue. White wines may not be chilled enough in your wine cellar. Before serving white wine, take the wine out of your cellar and put it into an ice bucket before you are planning to serve it. Serving champagne? Definitely chill champagne on ice before serving it. If you add water to the ice, the wine will chill faster.
The 55 degree storage temperature is equally important, if not more so, with your red wines. They typically are the wines that need more time to age before drinking. However, the 55 degrees is not the temperature you will want to drink your red wines at either. Contrary to popular belief, red wine should not be served at normal room temperature. Depending upon the wine you are drinking, the ideal drinking temperature varies. There are may charts available online to help you along the way. When in doubt, serve the wine a few degrees cooler than room temperature. Richer aroma is released as the wine warms up to room temperature. No wine should be served over 68 degrees F. Keep in mind that the cooling process helps age your wine and will let you store it for longer periods of time than just putting it away elsewhere.
One unit can serve to store red and white and conditions ideal for them, but remember you may need to take an extra step (cooling or “warming”) before serving.