That countertop wine rack proudly displaying the 2004 Dom Perignon your boss re-gifted to you last year for Christmas might look super classy but since it’s sitting a foot from your stove-top, you are slowly but surely killing anything worth drinking in the bottle. The important thing when storing wine (of any price-point) is not aesthetics but temperature.
Almost all wine should be stored at an ideal temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is way cooler than most people like to keep their thermostat set and way warmer than the average home refrigerator.
The recent viral picture of the wine cellar in the floor below someone’s kitchen is something I would love to do – however I don’t think my downstairs neighbors would appreciate it. We know that in a 500 sq ft apt there is just not really a good place to put in a wine cellar – so we have to get creative.
Whether storing wine under your bathroom sink, in the back of your toddler’s closet, or in that thing people call an oven, some good rules to keep in mind when storing wine are:
1. Stay away from light!
If at any point in the day sunlight shines directly on your wine collection (or bottle), move it immediately! The heat will age your wine prematurely and can lead to a “corked taste”. Dark spaces are much better for temperature regulation.
2. Temperature, Temperature, Temperature!
If the darkest place in your house happens to be between your radiator and your hot water heater then there is probably a better place for the wine. Keeping wine in the kitchen refrigerator is okay for wine you plan to drink in the next week or two but anything you want to hold onto longer needs a warmer climate.
3. Store bottles on their side
This is important for natural cork wine. Corks can dry out if the bottle is upright so make sure there is wine touching the cork to keep it moist. The one exception to this rule is sparkling wine. Experts say to store anything with bubbles standing up.
There are tons of great wine storage hacks out there! We love these simple stacking units that can go together in one place or can be stored separately if space is limited. They are plastic, super light weight and pretty cheap – coming in around 20 bucks each. They only hold six bottles but they are easy to fit in tight spaces.
If you want to get really clever you can always make your wine storage double as furniture. With a quick coat of paint these stackable wine cubes would make great end tables – or get 4 and make a coffee table! They hold 24 bottles each which adds up quickly. A few cubes here and there and you’ve got loads of practical storage without taking up too much space.
Best Wine Fridge Options
If you have the space in your home for a wine fridge we have found some great options to get started. This Whynter 20 Bottle Thermoelectric Wine Cooler is great for someone low on space. We like having limits to storage space so you always know what you have ready to drink. The price point is great too coming in under $200.
If you’ve got more room or a bigger collection we absolutely love the look of this Kingsbottle 50 Bottle Compressor Single Zone Wine Cellar. A great size for the entertainer with cool features like slide-out drawers – it also can hold large bottles, which is always a plus if you’re looking at lots of pinot or sparkling bottles. The wood detailing on the drawers is a really nice tough too. Coming in just shy of $900, this one is perfect for frequent collectors and entertainers.
Looking to go big? Check out this Allavino Dual-Zone Wine Refrigerator.
This bad boy holds 170 bottles and has some sick features including two different cooling zones so you can maintain different temps at the same time as well as adjustable wooden shelves for different sized bottles. The drawers slide out for each access and the glass door lets you admire how impressive your collection without being bothered by opening any pesky doors. Who has time for doors!