1. Keep the temperature consistent
Never let it rise above 24°C. At 24°C, the wine begins to oxidise, so it's important to keep it below this level. Storing wines at the right temperature slows the aging process, but won't hurt the wine.
2. Block out harmful UV rays
Wine is affected by light, so when storing it, keep it in a cool, dark place. Sunlight can lead to an unpleasant smell that can ruin your wine. Don't chuck your wine chiller next to the window. Plan ahead to place it in a well shaded area. Alternatively, purchase a wine climate cabinet that comes with UV protection.
3. Humidity control is key
Keep the humidity in your wine storage area at a constant 70 per cent. A higher humidity level keeps the cork from drying out and minimises evaporation of the wine. However, a humidity level that's too high can cause mold to grow and wine labels to fall off over time.
4. Store your wines in a low-vibration environment
Sometimes, even simple vibrations can affect the condition of wine in the long run. Significant vibrations could possibly disturb the sediment in older wines and keep them from settling, potentially making them unpleasantly gritty.
Looking to invest in a wine cabinet? Here are three to choose from:
For the wine connoisseur
You probably have the best sommeliers in town on speed-dial and chart your holidays around vineyards the world over. If anything, you can always count on German engineering for its militant attention to detail. Built to operate with barely any vibrations, Gaggenau's RW 464 wine climate cabinet ensures that your wines will age perfectly, à la Richard Gere.
For the frequent entertainer
You don't really go out for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Chinese New Year because everyone comes to you. Cooking for 16? Elementary. And you have a bottle of wine to match with each of the eight courses you're serving up. With so many bottles in tow, you'll do best to opt for Vintec's V190SG2eBK model, which easily houses 155 bottles. Easily adjustable wooden shelves give you the flexibility to lay your bottles horizontally or vertically.
For someone who enjoys an occasional glass of wine
Miele's KWT 6322UG storage cabinet is a compact addition to any kitchen. Despite its nifty size, it features three separate temperature zones — perfect for catering to both reds and whites — as well as UV filters in the tinted glass front.