How To Properly Store Wine in Hot Climates
When living in warmer climate areas, food and drinks tend to go bad a lot quicker than they do in colder areas. When it comes to wine, proper storage is something that is often overlooked, until it is too late and you end up having an unpleasant experience drinking ‘corked wine’. So, how should you store wine in hot climates? In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to store wine in hot climates.
If you live in a hot climate as opposed to being on holiday, the best way to store wine is to buy a wine cooler. Otherwise, keep your bottles stored in a dark cupboard in the kitchen. Some people use a pantry but a great place is the cupboard where your glass cookware is stored. Remember, bottles with a cork must be stored horizontally.
Well, that was just the short answer. For a more in-depth look at storing your wine in hot climates, keep reading.
What is the Ideal Temperature for Wine?
Wine doesn’t necessarily have an “ideal temperature” as there are many factors that need to be considered, such as the humidity and type of wine. Furthermore, whether you are storing or ageing the wine is an important question. That said, let’s discuss the recommended temperature for wine storage:
- Most Red Wines: These do best at temperatures ranging between 13C – 18C (55F – 65F). This also includes fortified wines.
- White Wine and Rose: Please note that this includes Champagne and sparkling wine. It is recommended to store white wine at 7C – 13C (45F – 55F).
- Ageing vs Storing Wine: While consistency is always important, if you are aging wine, it becomes even more essential. It is advised to keep the wine at a consistent 13C (55F).
Remember, those are recommended temperatures, and it is better to get as close as possible to them, rather than feeling like it is an absolute necessity.
5 Tips for Storing Wine in Hot Climates
Some of these tips might be more relevant to you than others, and some might need some tailoring to your situation. With that said, here are five easy to follow steps to storing your wine while living in hot temperatures.
This tip mostly applies to anyone using a wine rack on their kitchen counter, but, never place your wine in direct or indirect sunlight. Even if your kitchen temperature is perfect, placing your wine rack in front of a window is a big NO!
A wine rack on the kitchen counter is not all bad, as long as you place it away from any windows.
Store Wine in Kitchen Cupboards
While on the subject of keeping your wine away from sunlight, a kitchen cupboard is one of the best places to store wine even in hot climates. However, it is best if your cupboards stay dark. You can check the humidity in the cupboard simply by seeing if anything in the cupboard is randomly wet.
If you do struggle with humidity in your kitchen cupboards, it can affect a lot more than your wine, so, it is advisable to get the cupboards insulated. It is best to aim for around 50% humidity.
Places like Bali tend to be more humid than others, so you should watch out for too much humidity, if the cupboards are too dry, the wine cork could crack but it is rare.
Keep the Wine Stored Horizontally
A lot of modern wines use screw-on bottle caps instead of corks, and if your wine also uses them then this tip is not as important. That said, any wine that is sealed with a cork must be stored horizontally.
See, the cork swells to form an airtight seal. It does this because it absorbs a little bit of wine, and as long as it stays in contact with the wine, it will remain the right size to keep that seal.
If the bottle of wine is stored vertically, the cork will start to dry out and shrink, this allows air into the bottle which in turn causes the wine to oxidise.
Buy a Wine Cooler
Wine coolers serve two purposes, they keep your wine at a consistent and perfect temperature and they are a pretty cool way to display your wine. A wine cooler can be costly but they are worth it, especially if you like to keep your stock up at all times.
Before buying a wine cooler, ask yourself how much wine you need to store because they come in different sizes. Most homes will have a nine-bottle cooler while you might only need space for six bottles.
Maintain Good Temperature Control
The final tip is to watch the temperature in your home, which can be tricky. However, if you know that the weather will be abnormally warm outside, try to keep your house cool either by having as much airflow as possible, using a fan or the option is to use an air-conditioner.
What Temperature is Too Hot for Wine?
It is important to know what the average temperature in your area is, and then try to determine what the average room temperature in your home is.
Wine that is exposed to temperatures over 27C (80F) could start to go bad. However, the average room temperature in most hot climates is around 22C (71F).
Where is the Best Place to Store Wine?
Even though this article has gone through five tips for storing wine, there is one final step you can take whether you live in a cold or hot climate. If you have a basement, it is the best area of the house to store wine.
Basements tend to have the best humidity and the temperatures are generally cool down there.
We hope this ‘how to store wine in hot climates’ article has helped you better prepare for storing wine in hot climates. At the end of the day, people have been drinking wine in hot climates for ages without any problems. So, you do not have to go overboard when thinking about where to store your wine. The trick is to not be careless and to be mindful that heat and especially exposure to sunlight can cause the wine to go bad.
Belle Wine Bar & Grazing Boards is a modern chic wine bar in Bali that specialises in serving wine sourced from around the world and served at the perfect temperature. If you want an authentic experience and to ask a few questions, pop in and visit us!