What Types of Wines Store Best in Wine Cellars?

If you love wine and enjoy buying it to drink in the future, you definitely want to store it so it is at its very best when you pop it open. Having a wine cellar can help you properly preserve your carefully chosen wines, but not all wines are the same. Read on to find out what types of wines store best in a wine cellar, and how long you should be storing them.

Red vs. White

It is widely agreed upon that all wines, regardless of color, should be stored at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Both red and white wine are best when kept at this temperature, with about 70% humidity, to avoid premature aging. This means that you can store your entire wine collection in one wine cellar, without special consideration for reds vs. whites.

The real difference when it comes to red wine versus white wine is in serving temperature. Red wine that has been stored in a 55-degree wine cellar tastes best when it has had some time to warm up. After you’ve plucked a bottle of red from your cellar, let it sit at room temperature for fifteen to twenty minutes, or use a decanter. White wine, on the other hand, tastes better when it is slightly cooler than its cellar temperature. Put the bottle on ice for twenty minutes after coming up from the cellar, then serve.

Old vs. New

The ability for a wine to taste better with age (“aging gracefully”, if you will), is based on the quality of the wine itself. We’re sad to say it, but long gone are the days in which wine production resulted in a product that got better with decades of aging. Most of the wines produced in the last few decades taste best when consumed within three to five years of bottling. Letting them sit longer, even in a temperature regulated wine cellar, will not enhance their flavor when you get around to drinking them.

If you’ve recently purchased a five-year-old wine, don’t wait to drink it in ten years. Enjoy that bottle soon, or it could be flat and tasteless when you finally get around to it.  

For wines that you’ve splurged on (the ones that are already decades old and come from renowned vineyards), continue to store them in your cellar, but keep your expectations in check.

Wines That Do Age Gracefully

Keeping the two points above in mind, selecting higher-end bottles of the following wines gives you the best chance of stocking your wine cellar with bottles that will age well:

  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Riesling

At Harkraft, we know a lot of wine lovers, and we’ve helped many of them build beautiful wine cellars for their collections. If you have more questions about wine cellars, drop us a line. We can be reached at 763.544.4478, or toll-free at 888.544.7111, or by making an Appointment.