Achieving the right wine storage conditions can be a tall order, especially if you don’t have a wine cellar to call your own. Not many of us can lay claim to owning a wine cellar, and even more of us are in the bad practice of storing wine incorrectly. But if you want to get serious about your dedication to the art of collecting what is possibly the finest elixir known to man, you might find the perfect answer in the availability of wine storage units at some Portland self-storage facilities.
Self-storage units are the best solution to keeping a massive inventory of wine. Not only are they safe and convenient, but rental fees are a lot less expensive than building a wine cellar. There are many things to consider when storing wine at these facilities, but in the end it will totally be worth it.
When choosing the appropriate unit, the most important feature you want to look for is the ability to control the temperature. Storing wine at too warm a temperature can cause leaks in the cork, while storing in too cold a temperature can cause freezing. Climate controlled self-storage units can be set to specific temperatures, ensuring that regardless of the variety of wines you’re storing, the bottles will be kept in the optimum environment to preserve their taste.
While the average suggested temperature for wines in general is 55 degrees Fahrenheit, red wines and white wines do have slightly differing requirements for optimum aging. If you’re going to be storing large quantities of several different types of wines, the ideal circumstance is to store them in separate units that are set to precise temperatures. Here are some general guidlines for what temperature you should store each type of wine:
Red Wine - If you’re going to be storing red wine, the best temperature is a constant 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Red wine encompasses merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, shiraz, and zinfandel.
White Wine – Chardonnays, sauvignon blancs, and pinot grigios should be stored at a slightly lower temperature than their red cousins, and are best when maintained in a 45 degree environment. If you’ve got a treasure trove of champagne, you can also store these with your white wines.
Dessert Wine – Because they’re well preserved by their heavy sugar content, you don’t have to be as nitpicky with regard to temperature when storing sweet dessert wines. As long as they’re kept in a relatively cool, dark environment, their taste will be well preserved.
If you have a valuable wine collection, it’s also important that you store bottles in the right conditions to promote proper aging and prevent oxidation. The tips below offer best practices and suggestions for proper wine storage.
1. Keep wine away from sunlight. The UV rays of the sun can change the smell and taste of wine, which is one reason you'll see home wine storage built in basements. Most rental units do not have windows, so your bottles will be safely shielded from UV damage.
2. Store all bottles lying on their side. Actually, the most preferable position to store a bottle of wine is with the cork facing downward at a 45 degree angle. You can use or make inexpensive racks in a storage unit to keep bottles stacked on their sides. This prevents the cork in the bottles from drying out, which exposes the wine to air.
3. Avoid excessive movements. Bottles should be moved as seldom as possible until they’re ready to be consumed, so position them strategically.
4. Store wine in a dry location. This means that you should avoid wine rack storage in environments that are prone to humidity. If a wine bottle is exposed to too much humidity, the cork itself can dry and crack, spoiling the flavor.
5. Isolate the wine. Don't store your wine bottles with anything else that may have a strong smell because the odors can actually get into your wine.
Storing you wine collection in a self-storage unit is the best alternative to building a wine cellar, and a much cheaper one. Use these tips to store your wine properly and assure that it stays in pristine drinking form for years to come.
Check out our living green roof now in bloom!
And a close up…
One of the views of big pink across the river…
We are probably the first and only "green" wine storage in the nation which is pretty cool. All 20,000 sq. ft. of our roof is now "living". Next time you’re down at Wine Storage poke your head in the office and Joe or I will be happy to take you up the roof to take a look.
We are also working on our water reclamation system so we can recycle rain water to flush our toilets and water the roof. I’ll spare you the pictures on this one.
Oh yeah, the shameless plug in this vein: if you haven’t already, check out our organic / biodynamic wine club at purvinewines.com.