As in: That special bottle you saved for your 10th anniversary, only to uncork vinegar.
Keep bottles away from heat. “When it comes to wine, there’s one absolute,” says Manhattan sommelier Patrick Cappiello: “Heat is bad―it cooks the wine and kills the fruit.” So never store bottles in direct sunlight or near a stove. For long-term storage, “the ideal temperature is 55 degrees,” says Cappiello. “A basement is good, but remember to keep it away from the boiler.”
Lay bottles on their sides. That way, Cappiello says, “the wine stays in contact with the cork, preventing air from oxidizing it.”
Put wine in the refrigerator. For short-term storage (reds or whites that you’ll drink within a month or so), use your refrigerator. “Open bottles should last up to four days,” says Jamie Ritchie, head of the wine department at Sotheby’s. You can also use the Vacu-Vin ($10, amazon.com), a stopper-and-pump system that takes the air out of an open bottle and may keep wine fresh for as long as a week.