How to Store Wine at Home—Including Tips for Different Wine Types

Red or white, we’ve got you covered.

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Wine is a terrible thing to waste. And a good bottle can last for years, even decades, with the proper storage techniques. Luckily, it takes very little to take good care of your wine, whether you’re holding onto a low-cost bottle for an impromptu movie night, or storing a special cuvée for an upcoming celebration. A good bottle of wine deserves proper care so you can enjoy it at its best. Here’s how to store all types of wine at home. 

How to Store Red Wine

Red wine and white wine can be stored together, no wine fridge required. However, if you enjoy stocking up on bottles and letting them age over time, a wine fridge can be a worthwhile investment. “Still wine in general benefits from being stored in a consistently cool, dark place that isn't too dry,” says Amy Racine, sommelier and beverage director at JF Restaurants. “If there isn't enough humidity, sometimes the cork can shrivel up and dry out, but most homes and basements already are just fine for this.”  Store your still bottles of wine on their side, rather than upright, which helps keep the cork moist and prevents oxidation. 

And while a cute wine stand may help keep your sideways wine bottles from rolling away, they should still be stored in a dark space. “I see a lot of the countertop stands or racks for wine that sit out on the counter,” Racine says. “Typically, it's too warm and too bright for this. Light-struck wine can taste a little funky, so try to move those racks to a dark and cooler space, like a closet that remains cool.”

How to Store White Wine

If you prefer having your white wine ready to uncork at a moment’s notice, your fridge is a fine place for it to be. “White wine can be kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve, but make sure it stays consistently at that temperature until ready to serve,” Racine says.” If the temperature fluctuates, it can alter the flavor of the wine, in a bad way.” That is, if you lose power or change the settings on your fridge often, storing your white wine in there may not be the best idea. And if you purchase your wine already chilled from a wine fridge, it’s best to keep it that way. Don’t let it warm to room temperature and then re-chill, which can also alter the flavor.

How to Store Rosé Wine

Rosé and skin-contact wines are akin to white wines, meaning they can be stored in a dark place or in the fridge, whatever you prefer. “Follow the laws of white wine,” Racine suggests for rosé bottle best practices. “The biggest thing is to keep the bottles away from direct light!” If your home is warm in the summer, when you’re likely drinking the most rosé, keep those pink wines in the fridge for efficient patio bottle popping. 

How to Store Sparkling Wine

Unlike still wine bottles that should be stored on their sides, sparkling bottles can be stored standing upright too, says Racine. You’ll want to chill it before serving, so the fridge works for sparkling wine storage too. Once it’s open, toss out the cork. 

“Do not put a wine cork back into a Champagne bottle,” says Racine. “There's still pressure there and it can become dangerous. Purchase a Champagne stopper, which is usually under $10, to keep the bubbles fresh and you safe!”

How to Store Open Wine

If you don’t plan to finish your open wine bottle, keep your cork. “Put the cork back in an open wine and refrigerate white, red, and rosé,” Racine says. “If you’re drinking red, pull out the bottle about 45 minutes before you're ready to sip to bring it back to temperature.” If you prefer your red wine chilled, it’s ready to go.

How long does open wine last? “Three days is usually the max, but if the fridge door has not been opening or closing too much, it can go longer,” says Racine. “Just taste it to ensure it's still the way the winemaker intended and on par with that first sip.” If you want to extend the life of your still wine bottles, she suggests a wine pump or a Coravin. “A wine pump can give wine an extra two to three days, and a Coravin is an amazing tool that keeps the wine for up to six months,” Racine says. And when all else fails, just finish the bottle.

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