The five requirements for long-term storage are:
Temperature is the most important aspect of wine storage. A range between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit is commonly cited as acceptable, and 55 degrees is the best temperature for long-term aging.
Wine stored at too low a temperature matures very slowly or not at all. Storage at a temperature that is too warm accelerates the aging process, but often at the cost of maturity.
At the extremes of temperature, a wine can expand enough as it freezes to push the cork completely out of the bottle; a wine stored for just a few weeks at temperatures above 85 degrees may taste cooked or stewed.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator's New York office is looking for an assistant tasting coordinator.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered