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Wine Spectator School

Class 2: Tasting Reds

long-term storage


The five requirements for long-term storage are:

  1. Temperature
  2. Temperature stability
  3. Humidity
  4. The absence of light
  5. The absence of vibration

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.

Temperature stability is another key element...

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