Q: In your opinion, how long is it safe to leave a quality wine or investment level wine in temperature, but not humidity controlled environment. Would the answer be "no time whatsever" or a day or 2 or a week? How soon would we expect to experience the risk of cork drying , and thus, a risk of oxidation? -- Marta Kandl
A: The is no unequivocal answer to this question. While tradition has it that wine should always be stored in a temperature and humidity controlled facility, some authorities believe the latter is a less important factor. Winemaker John Kongsgaard told me, "Humidity is far less important than temperature controls. Lack of humidity will ultimately dry out a cork, but that would take decades, especially if the wine is stored cork down or cork sideways." However, if you plan to sell your wine down the road, note that auction houses prefer that the wine be exposed to humidity as well as temperature controls. In the very least, you can place a bucket of water in your cellar, or purchase a compact humidifier.
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