While most wines you buy are made for immediate consumption, there are many wines that are best stored and aged. At Mount Pleasant, our Estate white wines are designed to be stored for 2-3 years. Red wines, such as our Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can be stored and aged anywhere from 2-10 years in order to mature. Our Port wine can be aged for over a century due to its higher alcohol content as long as the bottles are stored properly. It is very important that all corked wine bottles are stored on their side. If stored upright for a long period of time, the corks will dry out and the air will eventually get to the wine destroying it's originally flavor.
The best storage location for all wines is in a low-traffic area that is dark and has a low consistent temperature. Protect the wine from vibration and try not to move it, which may negatively affect the evolution of the wine. Make sure to store your wine separately from other foods, especially those with a strong smell. The smell could permeate through the cork and contaminate the wine.
It's very important to store wine away from light. The UV rays from direct sunlight or fluorescent bulbs can cause wine to be 'light struck,' which give them a disagreeable smell. If you do not have a dark place in your home to store wine, keep the bottle lightly wrapped in a cloth.
Temperature is one of the most important factors for proper wine storage. It is important to keep the temperature cool and constant. Even a below-ground cellar is often not cool enough for the extended aging of wine (over one year). Refrigeration is the best option. For most wine storage, between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit is generally accepted as the best practice. However, if you can, it is an even better option to store wine at the temperature that best suits that particular variety.
White Wine ~
45-55 degrees (F). Cold, but not too cold. Above 60 degrees, white wine becomes watery and has a strong alcohol smell. At 35 degrees and below, taste buds become so numbed that the wine seems flavorless.
Red Wine ~
55-70 degrees (F). Typical cellar temperature. When red wine is too cold, its tannins turn bitter and mushy. Too warm and it gets heavy and tastes like alcohol.
Port & Dessert Wine ~
55-65 degrees (F). A little cooler than dry wines. Should be kept at a constant temperature and humidity to preserve taste.
Champagne & Sparkling ~
38-50 degrees (F), though some prefer to serve icy cold. The bubbles keep the flavors naturally balanced in a way that still wines cannot match.