The cherry trees are blossoming, and spring is upon us in Washington State. No matter where you live, spring means spring cleaning, now more than ever. So while you’re cleaning out the rest of your home, don’t forget the most important part—your wine collection (that hopefully contains some of your favorite Nine Hats wines)! We’ve pulled together some of our top tips and tricks for storing and organizing your wine for the year ahead.
The first question you need to ask is does your wine have a home? There are a number of variables that go into how your wine should be properly stored. The top of the fridge, kitchen counters, and in the closet just won’t cut it. Why? The heat of the oven and the steam from the stove will cause the temperature to fluctuate, which ultimately affects the state of your wine. You can store your wine anywhere in your home where it’s relatively dark and cool. Additionally, you want to lay your bottles on their side. It is the best way to keep the cork from drying out, which will lead to oxidation. Since a lot of Nine Hats wines are screw caps you can store them upright without worry, but let’s talk about organization.
You never know when you’ll be reaching into your wine rack, so having it organized by varietal can make things a whole lot easier. Begin by separating your wine out into categories — start with sparkling, then move to Rosé and down the line from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. By doing this you might find a few gems you forgot about in your collection, perhaps some library Nine Hats wines?
Alternatively, you might want to organize your bottles up by vintage. Wines like the 2018 Julia Dazzle Rosé or the 2017 Nine Hats Chardonnay should be at eye level, so they aren’t forgotten and consumed sooner. Our red wines can be cellared longer, so you can place those out of your eye line. This way you’ll never miss an opportunity to drink a bottle during its prime!
It’s important to keep your wine stored at an appropriate temperature that is not too warm nor too cold. The ideal temperature range is between 45° and 65°, as temperatures higher than 70° will age wine more quickly. Temperatures even warmer than that may result in “cooked” wine, causing it to develop undesirable flavors and aromas. It’s also important to avoid fluctuating temperatures, like next to the stove, as we discussed earlier, or next to an air conditioning vent. Keep this in mind as summer approaches. Move your bottles to a cooler place or, ideally, into a wine fridge.