Quick and Easy Wine Storage Tips for Texans (in Less Than Ten Minutes)

 

Our quick and easy wine storage tips will have you looking like a sommelier in less than 10 minutes. Okay, maybe not quite at that level but close.

Have you ever wondered why wine improves with age? So many things do.

The great English Philosopher and Statesman, Francis Bacon, explains why, “ … age appears to be best in four things—old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” Many red wines—and some white wines—are meant to be aged before they are opened.

Why should you consider wine storage? Wine collecting has always been a popular hobby among the wealthy who purchase high-end wine that might appreciate in value over time. However, in recent years several new trends have emerged:

  • Wine is more affordable than ever
  • Millennials drink more wine than boomers
  • Wine growing regions are now in all 50 states

 

Because wine grapes are grown in every state, importing and transportation costs are lower, which helps make wine more affordable. The Texas Hill Country is the country’s second largest AVA (American Viticultural Area), which makes it one the top wine-producing states in the country.

Even though Texas may be the last place you think of for producing wine, the humid subtropical climate is perfect for growing grapes. However, like Texas, the climate in most states is not perfect for storing your wine.

 

Do I Need a Wine Cellar?

While a temperature-controlled wine cellar is an ideal place for long-term wine storage, they cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. Besides your wallet, your energy bill will also take a pretty big hit. If you would rather invest that money into purchasing more wine, how to mimic wine cellar conditions are pretty straightforward.

 

Keep Wine at Cool Temperatures

Wines should be stored sideways at cool temperatures ranging from 55℉ to 65℉. Storing wine bottles on their sides ensures the cork stays moist, which prevents it from drying out. While there is a debate over whether wine bottles with synthetic corks need to be stored sideways, you can store bottles with screw caps upright.

Cool temperatures slow the wine-aging process by keeping the wine from getting too warm and helping it develop properly in the bottle. If wine bottles get too warm, the cork seals break, which leads to “cork taint.” You do not want “corked wine.” It may not cause harm if you drink it but unless you like the taste of damp or wet cardboard, you will be pouring your wine down the drain.

Less Than 10℉ Fluctuation

Temperature fluctuations cause wine to expand and contract, which can disrupt the aging process and damage the cork. Do you see a trend here? A compelling reason for proper wine storage is to prevent the threat of a dry cork. Once the cork seal is broken, the process of oxidization will eventually ruin your wine.

All wine bottles, even those with screw caps and synthetic corks, must be stored at cool temperatures with less than 10℉ fluctuation to ensure the wine ages properly.

 

Wine Labels Hate Humidity

Unless you are storing wine for longer than ten years, WineSpectator.com states that anywhere between 50 percent and 80 percent humidity is considered safe for wine storage. Less than 50% humidity can cause evaporation and oxidation, which is bad.

Humidity greater than 80% can encourage mold and ruin your wine labels. Not having a wine label can prevent your ability to enjoy and talk about the wine once you open it.

 

Why Are Wine Bottles Dark?

There is no denying it. Wine is sensitive. Excessive light exposure causes wine proteins to break down and thereby ruins the unique flavors of properly aged wines. This is why wineries choose dark bottles—think of them like sunglasses for wine.

Wines bottled in clear glass such as a light, fruity white wine are meant to consume quickly. This doesn’t mean to gulp it once the bottle is open. Clear wine bottles only suggest drinking the wine within a reasonable time frame after you purchase it.

 

No Vibration is Good for Wine

The laundry room is not a good place for wine storage. Vibrations traveling through a wine bottle will disturb its sediment and hinder the wine-aging process. Even if you don’t plan to age your wine, vibration will speed up chemical reactions going on inside the bottle.  

 

Odor Free Wine Storage

Do you love to cook with onions and garlic? If yes, then using your pantry for long-term wine storage is not advisable. It may seem obvious, but strong odors can ruin your wine. Some air molecules, even stinky ones, will get back into the wine bottle through the cork. Most importantly, keep your wine away from bleach, paints, and household cleaners. These products are odorous and toxic.

 

Self Storage is Always an Option

Whether you are an oenophile or a casual wine enthusiast, making sure your wine is properly stored is essential if you want to enjoy it at a later date. Keep in mind, even though most wines are produced to be consumed within a few years of their release, these wines typically get better with age.

If you are not blessed with a dark, cool, and not-too-damp basement that can double as a wine cellar to keep your wine safe, consider self storage as an option. Metro Self Storage offers wine storage that includes a dedicated wine storage building with temperature, humidity, and light control while providing state-of-the-art security and reliable protection for your wine collection.

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Car Storage: How to Prep your Vehicle

If the cars in your family start to outnumber the spaces in your garage, and you need to find additional parking, look for desirable car storage options before parking your extra car at the nearest self storage facility. Continue reading “Car Storage: How to Prep your Vehicle”

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How to Prepare Your RV for Storage in Chicago

Get Ready! Winter in Chicago is On its Way

Winterizing your RV for the winter is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are moving to or live in a colder part of the country like moving to Minneapolis or moving to Chicago find a suitable winter home for your vehicle before the mercury really starts to plummet.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to indoor climate-controlled RV storage, and can afford the fee, this type of facility will allow you to skip some of the winterizing steps and tasks that are typically required for RV winter storage in freezing temperatures.
Continue reading “How to Prepare Your RV for Storage in Chicago”

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5 Things That Need Climate Controlled Storage

 

When it comes to deciding whether or not to rent a climate controlled storage unit, it’s not just high temperatures that you have to worry about. When planning to store valuable business and household items, also think about moisture and humidity as well as freezing temperatures.

While most self storage companies offer slightly higher storage unit rates for climate controlled storage features, keeping your belongings from sustaining damage due to high temperatures, humidity, or freezing conditions is worth the investment.

 

Most electronics belong in a climate controlled storage unitClimate Controlled storage for electronics

The best methods for storing electronics include remembering that technology evolves faster than lightening, and if you put something out of sight will it be relevant by the time you unpack it from your storage unit.

Of course, vintage electronics are popular collectibles and keeping any electronic gadgetry safe and protected from the elements is a worthwhile investment.

Be sure to remove all batteries, and not store anything directly on the floor where it will be more susceptible to moisture. Label boxes as “fragile” and use bubble wrap or foam padding to protect delicate items. But don’t wrap electronics in shrink-wrap because moisture can be trapped inside.

It’s better to use paper wrapping, moving blankets, or beach towels that you can pick up cheaply at the local Goodwill store.

 

Wooden furniture should never be stored in a hot atticClimate Controlled storage for Wooden Furniture

Wood expands and contracts with changes in surrounding temperature and humidity, which is why a temperature-controlled unit is usually the best option. But before you store, prepare your wood furniture beforehand. Painted furniture may simply need to be wiped down, but stained, dyed, oiled, and waxed wood furniture may require special care such as applying linseed oil or a specific type of furniture wax.

After you’ve prepped your furniture one way to keep it protected is to wrap it with moving blankets and then shrink-wrap it. Also, plan to allow for space between items so that air circulates between the furniture and you can remove your pieces more easily should you need a particular item in the future.

 

Wine always requires a controlled temperature environment

climate controlled storage for wine bottles
Metro Self Storage offers climate controlled storage units for wine collections

Storing wine in “perfect” storage conditions is something wine geeks can argue about all day long. While that makes it impossible to give definitive advice about the “perfect” wine storage conditions, you’ll be fine if you put wine in a dark, largely undisturbed place with a moderate and fairly constant temperature.

When it comes to storing your wine in a storage facility choosing whether or not you need a specialized wine storage option or simply a storage unit that meets your storage needs depends largely on where you live. Talk to your local storage facility manager about how long you need wine storage and how often you plan to access the collection.

 

Artwork and family photos will last longer if stored in a climate controlled unitkeep artwork like this in climate controlled storage units

When it comes to storing your most treasured possessions, family photos, paintings, and art supplies are usually at the top of the list. These types of  items need to protection from UV exposure, heatm, and humidity. Storing photos of family, friends, and travel adventures are easy if you have a Flickr or Smug Mug account.

But what about grandmas’ family tree of ancestral photos tucked into an aging photo album? Exposures.com offers photo sleeves made of photo-safe materials that pass the same safety test used by the Library of Congress and the National Archives.

Storing photos in a climate controlled storage unit is a temporary solution until you have the time or inclination to transfer them into digital files.

 

Medical and pharmaceutical products must always be stored properlyphoto of climate controlled storage for medicine bottles

Pharmaceutical reps often turn to their local self storage facility to keep their inventory and shipments safe. Besides choosing a climate controlled storage unit, facility, reps must ensure the storage unit is clean and there are no signs of bug or rodent infestations. New or renovated storage facilities are always more attractive, but older facilities with good maintenance programs and reputations are also good choices.

Most but not all storage operators accept deliveries without an extra charge. At Metro Self Storage our friendly storage managers will happily accept deliveries and work with each pharmaceutical rep to create a plan for deliveries to avoid running into any issues down the line.

If you still find yourself asking, Do I really need climate controlled storage? We can help. It’s one of the most popular questions we hear in the storage industry.

Answering these three easy questions will help your storage facility answer your biggest questions about climate-controlled storage units.

  • What are the temperature ranges where you live?
  • What are you planning to store?
  • How long do you plan to utilize a self storage unit?

Read more: Do I Need to Buy Insurance for My Stored Belongings?


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What is the Difference Between Climate Controlled vs. Non-Climate Controlled Storage Units?

 

Deciding between climate controlled and non-climate controlled storage units is easier when you answer these three questions:

  1. 1. What items are you planning to store?
  2. 2. How long do you plan to store these items?
  3. 3. Is your storage location in a region with extreme temperatures?

 

I recently put everything I owned into storage after relocating to a city where the temperature gauge frequently dips below freezing during the coldest months of the year. I knew my items would be in storage for at least one full winter, possibly two, and that I was storing family heirlooms, artwork, dozens of books, and hundreds of photographs.

So the answer to the question, “Do I need climate controlled storage?” was a resounding yes. Like many people, I assumed that climate controlled storage units would cost too much. However, I quickly realized that the benefits of keeping my valued belongings safe throughout the seasons (whether bitter cold or scorching hot) outweighed any additional storage costs in the long run.

Continue reading “What is the Difference Between Climate Controlled vs. Non-Climate Controlled Storage Units?”

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