A wine collection is usually a personal combination of tastes. However, improper storage can ruin the distinctive quality of fine tasting wine. Learn how to maintain your collection so each bottle matures to its best taste. All wine has a lifespan. Many wines are stored for only six months, while others are stored for 10 years. When storing and organizing bottles of wine at home, all of your wine may be separated by noting location and vintage. It is wise to start a notebook of your favorite wines including flavor notes. When purchasing, buy five bottles of your favorite wine.

Proper Storage: Store wine by laying bottles on their sides in a cabinet to eliminate light. Store in an area where there is not a large fluctuation in temperature and always keep your collection away from heat. Notice how wine bottles are stored when you buy them – and lay sideways style.

Control the Elements: The most important elements for ensuring a bottle of wine stays healthy is temperature, light, humidity and space. Temperature should be kept at 55° fahrenheit in a dark area of the house. Humidity is necessary, allow up to 75 percent around your collection. Lastly, decide on a location that is free from vibration as this can disrupt the proper aging of bottles.

Categorize: Organize your collection in a way that makes sense for you. Whether you would like to pull bottles according to age, region or type, sort your wine in a way that will make it easy for you to pick the one you desire. Wine is often served during dinner parties and you don’t want to spend a large amount of time away from your guests because of uncertainty in your wine selection.

Proper Technique: When wine tasting from your collection, a pitcher of water and a plate of bread and cheese can maximize the flavor of your wine. Drink a glass of water in between each glass to clear the palate. If you have wine with dinner, make a note of what you ate with each type of wine stored and either stick to this pairing or tamper with it until the perfect combination is achieved.

Below are some local businesses that may be able to help you get started.

International Wine Vault
1360 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 739-4401

The International Wine Vault has experts in the proper storage of wine. Consult their expertise when embarking on your own wine storage.

The Wine Cellar and Dessert Bar
690 State Road
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 224-1991

The Wine Cellar and Dessert Bar serves wines from all over the world. Go there for your next glass and get some ideas of what to add to your collection.

Village Vineyards Fine Wine and Spirits
114 Colony Place
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 747-4011

Wine taste while you shop at Village Vineyards Fine Wine and Spirits located in the upscale shopping plaza, Colony Place of Plymouth. What could be a better way to get some inspiration?

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Maryann Scheufele is a Childrens Book Author, Children’s Literature Examiner for Boston, Massachusetts licensed English Teacher grades 5-8 and 9-12, mother of five grown children, grandmother, Bathroom Designer by Trade, and resident of Plymouth in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.