As Americans continue to acquire more goods, niche storage is becoming more popular. Think about document storage, band practice storage, and portable storage, all growing niche markets. An increasing number of self storage renters are looking for amenity-rich specialty storage options for wine.
Dr. Liz Thath, Professor of Wine, states “After 24 years of continuous growth in wine consumption the US market slowed to only 1.2% in volume in 2018 (bw166). Despite this flattening of volume growth, dollar value still grew at a 3.7% suggesting that, though Americans may be drinking less, they desire higher quality wine and are spending more per bottle. This indicates that wine still maintains its place as an important American beverage. The total dollar value of the US wine market in 2018 was $69.7 billion, with $23.3 billion (33%) derived from imported wine (Wines & Vines Analytics, 2019).
As a wine enthusiast, you understand the conditions needed to maintain desired flavor, texture, and quality. You’ll immediately know if a facility is properly equipped to store wine. Wine that is exposed to the wrong humidity and temperature variations can spoil what once was an exquisite and very expensive wine.
Keep in mind that climate-controlled storage keeps a unit’s indoor temperature between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and maintains a humidity level of 55%. That should be adequate to maintain the quality of your wine. Still, finding units that are designed specifically for wine storage is the best way to go, as these units will likely have a slightly higher level of humidity than typical climate-controlled storage units.
What A Facility Needs to Offer Wine Storage
Ideal Temperature and Humidity
High temperatures and the wrong humidity levels significantly change wine. Wine does best at 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 60-80%. Temperatures that are too low could freeze or dry out the cork. A dry cork can crack, allowing air into the bottle and oxidizing the wine. Have you ever had a glass of wine that tastes like vinegar? That is oxidized wine; great if you enjoy vinegar, but not so good if you’ve invested in a very special bottle.
Even an air-tight seal can be affected by humidity. A 60-80% humidity level will keep the cork from drying out. Yes, you can store wine bottles on their sides to keep the cork from drying out, but severely fluctuating temperatures and humidity can eventually push the cork out completely. If conditions are too damp, wine labels can be ruined.
Keep it Dark and Quiet
Did you ever wonder why good wine is typically stored in green, black, and bluish bottles? Those colors protect the wine from UV light, but they can only do so much. Wine has to be protected from sunlight, incandescent light, and fluorescent light to keep the complex molecules from breaking down. Wine does best in a quiet environment. Too much movement or vibration can cause a gritty texture from disturbed sediment. Keep it away from too much foot traffic.
Organize Your Wine Storage
If your chosen facility isn’t equipped with their own wine racks, you may want to use your own miniature wine racks, wine storage cubes, or wine crates. Storing bottles on their sides is not only space efficient but, as mentioned above, will prevent corks from drying out.
When searching for a place to store your wine, look for a reputable, secure, climate-controlled
facility with the appropriate sized space for the quantity of bottles you’re storing. Spend some time discussing options with your storage professional. Have your questions and concerns addressed so that you feel comfortable with the arrangements. Several of Universal Storage Group’s managed self storage facilities offer specialty wine storage. Check out our listings to find a facility near you!
Storing wine takes some effort, but it’s more than worth it. A few years in the right storage can transform a great wine into an exquisite and valuable wine that you’ll be enjoying for celebrations to come.