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Wine storage... unused Bedroom vs. garage

howto

#1

OK, so I don’t have understairs storage and have previously stored wine in the garage… we’re not talking expensive wines here (though there is a dozen 2011 Paulliac). for my reserves/fine wine I utilise WS cellars.
White wines are stored in the wine fridge.
For red’s and excess white I read that temperature fluctuations in garages make it unsuitable so i’m wondering whether having a rack in one of my unused bedrooms (with radiator off) is likely to better given the temp will be more consistent throughout the year… Help!! it will be for wines that cost between £10 and £25… so nothing earth shattering…


#2

There are those who will argue that it doesn’t really matter and your wines will be fine and others that will go shock horror!

I recently invested in a wine cabinet which, if nothing else, gives me peace of mind! Prior to that I kept my wines in the hallway of my old stone built house in the highlands. It has 3 foot thick solid stone walls and I don’t much heat the hallway (at least not above about 16C in winter) and so with those walls it stays a moderately stable temperature. Over the last few (summer) months it has varied between 14C and 18C, so a little warm but not too much in the way of rapid fluctuations. My wines kept pretty well in those conditions and were in a very similar price bracket to yours. More recently I have been buying a little more expensively and looking to keep a little longer, hence the cabinet, though I do still keep some of the cheaper wines that I plan to drink in the next few months there.

I would imagine an unheated bedroom might be comparable, but I think I’d monitor the highs and lows for a while before committing to it. It would depend a lot on what sort of climate you are located in; up here it’s generally on the cool side!


#3

Thanks for the insight… I’m in the ‘balmy’ East Midlands… the heating hasn’t been on in the house since March and it’s still reading 23 today in the hallway (though is cooler in the bedroom) Am thinking along your lines of better safe than sorry and investing in a fridge for the garage… how do I hide that from the wife!!


#4

I kept my wine in the garage for a year and bought a min/max thermometer. The fluctuation over the seasons was so wide 9c to 21c that i bought a large wine fridge. The thermometer was quite cheap… the fridge…not so much.


#5

Tempted to suggest the bedroom but you can perhaps look to insulate the storage - have seen a few plans online converting fitted wardrobes into cellars by adding insulation to the walls and doors etc.

Although not best for the environment you could look to store them in some polystyrene wine storage boxes on its side in the bedroom.


#6

Difficult to be definitive without knowing the detail. A lot depends on what kind of garage. I store some excess everyday wine in the garage, brick built, tiled roof, if anything it’s probably on the cool side most of the year. Range probably close to zero and rarely exceeds 18c (even in the balmy end of Scotland we don’t get it that hot!). Much of the year it’s in a range of 8-15c.

Wine cabinet in the garage is what I use for the better wines. It gets full though…


#7

that could work - do you know where it’s possible to obtain those from? Certainly an idea until I get the fridge…


#8

As @MarkC said, it depends on the garage, and in deciding between the garage and the bedroom it also very much depends on the bedroom. Bedrooms are often at the top of the house, and as such are often the hottest rooms in summer, and some garages are internal to the house and very well insulated.

I think temperature fluctuations are nowhere near as damaging as often thought. You want to avoid direct sunlight passing over your wines and heating them at all costs, but otherwise I would concentrate more on keeping the annual average low.

I am not sure why you keep only whites in the wine fridges, which are designed for long term storage regardless of colour. So I would probably want to store there the wines you have at home that need to be kept longest - which would probably be mainly reds. Other wines - ones not at TWS or in the fridge - you could try to aim to buy not long before you want to drink them.

Sorry, but it’s difficult to be specific without detailed information, and even then I don’t think anyone could give definitive answers.


#9

I’m in Oxford and have had hundreds of bottles, some now quite expensive, at room temperature for over 15 years. I never had a bottle that I felt was prematurely aged. The wines are downstairs, though. I’d be tempted by the garage - after all you can dump them there now and you won’t have to think about it till next May at least :slight_smile: My house is rarely at 23 though - I’m jealous, how do you do it?!


#10

Yeah, our garage is integrated - nice cool concrete floor, and the only side of it which gets direct sunlight is the big door, which is white and only gets morning sun. There’s an annual/seasonal temperature fluctuation, similar to yours @oy-oy, but very little from day to day, so I’m hoping that it won’t be much of an issue.

I’ve noticed recently that around about the equinox (i.e. now!), the sun manages to peek through the frosted window of the side door and hit one of the racks, which I’ve now hurriedly covered with an old pillow! Hopefully I caught it in time :open_mouth:

By accident, it also turns out I’m doing a little experiment: I have a mixed case in reserves which I’m planning on bringing out in 2022; I also have a few of the same bottles here in the garage, which by then will have had 4-5 years in home storage, so when the time comes I’ll open them side by side - reserves vs garage - to see if there’s any noticeable difference.


#11

It’ll be really interesting to know if you find any significant difference between them, please do let us know, I’m sure we all have some wines in what would be regarded as less than perfect storage conditions…I know I suffer from overflow occasionally :wink:


#12

Defined as the result of an overly enthusiastic buying spree(s) and an already full primary wine storage area. Only a problem if one’s other half complains, you can’t see the floor covering or find it difficult to get into the storage area due to an excess of brown boxes.


#13

Or all three :rofl:


#14

I once thought I was storing some wines correctly when I used a small area under a floor. Only a year later, did I realise my mistake when I realised that the open fire in the next room seemed to warm (over heat) this area. Destroyed some very nice wines and invested in a wine cabinet and have not looked back.
I think, as many have said, consistency is important but not too much above 18C - perhaps a challenge this summer!


#15

I keep most of my wines in a north-east bedroom with minmal heating, enough to keep the frost away. I believe it to have provided a reasonable storage area over the years and have no plans to change it.
On the other hand my garage is used to store my olives which I buy 27kgs at a time. They come in 3kg tubs which ideally are refrigerated but they store fine in the garage until being brought indoors for consumption. The garage is integrated with the house, gets very little sunlight and is on the east side.


#16

Been in the current house for 16 years and the stair cupboard with no light, internal garage wall left side and central hall other side. Scotland so not really a heat problem and like all our Scots not one for heating a hall way when an extra jumper and a glass of wine ( or whiskey) can do the job. Seems to keep at 12 to 14 and not had a problem in 16 years. Had a poor Haut Bages Averous 1986 ( 2nd label Lynch Bages at that time) in 2004 against Lynch Bages 1996 but it had been stored in previous flats bedroom cupboard. Doing WSET level 3 examine in 2 weeks so buying has doubled over last 4 months😉


#17

Should have added wife got me membership of wine society as a birthday present in 1994. Probably the most expensive birthday present I have had but cannot beat 25 years of Wine Society enjoyment.


#18

Three months or so at 20 no issue in my experience


#19

if you need help with the experiment I’ve a background in design of experiments :slight_smile: