How to Drink Wine Like a Pro

Local wine sellers offer tips on wine storage, serving, pairings and more.

Storage

Roughly 95 percent of all wine is consumed within one week of purchase, Bennett says, but how and where you stash those bottles prior to consumption makes a difference. “Please don’t store them on top of the fridge or on the kitchen counter,” he pleads.

Why? Because wine is happiest in cave-like conditions, whereas the kitchen is the hottest room in the house. “Unless you are passionate enough to have a climate-controlled wine cellar that’s 55 degrees with 70 percent humidity, your best bet is probably the basement, away from your HVAC unit, which tends to dry the air out,” he says. “Think about the orientation of your home, too, and where the sun hits it. The northeast corner is most likely the coolest spot in the house. Lay bottles on their side for the best aging potential. You can spend thousands on fancy wood racks, but Ikea also makes a very affordable option.”

What if the power goes out and your stockpile is exposed to a prolonged stretch of extreme heat or cold? “That’s the best time to host a wine party and open those bottles,” Buckley says. “The longer they sit around after a radical temperature exposure, the higher the chance the wine will go bad.”

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