How to Properly Store Your Wine

How to Properly Store Your Wine

One of the most common questions we get asked at WineBaskets.com is how you should store your wine, both before you have opened it, and after you have opened it. To help answer these common and confusing questions – we’ve created a simple guide to help you, as a wine lover, can get the most life and the best results out of your wine. Plus, you will look like the genius with all the answers to questions about wine at the next dinner party or wine tasting you go to! Let’s dive in and find out how to properly store your wine, and how to store your wine once it has been opened.

 

Storing Wine Before It Has Been Opened

 

 

Tip #1: The most important thing to remember about storing wine before you are ready to open it is this:
CONSTANT, COOL TEMPERATURE.

Heat is enemy number one for all wine! Keeping your wine (and this goes for both red and white wines, as well as sparkling wine and Champagne, Port, and everything in between) at a constant cool temperature is the most important aspect of keeping your wine in a drinkable state. Whether or not it is a wine that ages well, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or should be enjoyed while it is still young, such as a Pinot Grigio, the outer temperature surrounding the bottle is of utmost, crucial importance. High temperatures, for example, above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or rises and dips in temperature will change the chemical make up of the wine. It will age a wine quicker than is natural for the bottle, collapsing the aromas, the flavors and the all-important texture of the wine. Have you ever heard someone say “this wine is cooked”? That is the result of wine being stored in too high of a temperature.

Keep your wine between 45 to a maximum of 65 degrees F. A basement is the ideal place to store unopened wine, because of the cool temperature and the lack of sunlight (we will get to that in a minute). Don’t go below 45 degrees (like storing wine in the refrigerator) for a few reasons – the cork can dry out and allow more air to seep into the wine, or the wine could start to freeze and expand, breaking the bottle or the cork. If you do not have a basement, store your wine in a place that is dark and cool, such as the floor of your kitchen pantry. Heat rises, so putting your wine bottles close to the ground and in a dark place is a good idea.

One of the things we have been noticing is that there is a trend of new homes having a wine rack built in above the refrigerator. This is the worst place to store your wine! All the heat from the back of the refrigerator is going to destroy that wine. So if you live in a home with a built in rack above the fridge, by all means necessary, move that wine out of there and into a cool place with a constant temperature.

And avoid big temperature swings! Minor fluctuations are pretty much unavoidable, but big swings in temperature, say 10 degrees or more at a time, the liquid inside the wine bottle will expand and contract, which will also have a terrible effect on the quality of the wine.

 

Tip #2: The second most important thing to remember about storing wine before you are ready to open it:
AVOID SUNLIGHT. 

All light can be potentially bad for wine storage, but natural light (think from the SUN, aka UV light) is especially dangerous for wine storage. This is because the UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun can also prematurely age wine. This is one of the main reasons why many winemakers use colored glass for wine bottles! Think of it like a little pair of sunglasses for your wine! If natural light is something you can avoid, please do.

Florescent light bulbs also emit small amounts of UV rays, so if you are storing your wine in the basement or in another cool place, consider changing out the florescent tube bulbs for incandescent lights. If this is not going to be possible for you, just try not to keep the lights on for too long of stretches of time.

 

Tip #3: The third most important thing you can do when storing unopened wine:
KEEP THE BOTTLE ON ITS SIDE.

Wine bottles with corks should always be stored on their sides. Why? Because this keeps some liquid touching the cork so that it will not dry out! Even if your bottles are mostly screw caps (which is quite popular these days and there is nothing wrong with a screw cap!) we still recommend keeping wine stored on its side, as it is the most efficient way and will not hurt any bottle.

 

 

Storing Wine After It Has Been Opened

Once your wine – be it red wine, white wine, sparkling wine or a dessert wine – has been opened, you really only have a few days to consume the rest of it. And since oxygen turns wine into vinegar, there are a few things you can do to slow down that process and still enjoy the wine that you could not polish off.

1. The same rules apply to opened wine as they do to unopened: constant cool temperature and avoid light. Keep the wine in the refrigerator – yes, even red wine!

 

2. Put the cork back in the bottle, and your wine will last 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator. However, you can make it last even longer with a few other tools, such as an inert gas perserver (this replaces the oxygen that has gotten into the bottle with argon, which is heavier than oxygen and keeps the wine from oxidizing) or a vaccum pump, which removes all the oxygen from the bottle. You can find both of these tools in Wine Enthusiast’s online shop.

 

3. Get a Champagne stopper. This is one of the best accessories you can have for preserving your sparkling wines. Wine Folly’s Italian-made Champagne stopper is the best on the market.

 

4. Store all opened wines upright! This will minimize the amount of oxygen in the bottle.

 

 

We hope this has been helpful in your process of learning how to properly store wine, before and after opening!

Check back on Uncorked soon for even more helpful wine tutorials.

 

 

 

 

Wine Wednesday: Opus One

Wine Wednesday: Opus One

Welcome to Wine Wednesday! What better way to get over the hump of a busy work week than to explore and learn about a great wine, and celebrate with a glass (or two)? From wines quaffable on a casual Saturday evening to rare and unique finds to be cellared and enjoyed on the most special of occasions, each week we’ll highlight a wine available in our gifts and speak to the history of the vintners behind the bottle, along with the delicious flavors to be had inside of it.

This week’s #WineWednesday – Opus One

Opus One Grand Reveal

Score: 98 Points by Robert Parker (2015)

Tasting Notes: Displaying a medium to deep garnet-purple color, Opus One 2015 Proprietary Red Wine is a beautiful spice-bomb with tons of cinnamon stick, cloves, fenugreek and pepper notes. They spring forth over a core of mulberries, plum preserves, blackberry pie and fragrant earth, plus a waft of lavender. The palate is big, voluptuous and decadent, with velvety tannins and enough freshness framing the rich, spicy black fruits, finishing with a lovely perfumed lift. 

Acclaim: The essence of time is expressed in Opus One by the character of each vintage. Place, often defined as terroir, represents the geography, the climate and the essential human element which is captured in the wine’s balance between power and finesse, structure and texture.

Blend: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 2% Malbec

Food Pairing: Opus One makes an exquisite companion to all types of hearty meat dishes including braised lamb, roasted chicken, beef stew and many more. It’s also an excellent accompaniment to Asian dishes and hearty vegetarian courses such as mushrooms or pasta. 

 

 

Give Opus One as a Gift

Renowned the world over as one of Napa Valley’s finest achievements, WineBaskets.com is proud to present Opus One in a number of extravagant presentations, creating a generous gift.

Sommelier’s Set

Luxury Tasting Table Basket

Riedel Reserve Tasting

 

Comment Below: Have you had a chance to taste Opus One ? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below. If not, tell us about your favorite Napa Red and why you enjoy it!

 

3 Tips to Giving the Perfect Wine Gift Every Time

3 Tips to Giving the Perfect Wine Gift Every Time

Not all of us are sommeliers or wine experts. So when it comes to choosing the wine that conveys the impression you’re hoping to achieve, it can be quite an undertaking. However, that’s where WineBaskets.com steps in! Here are our top three go-to tips when it comes to giving the best wine gifts.

TIP #1 – The relationship you have with your recipient should be taken into account first and foremost. Is the wine gift for your boss? Just because your boss is a wine lover, he might not appreciate a Gewürztraminer or a pink Moscato. So consider the relationship that you have – is it personal or professional? Also, take the occasion into account as well. A bottle of Champagne as a gift for someone who has been sick with the flu isn’t really a very thoughtful gift.

TIP #2 – If you know of a particular label that he or she already loves, play it safe! Why take a chance when you already know what will make them happy? If you’re unsure of their particular wine tastes, try to gauge what they might like at a very base level. When you saw them at that Christmas party, were they drinking red or white wine? If all else fails, reach out to someone close to them and ask! It’s totally acceptable to approach a close friend or family member and say something like, “I’d love to surprise her with a bottle of wine. Any recommendations on what she might like?”

TIP #3 – Presentation matters. Up the game and elevate the gift with spectacular presentation (we love our Burlwood boxes). Especially if you’re giving a wine gift you already know they like, up the impression-factor and make it a grand entrance. Present the wine in a gift basket, where it’s paired with gourmet food! Give a bottle of Champagne in a shiny silver wine chiller!

At WineBaskets.com, we’re proud to carry many distinctive and noteworthy bottles of wine in so many different presentations. In fact, our fine wine collection allows you to customize both the wine and the packaging it arrives in! Here are a few of our favorite wine gifts. Whatever you decide to do, giving a great bottle of wine in a beautiful presentation is a perfect way to leave a lasting impression.

 

Wine Gift Baskets

Champagne Gifts

Fine Wine Gifts

 

There are so many options and styles of wine gifts that are sure to impress – use the three tips above and you’re guaranteed to find the perfect wine gift!

Six New Boutique Wines, Now Shipping to 41 States

Six New Boutique Wines, Now Shipping to 41 States

Shipping wine gifts around the United States can be tricky business. Some states only allow certain varieties, and some wineries set restrictions on where they ship. That’s where we come in! WineBaskets.com is especially proud to offer six new boutique wines, available to ship to all 41 states that allow wine shipping. All six of these limited-release wines are produced in collaboration with renowned winemakers and sourced from famous vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County as well as the Willamette and Russian River Valleys.

 

Broadstone Sonoma County Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

About This Wine The warm volcanic soil leaves a lingering minerality in this ripe, intense boutique Cabernet Sauvignon made in partnership with the iconic Delectus Vineyard and Winery. Knights Valley, the easternmost AVA in Sonoma County, is a quintessential source for exceptional California Cabernet Sauvignon, famed for its elegant acidity.

Tasting Notes Dark ruby red in color, Broadstone Knights Valley Cabernet opens with aromas of toasted walnut and leather. On the palate this wine is well-balanced, with flavors of crushed cherries, black pepper, graphite and dark chocolate, chewy tannins and a dense finish.

Cellaring Drink Broadstone now or cellar through 2037.

Pairing Suggestions Full, rich and spicy in the mouth, Broadstone Cabernet makes a delightful companion to American fare such as buffalo burgers with aged cheddar and maple bacon, wood-fired pizzas or grilled Portobello mushrooms topped with a pat of bleu cheese.

 

 

 

Bridlemile Willamette Valley Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

About This Wine Fed by cool winds from the Columbia River Gorge, Dundee Hills AVA is the perfect climate for this limited-release premium Cuvée, produced in collaboration with renowned Pinot Noir-maker Archery Summit. Expansive and expressive, this Dundee Hills Pinot Noir shows completeness – a stylish comfort in its own skin.

Tasting Notes Aged in new French oak, Bridlemile opens with aromas of wood violet, black raspberries and cocoa. The medium body and polished texture uncover flavors of black cherry and baking spices and a lingering finish.

Cellaring Enjoy Bridlemile now or cellar through 2035.

Pairing Suggestions Framed by chewy tannins and lingering impressively, Bridlemile Pinot Noir pairs exceptionally well with grilled vegetables, herb roasted pork tenderloin, blackened chicken or oven baked salmon filets.

 

 

 

 

Martin Craig Luminist Russian River Chardonnay

 About This Wine With a brightness that can only be claimed by Sonoma County’s sun-soaked Russian River Valley, Luminist Chardonnay is a limited-release boutique wine, made in collaboration renowned winemaker Glenn Hugo. Each of Sonoma County’s prestigious regions for growing Chardonnay offer a remarkably distinct profile, and the Russian River Valley is no exception, bringing elegance and flavors of stone fruit and white flowers.

Tasting Notes Aged in new French oak barrels, this vibrant Russian River Chardonnay boasts radiant aromas of orange blossom and lemon zest, balanced by apricot and peach notes with a light oak finish.

Cellaring Drink Luminist now or cellar through 2028.

Pairing Suggestions The radiant, refreshing acidity in Luminist pairs perfectly with poached salmon topped with lemon aioli, tiger prawns sautéed in garlic butter, a warm vegetable risotto terrine, or bay scallops in a tarragon cream sauce.

 

 

 

Abelroth Brocade Napa Valley Meritage Reserve

About This Wine The volcanic soil and temperate climate of Napa Valley’s Oakville appellation is particularly suited to growing Bordeaux varietals, and this limited-release reserve showcases the best of Napa viticulture. Produced in collaboration with Swanson Vineyards’ Robin Akhurst, this Meritage red is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Cabernet Franc and 10% Malbec.

Tasting notes Aromas of leather, black fruits and tobacco leaves are pursued by vanilla, cherries, fresh coffee and allspice notes. From the first sip to the last, Brocade is characterized by its silky tannins in focused layers. Decanting is recommended to allow the wine to develop to its full potential.

Cellaring Enjoy Brocade now or cellar through 2024.

Pairing Suggestions Serve this full-bodied, expansive Meritage alongside classic beef dishes – namely prime rib, tenderloin or stroganoff.

 

 

Belmont Cliffs Portico Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

About This Wine This limited-release reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in collaboration with winemaker Robin Akhurst of Clos Pegase, on the 40-acre Tenma Vineyard located in the foothills of Mount St. Helena, spreading from the Palisades Mountains in the Northeast corner of Napa Valley. The rocky terrain and sparse topsoil of this rugged vineyard create the perfect terroir for growing world-class Cabernet.

Tasting Notes Portico is full-bodied, densely ruby-colored in the glass. On the palate, this boutique Cab boasts a silky entry with opulent flavors of boysenberry and black fruits, followed by a touch of creamy vanilla.

Cellaring Enjoy Portico now or cellar through 2033.

Pairing Suggestions Serve this deeply textured Cabernet with rich sauces that can stand up to the bold, unctuous flavors of Portico. New York Strip with parsleyed butter, roasted asparagus in garlic béchamel, and brown sugar bread pudding make a perfect meal for this wine.

 

 

 

Boundary Post Ranch Kestrel Napa Valley Pinot Noir

About This Wine An agile falcon with keen eyes, the American Kestrel glides on cool winds that flow from San Pablo Bay, guarding the rows of Mitsuko’s Vineyard where Pinot Noir vines are nurtured. This Napa side of the Carneros AVA provides the ideal climate to produce some of the most engaging examples of Pinot Noir. The marine winds, low yield and long, flavor-building hang-time enables the fruit to reach peak flavor maturity and deep, concentrated flavor.

Tasting Notes On the nose, enjoy baking spices, red raspberries and rose petal aromas. Lush flavors of dark cherry and wild earthiness round out this medium-bodied Pinot with an elegant, balanced acidity.

Cellaring Drink Kestrel now or cellar through 2026.

Pairing Suggestions This silky Pinot Noir makes an excellent companion to a rack of lamb with fresh rosemary, garlicky mushrooms roasted in butter, or a cheeseboard carrying aged farmhouse cheddar.

 

 

 

Every bottle arrives with its own wine card neatly tied to the bottle. To exhibit the high quality of these wines, each card contains the winemaker’s and tasting notes, cellaring recommendations, food pairing suggestions and more. Ship these single bottles today to friends, family, colleagues or clients! They’ll be savored, adored and remembered.

Ship these high end wine gifts (or to yourself) to any of the following 41 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Wine Wednesday – Leonetti Reserve Red 2010

Wine Wednesday – Leonetti Reserve Red 2010

Welcome to Wine Wednesday! What better way to get over the hump of a busy work week than to explore and learn about a great wine, and celebrate with a glass (or two)? From wines quaffable on a casual Saturday evening to rare and unique finds to be cellared and enjoyed on the most special of occasions, each week we’ll highlight a wine available in our gifts and speak to the history of the vintners behind the bottle, along with the delicious flavors to be had inside of it.

7822-21421

This Week’s Wine Wednesday – Leonetti Reserve Red 2010 

Score: 100 points by The Wine Advocate

Acclaim: “Even better than the straight Cabernet Sauvignon, with additional richness and texture, yet without any added weight or heaviness, Inky purple in color and gorgeously rich and pure, it slowly gives up notions of smoked black currants, espresso, liquid flower, licorice and graphite that flow to a full-bodied, concentrated, plush and seamless 2010 that is perfectly balanced, has no hard edges and an incredible finish. It’s a monumental bottle of wine that will drink well at an early age, yet age effortlessly for two decades or more. 100 Points.” – The Wine Advocate.

Tasting Notes: Very dark wine. Compared to the beautiful 2010 Cabernet, this has an even more floral dominated and very ethereal aromatic nose. Whiffs of raspberries, black berries, ripe black Bing cherries, reminiscent of a stove top reduction of fruit cheesecake topping. Incredible purity of fruit. Wine that just makes you smile when it hits the palate as it is so loaded with glycerin and a gentle power. Fruit is SO present, yet SO restrained, ripe and lovely. All wound up in a perfectly balanced package of fruit, acid, tannin, plushness, power and length. – Winemaker’s Notes.

Blend: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 9% Malbec

Recommendations and Food Pairing: Decant and try with grilled ribeye and pomme frites.

Cellaring: This wine is best enjoyed through 2030.

 

 

Our Favorite Wines to Sip this Fall

Our Favorite Wines to Sip this Fall

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Autumn is here, and it’s one of the best times of the year for wineries and wine lovers alike. At vineyards around the world, the days get longer, the air cools, and the leaves on the grapevines start to get that first tinge of gold on the edges, spreading amber across each broad leaf, warming to a rich brown and then the grand finale – a sea of fiery red grapevines. It’s also harvest season. The air is palpable with a mixture of excitement and exhaustion – it’s the culmination of an entire season of dedicated nurturing and passionate vision of winemakers and growers everywhere. As you sit out on your own back deck and take in the landscape of lush Fall foliage, just about the only thing we can think of that would make it any better is a great bottle of wine to sip. Whether it’s a golden white wine or a warm, spicy red, here are a few of our favorite wines to sip this fall!

7683-21608Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon – Toasty and chocolatey, Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of mixed berry fruit, boysenberry, chocolate covered cherries, layered with hints of graphite and toasted oak. On the palate, a smooth entry is followed by intense, ripe berry notes. This wine is focused and silky through the midpalate, building to a finish with broad tannins and notes of cedar and toasted oak.

 

 

 

 

 

7439m_Cape-Cod-Luxury-Wine-BasketStag’s Leap Karia Chardonnay – This graceful Chardonnay has a broad, expressive nose with lemon,stone fruit and vanilla aromas. Medium bodied, this wine has a lovely texture and flavors of red apple, light citrus and Asian pear that lead to a long finish with a hint of creamy oak. There is a nice balance to the acidity and minerality that enhances the freshness and elegance of this wine.

 

 

 

 

 

7683-21454Merryvale Profile – The fruit for Profile was handpicked in the early morning and triple sorted. The grapes were gravity-fed into small fermenters and on the skins for an average 0f 22 days. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation, was racked twice, and aged 20 months in French oak barrels. Aromas of violet, plum, black cherry, cassis, nutmeg, vanilla, dark chocolate, and the impression of minerality. Palate is restrained by Napa standards, but still full bodied and round, with all the color, depth, and persistence one expects from Profile.

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 9.59.55 AMArgyle Pinot Noir – Enticing scents of fresh-tilled earth and Eastern spice rack herald the complexity of this classic Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Red fruits enrobed in velvet-textured tannins compose the center of the palate along with sherry creme and a bright minerality. The leggy finish is accented by red cherry and a hint of dark chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment Below

What’s your favorite wine to sip during the Autumn months?