You've Been Storing Your Wine Wrong, According To Winemaker Greg Brewer - Exclusive

Winemaker Greg Brewer wants you to know that while there's a very good chance you're storing your wine wrong, your biggest mistake probably isn't a lack of a proper wood-lined cellar, temperature and humidity control system, or a dedicated wine refrigerator. Really, the biggest mistake you are making storing your wine is probably just overthinking things.

"For proper wine storage, keep things cool," Brewer told Mashed during a recent interview. "Just keep things consistently cool. That's really it. I think a lot of us [winemakers] are using technical corks these days so that the bottles don't have to be on their side, but you could always err on the side of having them on their side or upside down just to keep the cork wet, if it is a traditional punch cork that's like a sponge. So sideways or upside down is ideal, cool, away from light, and steady [conditions] are the main things."

And for the record, you can take his advice here: Brewer has more than 25 years of experience making wine. He was named 2020 Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, an honor he demurely attributes to his team at Brewer-Clifton Wines as well as to the unique terroir of the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara, California — home of his vineyards. So while Brewer tends to come off as laid back, that's not to say he doesn't take every aspect of wine seriously, from the growing of the grapes to the harvest to production to bottling to hoping you take good care of each bottle (via Brewer-Clifton Wines).

To that end, we asked Brewer to go into a bit more detail about proper wine storage, which he gladly did.

Wine storage tips from 2020 Winemaker of the Year Greg Brewer

Greg Brewer has already covered the basics of proper wine storage: A sideways or inverted bottle to keep the cork moist and airtight, a dark, consistently cool place, and a physically stable environment (without a lot of jostling and shaking and such.)

That's probably all most of us need to know, but for a bit more insight, Brewer explained: "So if you want to go all in and buy a little wine refrigerator or build a closet in your house or whatever, that's great. But for the reality of most people, the middle of the house is good as opposed to walls — certainly avoid south-facing walls — and going low is advantageous, like the bottom of a closet." Brewer called it "as simple as that" and said  "just consistent, dark, cool, and then sideways or upside down would be the five main things" about wine storage.

If you do want to create the absolute ideal wine storage conditions, then here are a few more specific pieces of information to keep in mind as you build out a space in your home. According to MasterClass, no wine should ever be stored at temperatures below 25 or above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and in general, for both red and white wines, 55 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for long-term storage. As for humidity, that should be between 60% and 68%, with lower humidity the greater worry, as it can cause corks to dry out. And while wine bottles with modern artificial corks and screw tops need not be stored on their sides, doing so can still ensure you are generally maintaining best practices for all your bottles.

Now that you know how to properly store your wine, stop by Brewer-Clifton's tasting room next time you're in southern California, or pick up a bottle of their award-winning wine online.