Wine 101: Storing and Aging Wines

Here are some practical recommendations about the best ways to store and age your wine so that you enjoy them as much, or perhaps more than you did the day you bought them.

You’ve just returned home from a fantastic Lodi Wine Country food and wine experience.  You’ve picked up a bottle of Zinfandel or two (or 12), or perhaps you discovered a new-to-you wine crafted from one of the over 100 grape varieties grown in Lodi Wine Country. Now you’re wondering about the best way to store, or perhaps even age your wines.

How to Age Wine

The reason a bottle of wine is aged or cellared is that it offers exceptional flavors you can’t get when the wine is new.  

In other words, the wine improves with age. Despite the romantic notion of “laying down” a bottle of wine, the reality is that only about 2% of wines produced will benefit from cellaring.  

A good rule of thumb is that almost all wines priced around thirty dollars and under are meant to be consumed in the short-term – within two to five years of purchase.  

After that, the wine may deteriorate and lose many of the qualities that made it delicious.

If you do have a bottle you want to age (keep in mind that red wines will generally age better than white wine), then you’ve come to the right place to learn!  

A high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon will likely age best (10-15 years), followed by Syrah, Zinfandel and Tempranillo (5-10 years).

Reds and whites that usually reach their peak before 5 years are often better for storing, include light-bodied red wines such as

  • Cinsault
  • Pinot Noir
  • Chardonnay
  • and Sauvignon Blanc. 

If you do decide to age your wine, here are some additional tips for collecting age-worthy wine

interior of a wine cellar for storing and aging of wine

You don't need to have a world-class wine cellar in your house to store or age wines properly, although if you do have an amazing room dedicated to wine, take a picture and share with us by using #visitlodi

How to Store Wine

Storing wine is much less complicated.  

Whether it’s a $10 bottle or a $50 bottle, wine doesn’t care if it’s stored in a $10,000 custom cellar, or a $20 wine rack, as long as these three things are true:  

  • It is kept in a cool environment at a temperature of 70 degrees or less.
  • The bottle is lying on its side rather than upright.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight.

So, store your wine well and pop your corks often!


And when you do run low on wine, plan another stay in Lodi Wine Country and buy more handcrafted Lodi wines.

With 85+ wineries, you’re bound to find your next wine crush and add to your home collection!

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Martin Redmond

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