Few of us have the privilege of storing out wine in a wine cellar. So we rarely buy in bulk but may do so when a good deal happens to come along. Most wine, in general should be stored at 55°. This is the temperature of a wine cellar. In your home wine storage may present a problem unless you only keep it for a few days to a week. There are a few options and methods that will allow you to keep wines in good condition.
Use a cool spot in your basement if you have one if not try a closet floor that is not near a heat source. You can also use the garage in cooler weather. Never store them in freezing temperatures and areas that are subject to fluctuating temperatures. Heat will destroy wines causing them to go bad.
A closet floor in a cool area will do if you are tight on space. Remember heat rises and cold air comes down so best never to store wines in a high place. I know from experience that second floor dwellings get very hot in the summer without a/c running. You can purchase a wine refrigerator or wine rack. The stores we have on our site offer many varieties, sizes and price ranges. One idea is a DIY (do it yourself) project. IF you have space for a spare refrigerator get a used one, take out all the draws, and retro fit it with additional shelving for wine. Set the thermostat to 55° and add your wines.
The temperature at which a wine is served will have an effect on how it will taste.Aromatics and acohol in wines are affected by heat and cold. Higher temperatures cause alcohol aroma and flavors to become somewhat overpowering while lower temperatures hide the flavors and aromas. The wine loses its appeal to your taste buds giving you a bad wine experience. Whites, reds, full bodied, lighter bodied wines all require somewhat different serving temperatures.
Red wine serving temperatures for most is best at 60° to 65°. This is a great range for the fuller bodied reds like Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhone wines and others. Fuller bodied may benefit from higher room temperatures, about 70°. Very light-bodied, fruity wines (Beaujolais, lighter Pinot Noirs, etc.) can even benefit for more of a chill down to the mid-50°'s F.
To achieve serving temperatures you have a few options. If the wine is room temperature you can put it in the refrigerator for a while to cool it down or for a fast chill use the freezer but not more than fifteen minutes. If the wine is already in the refrigerator and cold take it out and let it warm up for a short duration, maybe 10 to 15 minutes depending on your ambient temperature.
White wines work differently than reds. They are better at lower temperatures in general. Full bodied white wines like some Chardonnay, white Burgundies and Savennieres can show well at higher temperatures in the low 60°'s F or down to as low as around 48° F. Grapes like dry or off-dry Rieslings and Sauvignon Blanc show better at the lower end of this range down to the mid-40°'s F. Sparkling wines are served at low temperatures to keep flavors aroused and prevent the carbonation from becoming excessive when uncorking. This is usually best at 45° F.
Desert wines are served at a varying array of temperatures according to the wine. Heavy Sweet reds are generally served closer to room temp 66° F. Lighter ports like Tawny or Non-Vintage ports can show well a bit cooler, in the upper-50's. White sweet wines like Sauternes and sweet Rieslings show well cooler still in the low-50° range. Simple, sweet sparklers like Moscato d'Asti and some Champagne Demi-Secs do well at quite cool wine temperature in the low-40° range.