How to store wine in a tropical climate

Quite often someone approaches me with the following question: “Hey, I just came from Europe/USA/Australia and I brought some nice bottles of wine, how long can I keep them and should I put them in the fridge?”

The answer is, “it depends.” If you don’t have a proper wine fridge or a room that constantly has the air-con on, and most people don’t, then try to drink the wine as soon as possible.

White and rosé wines you can put in the fridge for two or three weeks, the same with unoaked young reds. More than that you risk the wine going bad because one of the “killers” of storing wine is vibration, and the fridge at home has a motor that vibrates a lot and transfers that vibration to the wine. On top of that you will be exposing the wine to drastic changes in light, another wine killer, as you will be opening and closing the fridge several times a day.

If you bring back oak aged wines, your first priority is to have them stored away from light, yes light is another wine killer, putting them in a box or wardrobe will suffice. Find the coolest place in your home but, more importantly, find a place where there are no changes of temperature or they’re minimum; one of the biggest factors that damages wines are drastic temperature variations. So, if you have the air-con on in your bedroom in the night only, the wine maybe better off stored in the living room.

Each home is different, but I am sure all have that special area away from vibrations, light and a relatively constant temperature where you can store the wine. Before I had my wine fridges, in my previous apartment the clothes wardrobe in the spare room was the place: opened rarely, just 3 to 5 degree changes within a full day and no vibrations. Find your wine spot but don’t store any wine too long, as doing so at temperature higher than 15/18 degrees will accelerate the aging process of the wine, some will last months some will not.

However, if you like to have wine at home consider buying a small wine fridge, the choice in Vietnam is poor but you can find several from 9 bottles and up, and is a good investment if you love wine. The alternative is to invite some friends and drink together.

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