As we mentioned in a previous blog on wine storage, there are specific requirements for safe storage. You need consistent temperatures of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (but anywhere between 45 and 65 will do), limited light, and moderate humidity. The ideal humidity is around 70%, but the key is that it isn’t too dry.
Garages or sheds, where people often have the most unused space, are often the average person’s default storage space—and they meet some of the requirements listed above. They have limited light, and if a garage is insulated, it will have somewhat consistent temperatures. However, most garages aren’t insulated, which is not their only shortcoming. Garages are often hotter than the interior of a house in the summer and colder in the winter. Broader jumps in temperature are bad for long-term wine storage. If you live in a moderate climate, like in coastal California, you might be able to get away with garage storage for a little while, but it’s still not ideal. Garages and sheds are suitable for short-term storage at best. Even then, it comes with many caveats.
In conclusion, we can’t recommend people ever store their wine collection in a garage.
Where to Store Wines in the Home
If you haven’t invested in a wine fridge or you’re looking for a place to hold your growing wine collection, we recommend a storage closet inside your house. The interior of your home will have a much more consistent temperature and humidity—and a storage closet ensures UV light won’t affect your wine or the labels. However, avoid any room where there’s machinery that generates heat, like a laundry room.
The larger question here is about protecting your investment.
If you’re planning on investing in your wine collection, you need to consider the rigors and requirements of long-term storage. Investing in wines means investing in wine fridges. Wine fridges offer absolute control over humidity and temperature, and they can also be a stylistic addition to your kitchen if you have space.
If you’ve recently inherited an extensive collection or bought one from someone else, then you might want to consider a third-party cellaring service. Professional cellaring allows you to store large amounts of wine at strict specifications, which is exactly what you need for long-term storage. Additionally, wine cellars services often have fail-safes against power outages or other disruptions. With a wine fridge at home, you could take a few of your favorites home for hosting or enjoying while leaving the bulk of your collection with a professional.