Whether you’ve just gotten your very first box of Angel-funded wines or your 50th, the first reaction is always the same – woohoo!
Especially if it’s your first stash of wines, your next reaction may be: now what?
We’ve all been there – you’ve got a case full of glorious wines and a bounty of flavors just waiting to shine, but what do you do with them before, during and after drinking to make the most of every bottle?
Fun fact: Your winemakers give advice for how to serve and store every wine…
Simply scroll down each wine’s website page and you’ll find it just past the wine description.
Here, Ondine Chattan explains a bit about her 90+ rated, Double Gold-winning Russian River Valley Chardonnay…
…definitely a white wine you want to taste to the fullest.
Here, Daryl Groom says to get the most out of his Best of Class-winning Russian River Valley Pinot Noir…
…you should actually chill it in the fridge for just a few minutes before enjoying it.
Storing your wines
So you’ve just opened your box and your wines are there, practically smiling up at you. You reach for a red, but wait…
This extra little bit of waiting is most important for your red wines, which have their best results in about 5-7 days after you get them.
You read somewhere that you should let your wines rest a little after their journey to your door – and you absolutely should.
The good news is your white wines are ready to sip almost right away. Give them about a day just to be safe, then work on those for the next few days while you wait for the reds to be ready!
Keeping your wines in the best possible shape really comes down to one thing: Finding the right space.
You don’t need a wine cave (though having one never hurt) – you just want to make sure you have a cool space, with stable temperatures and as little direct light as possible.
Pro tip: lay each bottle on its side. Leaving your bottles upright makes the cork dry out faster and shrink, which lets more oxygen seep in, aging the wine faster than you want. Laying your bottle on its side helps keep the cork moist and full, which lets just a little bit of oxygen seep in to age your wine at just the right pace.
The right temperature can make all the difference
You want the fruitiness of your reds to shine. This comes out best when served at room temperature (but you can also cool them down for just a bit in the fridge)…
For white wines, their crispness and more delicate fruit flavors show off best slightly chilled, so plop your bottle in the fridge for a bit before popping that cork or twisting off that screwcap. (You can even put it in the freezer for just a few minutes if you’re short on time.)
Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even chill it with ice cubes made of wine! Just freeze a little wine in an ice cube tray beforehand and plop a few in your glass!
Then there’s the glass.
Just remember – for reds, go bigger. Wider glasses will help the intense aromas of a Cab or Zin open up in the glass. They’ll also help the wines actually feel smoother as you’re sipping.
For white wines, smaller glasses are your best bet. You want to let the flavors open up a bit, but not as much as a big, bold red. Smaller glasses help lighter wines stay nice and crisp from start to finish.
Looking for an ideal in-between? Check out these special Angel-edition Riedel stemless glasses.
They’re the perfect fit for your Angel-funded reds, whites and even sparkling wines!
Finally, let it breathe…
You’ve waited a few days to get your delivery, you’ve let the wine rest a little after shipping, now you’re finally about to indulge – but waiting just a few more minutes will make a world of difference…
Then the only thing left is to cheers!
Great article. Thank you.
Great article on preparing and storing wines.
Thanks for reading Craig! Glad you enjoyed it.
Thanks for the tips.
Which reds do better storing for a while, and how long do you recommend I hold them before drinking?
Thank you for the tips. I got my box, ALL reds, I noticed they were warm when I got them out of the box. In an hour or two I laid them in a wine rack in my pantry, dark and stable. I looked up and printed each page of info on each wine.
I have a small wine refrigerator, 28 bottles, that I keep at 55 degrees for both reds and whites. (I was once told this is the best temperature for most all wines). Is that correct?
55 – 60 is a great storing temperature for wines!
Thank you. This was very helpful to the novice … namely, me.
Happy to hear it Jeff! We’re all learning about wine all the time – you can never know too much!
I have never been a wine drinker. My wife on the other hand has always enjoyed wine. We always bought our wine at the grocery or Sams and kept the price down. Mostly White Zinfandel. Lately wine has started giving my wife re-flux and stopped being enjoyable. We had decided to give up on wine altogether. Then I got your information in an email and it sounded interesting. I did not think I would become a wine drinker, but if it helped my wife enjoy wine without the side effects it would be worth a try. I ordered the six bottle sample and we were both surprised. We have opened two bottles, a red and a white to have with two meals and we were amazed. Even I enjoyed them and may become a “wine drinker”. I have since ordered more and look forward to getting them. Thank you for educating us with respect to good wine. The cost is slightly more than what we had been paying but the product is tremendously better and my wife can now enjoy her wine without suffering afterwards. We look forward to a long and lasting relationship. August is our 50th wedding anniversary and we will probably celebrate with a bottle of one of your wines. Thanks again.
That’s what these winemakers are here for! We are thrilled you are enjoying their wines and are so happy to have you as part of the community. Have an incredible anniversary – 50 years is a beautiful milestone!
great information on which glass to use for the red and white wines
Thanks for the info on storing. I have about 200 bottles of Naked Wines from different vineyards, plus my favorites. I bought a case (12) bottles of 2016 Cellar Cru American Red Wine. I just opened the first bottle to see how it has aged over 4+ years, and am pleasantly surprised at the mild, not acid taste! Thumbs up to the hard workers who help make vineyards famous!
I am new to the wine drinking and storing, I hope to learn more about it thru your site. So far all your tips have been helpful, my question is about chilling them, you say storing on their side in a dark cool place. But the one comment below
“I have a small wine refrigerator, 28 bottles, that I keep at 55 degrees for both reds and whites. (I was once told this is the best temperature for most all wines). Is that correct?”.
Is keeping them refrigerated for for long periods of time ok, or should they only be refrigerated shortly before opening to drink?
So cool s there question accurate? Store red’s & white at 55?
You can keep your whites and reds ready to go at 55° just take reds out to warm up or pop whites in fridge to get chilled to 45°.
Or if you grow a collection you can get a dual zone wine fridge keep top 45° for whites reds on bottom at 55° and i put my age worthy bordeaux, barolo, cabernet sauvignon…..etc at very bottom.
Very helpful article. Learned a lot! Thank you
What an enlightening article! In the early seventies, when I was still a young captain stationed in Germany, my wife and I purchased a 72-piece set of German cobalt-blue Nachtman “Grape design” crystal stems. 10 each of seven different sizes and the last two are a carafe and the crystal “cork.” The point is that I had always recalled the order form listing the larger-bowelled stems as for Weißwein and the smaller the Rotwein stems. What you say makes much better sense. Thanks for that, and thanks for all you do. Oh, and on the 4th of June, we will toast each other on the fifty-third anniversary of our marriage with a pair of Nachtman crystal stems filled with a smooth naked wine. God bless you all.
Thanks for the tip on the glasses! Will definitely switch from “mood” glasses to “recommended” glasses.
So far, almost every red I have purchased have been pleasing. One or two may not been as expected. So far, my wife has not been very happy with the whites that we had purchased. However, we are very hopeful for the future in wines we sample. Would love to see wines from Carmen Stevens red wine blend again. I thought for the price, they were excellent.
Thank you so much for this article! It helps me a lot!