Q. My friend gave me an expensive bottle of wine and told me not to open it for at least five years. I don’t have a wine cellar—and don’t want one, either. What should I do with it?
A. How do you feel about re-gifting? Say, to an ever-so appreciative wine writer? Just kidding, of course—hang onto that bottle! Chances are, you have a great place to store wine, right under your nose. The only things wine requires for safe storage are relatively cool and stable temperatures (at least under 70 degrees), darkness, and no major vibration.
For most of us, finding a place with these characteristics is easy—many times, a closet situated away from exterior walls is ideal. And if you’re lucky enough to have a basement, now that’s a no-brainer. Once you’ve settled on a spot, simply lay the wine on its side. It is important to keep the wine in contact with the cork, so that the cork remains swelled and tight against the inside of the bottle.
What else is important? Don’t forget where you stashed that wine!
—Charles Smothermon, a food and wine writer in Laurin, Mont.