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Wine FAQ

Curious about wine lingo or decanting wine? Our H-E-B Wine Buyers have answers to the most frequently asked wine questions.

  • Question: How should I store wine?


    Wine is alive and needs and air-tight bottle to survive. Bottles sealed with corks should be kept on their sides. This keeps the cork moist, preventing it from shrinking and letting air in.

    Wines sealed with a screw cap or synthetic closure can be stored upright. There is very little agreement on how to best store sparkling wine, though some say it ages best stored upright.

    The ideal way to store wine is:
    • • At a temperature between 50 and 55 degrees F
    • • In a room or cellar with fairly high humidity to help the cork stay airtight
    • • In darkness or with minimal light to prevent any ultra violet light from prematurely aging the wine
    • • In a steady place with the absence of vibrations—this avoids stirring up sediment

    Tip: Storing wine at a slightly warmer but consistent temperature is better than storing in a place that swings from very cold to very warm.

  • Question: How long can I store wine?


    The majority of wine today is meant to be served within a year or two. Wines less than $7 should be served within six months to a year. Red wines generally last longer, although some are specifically made to be served early. Non-vintage champagne almost always benefits from 6 months or so in a bottle between purchasing and before opening. A general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the wine, the better it will age.

  • Question: What can I do with leftover wine?


    A re-corked and half-empty bottle should keep fresh for up to a day or two. In some cases you may be surprised to find that the wine tastes better with exposure to air. Keep the wine in the fridge to slow the oxidation process. Stopper the wine to keep it fresh longer. Leftover wine is also great in marinades, sauces and gravy. You can even take it one step further and make your own homemade vinegar.