Part Two: Humidity – Proper Wine Storage is Key to Great Tasting Wine

More discussions about proper wine storage and wine handling because the way your wine is stored and handled has every bit as much to do with its taste as does the way it’s made.  This is Part Two of a five -part blog series that was recently rewritten in great detail with even more useful information about Proper Wine Storage in Wine Cellars.

In our last post of this series we explored wine storage temperature. Today we’ll be discussing humidity.

Wine Storage Humidity

Although sometimes overlooked in the wine cellar-construction process, proper humidity is important as it prevents corks from shrinking and drying out.  Cork is wood and wood is biological and perishable.  The wood must be kept moist inside the bottle and to some extent, on the outside of the bottle.  A deteriorated cork will lead to oxidation which allows oxygen to slowly leech into the bottle, causing the conversion of the wine into its acidic form – vinegar. Wine that tastes bitter or like vinegar is usually the result of failed corking causing wine oxidation. (Tip to note: screw-caps do not require humidity.)

Measuring Humidity

Relative Humidity (RH) is the percentage of vapor the air is holding at a given temperature. Storage humidity levels should ideally stay between 50-70%, not much higher, nor lower. When it is too high, mold can form and your labels will be ruined (excessive humidity does not affect the wine, however).

TIP: Wine bottles should be stored on their side to allow the wine to keep the cork wet, and this contact will discourage the cork from drying out should humidity conditions not be ideal.

Factors That Affect Cellar Humidity

  • geography – where in the world the wine cellar is located
  • climate – the weather in that part of the world
  • seasons – spring, summer, winter or fall
  • design, integrity – how well the wine cellar is constructed and insulated (vapour-barriers, ceiling insulation, etc)

Contact us if you have further questions – our experts will be happy to assist you.

One word of caution: many manufacturers will void a cooling unit warranty if separate humidification is introduced to the cellar.


Thanks for reading Rosehill’s Proper Wine Storage series. In case you missed any entres, here they are for your enjoyment. This five -part blog series was recently rewritten in great detail with even more useful information about Proper Wine Storage in Wine Cellars.  Thanks for reading Rosehill’s Proper Wine Storage series. In case you missed any entries, here they are for your enjoyment:

Part One: Temperature – Proper Wine Storage is Key to Great Tasting Wine

Part Two: Humidity – Proper Wine Storage is Key to Great Tasting Wine

Part Three: Light – Proper Wine Storage is Key to Great Tasting Wine

Part Four: Storage Angle – Proper Wine Storage is Key to Great Tasting Wine

Part Five: Vibration & Ventiliation – Proper Wine Storage is Key to Great Tasting Wine



1 thought on “Part Two: Humidity – Proper Wine Storage is Key to Great Tasting Wine”

  • Glad you’re highlighting the HUMIDITY aspect of a good wine cellar environment… it’s the most overlooked factor in my experience when talking to people. They know about temperature but aren’t aware of the effects of humidity.

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