If you like trying new things, then you have probably heard of the new Zinfandel (Zin) wine. However, people find it hard to store Zinfandel wine even experienced wine lovers.
You should store Zinfandel wine at a temperature of 55°-59° Fahrenheit in a dark wine refrigerator or wine cellar set at a humidity of 70%. The fuller-bodied Zins can be stored for up to 10 years while Lighter-bodied zins can be stored for 3 to 5 years.
We will dive deeper into how to store and serve light and full-bodied zin for longevity and quality servings.
How to store Zinfandel?
To store Zinfandel, you need to take care of the temperature, light, humidity, and bottle orientation. Therefore, you need to store Zinfandel wine at a temperature of 55°F (12°C) to 59° (15°C) Fahrenheit in a dark wine refrigerator or wine cellar set at a humidity of 70%. The fuller-bodied Zins can be stored for up to 10 years while Lighter-bodied zins can be stored for 3 to 5 years.
The temperature range enables to keep the wine fresh. You should try to avoid extreme temperature swings which can lead to spoilage in a short instance. You should thus aim for a consistent temperature for your zin wine.
When you are about to take the wine, you can pair it to increase the temperature to the preferred range. Thus, you need to store the wine in the dark wine refrigerator or wine cellar. However, we do not recommend re-storing the wine later.
Factors to consider when storing Zin wine
1. Temperature for storing Zinfandel wine
The temperature of storing Zinfandel wine is one of the most important factors to consider to keep the wine fresh for a long time. The temperature should be kept at the optimal point all the time and avoid extreme swings in temperature.
To keep Zinfandel wine fresh for a long time, you need to keep wine consistently at a temperature between 55°F (12°C) to 59°Fahrenheit (15°C). You should note that a slight increase or decrease in temperature is expected when the wine is stored but that should not worry you.
To achieve the optimal temperature, we recommend keeping the wine in a dark wine refrigerator or wine cellar with a humidity sensor. This enables you to keep the wine in optimal condition all the time.
Without a fridge or cellar, you can also store Zin in a room, or cabinet with proper aeration and temperature control. The room should be clean and at optimal humidity.
2. Humidity for storing Zinfandel wine
Zinfandel wine should be stored at an ideal humidity level of 70% at all times. This temperature is optimal to ensure you do not dry out of the wine cork when humidity is too low which can lead to oxidation and subsequent spoilage of the wine or get moldy cork/ label with high humidity which also can lead to wine spoilage or damaged label respectively.
Extremely low humidity is not good for any type of wine. It leads to the drying out of the cork. If a cork dries out, it can lead to air seeping into the wine bottle causing oxygenation of the wine. Oxygenated wine can be taken but can spoil in a short period.
Extremely high humidity can lead to the molding of the wine cork and the label. Therefore, you will not even get any information printed on the label. Moreover, molded cork can cause spoilage of the wine if it is not sealed properly.
If you are storing wine in the fridge or cellar, it should have a humidity sensor. This will enable you to regulate the humidity at 70% consistently.
If the humidity is too low, you can add some water in a pan or bucket to the area you have stored wine while if the humidity is too high, you should introduce a humidifier.
3. Light for storing Zinfandel wine
There is no red wine that does well when exposed to light, especially sunlight. The UV rays contained in the sunlight can easily degrade and age wine faster than recommended. That is why all red wines are stored in colored or opaque/ tinted bottles to keep out light.
Exposure to light especially sunlight can degrade the wine prematurely due to an increase in temperature and light. The tinted wine bottles, therefore, keep out sunlight from the wine in the bottle.
Zinfandel wine should be stored in a dark area. This means the cellar or fridge should be in a dark area to keep the wine fresh for a long time. The best storage area is a cool dark place for most wines including Zinfandel wine.
4. Zinfandel wine bottle orientation
As we described in our article on storing wine for a long time, all wine bottles need to be stored in a sideway orientation especially if the wine has a cork. This ensures that the wine is always kept wet in addition to saving storage space.
If you have no limitation on the storage space and your bottle is locked using a screw cap, glass, or plastic closure, then you can store it upright. This also applies if you are not storing the wine for a long time but you intend to drink it shortly even if it has cork storage.
Racking the wines applies to the wine fridge since the storage shelf are made for sideway storage of the wine. Moreover, it helps you even when you are storing wine in a cellar.
5. Avoid rigorous or smooth movements and vibrations of the Zinfandel wine
The vibration of the Zinfandel wine bottle is detrimental to the wine’s longevity and quality. Constant shaking of the wine can lead to spoilage of the wine in a short time since it can lead to oxidation.
Therefore you should avoid both rigorous movements and even vibrations of the stored zinfandel wine bottles. You can try a stable storage rack for the wine to minimize movements.
In addition, store the wine in a way that the wine that will be consumed first is easily accessible. This ensures that you don’t need to move other wine bottles as you fetch the wine bottle you want to take.
Such storage should enable a smooth flow of air into the storage area. The aeration keeps the wine fresh for longer by eliminating any odors that may spoil the wine.
6. Storage area for Zinfandel Wine
If you want your wine to stay fresh and age well for longer, we recommend investing in a wine cellar, off-site storage, or a wine fridge. However, if you don’t have any of the three, you can store the wine in simple racks with temperature, lighting, and humidity controlled.
Thus, you can store the Zinfandel Wine on a normal rack but in a dark area with either a humidifier or a pan of water depending on the humidity levels. You can also have a fan to ensure a smooth flow of air and for temperature control.
However, the fan should not be very fast so as not to lower the temperature below the recommended temperature by a huge margin. For this and other reasons above, you should never store wine in a laundry room, kitchen, and boiler room. For a kitchen, you can store wine there if you have a good wine fridge.
However, a kitchen fridge does not make the cut when you want to store unopened wine for a long time. For temporary storage, you can use the kitchen fridge for Zin wine. However, since the temperature of kitchen wines is too low, it can lead to the freezing of unopened wine.
We, therefore, recommend a wine fridge or cellar for your unopened wines. At Hopsters Brewing Company, we use this 18 Bottle Compressor Wine Cooler Refrigerator (AMAZON link) which has helped us to keep this type of wine and other wines at the optimal temperature, humidity, lighting, and with no vibrations.
How long can you store Zinfandel?
The length of time you can store Zinfandel depends on several factors discussed above in addition to the type of wine. When stored in optimal conditions, you can store full-bodied red Zin for up to 10 years while light-bodied red zin can be stored for 3-5 years.
You should ensure that you store the wine at the right temperature, lighting, humidity, aeration, bottle orientation, and minimal movements of the bottle.
White zin is different from red Zin in that it is served chilled compared to red zin which is served at room temperature. The white zin once opened can be enjoyed for 1 to 3 days when put in the fridge but with a stopper or re-corking.
You can refrigerate your white Zinfandel wine if you plan to take it in a few weeks’ time. This is done if you want to take it in the next 3 weeks. If not, you should store the white zin in a cold, dark room at a constant temperature range of between 50-59° Farenheit.
White wine, even though it contains less tannins as compared to the red wine below will also be affected by UV rays from direct sunlight and heat. Therefore, you should ensure the optimal temperature is maintained every time.
You should not put Zin wine in the refrigerator for a long time unless it is a wine fridge that can control the temperature and humidity of the wine. Normal fridges have colder temperatures compared to the optimal temperature range for most wines.
Full-bodied red Zinfandel
You can store a full-bodied red Zin for up to 10 years if you keep it in the right condition. You should taste it to confirm if the wine is still of good quality after storing it for up to 10 years.
The storage time may be affected by one of the factors above at any stage of the storage process. Even though the conditions must not be at the exact scientific details.
The full-bodied red Zinfandel has a complex flavor accompanied by a higher mouthfeel. The wine has a high alcohol content with some Zin reaching up to 13.5% ABV.
The beauty about the wine is that it is more economical to produce and thus you can get it at an affordable price. Thus the drink has high productivity and great heat tolerance.
All red wines are rich in tannins from the skin and seeds from the grapes. The tannin gets spoilt very fast when exposed to light and oxygen. These two components reduce the lifespan of the wine.
Light Red Zinfandel
You can store the lighter-bodied zinfandels for 3-5 years. They have less tannins as compared to the full-bodied Zin in addition to having a lower alcohol content of up to 12.5%.
The lower alcohol content and the less tannins lower the aging period for the light red Zin. Therefore, even at optimal temperatures, the light red Zinfandel lasts for a shorter period as compared to full-bodied Zin.
The light red Zin also does not have as right a mouthfeel as the full-bodied Zin. Therefore, depending on your taste you can decide on the Zin you want.
Finally, to ensure your light red Zin lasts for 5 years, ensure you store it at the right temperature, humidity, aeration, lighting, and minimal movement area as described above.
How to store Zinfandel after Opening
Once opened, it is recommended that you take the Zin within the shortest time possible. However, you can store it at refrigerator temperatures to ensure that you get a long drinking window.
You can get 1 to 2 weeks of storage for opened fuller-bodied Zin and 3 to 5 days for the light-bodied zinfandel when stored upright within a kitchen refrigerator after re-corking or when the bottle is locked with a stopper.
The storage temperatures must be low to keep the wine in a fresh condition. However, even after exceeding the prescribed days or weeks above, you may still take the wine depending on how it looks or tastes.
You expect wine to get oxidized when opened and thus it will lose both color and taste. Even the smell may be altered but opening and keeping the wine for a long time.
What is Zin wine?
Zin wine is a wine produced from dark blue Zinfandel grape which is indigenous to California. The dark blue zinfandel grape can be used to produce either “white zin,” a pink, affordable wine, or “red zin,” a robust red wine, once thought to be indigenous to California.
Zinfandel is a medium to very full-bodied red wine with high alcohol, sweet fruit flavors, and textures of sweet ripe berries. We have red and white Zinfandel wine each with different classes based on the alcohol content and mouthfeel.
Zinfandel embellishes seafood textures wonderfully, particularly fish stew since its flavors complement seafood beautifully because of the high alcohol and sweet ripe berry flavors.
It is important to note that 85% of the total Zinfandel production is White Zin. The wine even though much maligned has excellent qualities in:
- The low alcohol content of between 9-10% ABV but can reach up to 13.5% ABV
- Low calorific count of 125 calories per 6 oz. serving
- Excellent sweet taste with a nice aroma
- Long aging period compared to most wines
The California red wine is packed with ripe fruit flavors, has a high alcohol content, and frequently has a touch of residual sugar.
Zinfandel, a red grape, may either be oaked or unoaked in this style of wine. Zinfandel’s tannin and acidity create a bold flavor when combined with other red grapes. Zinfandel wines usually have a higher alcohol concentration compared to beers but low alcohol content as compared to wines, ranging from 9 to 17% ABV.
When it comes to learning how to store Zinfandel wine for quality fresh enjoyment, you should consider the factors described above. They include storing Zin wine at a temperature of 55°-59° Fahrenheit in a dark wine refrigerator or wine cellar set at a humidity of 70%.
The fuller-bodied Zins can be stored for up to 10 years while Lighter-bodied zins can be stored for 3 to 5 years. The higher alcohol fuller-bodied Zin tends to last longer when stored correctly and will leave you with a richer mouthfeel when you taste it.