The great thing about a wine fridge is its ability to hold wine at the ideal, constant temperature that’s needed in order to allow a wine to age. Store wine in a warm place, and it doesn’t matter how long you let it sit there, you’re slowly cooking the wine, not aging it. Along with keeping the wine cool, a wine fridge is able to hold the wine on its side, which is the perfect environment for allowing it to age.

But not everyone has a wine fridge, so what do you do if you have some bottles you want to hold on to for a while? The first step is at the very least finding a semi-cool spot, perhaps a dark closet, and laying the bottle on its side if it has a cork. This keeps oxygen from getting in, as the liquid stays in contact with the cork, and is the bare minimum if you’d like to try to age wine without the aid of a fridge. The regular refrigerator is too cold for wine to age.

If you have a cool basement though, especially one that is partially or fully underground, you’re really in business. Get yourself some shelving, lay the wines on their sides, and let them sit there for years evolving in the bottle. Just remember to eventually drink them.

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