Wine Storage in Garage: Risks and How to Avoid Them

“Should I storing wine in my garage?” is a common question I get asked by wine enthusiasts. Generally, storing wine in your garage is not recommended. If you must use the garage, still you can make it work if you follow some precautions.

In this article, I will cover the do’s and don’ts of storing wine in your garage.

Why do I recommend not storing wine in the garage?

Before we dive into the precautions for storing wine in a garage, let’s first understand why it’s not recommended. The main reason is that garages are not temperature-controlled environments, which is essential for proper wine storage. Fluctuations in temperature can damage the quality of your wine and even spoil it.

In addition to that, garages are often subjected to extreme temperatures, especially during hot summer months or cold winter days. This can further impact the consistency and taste of your wine, making it less enjoyable.

How To Store Wine in Garage: Step-by-Step Guide

Just like when you’re considering storing your wine in a basement, you’ll need to ask yourself, “What’s going on in here that might upset my wine?” and solve the problem.

Garages offer a potentially cheaper alternative to dedicated wine cellars and might be suitable for casual wine drinkers who don’t require long-term aging.

Step 1: Assessing The Value Of Your Wine Collection

Let’s start by thinking about your wine collection. Do you have a few bottles for casual sipping or are you into those fancier, age-like-fine-wine ones? If your collection is more sentimental or valuable, storing them in the garage might not be the best idea.

What type of wine is suitable for garage storage?

Alright, when it comes to stashing your wine in the garage, we’re looking at two main contenders.

First up, we’ve got your short-term storage wine. These are the wines you’re planning to pop open and enjoy within a few weeks. Since they’re not hanging around too long, they’re a bit more forgiving about where they chill.

Then, we’ve got the hardy wines. They’re usually more affordable, young wines that are ready to party right off the shelf. Because they’re crafted for immediate enjoyment rather than aging gracefully over years, they’re not as fussy about the ups and downs of garage life.

Step 2: Assessing Your Garage

Even with modifications, a garage is unlikely to offer the ideal environment for aging wines long-term. You need to carefully consideration of environmental factors within the garage before using it for wine storage.

How stable is the temperature?

Garages are highly susceptible to extreme heat in summer and cold in winter, both detrimental to wine. Garages in moderate climates with minimal temperature fluctuations might be more suitable than extreme climates.

Does the humidity fall within the ideal 50-70% range?

Just like the weather, your garage’s humidity can be a bit of a roller coaster.

In some areas, garages can get super damp. Too much moisture and you’re looking at potential mold growth on those precious labels and corks. On the flip side, an overly dry environment might make those corks dry out, letting air sneak into the bottle and spoiling the wine.

Are there any heat sources or leak?

Many garages have windows that let harmful UV rays in, and we all know how damaging sunlight can be to wine at a party. Wines are super sensitive to light, especially those pesky UV rays which can degrade and prematurely age wine.

Can you isolate the storage area from strong odors and vibrations?

People often turn their garage into a place for band practice and electrical equipment, store items with strong odors like gasoline or chemicals. Vibrations from tools, garage door openers, or daily hustle can disturb wine sediment. Not a big deal for casual bottles, but aging wines need stability.

Step 3: Potential Garage Storage Solutions

If you’ve assessed your wine collection and garage and have decided to go ahead with storing your wine in the garage. Here are some additional ideas for making wine storage in a garage less risky.

Invest in a temperature-controlled unit:

No matter which solutions you implement, use a thermometer and hygrometer to track conditions in your garage storage area. You can add moisture sources (humidifiers) or remove excess moisture (dehumidifiers), as long as the range is consistent (about 55-65%).


There are three main types of humidifiers available:

  • Evaporative Cool Mist Humidifiers
  • Ultrasonic Humidifiers
  • Cigar Humidifiers

If you have limited storage space and a small collection of fewer than 5 bottles, cigar humidifiers are recommended for their gentle and consistent humidification, ideal for preserving the quality of corks. They are compact, fitting easily in wine cabinets or cellars without occupying much space.

If you have a larger space, like a wine cellar or a larger wine collection of more than 50 bottles, evaporative cool mist humidifiers are a great option. They work by drawing in the dry air, passing it through a wet wick filter, and releasing cool mist into the air. Wine Guardian is known for its evaporative cool mist humidifiers designed for wine storage. These humidifiers connecting it to the Wine Guardian system – ensures precise humidity control without manual adjustments, simplifying the maintenance of ideal storage conditions.


Desiccant dehumidifiers is the top choice for wine storage. They work well even in a cooler garage environment (which suits wine storage). Desiccants operate more quietly than compressor-based dehumidifiers. It requires changing the desiccant material periodically, but is generally low hassle compared to emptying water tanks.

Dedicated Wine Cooler:

Now, if you’re serious about keeping your wine happy in the garage, consider snagging a dedicated wine cooler. A dedicated wine cooler within a well-sealed garage with minimal light exposure can provide a more controlled environment for short-term wine storage.

Plus, they’re pretty sleek, so they won’t mess with your garage’s vibe.

Insulated Cabinet:

Insulated cabinets can work with different garage setups. They add protection even in a partially climate-controlled space. The insulation helps create a more stable environment within the cabinet, shielding your wine from some of the garage’s temperature fluctuations. If your garage is decently insulated and rarely experiences extreme temps, a cabinet provides a good upgrade.

Incorporating Air Conditioning and Ventilation

A portable air conditioner can be a lifesaver for your wine, keeping those temps from soaring too high. When the weather chills out and you’re not battling the heat, passive ventilation can keep things from getting stuffy.

Opening up windows or installing vents allows for a natural air flow, keeping humidity in check and giving any fumes or odors a way out instead of lingering around your wine. They improve the efficiency of an AC unit, saving on energy costs.

We consider two types of vents:

  • Passive vents – Simple openings allowing for natural airflow (like louvered vents).
  • Louvered vents – Use fans to actively move air (like gable vents or roof vents). These offer more control but require electricity.

Experts Tips:

  • Place one vent low on a wall and another high on the opposite wall. Warm air naturally rises, creating airflow. If possible, place vents to take advantage of prevailing wind patterns for extra ventilation.
  • If installing large vents, make sure they are secure to prevent unwanted entry into your garage.

Targeted Insulation:

Insulating that particular nook or cranny of the garage where your wine will call home can definitely help in keeping those pesky temperature swings to a minimum. The trick here hinges on the quality of the insulation you choose and how extreme the conditions in your garage can get.

R per inch is a quantity that characterizes the thermal conductivity of a material, corresponding to a thickness of 1 inch. Therefore, people often call it “R-19 fiberglass insulation”. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. 

Hotter climates need higher R-values to keep cool, while colder climates require insulation for warmth. R-19 is a good starting point for most wine storage areas within a garage. R-30 or higher provides excellent insulation, especially for extreme climates or less-than-ideal garage environments.

Common insulation material choices include:

  • Rigid foam boards: Great for walls and ceilings
  • Batt insulation: Good for fitting between wall studs
  • Spray foam: Expands to fill awkward gaps, providing excellent sealing

Seal the Cracks:

Even with insulation, those pesky cracks and crevices can still let in unwanted temperature fluctuations. Caulking or weather-stripping around doors, windows, and vents can help keep a more consistent environment for your wine.

Caulk is recommended for smaller gaps without much movement, like around windows. Paintable acrylic latex caulk blends well indoors, while silicone caulk is durable outdoors. Weatherstripping is best for movable parts like doors and windows. Use foam, vinyl, or felt for different gap sizes. Expanding foam is great for larger voids.

  1. Check for gaps around frames and under doors (look for daylight sneaking through).
  2. Clean and dry the surfaces before applying any sealant.
  3. Work in sections, smoothing the caulk with your finger or a putty knife as you go.

Install shelves away from windows:

If you have windows in your garage, consider installing shelves away from them to protect your wine from UV rays. Alternatively, you can use blackout curtains to block out the sunlight, using opaque garage doors, or storing wine in the boxes.

Protect from vibrations:

To prevent vibrations from disturbing your wine, store it on a stable and flat surface. You can also consider using vibration-absorbing materials such as vibration-dampening mats or shelves.

Step 4: Organizing Your Wine Collection

Now that you’ve got your storage situation figured out, it’s time to talk organization. Organize wines by type and vintage for easy access and tracking. This can be as straightforward as splitting your reds, whites, and sparklings, or getting super granular with specific grape varietals and regions.

Clearly Label Bottles:

Don’t underestimate the power of clearly labeling your bottles. This isn’t just about knowing what’s what at a glance; it’s about tracking your collection and consumption over time.

You can go high-tech with specialized wine tags or even a digital inventory system. Or keep it simple with a sharpie and some masking tape – whatever works for you. The key is to include the wine type, vintage, and any other detail you find important.


Can you keep red wine in a cold garage?

It’s not ideal to keep red wine in a cold garage, even though red wine doesn’t necessarily need to be stored at room temperature. Temperature fluctuations can stress the wine, causing unpleasant tastes, premature aging, and even cork damage

What temperature is bad for wine storage?

Temperatures above 70°F (21°C) and below 45°F (7°C) are considered bad for wine storage. Extreme fluctuations within this range can also be harmful to the wine. Ideally, wines should be stored at a consistent temperature between 45-65°F (7-18°C).

  • Above 70°F (21°C): Accelerates aging, affects flavor.
  • Above 80°F (27°C): Can damage wine physically.
  • Below 45°F (7°C): Slows development, may form crystals.
  • Freezing: Alters structure and flavors negatively.

Does wine get ruined in heat?

Yes, wine can get ruined in heat. Heat can harm wine by accelerating aging, leading to loss of fresh flavors and physical damage like cork expulsion. Once heat damage happens, it’s irreversible due to the delicate nature of wine compounds.

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Williams T. Edwards
Williams T. Edwards, the visionary founder of Williams Minneapolis, has not only shaped a vibrant and dynamic venue but has also brought his expertise in wine coolers to the forefront of the local scene. This unique establishment, with its blend of history and modernity, invites patrons to experience its welcoming ambiance, diverse beverage selection, and entertainment options. Whether you're a local looking for a reliable favorite or a visitor seeking a memorable night out, Williams Minneapolis is a must-visit destination in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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