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Humidity is important, since it keeps your cork from rotting and destroying the wine, but too much can be a bad thing for labels. An average wine storage cabinet should have a humidity level between 60% and 75%. If you have a very dry climate or your house is heated and cooled by central air, it might be a good idea to place a saucer of water in your wine storage area. The water with put a little humidity in the air and should be a great help in preserving the wine. The other problem with humidity, though, is that too much can ruin wine labels. If the humidity runs in excess of 80%, mold could start growing on wine labels and your identification of the wine, as well as the value, is lost. One good suggestion for preventing mold growth is to wrap your long-term bottles in saran wrap. This effectively keeps out most mold and doesn't have any unpleasant odors, such as shellacking or applying hair spray as a sealant would cause.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|