Our general rule of thumb is cellar temperature. You rarely can go wrong with keeping meads within this range, around ten to thirteen degrees Celsius. But it depends on the style. As a general rule of thumb, lighter carbonated meads should be consumed relatively fast and kept colder.  Heavier still meads can be stored longer and pushed in temperature range. Yet these rules do not apply for all meads or alcohol strengths. More alcohol and more residual sugar usually mean longer storage potential.

A meadmaker should be able to give you an idea of the length of time their meads hold up until the profile starts to change either from oxygen creeping into the bottle or the flavours changing due to the way the mead was preserved or not preserved.  As another rule of thumb, anything still, less than 10% and dry should be consumed within a few years of bottling, anything over 10% that is sweet or semi-sweet can be cellared.


Generally cellaring mead is little different than wine with the exception to alcohol strength and style. Light carbonated meads are not suited to long term storage. Regardless of the type of packaging oxygen ingress and loss of carbonation will result. Light meads will most likely be drinkable after long term storage but will be a different experience than the mead maker intended.

Heavier, sweeter meads that hold up to cellaring are ideally placed in an environment where humidity is controlled. It is debatable whether wines need to be stored on their side. It is likely the relative humidity, rapid changes in temperature, material composition that cause the most damage (if it is indeed damage) to the beverage.

For most of us that don’t have climate controlled environments, nor know the composition of the cork or enclosure what’s perhaps best is sticking to the very old tradition of placing your mead upright in a room that maintains 12 – 18 degrees all year long with a consistent humidity.

If this is a difficult task then I am sure for most of us the corner of a basement will do and it is likely ok if it sits upright.


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