1. Not all wines improve with time. Plonk stays plonk, no matter how long you keep it - in fact, the longer you keep it, the worse it gets.
2. White wines mature and fade faster than reds.
3. To prevent premature ageing, store wines in a cool, dark place where the temperature is between 7C and 18C. A damp cellar is ideal but a ventilated cupboard near an outside wall, a blocked-up fireplace or a corner of a garage can also be used.
4. Keep bottles on their sides in wine racks, so that the wine inside keeps the cork wet. If the cork dries out it will allow air in, which will oxidise and turn to vinegar.
5. Don't throw out wine left in the bottle. Recork it and keep in the fridge. If not consumed after a few days it can be used for cooking.