In the short term, wines can be kept safe without too much effort. If extremes are avoided such as sitting in direct sunlight, being placed in a freezer or in exceedingly warm areas, and they are not shaken around like maracas, your wine will be fine! However, if you are looking to store wine over the mid-to-long term, here are some tips to keep them in their prime.
Ensure a constant temperature, ideally between 10-15C and no more than 20C. The less fluctuation the better, as this can cause corks to expand and contract affecting the bottle seal. Too cold can cause freezing and uncorking, or longer-term cool fridge temperatures can cause corks to dry out. Too high can take away flavour, colour clarity and prematurely bottle age the wine to over-ripeness. This is why cellars and pantry areas are popular, or simply a wine storage rack in an area away from heat fluctuations in the kitchen (and away from other food if corked).
Too much bright light, particularly sunshine, can affect the aromatic profile of wine in a negative way. This can also prematurely age wine. Keep away from windows and direct lighting.
Vibrations will upset wine over a period of time, especially so if they retain natural sediment. Avoid exterior walls where traffic may cause vibrations, and ensure they are away from machinery such as washing machines or dishwashers in the kitchen.
Wines enjoy good humidity as it prevents corks from drying out which can, in turn, allow unwanted air into the wine and affect the seal enough to bring seepage out. This is not so much of an issue with short to medium storage though, and if you are storing wine for a few months, a simple bowl of water regularly placed in the vicinity will help maintain moisture in the air.
Again related to moisture, corked wines require storage on their sides if possible. This helps to stop the cork from drying out on the inside and affecting the bottle seal.