The Art And Beauty Of Proper Wine Storage
Immediate gratification. That’s what most wines are for
We buy them because we want to drink them right away over a nice family dinner,
or serve them to our guests. But then there are also wines bought for a greater
purpose, and these bottles are patiently stored for months or years. Whatever
that greater purpose is, proper storage is a must, and will benefit both buyer
and the fine wines.
Wine, as they say, is a living thing. Aging it should ideally progress
at a nice, slow pace, and under perfect conditions – cool, dark and quiet.
The practices of storing and aging wine has evolved through the years and today,
they are best stored in temperature-controlled wine cellars, shielding them
from their natural enemies.
Storing Your Wine Properly
Wine’s natural enemies are heat, sunlight, temperature shifts and vibration.
To make sure you don’t end up with bad bottles of wine, make sure to
observe the following:
- Store your wine in a cool, dark place. Ideally, you should have a temperature
controlled refrigeration unit.
- Keep them away from direct exposure to sunlight, as ultraviolet light leads
- Maintain a cool, constant temperature of 55 degrees Farenheit. As a general
rule, 55 degrees is the perfect temperature for wines. 65 degrees is fine,
but over 70 degrees is too warm. Remember, you have to avoid dramatic temperature
fluctuations at all times.
- Do not store your wine in the fridge. The average fridge temperature is
only 35 degrees Farenheit. The frequent opening and closing of the fridge
door also makes the temperature fluctuate inside, affecting the wine. Temperature
should be constant, otherwise, it is damaging.
- Humidity should be kept at bay. Less than the ideal humidity can dry out
the cork, as this lets air get in and destroys the wine.
- Avoid storing wines in a shaky environment as this can adversely alter
the taste of wine. This is also why fridges are not ideal, because they usually
vibrate, causing the bottle to shake up the sediment in the wine or the cork
to become loose, letting in air.
- Store your bottles on their sides or upside down to maintain moisture in
Aging Your Wine
Drink it now or lay it down for a while?
As they age, wines gain complexity and lose that fruity taste. There are many
factors that impact how long wines should be held before drinking: types of
grapes, methods of production, storage conditions.
Although some wines are better consumed immediately, some wines really do taste
better over time. This is why proper storage plays a crucial role in aging
them. The complex chemical reactions of its sugars, acids and phenolic compounds
can actually alter the aroma, color, taste and mouth feel of the wine in a
All wines mature fairly quickly and shouldn’t really be kept more than
five or six months in typical household conditions. Beyond six months, most
wines will begin to deteriorate. Finer, more expensive wines that require aging
need to be kept in a place that is constantly cool (50-60°F), dark, damp
and without excessive vibration.
Storing Your Wine In Wine Racks And Wine Cellars
Since not everyone has a wine cellar, at most, you will need to find a place
that is as close to the ideal conditions mentioned above as much as possible.
If you intend to store your wines in a wine rack, store them in this
order, taking into consideration the fact that heat rises: sparkling wines
on the lowest shelf, whites above them and reds above the white. Sparkling
wines, requiring the lowest temperature, thus sit at the lowest temperature.
Your rack should be away from direct light, as this will cause the wine to
age more quickly and lose its flavor.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the wine rack, then try a small
glass door wine refrigerator. This can actually store wine better than
a rack, because the latter exposes your wines to the elements. Moreover, your
small fridge also tends to prevent molding if you plan to store your wine for
a long period of time.
If you’re a passionate wine collector, then choose to store wine in
your own wine cellar. Make sure you use excellent wood and have it
built by the best. After all, your wine cellar and your fine wines are an investment – they
deserve only the best.
With a well stocked cellar, you can be sure of having the right wine at the
right time. Indeed, it’s a perfect place for your wines to grow to maturity
without any distraction.
Store, age, and appreciate your wines properly. Get your wine racks
and wine cellars custom made from Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars.
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