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Questions? call 866.909.WINE or email

Cellaring Wine: Why It Matters and How Cellaraiders Does It Right

March 08, 2017

Cellaring Wine: Why It Matters and How Cellaraiders Does It Right

If you have ever compared the taste of a young wine to the taste of a vintage from 15 or 20 years ago, you know, without a doubt, that wine changes over time. It is, in fact, a living thing, with molecular changes taking place on a slow and steady basis. That is why cellaring wine is so important. It is only when the proper conditions are maintained that the wine can change at the ideal rate.

Why Cellaring Wine is Important

Science is the reason why wine tastes better as it ages. As it sits, a complex chemical reaction (hydrolysis) takes place between the acids, sugars, and phenolic compounds found in wine. Not only is cellaring wine crucial to control the speed at which hydrolysis occurs, but it is also relevant because of tannins. These natural preservatives found in the peel and seeds of grapes have a bitter taste when they are young. However, over time, these tannins dissipate, allowing the true essence of the grapes to shine through. Proper cellaring and time is the only way for wine to reach its mature, complex flavor profile and palate texture.

Why You Should Only Purchase Cellared Wines

Clearly, you do not want to buy a wine cellar with the chance that the wine did not age at the correct rate. The only way to ensure that the hydrolysis takes place at the perfect rate is to painstakingly control the temperature, humidity, light, and vibration in which the wine is stored. Here is a closer look at what you risk if you purchase wines that were not properly cellared:

  • If wine is stored above the ideal temperature of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit, then the hydrolysis will take place too quickly. As a result, the wine will age faster and become unstable prematurely.
  • If the environment in which the wine is stored is too humid, then mold can accumulate around the cork. However, if there is not enough moisture, the cork can crumble, which means oxygen will be able to seep into the wine and cause oxidation. The ideal humidity level is between 70-80%.
  • When it comes to light exposure, there are two risks: one, the UV rays can alter the chemical makeup of the wine, and two, the heat from the light can take the temperature above the 55 degrees you are aiming for.
  • Too much vibration can also negatively affect the aging process by causing unwanted chemical reactions.

Why Buy a Wine Cellar from Cellaraiders

At Cellraiders, we are passionate about drinking good wine, which is why we will not drink anything that was not properly cellared. As such, our cellar is meticulously maintained at the proper temperature, humidity, light, and vibration levels to ensure that every bottle of wine we sell ages with perfection. Contact us now to learn more about our cellaring process or to buy a wine cellar for yourself.