When it comes to wine consumption, the storage of wine will so often be overlooked by many. This can be a grave error as this can have a negative effect on the wines taste and value. After all, the better the storage of the bottle the better it will be able to develop and overall taste – a wine that has been stored correctly will be worth a lot more when it comes to resale also.
No matter whether it may be a bottle of red or white wine, at some point it is best they are stored for up to a year pre consumption. Some red wines will need to be stored for up to 10 -15 years for them to reach a level of peak development.
Cellar Raiders and Elite Wine Refrigeration have come together thanks in part to their levels of expertise in supplying the wine market to such a high degree. Together, we want to ensure the wine drinking community are storing and consuming in the best and most correct way.
No matter what wines you may own or what kind of wine connoisseur you may be, there are 5 key points which need to be remembered to ensure your wine is stored in the best possible manner.
Temperature is vital in long-term wine storage. Wines are best kept at 12°C, whether the wine is red, white or sparkling as is has been proven to be the ideal temperature for long term development of your wine. The reactions that occur inside the bottle can be hindered greatly if the wine is stored too cold as the rate of reaction decreases substantially as the compounds inside the bottle do not have enough energy for the necessary collisions to occur. If the temperature is too warm, a bottle of red will undergo an increase rate of development – which will leave a poor yield in reacted compounds and a wine that hasn’t quite reached its full potential.
Keep the temperature as constant as you can. If the temperature is continually going up and down and never really kept at the correct temperature the ageing process will not kick in, the wine needs a period of stability before the process can begin which means stable conditions, including temperature.
The great point to remember about a wine cellar is the fact there is usually zero light within this storage environment. Wine is best kept and stored in complete darkness to allow the ageing process to develop better. This is one of the most important storage factors as UV light can interfere dramatically with the ageing process.
UV light can have a disruptive effect on the ageing process and also change the visible appearance of the wine. For example, if you were to leave a bottle of wine in the window exposed to sunlight, it will likely fade and end up looking brown, almost as if it has been oxidised. This will have an adverse affect on the taste and smell as the natural reactions that occur inside the bottle have been interfered. This can also sour the wine in terms of its taste.
Humidity is key when it comes to wine storage. It won't overly effect the overall development of the wine though it can massively affect the value of the wine. The cork can often dry out which is often a risk in hot, dry countries. This is why there has hence become a growing demand for wine coolers in the drier countries in recent years, such as the UAE.
When the cork dries out, depending on the angle to which the wine has been stored, it is likely wine will likely begin to leak out of the bottle. Small gaps can form around the sides of the cork where oxygen can and will enter the bottle which will cause the wine to oxidize and lose its value and taste and will basically become undrinkable.
Between 55 and 85% is the perfect overall humidity level when it comes to wine storage. The typical humidity in a house is around 65% which is the perfect wine storage level. If moisture levels rise above 85% then this is when mould growth on the labels can become real. This too can have an affect on the overall value of the wine. If you may be storing wine as an investment then you don’t want spoilt, damaged labels as this will drive down the overall value.
It is very important to keep your wine in a place free of any excessive vibrations. For example, in a typical wine cellar it is typical that wines may only be moved say once or twice a year, being to redistribute the solids inside the bottle to allow the ageing process to continue – though there shouldn't any vibrations at all.
Vibrations can disturb and the reactions can actually cause the wine to also separate out into layers of heavier and lighter compounds. This can in turn damage the ageing process overall as the ageing of the wine needs to rely on there being a free movement of compounds inside the bottle.
Where you may not have access to a wine cellar, a wine fridge is ideal as they are fitted with a vibration reduction system. The compressor is mounted on rubber mountings to help eradicate any vibrations, leaving your wines to be able to develop in the correct manner.
Where a cork seals a bottle of wine, there is still the chance that odours can penetrate the cork and this can create something of a lasting effect, overall. This can happen by leaving a strange smell in the bottle and can disrupt the vital chemical reactions that should take place within the bottle of wine.
One of the major odour producing organisms is mould. Mould is a major problem as gives off a musky, hard to get rid of smell. In wine cabinets this is an issue and why most wine cabinets are fitted with charcoal filters to help purify the air.
Taking on board everything we have covered above, point to point, it is actually pretty straightforward to store wine correctly. There are some very good options in the current marketplace nowadays to help you to do this, very few people have their own wine cellar.
A wine cooler is a great overall investment to make. Elite Wine Refrigeration offer a fantastic range of wine cooler units all perfect for the long term and short-term storage of wine as well as for storage at service temperatures. If you plan to store your wines for many years, it is key for you to store your wines properly and take best care of your overall investment in this unique commodity.