If you are a wine collecting enthusiast you know how important it is to store wine correctly and how to choose the right grade of wine. Having the right kind of wine cellar is also a key element to maintaining the life and robust flavor of wine.
When your supply of wine matches that of the best wine supplier around you know it is time to look beyond mere storage racks. A wine cellar can range in size from a small refrigerator to a walk-in room. The size of your wine cellar depends on the amount of space you can provide from your house. The décor can be both decorative as well as cater to the proper storing of wine. Richly colored stones and high grades of wood are a good choice for your cellar. The Mediterranean look always corresponds beautifully with a range of wine bottles. A Greek or Italian motif is also a good idea; the look will take you straight to the vineyards of European countryside. You can make your wine cellar complete by installing a tasting area complete with wineglasses and corkscrews.
There’s many elements that go into proper wine storage, so we built a guide detailing how to store wine (take a read after this to find out more about proper wine storage!) Keep the temperature consistent. Any frequent temperature fluctuations from warm to cool causes fermentation, loss of body and flavor, expansion and contraction of the liquid in the bottle. Eventually this temperature ‘frustration’ might cause the cork to pop, or lead to a slow leak. This doesn’t necessarily ruin the wine, but you won’t be sure until you open it and taste it.
Store the wine by laying it on its side. The liquid will stay up against the cork, keeping it from drying out. This doesn’t apply to bottles with metal, screw-on caps.
Be sure the humidity range falls between 50 to 80 percent. Arid conditions dry out the corks and cause the wine to seep out, which eventually spoils the wine. Unless you live in desert type temperatures you probably won’t experience this problem.
Store your wine in a dark place. The UV rays from the sun can cause premature aging and eventual destroy your wine. This is the same reason dark colored wine glasses are used to store wine – they act the same way as shades and repel the effects of strong sunlight.
Do not shake. Shaking and other strong vibrations can cause quicken the chemical process of your wine. Too much movement in old wines results in their not being able to settle; this will give the wine a gritty taste.
If you are one of those lucky people who have a cool, humidity regulated cellar, than you’re all set. If this isn’t the case you can get a mini, cooling closet with racks to improvise and put it in a safe place. The kitchen and wash room are out – too many temperature fluctuations.
Under proper storage and adequate conditions, good wine can last for years. Expensive wines retain flavor and body meaning you can store your favorite flavors for years and only use them on special occasions. Storing cheap wine is not a good idea because you simply can’t store cheap wine. It has to be refrigerated and used within a few months but no longer than a year. Cheap wines ferment quickly or turn sour.
Storing red wine at the correct temperature is crucial to maintaining its flavor and shelf life. If your wine is in a cellar that is to warm chances are it will oxidize and begin to age faster than it should. To avoid this, have your contractor come in and advise you as to whether you would benefit from a room equipped with temperature control or not. If you have regular shelf wine (inexpensive wine) than you should keep it in a cool, dry place. The difference is that inexpensive wine ferments much quicker than expensive wine and is apt to turn sour.
Heat saps the flavor and grade of wine the same way it withers grass. If wine is kept at temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit it will wind up aging at a rate faster than it should and end up being cooked, resulting in flat, tasteless wine. Temperatures anywhere between 45° F and 65° F are the standard, while 55° F is just about perfect. Even though your refrigerator does a good job of keeping your wine cool the temperature is not always consistent. The inside of a refrigerator lacks moisture which can cause wine corks to dry out and allow air in – as well as other unwelcomed odors. This storage is best left for wine you intend to use at a close date.
Truth be known, there are only a small selection of wines that really improve with aging. Old wine is best when used after two or three years after the manufactured date. If you are set on purchasing wine to mature then it is best you invest time into a professionally built and wine cellar to store it correctly. The basic rack, shelf, or refrigerator storage concept just won’t do. Invest in a cooling unit to ensure the wine stays at a continuous temperature and label the rack with the manufacturing date as well as the date you purchased the wine.