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Ideal Wine Storage Conditions

Posted By: Gretchen Dec | In: Dated: June 6, 2013 | No Comments »

You have carefully chosen the wines in your collection, devoted your precious time to researching producers, vintages and styles, and invested your hard-earned money.  Now that you have those coveted bottles, you want to give them the best home possible and insure that they live up to their full drinking potential. Some wines will age gracefully for decades given the right environment, while others should be consumed sooner, rather than later.  It is important to evaluate your collection and may be helpful to organize it based on whether you should “drink sooner” or “drink later.”  Here are five main principles and tactics to integrate into your wine storage plan…

1. Keep It Cool – Temperature is supremely important to the longevity of your wine collection.  Just like the food in your refrigerator, wine is perishable and keeps for much longer when in a cool environment with a constant temperature between 50 and 59°F (10 and 15°C).  Fluctuations in temperature can cause permanent damage to your collection.  Keeping wine in too warm a room, or in a room that changes in temperature, such as a kitchen, will literally cook the wine.  Keeping wine too cold can cause the corks to shrink and harden, allowing air into the bottles and resulting in stale wine.

2. Limit Light Exposure – Keep your wine in a dark place.  Wine is as sensitive to light, as it is to heat.  Sunlight and artificial light are equally damaging and will heat the wine, causing premature aging, unpleasant aromas and off-flavors.

3. Movement Agitates – Allow wines to lie peacefully.  Frequently moving your wines will disturb their aging process.  Keep your collection in quiet place that is free of vibrations.

4. Lie Them Down – Keep your bottles on their sides so that the corks are always in contact with the wine.  This will keep the cork moist and prevent it from drying out and letting in damaging air.

5. Humidity Is Huge – Controlling the humidity in your wine storage space is of the utmost importance.  A constant humidity level around 60% will keep corks from drying and, in turn, minimizes wine evaporation.

Whether you are installing a wine cellar in your home, already have a cellar and looking for ways to improve it, or are searching for the perfect wine storage facility, these rules of thumb will keep your collection in the best possible condition.

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Lessons in Wine Storage

A cool, dark place for optimal wine storage.

You have carefully chosen the wines in your collection, devoted your precious time to research producers, vintages and styles, and invested your hard-earned money.  Now that you have those coveted bottles, you want to give them the best home possible and insure that they live up to their full drinking potential. Some wines will age gracefully for decades given the right environment, while others should be consumed sooner, rather than later.  It is important to evaluate your collection and may be helpful to organize it based on whether you should “drink sooner” or “drink later.”  Here are five main principles and tactics to integrate into your wine storage plan…

1. Keep It Cool – Temperature is supremely important to the longevity of your wine collection.  Just like the food in your refrigerator, wine is perishable and keeps for much longer when in a cool environment with a constant temperature between 50 and 59°F (10 and 15°C).  Fluctuations in temperature can cause permanent damage to your collection.  Keeping wine in too warm a room, or in a room that changes in temperature, such as a kitchen, will literally cook the wine.  Keeping wine too cold can cause the corks to shrink and harden, allowing air into the bottles and resulting in stale wine.

2. Limit Light Exposure – Keep your wine in a dark place.  Wine is as sensitive to light, as it is to heat.  Sunlight and artificial light are equally damaging and will heat the wine, causing premature aging, unpleasant aromas and off-flavors.

3. Movement Agitates – Allow wines to lie peacefully.  Frequently moving your wines will disturb their aging process.  Keep your collection in quiet place that is free of vibrations.

4. Lie Them Down – Keep your bottles on their sides so that the corks are always in contact with the wine.  This will keep the cork moist and prevent it from drying out and letting in damaging air.

5. Humidity Is Huge – Controlling the humidity in your wine storage space is of the utmost importance.  A constant humidity level around 60% will keep corks from drying and, in turn, minimizes wine evaporation.

Whether you are installing a wine cellar in your home, already have a cellar and looking for ways to improve it, or are searching for the perfect wine storage facility, these rules of thumb will keep your collection in the best possible condition.

MORE »

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