Wine Storage and Transportation FAQ’s
Why does my wine require proper storage?
The three most important factors in storing wine are temperature, humidity and avoiding exposure to light. It is also important to avoid frequent fluctuations in temperature, the wine could become damaged and possibly age prematurely.
The optimal storage temperature for wine is between 52°F and 57°F. Wines stored at too high a temperature will age faster than wines kept at a cooler temperature. Theoretically, wines kept at 68°F will age twice as fast as those kept at 50°F. At 55°F, wines will age slowly and with greater complexity. Wine that is stored at too low a temperature can develop unwanted deposits within its body.
Moderate humidity is important in order to keep corks in good condition and prevent them from shrinking. Insufficient humidity may cause corks to dry out and lose their elasticity, thus allowing air to get into the bottles. A humidity between 50 and 80 percent is acceptable, but about 70 percent of relative humidity is ideal. Although excessive humidity will not harm the wine, it may damage identifying labels and boxes, which can lead to breakage.
Exposure to light will age a bottle of wine prematurely. Ultraviolet light will penetrate even dark-colored glass, but it is clear bottles and sparkling wines that are most susceptible. Ultraviolet light may impart unpleasant aromas that can ruin your wine.
Why does my wine require proper transportation?
In order to avoid drastic fluctuations in temperature, it is recommended that only climate controlled vehicles are used to transport wine. Older vintages of wine are the most sensitive to temperature changes, however all wines are at risk. Moving trucks are not climate controlled and depending on the time of year your wine could be exposed to wide fluctuations and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. Many moving companies are prohibited from transporting perishable items including wine. If wine must be transported in the summer months it is important to use a temperature controlled door-to-door service.
Sometimes it will take longer for your wine to arrive than your other belongings. This is because the wine transportation business is a relatively small industry. The wine will often travel to different temperature controlled warehouses awaiting enough cargo to fill the truck. At times, your wine may also be transported by air. While airplanes do not have temperature controlled cargo areas, the temperature remains cools while in the air.
If only a small quantity of wine needs to be transported, the wine can be transported via Fed Ex or UPS. However, Fed Ex and UPS will only ship wine from a licensed facility and are not temperature controlled. The wine shipment would need to be coordinated through a third party possessing the proper licensing.
The Wine Cellarage recommends the following websites for accessing storage and wine related information:
Facts about wine storage
Wine reviews and general wine information
Wine Cellars and Wine Racks
Cellar management software
Court of Master Sommeliers
The Institute of Masters of Wine
Wine Auction Partners