Thursday, August 03, 2006
The storage of wine is not a factor for most people because wine is usually purchased and then consumed shortly after. However, if you have any intention of keeping wines around for months then some precautions should be taken.
Never leave a wine open to direct exposure to the sun. Exposure to the heat and light of the sun can very quickly ruin a wine. Drastic temperature changes can also have a major effect on wine.
For someone wanting to store wine for aging purposes, you need a dark area free of vibration with a temperature ideally constant between 50 & 60 degrees F and a humidity level of 70 to 95 percent. Wine should also be stored away from odor causing products, ie: paints or solvants.
The amount of attention given to wine storage is directly related to the price and quality of the wine being stored. A first-growth Bordeaux will require ideal conditions, even if it means that you must go out and purchase a wine storage unit.
If you are storing homemade wine then you may not be so concerned with temperature fluctuations since its storage life is relatively short anyway.
The majority of wine drinkers don't have the resources or desire to put a lot of money into producing an ideal wine storing environment. However, in most cases a dark place with no vibration can be found eg. a bedroom closet, a low traffic corner of a basement (NOT under the stairs or near the washer and dryer or furnace).
If you are careful to select ageable wines that are moderately priced, then you can get away with some temperature fluctuations, such as a house in the Northern climates without air conditioning.
Temperature fluctuations will cause your wine to age quicker.
Shorter shelf life is not necessarilly a bad thing. You can experience an aging wine during a short time span. I have had this over 6 months with homemade white wine, and 12 months with homemade red.
As a general rule, red is more ageable than white. This is because of the tannins that red wines have. Tannins come from contact with grape skins during fermentation, and also from oak aging. .
If you want to invest in racks for a basement wine storage room, you choices are wood, metal, or man-made. Cardboard is not recommended due to the chemicals in its production. For more information on wine storage, why not invest first in a good wine book. I recommend Wine for Dummies, 2nd edition It's full of tips and humour.
Part 2 of the White Wine Grapes will be posted next week. So, stop by and give it a read.
Powered By Qumana