Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Basics of Home Wine Storage

(Post sponsored by WineRacks.co.uk)

Anybody with even a basic knowledge of wine will know that the way in which we store our precious bottles can certainly affect aroma and taste, which is why understanding the correct way to do so is essential. I outline the key factors to consider when storing wine at home, including location, ideal conditions and the different wine racking options available.

ATMOSPHERE AND LOCATION

Where you choose to store your wine is an essential factor, particularly for those amongst us who have been building up a valuable collection over many years.

A lot of people just starting out make the easy slip-up of assuming the best location for their wine is in the kitchen, for easy access. However, the overwhelming majority of us will not have a temperature-controlled kitchen, which causes problems as the natural sunlight enters this room of the house, changing wine temperatures and spoiling it.

Instead, ideal wine storage conditions are lying horizontally, with cool, humidity-controlled, dimly- lit space that is not predisposed to to fluctuating temperatures or vibrations. The basement is the preferred choice, as it is below ground and, therefore, typically cooler than other parts of the house.

CELLAR COOLING UNITS

Fondis C25 Wine MasterIf you can afford to splash the cash, investing in a cellar cooling unit is well worth it. These are different to typical home air conditioners, as they are specifically designed with wine storage in mind, and work to cool the air more gradually, while maintaining the humidity in the room. Humidity means the corks on your beloved bottles will not dry out, oxidise and eventually spoil the wine.

Be sure to seek advice from fellow wine enthusiasts, who can steer you in the direction of a good quality cellar conditioner which will be worth the investment.

Experts generally advise against using wine fridges as they can produce heat and the constant opening and closing may cause bottle vibrations.

Ensuring the correct conditions are present is perhaps the single most significant aspect when it comes to wine storage – why build up an impressive collection only to cause taste and aroma spoilage?

WINE RACKS

Wine Bottle Storage CubesInvesting in high-quality wine racks or kitting out a whole wine cellar, is surely the dream of any serious wine collector. However, you must think carefully about this, as the wine racks you pick will surely depend upon the types of wine you prefer to keep in your collection.

Standard wine racks are customarily 3.5 inches wide, fitting in regular Bordeaux bottles (750ml), but if you are someone who has a lot of champagne bottles, magnums, half bottles and split bottles within your range, you might want to consider getting a tailor-made wine rack fitted instead. These can be built to include larger or smaller openings, which are able to comfortably fit your entire, collection.

When seeking out bespoke wine storage, always be sure to hire a specialist provider, as they are the most knowledgeable when it comes to bottle size specifications and are capable of creating storage solutions that can accommodate a diverse range of bottles in various shapes and sizes.

MATERIALS USED

Now that you have decided to invest in your wine racks, you need to decide which material to use, which depends on several factors, including the cost, durability, and whether it matches your interior style.

The most common material used for wine storage racks is wooden, particularly pine or oak. These are good because they can withhold their durability under humid conditions and do not crack or form mildew. However, wooden racks are only worthwhile when the material is thick enough to be able to handle the weight of a large number of bottles. Wooden racks loo fantastic in both contemporary and traditional interiors, however, they may not be practicable in particularly damp-prone spaces, which is where a metal wine rack would instead be beneficial.

Metal racks are great in modern homes and are simple to transport. However, it can sometimes be hard to get an exact fit when using metal, especially where the space you want to place the wine rack is strangely shaped.

Cheaper materials made from wood like cedar, poplar and fir are to be avoided because they are known to taint the wine’s aroma. Likewise, a finishing paint may make a wine rack look more attractive, but for similar reasons, need to be avoided. Instead, use a non-smelly Danish oil or coloured stain to achieve the look you are going for.

OTHER KEY FACTORS

Image result for broken wineThere are several other vital considerations to take into account when storing wine. The areas holding the bottle in place should be smooth, so as to not cause damage to labels when removing wines for inspection, since this can decrease a bottle’s value and will look shabby in front of guests. Always be sure to have your wine racks or cellars fitted by a professional, who will work with stability a the forefront of their mind and understands the dos-and-don’ts of wine storage.

It would be an absolute disaster if the racks were not sturdy enough to handle the weight of your collection and one or several of your expensive bottles smashed!

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