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Friday, May 3, 2019

How To Store Wine Correctly At Home

Knowing how to store wine correctly isn’t only for fine wine enthusiasts—it’s good knowledge to have in general. If you buy a bottle of wine, or have been gifted a good vintage, you need to know how to store it so it doesn’t lose its flavor.

If you want to get into wine collecting, quite simply, you need to buy the right kinds of wine. Fine wines are those rare finds that can increase in value over time, but the final worth is very much dependent on how well it has been looked after. To develop the wine’s flavor and increase its value, you need to treat your bottles with care and store them correctly which, as we’re about to explain, is easier than you may think.

It’s important to note, however, that these tips are purely for the casual wine collectors. If you’re looking to invest in wines as a profession, you should probably look at installing professional-grade storage.

Keep your wine in a dark space

Excessive exposure to light can damage your wine, especially in cases of long-term storage. The sun’s UV rays can alter the chemicals present in the bottled wine, which then affects the taste. Wines kept in the dark and away from bright light (even artificial lighting) are less likely to spoil, which is why wine cellars tend to be dimly lit. This is also why wine bottles tend to be darker or tinted, as this protects it from the light.

Find the right temperature and keep it steady

The temperature of your storage can affect how quickly the wine matures. Too hot, and you can ‘cook’ the wine, making it stewed and slowly dulling the delicious flavors it initially had. Anything too cold, however, and you risk drastically slowing down the aging process, changing its aroma and flavor and, again, ruining the taste.

It’s generally best practice to store and serve wine at the same temperature, but that temperature depends on the variety of wine you have. A Bordeaux Rouge, for example, is best stored and served at 18°C (64°F) while a Chardonnay should be kept at 9°C (48°F). However, if you’re storing a few different types of wine, aim for an average temperature of 10-15°C (50-59°F). You may even want to get a dedicated wine fridge, which will have different zones for reds, whites, and sparkling wine. This also regulates the temperature and avoids drastic fluctuations in temperature, which can ‘shock’ and damage the wine.

Avoid keeping any bottles near a radiator or a window to keep the temperature steady. Switching between too cool and too warm conditions can make the wine inside the bottle expand and contract which, over time, can push the cork out or cause the wine to seep.

Control the humidity

It might be hard to believe that the humidity affects your wine, but having the right level of moisture in the air is crucial. If the air is too dry, the cork will dry out and degrade, causing the bottle to leak. On the other hand, having too much moisture can cause mold to grow on your cork, and lead to the labels being damaged. Having a relative humidity of 50%-70% is recommended, while 60% is the ideal humidity.

If you have a wine fridge for your small collection, you should be able to use it to control the humidity. However, if you don’t have this option, you’ll need to install a vapor barrier around wherever you’re storing your wine. This improves the airtightness of the room you’re storing your wine in and prevents any moisture from leaving the room through evaporation. The seams of the barrier should overlap and be taped together. The barrier should also be installed on the outside of the insulation to prevent condensation from forming on the vapor barrier, which could cause mold. Installing a humidifier can work to evenly distribute the humidity around the room.

Storing wine on its side is nonsense???

Wine has traditionally been stored horizontally, which was said to keep the cork moist and prevent it from drying out, as discussed in the previous point. But scientists are now claiming that this isn’t actually necessary, thanks to the high humidity in the neck space of the bottle, which would ensure the cork won’t dry out, even if a bottle is stored standing upright. Pair this with an environment with the right humidity, and you won’t need to worry about your cork drying out.

Even though you don’t need to leave wine on its side, if you have a growing collection, horizontal racking is a great way to save space, without harming your wine.

Taking all these factors into consideration, you should be able to easily make space in your home to keep your bottles safe. Whether it’s for collecting and investment purposes or to simply have a nice wine on hand for special occasions, you can install a cabinet to rack your wines and keep them hidden from the light. You should also rule out storing them in your kitchen, boiler room, or laundry room, as the temperatures fluctuate too much. If you don’t have a suitable place at home, you should consider investing in a standalone wine cooler, which will be able to do most of the hard work for you.

(Sponsored guest post by GoUp)

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1 comment:

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