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Wine Storage

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As any true connoisseur would tell you, wine is a living organism that is created through dual processes - the growth of grapes and the conversion of sugar in the grapes by yeast. Its chemical composition is very complex and fragile thereby necessitating correct wine storage so as to preserve and enhance the quality of wine. Storage of wine depends on many a factor. Do you wish to install a wine rack in your home? What are the features of wine coolers? Learn some vital tips that can go a long way in storing your wine so as to savor its velvety texture or its sparkling spirit!


Wine rack

Wine racks can range from the top of the line walnut or cherry wood custom-built racks to simpler functional ones that can be bought off the shelves. Your storage needs depends on whether you are looking for wine racks for a single bottle, few bottles or hundreds of bottles. Bottle capacity and size of bottles determine your wine rack requirements. Go in for the sturdy beauty of wood or combine it with the functionality of metal.

You can even pick up a stylish wine rack in glass. You can choose from a wide range of wine racks - to suit your taste, budget and home décor. Wine coolers are sometimes fitted to the racks so as to store the wine in temperature-controlled cabinets. A well -designed wine rack is one that keeps the wine from being agitated and doesn't dry out the cork on the bottles. This might lead to air entering the bottles.


Store wine bottles in mahogany wine racks that offer full-depth space and cradle the bottles without damaging the labels. Alternatively look for simple metal racks that are functional and don't burn a hole in your pockets. Added features such as frosted tempered glass and polished aluminum reflectors add to the overall grandeur of your wine display. If space is at a premium, consider a corner wine rack that can be attacked to other racks or can stand-alone rack. Some wine racks double up as tables with tops made of glass, wood or marble. This can be used to lay out cheese and other snacks that complement the wine. You can find some elegant wine racks that can be placed within your pantry or a dark corner of your kitchen too.


Wine storage

Storage of wine is an important issue since it can affect the quality. Wine changes over time - the color deepens, the aroma becomes intensified and the flavor acquires a personality of its own. Most of the wines produced today are meant to be consumed within a year of purchase. They are velvety and riper and reach their plateau sooner. They are produced for immediate consumption. Most of the wines of the world are meant to be consumed young, with their youth and freshness intact.


Better-quality wines need anywhere between 4 years to a decade for achieving their maturity. All this holds true for red wines. In contrast, white wines are at their best within 2 - 3 years from their date of vintage. Since white wines do not need time to mature, they are mostly bought when required. Champagne is ready for consumption as soon as it is out of the cellar and doesn't improve with age. The right storage is extremely critical here. Whether your needs are for long term or short-term wine storage depends on the type of wine you intend to stock.


Conditions that affect wine storage

Temperature -Temperature plays a vital role in the correct aging of wine as it affects the chemical changes that take place. The optimum temperature is 50 to 55°F (10-12°C). Constant temperature with minimal varying of less than 3° a day and 5° a year is best. Changes in temperature can cause the wines to age prematurely and this in turn leaves a sticky deposit. White wines are affected far more by temperature problems than red wines.

Vibration - Wines should be stored in such a way that you don't have to move them around to get at a particular bottle. Once a wine is laid down, it should stay there until it is opened. Ensure that are no continuous vibrations from machinery or heavy traffic nearby.

Humidity - Humidity level of about 70% works well for most wines since it keeps the corks in resilient condition without drying out and shrinking. Insufficient humidity may cause the corks to lose their elasticity and allow air to enter the bottle. When conditions are too humid, wine labels can become damaged and mold can grow inside the cabinet.

Darkness - UV rays cause tannins in the wine to oxidize and cause damage. Wine stored in clear bottles is more susceptible to light. Even dark colored bottles do not offer much protection against UV light. It is therefore essential to store wine in a dark place. Fluorescent lighting is not recommended. It is preferable to opt for incandescent or sodium vapor lamps.

Clean air - Since wine breathes, it is essential that wine storage must be done in an environment that is free from smells and debris. Good ventilation is essential to prevent a musty odor. Extraneous smells can enter through the cork and contaminate the wine. Choose wine racks that provide a clean environment for the wine to mature.

Angle of Storage - Storage of wine is usually done horizontally to keep the wine in contact with the cork at all times. When stored upright, wine tends to develop deposits of sediment on the bottom.


Wine cooler

Wine coolers, also known as wine refrigerators are used to store your wine bottles as well as chill them to the right serving temperature. Your family refrigerator is not the right place for your wine. For one, it is probably set much colder than is necessary for wine. Besides, the constant opening of the refrigerator causes temperature fluctuations that are not good for wine. A wine cooler helps in maintaining the constant temperature that is so essential for the integrity of the wine. Wine cabinets are sometimes fitted with refrigerated units. Every time you need a glass of wine, it is ready for you - at just the right temperature. Such wine coolers maintain the temperature between 55º to 58º F and about 60 - 70% humidity.

Ideal temperatures for storing wine:


  • Blush, rose and dry white wines are best served between 46-57F (8-14C).
  • Sparkling wines and champagne tend to taste best at 43-47F (6-8C).

  • Light red wine works well at around 55F (13C) for storing and serving.

  • The deep red wines need a temperature range between 59-66 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius).

Some wine cabinets with cooler allow you to maintain different temperature zones - for storing, chilling different varieties of wine. A wine cooler allows a wine lover to appreciate the richness of the wine at the appropriate temperature, thereby enhancing its texture and flavor.


Wine Storage


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Wine Storage