Are you a wine devotee? Do you have a go-to brand, taste or colour, usually your first choice at an event, party or restaurant?
If so, do you always wonder how those venues get the best out of their wine? How do they store it and elevate its value? Well, now you can experience the same value, from the comfort of your own home, without a wine cellar in sight.
For this blog, we’ve collaborated with Elite Wine Refrigeration, leading wine storage experts, bringing together 5 top storage tips. From surrounding odors and humidity levels, to relocating your wine, here’s how to get the best out of your favorite bottle, elevating its taste, smell and existence.
It is temperature
Firstly, the temperature that your wine is stored in is very important. A lot of wine drinkers do unfortunately mix up storage and serving temperatures, where there’s a consensus that red wine should be kept at room temperature.
We’re sorry to break the news, but this is an incorrect way of storing your wine, ultimately damaging its taste, body and lifespan. All wines should be stored at 12°C, no matter its colour. This temperature helps to control the optimal condition of your wine. Anything too cold or too hot can make wine non-consumable, along with interrupting its organic ageing process.
Cool or low temperatures can result in oxidation. Here is where excessive air can enter the bottle, resulting in a chemical imbalance of ingredients. Warm or high temperatures can also damage the wine, sometimes making it go off much quicker than expected.
As maintaining temperatures can be difficult through climates, investing in a high-quality wine cooler will help to control surrounding storage temperatures.
It is surrounding humidity levels
Alongside the temperature of your wine storage location, humidity levels must be controlled. Too low or too high humidity levels can again make your wine non-consumable; definitely something we’re sure most of you would like to avoid.
The perfect environment to store your wine will have humidity levels between 55-80%. This will help to keep your wine in its finest condition, motivating natural ageing. If humidity levels are low, the surrounding air will usually be dry. Dryness can shrink your cork, resulting in the high risk of oxidation.
If your humidity levels are high, exceeding 80%, mould and mildew are likely to thrive in this environment. Although very off-putting, imagine the contamination of surrounding mould.
Avoid opening a brand-new bottle, welcomed by unpleasant tastes or smells, through controlling the perfect storage condition.
It is UV light exposure
Have you ever seen green or brown wine bottles? If so, they’ve experienced damage through excessive UV light exposure. Unfortunately, alongside temperature and humidity, this is another natural factor to consider.
UV light exposure, if uncontrolled, can damage your favourite bottle. Discoloration of both the bottle and wine is a sign that damage has occurred, which is very unfortunate. Not only this, UV light exposure can make your wine go off sooner, by disrupting its natural chemicals.
One of the biggest risks of excessive UV light is its ability to disturb the maturing process of wine. Wine is one of many things which gets better with age. This is down to the organic reaction experienced over time if wine is stored optimally. Mature wine can result in higher value, with elevated tastes and aromas.
Excessive UV light exposure can spoil the beauty of ageing, reducing its lifespan drastically.
It is surrounding odours
Did you know that surrounding odours can devalue your wine? Imagine a nasty smell in your home. Without control over the route of this smell, the odour will consume your house, causing an unpleasant atmosphere. This exact occurrence can happen to your wine.
Nasty odours can enter your wine bottle. If a bottle has been opened or your cork has dried out, down to low humidity, odours can make their way into your prized possession.
Common odours which can devalue your wine include mould, chemicals and general household smells, known to transform the senses of your wine.
Uphold its existing taste and smell by storing your wine in a quiet, dark space, as close to the conditions of a cellar as possible.
It is disruptive vibrations
Another factor you can control to preserve your wine is disruptive vibrations. In a busy household, where consistent footfall is common, preserving wine at its finest state can be difficult. If your wine is kept in the refrigerator or a commonly used area, those disruptions can cause vibrations.
Vibrations will layer your wine, disrupting its natural balance of ingredients. Here, imagine something cutting through your wine’s formation, disturbing its natural chemical reaction. Not only can this change the body of your wine, it can once again hinder its desirable ageing process.
If your wine is currently placed in the fridge, we encourage you to relocate it to somewhere where little activity is experienced. Treat your wine with care, and it will reward you for the long-term.
Wine storage for longevity
A lot of wine purchases are for the short-term. But what about those pricey numbers, bespoke bottles, wine collections or keepsake gifts? It is very likely that longevity will be the aim for wines with high price points or high sentiment.
By following the above tips, shared by Elite Wine Refrigeration, you will have the chance to preserve the natural value of your wine, for long-term consumption.
- Storing your wine at 12°C, up until serving
- Measuring humidity levels to fall within 55-80%
- Reducing excessive UV light exposure
- Relocating your wine from unpleasant odours
- Considering disruptive vibrations in your household…
It is likely that your wine may go off sooner than planned, along with reducing its value. For a wine devotee, wine casualties will be shattering. Avoid this by considering your wine storage conditions, and if uncontrollable, looking at investing into a wine cooler.
Although a grand cellar would be ideal, you can preserve and enhance the value of your wine, from the comfort of your own home.
We would like to thank Elite Fridges for collaborating with us to write this article.