There is absolutely nothing worse than popping open your favorite bottle of wine, after saving it for years, only to find that it is the equivalent of apple cider vinegar. This wine-to-vinegar dilemma can be avoided simply by creating optimal storage conditions for your wine. Here’s what you need to know about the perfect storage conditions.
Ensure Consistently Cool Conditions
Have you ever heard the theory that you should keep wine at room temperature? Well, although it would make storing easier, this is not the best place to keep wine, especially if you’re storing it long-term.
The best temperatures to store your wines are for optimal ageing is below 21°C. This is because heat affects the elements and composition of the wine. In warmer conditions, the flavours and aromas are damaged. Other than the fact that the wine will be dull in a few years, it will likely turn the wine into vinegar.
Another thing to remember is that the wine should be kept cool consistently. So even if the winter months are all below 21°C, it doesn’t mean the wine should be kept in a simple wine rack. If there are constant changes in the temperature, the wine cork swells and shrinks, which allows oxygen to enter the bottle through the pores. This is absolutely the worst thing that can happen to your wine since oxygen essentially breaks down your wine’s compounds. With constant oxygen in your bottle, you have no chance of ageing your wine successfully long-term.
Store the Wine on Their Side without Movement
Another vital factor for storing wine long-term is keeping the wine on its side (although this is quite a controversial topic). The reason for this is to keep the cork wet, which prevents it from drying out. As with the temperature issue, you don’t want any oxygen from entering your bottle. And if the cork is stored upright, there is a good chance that it will dry out and open air pockets. As we’ve said, that’s not ideal.
If you’re storing it on its side, you should also ensure there is no constant movement around the wine. Any type of vibration around the bottles can disturb and damage the wine. It’s been proven that the vibration speeds up the wine’s ageing process, but it prevents the necessary aromas and flavours from developing. Wine is exceptionally delicate and quite susceptible to damage. But it is worth taking care of your wine to ensure optimal development. So, if you do store your wine, a conventional fridge is not ideal. There is too much movement and vibration in these fridges.
Avoid Any Type of Light
We mentioned how easily your wine could be damaged. Light is another major issue when it comes to the dignity of your wine. Any type of light, whether natural or artificial, can affect your wine if it is constantly exposed to it. If you consider what the sun does to your skin, it makes sense that light can be harmful to wine too. For optimal long-term ageing, store your wine away from light.
So if you’re planning on storing some wine long-term, ensure your wine adheres to these three rules, and you should be able to store your wine for decades. Cellars and fridges that have been specifically designed to store wine long-term are your best bet! And if you’re looking for wines worth cellaring, have a look at our Aquitaine Bordeaux-style blend, and our multi-award winning Reserve Hilltop Shiraz – both of which are excellent cellar-worthy wine.