Grapes and wine

What’s In Your Cellar?

You don’t have to be a connoisseur to enjoy wine; however there are a few rules to follow to ensure your wine doesn’t have a shortened life or turn into a hideous rendition of grape juice and vinegar. We can all save ourselves from the bad wine experience by taking some precautionary measures to ensure the wines will survive their long term stay with us.
If one does not have a temperature controlled unit, the easiest and least expensive route is to store the wines in their case, with the bottles lying on their sides, on the floor of a closet, in the coolest room in the house (usually a North facing room). Since the bottles are on their side, the corks will remain moist and won’t dry out or allow air to get in, which will result in an oxidized wine. Furthermore, the wines will not be exposed to sunlight or vibration while they patiently wait for their retrieval.
Another option is a small to medium-sized temperature controlled unit. These are available in a 12, 24 or 36 bottle capacity, or you can go for the 500 to 2500 bottle unit that not only control temperature, but also maintain a constant 70 percent humidity level. Your wines will age more gracefully at the optimum temperature of 55 degrees. Keep in mind that your refrigerator is usually kept at 40 to 45 degree range; this can have a draining effect on your wines’ youthfulness, especially sparkling wines.
We also must take into consideration that 95 percent of all the wines produced in the world today are meant to be consumed young (within two to four years from vintage date). For those of us who invest in those top five percent of collectable wines, these should come from the greatest producers and in the best vintages. It is imperative that the wines be stored correctly to prevent a loss of quality and investment dollars.
Remember this equation: Heat + Vibration + Sunlight = Spoiled Wine.