You may not be new to sipping and swirling, but if you’re considering taking the next big step in your wine hobby – cellaring – you may be unsure of where to begin.
Cellaring is a research-, time- and money-intensive process, and it can take a while to build confidence in your knowledge of wine storage.
Entire chapters of books could be (and have been!) written on fine wine storage. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve given a brief overview of a few basics you should know before making your investment.
1. How to set up a home wine cellar
As you start storing fine wines, you’ll need a place to keep them. Home wine cellars are important for true collectors who need a way to control humidity and temperature so their fine wines can age well – a kitchen pantry or spare office simply won’t do.
Your wine cellar should include temperature control features. Wine ages best when stored at about 12-13 degrees Celsius. The longer you plan to store your wines, the more emphasis you’ll want to put on temperature control.
It’s also important to create your wine cellar in a room without windows. Ultraviolet rays can age wine prematurely.
Humidity is an important factor as well – though this is less the case if you don’t plan on ageing your wines for longer than 10 years, according to Wine Spectator. It is ideal to keep the humidity of your wine cellar between 50 to 80 per cent.
Find out more about “How to Choose a Good Wine Cabinet”
2. Knowing which wines to purchase
The fact of the matter is that the majority of wines won’t benefit from ageing. Truly high-quality wines of certain varieties will definitely grow better with age, but this isn’t the case for all vinos.
So why do some wines age well and some not? Learn more about this
in our “Expert Advice” article “Do All Wines Age Well?”
Wines that age well tend to have high levels of acidity, tannins (in reds) and residual sugar, and low levels of alcohol. The best wines to cellar long-term are generally Port, Sherry, Riesling, Champagne, and fine red wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Piedmont and Tuscany. As a general rule, you will spend at least $30 per bottle on ageing-appropriate wines.
If you find a wine you really love and are interested in ageing, it’s a good idea to buy it by the case. This way, you can try the vino each year and see how it has evolved.
More tips on collecting wine:
“Four Key Points to Remember When Selecting Wine to Cellar”
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