Surprisingly, one of the worst places you can store your wine is your kitchen. This includes near or above your stovetop and oven, or next to your fridge – which dispels a considerable amount of heat during its compressor cycles.
Any wine professional will tell you that fluctuating temperature is one of the worst things for your wine. Similarly, storing wine in a consistently hot environment, such as a west-facing garage or attic, will literally cook your wine, resulting in flabby ‘spoiled fruit’ flavours.
Another disastrous option is storing your wine on racks near a window or glass door in direct sunlight, where your wine will be exposed to excessive light. UV light in particular, causes hydrogen sulphide compounds in wine, which affects a wine’s colour and tannins.
It strips wine of the natural fruit flavours and causes it to taste flat and lifeless.
Unfortunately, this category covers a lot of the places we often think are okay for wine storage, such as under the staircase or house, in a basement, or in Styrofoam boxes.
Wine’s ideal cellaring temperature is between 12ºC and 14ºC. Storing wine under 10° will stunt maturation, while above 16° will prematurely age the wine. This isn’t a wide bracket, and constant variation between the two can cause a surprising amount of damage to a wine’s structure and life expectancy.
On top of this, low humidity environments (below 50% hygrometry) dry out corks, causing them to become brittle and shrink, which allows air into the bottle. You can recognise an oxidised wine through off and unpleasant odours, and discolouration from purple or red to brown.
Though it sounds obvious, the best place is somewhere that has been specifically designed to accommodate the needs of your wines, like a cool natural underground cellar, a purpose-built walk-in wine cellar, or a climate-controlled wine cabinet.
These options prevent wines from spoiling due to environment stress and allow them to mature at a steady rate. A well-made wine cabinet or walk-in cellar replicates the conditions found in the best natural underground wine cellars by controlling humidity, temperature, and UV light – and can effectively prolong the life of your wine substantially.
While you may assume a regular fridge or wine cooler is a good alternative, unfortunately these generate intense blasts of cold air, creating large temperature fluctuations, and they remove ambient humidity causing your corks to dry out. In addition, a climate-controlled wine cabinet protects bottles from vibrations that spoil and prematurely age wine, and ensures frequent air circulation to limit the growth of mould on corks and labels.
The most convenient option for wine lovers is a product designed specifically for your wines. Vintec has developed a comprehensive range to suit all needs and requirements, offering wine cabinets 20-bottle capacities right up to walk-in cellars for over 4000 bottles. The range includes something for all budgets and spaces, and is well worth the investment to protect your favourite drops.
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