Whether you collect wine as a pass time or for business, storage is a very crucial part of the process. Wine continues to age even if you only store it for a couple of days. Poor storage can affect the speed and quality of the aging process and subsequently the flavor of the wine. Therefore, you need to store wine in a well-ventilated space with constant temperature and desired humidity levels. It is common to store wine for home consumption in the fridge along with the groceries, but not all wines do well at these temperatures. Sparkling wines are best kept in a wine cellar then place it in an ice bucket moments before serving. Large-scale collection of wine for private use or business will prompt investing in a wine cellar to accommodate the growing, and often high value, stash. Wine cellars go beyond protecting your wine from weather elements found in common areas of the home or business. They also keep wine away from the reach of children and mishandling that may lead to breakage.
Some of the common problems associated with wine cellar storage are:
Ensure that your wine is of the best quality by shopping from wine producers whose good reputation precedes them. If you are not sure, ask for tasting samples before adding to your shopping cart. Remember fancy wine cellars cannot transform bad wine to good wine. They can only maintain the quality of wine as it awaits consumption.
Temperature is arguably the most important factor to observe when it comes to storing wine. Wines do well in average temperatures of 12- 16 degree Centigrade. Any rapid temperature increase will lead to faster aging of wines while the reverse is also true. Temperature fluctuations make the cork expand and contract which eventually leads to spillage of wine. Even the tiniest opening in the cork is enough for air to come through which leads to oxidation of wine.
Just as high temperatures cause the aging of wine, so does light. Wine is made up of organic compounds that are responsible for flavor and aroma. Exposure to light degrades these organic compounds hence affecting the taste. Wine cellars need to be dark, and this is why most wine cellars end up in the basement. Install incandescent lights in the wine cellar and not their fluorescent counterparts. The latter emit UV light which can penetrate even dark colored bottles.
While the basement may be the perfect location to put up a wine cellar, be careful about vibrations from squeaky staircases to weak floorboards. Vibration shakes up sediments in the wine speeding up chemical reactions which further leads to faster aging your wine.
Low humidity in the wine cellar can have adverse effects on the wine. These lead to the cork shrinking which leads to air slipping in. As mentioned earlier, air initiates oxidation of chemical compounds in the wine. If humidity is above 70%, it causes molding, and while it goes below 50%, it leads to corks drying out then spillage of wine.
Even if wine bottles are sealed airtight, some amount of air will still find its way into the wine. It is for this reason that the wine cellar needs to stay odorless. Funny smells in the air circulation such as food spices, herbs, paint, etc. will eventually find their way into the wine and consequently degrade its quality.
Wine cellars offer proper storage of wine with attractive displays of wine bottles on rows of shelves. While installing a wine cellar is capital and labor intensive, go an extra mile and insulate your wine cellar to conserve energy and regulate temperature and humidity. If the wine cellar has windows, use UV-protected glass to block direct sunlight. Observe the standard insulation thickness of 9 centimeters into the walls and 15 centimeters in the ceiling.
Lastly, it goes without saying that wine cellars hold some of the most expensive wines in the market. You need to protect your collection from theft, natural disasters, and fires. There are high-tech security options available in the market today such as motion detector systems, CCTV cameras, check-in codes, smoke alarm detectors, and commercial grade fire suppression systems.
For wine lovers, investing in a wine cellar comes with the territory. A dedicated wine cellar is an ideal solution whether collecting wine for private consumption or commercial purposes. Wine cabinets are a viable alternative to fully fledged wine cellars. Cabinets are less expensive and can work well where space is limited. What’s more? Wine cabinets allow you to store different wines at different temperatures as opposed to wine cellars where all the bottles thrive in the same temperatures.