In another Blog a few weeks back we discussed “Taking the Mystery Out of Wine Ageing”, but we didn’t cover some of the more practical areas of cellaring wines. This blog will help answer some of those questions you may have about the practice of cellaring.
Cellaring takes resourcefulness, money and patience, and at the end of the day it should be rewarding. Since there is a large investment of time, money and resources you want to ensure that everything is in order before, during and whilst drinking the wines from your cellar. So here are some tips to make it all worthwhile.
Why should you cellar a wine?
Simply, we cellar wine because we want to drink it at its peak. A wine’s peak depends on a lot of variables, but what is most important is that you are drinking it when it’s at its best for you the consumer.
How many bottles to cellar?
As many as you want, but no less than three. One for immediate consumption to get an idea of the longevity, one in the middle of your predicted life-span of the wine to ensure the quality is still there and to readjust, if necessary, its prediction. You may not know it but your taste buds will tell you when you should be drinking the wine.
How to store your wine?
These days with a lot more people moving into apartments and small living spaces the natural underground cellar is a rare sight to be seen. These days it’s more conventional to invest in a wine fridge. Wine fridges come in an array of shapes, sizes and brands. When it comes to brands, don’t be stingy! Buy top quality and do your research.
All wine fridges come with adjustable temperature and humidity. The ideal temperature for wine storage is one degree either side of 16 degrees Celsius. Too cold and the ageing process will be stagnant, too hot and it will cause premature oxidation. The humidity should sit at something around 75%. Lower humidity can cause corks to dry out causing oxidation or wine can evaporate at a quicker rate. If the humidity is higher, mould growth can also disrupt the ageing process and also lower the resale value of the wine due to label damage.
Other things to consider in your cellar include: expel water leaks, encourage air movement, limit vibrations, avoid bottle movements, expel pests and insects, and limit UV light exposure.
How long to store it for?
This is the very interesting and very subjective nature of wine ageing. As mentioned before, it is completely up to the individual as to when the wine is ready for consumption.
One last word of advice…
Drink or Sell your cellar before it’s too late! There is nothing more devastating than seeing a cellar being poured down the drain.