Storage of Wine
We would all love to have a temperature and humidity controlled wine cellar, but space limitations, expense or too little wine can make it difficult to justify. Many of you want to know what you can do to prevent your wine from turning to vinegar without going to a lot of trouble and expense.
Wines are fragile and need certain conditions to give them a chance of surviving. Temperature is probably the most important factor to consider. Suggested wine storage temperature is 50F to 60F. We recommend you find the interior closet in your house or apartment that is furthest away from any heat source.
Wine needs a consistent temperature to mature properly. Direct light can be a problem too. Direct sunlight presents two problems, light and heat, so definitely keep your wine away from outside windows. Even lamps can be hazardous to your wine's health so avoid them too. Another potential problem is vibrations. Storage in an area with heavy foot traffic, near household appliances or anything that can create vibrations can be harmful to the wines delicate components.
Wines need to be stored on their side to keep the cork from drying out and allowing air to enter in. This can cause excess oxidation. If you can't use proper wine racks, we recommend using old wine case boxes for storage. If you receive wine via mail order, use the packaging material for extra insulating protection against temperature fluctuations.
The best places to store wines for ageing (other than a wine cellar or wine refrigerator), is the interior closet, in the spare room, at the back of the house, that you hardly ever use.
How to Open Older Vintage Wines
Whether you are a collector or just enjoy the taste of older vintages, there is a special way these wines should be opened and presented.
Older wines tend to have a buildup of sediment. If the wine was stored properly the sediment is usually on the cork and the side of the bottle. Before opening the bottle you want to make sure the sediment has settled. Set the bottle upright for 24 hours until the sediment has settled to the bottom. When opening you want to try and keep movement to a minimum as to not stir up too much sediment.
The tool you use to open the bottle is just as important as the wine itself. We suggest not using a corkscrew of any kind as it is almost guaranteed to break the delicate, old cork inside the bottle. An Ah-So is the best opener to use on older wines since it surrounds the cork entirely and does not puncture it. You can usually find one at your local wine store. To see how use an Ah-So wine opener check out this video. It may be a good idea to have long tweezers in case the cork breaks or if the sediment detached from the cork when you try to pull it out.
Decanting is not always suggested with old wines. The beauty of using real cork in the bottle is that it allows a very small amount of air into the wine throughout the years so it can develop properly. Exposure to more air after opening isn’t always a good idea. If you are not sure if your wine should be decanted or not, call us at: 707-963-9646 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last but not least is the pouring of the wine. Patience is a virtue when it comes to making wine as well as pouring it. To keep the sediment at bay, pour very slowly and avoid any glugging. Using a candle or flashlight below the bottle, while pouring, will help you see when the sediment starts to reach the neck.
As always enjoy responsibly. Slainte!