Wine Storage Factors, Simply Explained

It is sad to see how lots of web-sites perpetuate myths about wine storage just to convince customers that only the most highly-priced wine coolers/cellars/fridges can protect against fine wines from turning to vinegar overnight. Unfortunately, the truth is far much less motivating. Under we discuss the basics of typical wine storage – i.e., wine held for individual consumption rather than speculation – and to assist clear up some of the rampant confusion so new enthusiasts can make sensible, expense-effective getting decisions.

Terminology – Wine Coolers, Fridges, Cellars, Etc.

Wine Cooler vs. Wine Cellar – What’s the Distinction? We see lots of blogs and other sites that try to define and separately categorize wine coolers, wine cellars, and wine refrigerators – as if they can be systematically differentiated. In most cases, however, you will notice that despite saying and assuming that they are distinct, the author cannot actually articulate any meaningful way to distinguish them. And when the do, most internet websites attempt to categorize wine “cellars” based on vague notions of cost class, by calling them “higher-end” wine coolers. That defines absolutely nothing, considering that prices differ along a continuum.

In other cases, the attempted distinction is far more concrete but just as arbitrary – e.g., some say wine cellars ought to have humidity handle. But this is also not beneficial, because even the most standard wine fridges can come with, or be fitted with, some form of humidity handle method, such as a basic tray of water. Ultimately, a third so-named definition that we normally see is that wine cellars are supposedly developed for a lot more “lengthy term” storage. But this also is impossibly vague and unhelpful, because most wine coolers/fridges are developed to preserve appropriate lengthy term storage temperatures. So as long as the fridge or cooler holds up over the extended term, then it can function for extended term storage. There is no fundamental distinction as to how they go about sustaining temperatures, considering that cheaper wine fridges and pricey “cellars” alike all use the very same forms of cooling machinery (compressors or thermoelectric systems).

Simply put, wine coolers, wine fridges, wine cellars or any other temperature-controlled boxes/cabinets are all created to do the similar issue: maintain wine at optimal storage temperatures, usually around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Some can also chill whites to their appropriate service temperature (but that has nothing to do with storage). Of course, these units may differ considerably in their reliability and high quality, but this frequently has nothing at all to do with no matter if they are marketed as wine cellars versus wine coolers.

Please note that when we talk about lengthy term storage, for most shoppers, this ordinarily means up to five years, generally substantially less. So if your fridge/cooler/cellar can function correctly and reliably in the course of this period, it can by this definition shop wine “lengthy term.” If you strategy on storing wine longer than this, and your cooler/cellar has been running well so far, go for it. Having said that, if you are storing fine wine as an investment, or are keeping ultra-expensive wine that you are passionate about, forget about storing your personal wine altogether – place your greatest wine in a experienced storage facility and only preserve in your cooler the wine you intend to consume!

Sustain Proper Wine Storage Temperature

There is no query that temperature is the most crucial storage consideration of them all. But the decision as to which temperature is best could not be simpler, and we are stunned by all of the misinformation that exists.

Store All of Your Wine at About 55 Degrees Fahrenheit

The consensus amongst the most respected wine organizations is that the very best storage temperature – for both red and white wines – is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s it! And no you don’t have to keep this temperature specifically, a handful of degrees above or beneath this is fine. Do not make the rookie mistake of confusing storage temperature with service temperature, which does differ among reds and whites!

Basic Advised Wine Service Temperatures:

F Wine Kind

64 Red (Complete-Bodied)

59 Red (Medium-Bodied)

55 Red (Light-Bodied)

54 White (Full-Bodied)

52 White (Medium-Bodied)

50 White (Light-Bodied)

48 Sparkling

Precision is Not Required

Additionally, there is no harm in storing wine colder than this, all this does is slow down maturation. So why 55F? Pretty significantly all of the credible sources agree that at about 55F fine wine (i.e., these wines that are worth aging and can advantage from aging) can gradually and steadily mature (oxidize) at a rate that improves and deepens the wine’s taste and aroma. Substantially beneath 55F, the chemical reactions responsible for this approach (like all chemical reactions) slow down or halt, hence lengthening the time necessary for the wine to reach its “peak.” So a wine that may well require five years of aging at 55F to taste/smell its most effective may possibly still not be ripe soon after ten years in cooler storage. On the other hand, if wine is kept slightly warmer than 55F, it will mature additional rapidly. For example, a wine that may possibly peak at eight years might peak at 5 if kept closer to 60F. Certainly, this is not a difficulty for most people – and a lot of persons may well prefer speeding up maturation to some degree – which is why we are normally surprised at how significantly paranoia exists with respect to temperature.

Temperature Stability is Most Significant

Whilst storing wine anywhere within a handful of degrees of 55F is best, the larger concern is maintaining steady temperatures around the chosen set point. Why? First off, a substantial, prolonged spike in temperature is damaging basically simply because it quickly promotes oxidation in a way that is not controlled and that can set off other, undesirable reactions, which can then affect the aroma and taste of the wine. Even so, significantly significantly less dramatic but periodic temperature swings can be equally or much more deleterious.

Wine, and specifically the ullage (airspace/unfilled space in the bottle), expands when temperatures rise and contracts when temperatures drop. And simply because corks are porous, this primarily causes the bottle to “exhale” by means of the cork when temperatures push upwards and “inhale” as they come back down. In other words, some gas from the ullage is pushed out and fresh air is pulled back into the bottle in the course of significant temperature swings. This fresh air, in contrast to the original gas composition of the ullage, has a fresh supply of oxygen – and extra oxygen means higher rates of oxidation. As a result, a continuous cycle of excessive “breathing” can immediately degrade wine by over-maturation just as certainly as continuous storage in elevated temperatures can. Again, you do not require to panic over a swing of a couple of degrees nevertheless, the extra stable you can keep your wines around the set temperature, the better. Attempt maintaining your wine cooler complete – a bigger volume of wine in the cabinet final results in higher thermal inertia, which assists minimize temperature swings due to fluctuating external temperatures.

Keep Correct Humidity Levels

Humidity levels are critical for wine stored for longer periods, for a couple causes. First, low humidity can cause corks to shrink, which sacrifices their sealing potential and can permit outside air to infiltrate and/or wine to be pushed previous the cork. And sealing failures can expose the wine to greater levels of oxygen, which can more than-mature the wine or spoil it based on the magnitude of the breach. Second, higher humidity can foster the growth of molds and mildew, which is not so a great deal a dilemma for the wine as it is for the wine’s labels, which can be permanently discolored and reduce the bottle’s potential resale worth.

Most wine storage experts suggest keeping your collection at around 70-75 % humidity to make certain excellent cork sealing without having advertising mold development. However, as with most figures, precision is not needed, and something from 50 – 80 % is in all probability just fine. Once more, maintain things inside purpose. If Laird Wine are precious enough to be concerned about label damage and resale worth, they really should be sitting in a experienced storage facility anyway.

Protection From UV Light

The harm to a wine’s taste/aroma that can occur from exposure to UV light is nicely documented. UV (ultraviolet) light is a form of higher-energy invisible electromagnetic radiation present in organic sunlight and artificial light sources to varying degrees. Most individuals recognize the effects of UV exposure in the type of suntans and sunburns.

As far as wine is concerned, nevertheless, it is believed that UV radiation reacts with sulphur compounds that naturally happen in wine, causing a “light strike” reaction – a method whereby these compounds are then broken down into to smaller sized, undesirable metabolites that go on to form unpleasant volatile compounds, which even an average palate can notice at trace levels. Indeed, the regrettable flavors/aromas associated with such compounds, such as dimethyldisulphide and hydrogen sulfide, have been characterized by test subjects as “wet dog” and “cooked cabbage.” See the trouble?

Leave a Comment