by Jacqueline S., Wine Enthusiast Companies
I was recently working on organizing a wine cellar with a large collection of exceptionally old bottles. As I worked I stumbled upon several tragic situations of 1983 half-bottle Hermitages gone wrong over the last 25 years. I was shocked at their condition until I considered they were the only lost soldiers I had found throughout the whole project.
The wine cellar I had been working on, though a little disorganized, was kept in perfect condition and allowed for a majority of older wines to age beautifully. This perfect condition successfully battled all four of the Enemies of Wine:
1. Temperature Variations. The cellar room I was working in had a EuroCave INOA cooling unit to keep it at the perfect 55 degrees. (Anywhere between 50 and 57 is fine). This temperature prevented the wines from overheating or chilling, which would force them to either oxidize or freeze the aging process. The temperature must stay consistent. Wines in oscillating temperatures and changing environments can easily turn bad. Steady temperature is #1 when it comes to the rules for cellaring.
2. Light. Having a dark cellar is extremely necessary. UV rays can easily damage wine by penetrating the glass. The wine cellar room I worked in was pitch black with the lights turned out in the basement. Ideal for keeping wines for long periods of time.
3. Low Humidity. The corks, which are one of the key factors in protecting the wine, need a balance in humidity. A dry cork will crumble or allow air to enter the bottle. A custom wine built cellar or a free standing Eurocave will keep the humidity at a perfect level all the time.
4. Vibration. Last but certainly not least, stillness is essential in allowing wines to age well and continue to drink beautifully. Excessive vibration can generate unneeded heat that causes corks to shift.
The original wine cellars were actually caves. Cave is even the French word for wine cellar. So if you think about the environment of a cave: cold, dark, still and slightly humid youâ€™ll understand how to store wine optimally. A EuroCave or a custom built cellar is ideal for protecting your wine against the enemies and keeping your wine happy, for the long term.
How do you protect your wine against the enemies? Leave us a comment, and let us know!
Call 800.377.3330 for a Free Wine Storage Consultation.
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